Archive | March, 2014

Life in France

31 Mar

Am I the first Temple-Heald to vote in a French election?


These are my voting papers.

After registering to vote in January, we had a visit from the deputy Mayor two weeks ago who came to deliver our voting cards and a list of candidates for us to chose from. This was one of two lists produced which we had to chose our council from. We are allowed to chose a total of 15 people from both lists combined as they are not separated into political parties. So off we went to the village hall to place our votes.

Walking into the village we were greeted by most people in the traditional way by a nod and a ‘bonjour Monsieur damme’. A few stopped us to ask about Nettles. They certainly are dog lovers here!

In the hall we had to cross off the names on each list of the people who we did NOT want to vote for. Then we placed both lists into an envelope and took it with our voting cards and passports to the table where our names were checked against the electoral register and asked to place our envelope into the box. We then had to sign the voters list while the receiving officer said Voté. This was our second vote as the first vote which we made last weekend did not provide a clear win for some of the candidates. So the list this week was whittled down to ten people to chose five from. This meant that ten people were chosen the first week by majority votes and the remaining five had to be voted on again this weekend. Now that all fifteen people have been chosen they will elect the village Mayor who will be in post for the next five years.


The Garden Office rises once again

14 Mar

After languishing, in pieces, in one of the garages, the Henley Garden Office that was so much loved by us, and lovingly taken down by all our friends, has finally seen the light of day.

After collecting dust, and neglected, for the last 15 months, we finally had sufficient hands here to put it up again. It’s taken three days and we’ve got to get the roof on, but it’s great to see it again. We can’t wait to occupy it!!





Making great progress here at The Peace Factory

8 Mar

The winter seems to have given up the battle and spring now seems to have arrived. We notices the first blossom on the trees in mid-February. Now green things are shooting up all over the place: guess who’s writing this!


Caterpillar Nests

Now one thing I do know is that the funny looking nests in this photograph of a pine tree near us can cause a lot of grief to animals and humans alike. They are caterpillar nests and if disturbed they shoot out poisonous needles. You don’t see a lot of those in Mote Park, Maidstone!

The team of volunteers have been working hard over the winter months. Thanks mainly to Andrea from Italy most of the old tress that were blocking the sunlight on the three terraces have been cut down. Now we have a lot of firewood for the barbecue pit. To assist in the logging operation we invested in an electric chainsaw which has certainly earned its keep so far.

The team has also been painting like mad, taking full advantage of the dry weather. All the garage doors have been done, as has the gate and the railings to the Old House.

New electric chainsaw

New electric chainsaw

Andrea doing his woodman work

Andrea doing his woodman work