La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Friday, April 22, 2016

Working Their Socks Off.

Their cotton socks. Bless their cotton socks.
Mikaela and Keegan have been clearing, clearing and clearing for four days in a row. And they are doing a thorough job. 
The brambles were first to bite the dust, with some gorse thrown in for good measure. There is still a large amount of gorse to be tackled in that particular area.
As is the case all over the land, but that has to wait. I've already been surfing the internet on how to deal with an invasion of gorse in an ecological manner, and without setting fire to it. 

 Power tools have come out and Keegan is a happy bunny. He trims the rushes and grass that have been liberated from furze and briars (or gorse and brambles)

 Mikaela is opting for manual tools.

 These youngsters are so motivated and always with a smile on their faces.

 Thorny stuff

 The brambles have been cut  to about 40 cm. They want to use the stems to lever them out of the ground. If that fails they'll have to be cut all the way back, but Keegan has been able to lift some of them out by the roots already.
Here, at the front, vegetation has been strimmed back and it is looking fab already.
Bert came up with the idea of making a fire pit. Our volunteers love the idea and are looking forward to the project. 
It is always nice for any volunteer that they have the chance to 'build' or do something for us that lasts. Leaving a little of themselves behind, something that we can remember them by. Not that I have forgotten about any of our many, many volunteers over the years. They all hold a special place in my heart.

While they're here I like to feed them well. And I just love it when they have a good appetite and enjoy food.

Life is good.
Patricia xxx...x


  1. Well they certainly worked hard and worked up an appetite x

  2. They are doing a great job!


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