>Riding Along In My Automobile…..

>Well….the ‘Curry Night’ with a bevvy of Brits was okay. The food was good, including (or especially) the home-made Samozas, made by Jean, Frank’s wife.  Jack was hounded relentlessly by Frank’s six month old Jack Russel pup,  Louis, while their cocker, Penny, largely kept out of sight. No doubt, welcoming the brief respite from Louis’ puupyish attacks.

One guy there was a collector and restorer of Stationary Engines – a decidedly British sort of eccentricity/obsession, I’d think. He’d just bought five – yes five – at a brocante/junk dealer’s fair in a neighbouring town on Thursday!  These things are seriously heavy bits of kit, with one of his recent acquisitions weighing in at 1.5 tonnes. He actually has a part-ownership in one of 8.5 tonnes, back in Sussex! He assured us that there were real bargains to be had here in France on the stationary engine front! I don’t think he managed to convince either of us and I certainly can’t see us rushing out to grab a rusting lump of old metal machinery in the near future. Whatever the price!

This sort of daft thing:

Another arrived in an old, chrome-bumper MGB. It was in superb condition and obviously his pride and joy. Ideal for the conditions here, where he can roar around with the hood down attracting admiring glances from the locals:

Just like this one:
Cruising begins here:
J decided to try out her handbaking skills after the course she attended in Yorkshire last weekend. It was her first solo attempt following their guidance, suggestions and tuition. But the scales we have were not accurate enough and they had been insistant on the importance of accurate measuring and weighing of ingredients.  So we rolled along to our local supermarket and bought an electronic set for the horrendous price of thirty euros!! As we pulled in and parked, we were alongside an oldish (1980s, at a guess) Buick Park Lane. A rare sight in France, and something of an ugly gas-guzzling sedan!

Up in Sweden, they adore old American cars. Most small towns and villages will have at least one lurking somewhere, and in summer they cruise back and forth, up and down, along and….you get the drift. In Fun City, they used to come out and play on the day of the annual country/rock music event, when maybe a dozen or so brightly coloured, chromed Yank tanks would take to the streets and drive the mile or so from one side to the other of the town, with music blaring from their radios, of course. It made for an unexpected and unusual spectacle, though I’ve never been able to figure out just where this abject love of fuel gobbling cars fits into the Swede’s so-called environmentalism.

Our Hens have returned to the two-a-day method of egg production, so all is well with them, save for the effect of the heat which has them searching out what shade they can find and visibly panting at times, which I’m sure can’t be pleasant or good for them. Today we had about 28 degrees by 13:00. So pretty hot, then!

I found an unusual caterpillar making its way, slowly-slowly, down the garden towards the gate this morning:

Cinnabar Moth Larvae
The moth itself is strikingly pretty. I tried copying an image in here but gave up after a few goes. It’s worth having a look at one, though. A gorgeous looking creature to be sure!
‘Twere so hot this morning that both Jack and Charlie gave up the struggle and decided a nap was in order:
I know exactly how they felt. Think it’s time for a glass of plonk….or maybe a fizzy, frothy, terrible French beer…….

About yractual

A former lawyer and national daily journalist, now a freelance music journalist, with moves bewteen Spain, Sweden, France and who knows where next! A Scot by birth and inclination. Lover of acoustic ragtime-blues guitar and ukulele. Work with music titles across three continents.
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2 Responses to >Riding Along In My Automobile…..

  1. gz says:

    >Cinnabar moth caterpillars are very useful- as they demolish ragwort!As are stationary engines in a power cut, or if you are off grid….

  2. yeractual says:

    >I know a bit about stationary engines. I used to trundle round lots of those country fair affairs where they are always well represented; they have many uses, I know, from pumping to generation of power etc. But I think you have to be real enthusiast/geek to collect them in numbers! The moths are very beautiful and I will keep an eye out for them now I know they're around. I'll also be keeping eye open for Colorado Beetles which we also have here.

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