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14 May 2012

First Week Back

The journey was as always, comfortable but long.  On arriving in Geneva, snow still on the tops of the mountains, but quite pleasant weather.   Everything is very green, and the fields swathed in gold with buttercups and rape flowers.   The poppies are just appearing.  Apparently the weather was very severe this winter, down to minus 15 c, and I can see some of our plants have suffered.  Our old large rosemary bush, I suspect is gone.  Out greatest anxiety is for our fig tree, now quite big, but not looking good.  No buds or leaves, but I don’t think its completely gone.  Just need to some warm sun to get it going perhaps!
Its Saturday morning, just listening to the gentle sound of the clip clop of a horse, passing by pulling a small trap, a pleasant sound in this old worldly place.   The blackbirds are singing too.
We are sorting ourselves out and gradually getting over jetlag.   It has been raining overnight, so I am really pleased that Monsieur Charmouton dug the veggie patch and cut the grass.  Everyone had warned us that the weather was dreadful, rain and more rain.   When we arrived on Wednesday evening, it was warm with a pale sun, and the next two days were just perfect - even hot in the afternoon.  
However, this morning is grey again and we don't mind, as we both have a great deal of work to do at our computers. Never mind the ironing basket which is sky high.... Lots of work to do in the garden which I find to be much more interesting and helps sort out the melatonin.  I have a few plants and seeds which must go in today and establish themselves before we leave for Ireland.  Tomatoes, salad, beans, etc etc.  My roses look strong and flourishing, and everything else looks fine except for the weeds!
It is lovely to be here, and enjoy the sounds and smells of our valley, of course more noticeable when we first arrive.  It's such a beautiful valley, birdsong so beautiful -  a contrast to our birdsong in Aus -  gentle and melodious.  We have been able to eat outside on the galerie ever since we arrived on Wednesday evening.   The warmth radiating from the old stones of the galerie in the long light of the evening still feels remarkable, these stones have stories to tell.  
It's so strange to have this really tiny kitchen again after my enormous kitchen in Tallong. I spent yesterday evening getting in my own way all the time, just have to learn all over again where everything is, and I suppose first rule of a small kitchen is to "be tidy" !
We are going to Ireland on 22nd, mostly to do research for John for his family memoirs.   This time we will go to Cork where the Lombards arrived in 1290 and surprisingly there are good records. In the 17th c, they founded Lombardstown and built Lombardstown house near Mallow.  We will stay in Mallow for three days, then go north to Galway, Connemara and of course Monivea again, before returning via Dublin on 31st May.  
I am chewing over a new book at the moment, mostly about this village, so look forward to discussing it with friends and locals.   This village goes back to Roman times, with a strong footprint here on our house site.   I found a wonderful book - a transcription of interviews from the Inquisition, early 1300s, translated from the Latin by a scholar.  It is extraordinarily revealing about intimate details of village life at the time. What a valuable resource official records can be when we can access them. So although I made a small start last year, I have not spent a moment on it in the past six months when we were in Australia, just didn't have the time. 
 In Tallong, everyone will be basking in the success of Apple Day I hope.

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