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  • Writer's pictureCatherine

Crazy cat ladies

We hesitated a little while before writing this article today. Not because we don’t have anything to tell you, on the contrary. But because we’ve started so many things, without knowing the outcome, and time is slipping through our fingers, when there are still many things to be done. We missed a blog in January, and we can tell you right away that there's little chance you'll see a blog in March. So, what we're going to do is celebrate our two years in France early! That's how we'll start this blog, with festivities and everything gets better right away ☺

Firstly, February was a time to celebrate my birthday, I like to celebrate for more than just a day and with bookings in La Tiny Kiwi for the actual day, it was necessary to elongate the celebration so it wasn't all work. After we'd got the job done, we were able to enjoy an amazing lunch from Auberge de l'Ombree in Bel Air. Luckily, they're making their amazing dishes to pick up and we just had to do some reheating, but it was delicious and a definite treat for the day. I was also lucky to receive a gift from my brother that included some of the amazing beers from his brewery Dos Kiwis.

The second celebration is it's now been two years since we made the official move to France. Yes, two years already! We still talk about the move as if it was yesterday, and are we still excited when we see a squirrel or a tit at our window? YES WE ARE! Anyway, time flies, so we’ve decided to update you about our crazy cats. For those who aren't fans, it may be best to skip the next paragraph, or not, it may concern you one day ☺

Bowie’s now 15 and Spliffou is 11. We've had them since they were young(ish) and they've since adapted very well to life at Le Boulay. But we almost lost them both in a short period of time last year. It took us a lot of time and energy because treatments are always difficult to get them to take. During that time, Magali realized that living without a cat would be meaningless, and that Spliffou was bored because Bowie never played with him and we must admit that we thought by now she wouldn't be here anymore... So, we adopted Sasha (who’s 8 years old) instead of a kitten who could’ve appreciated Spliffou's humour and his surprise jumping cat jokes. We’re at home every day so we can spend time with them. But as many of you know, it's not such a restful time at Le Boulay at the moment and even our nights (and our days too for that matter) are hectic. Le Boulay has therefore become a retirement home for aging cats who can't quite manage to groom themselves, vomit at the slightest emotion and decide to pee in new places because life's full of surprises, after all. So for the last 6 months, we’ve been having exhausting and frustrating moments, in addition to visits to the vet but we're hanging in there, we believe that when you adopt an animal it's not for the short term, even if it's driving you crazy! But it's always hard to imagine having cats or other animals for so long in our lives, and that like us, they need a lot more things when they get older. So, three old cats is a lot for us, (but for others everything goes very well) and we would have liked to occupy our winter differently, but here we are. We chose them, we keep them, and on the good days they're wonderful, just not when they're peeing on our bed.

Magali's been spending a good part of her days on French paperwork (oh the joy!). Between the struggle with urbanism for the installation of La Tiny Kiwi, errors with my social security number and other declarations, the days suddenly seem very short and Magali would rather be at the top of a tree, pruning it in readiness for spring, even if there are a few spiders up there which she's definitely not a fan of. But we're still optimistic that we'll have approval from the urbanism this year, but nothing is won just yet, so please cross your fingers for us...

With all this, she’s late in her planting. Although we were able to complete our garden plan, we weren't able to search for a for a small second hand greenhouse again this year so, we'll put it off until next year. And following the success of our elderflower syrup and elderflower champagne last summer, we decided to plant about 100 new elderflower plants all over the place. So we hope to treat you next year, prepare your empty bottles ☺

We were also able to plant about twenty fruit trees, including fig trees, peach trees, red current, black current, mulberry etc. as well as hazelnut, walnut and chestnut trees, far from our planned 50 but better than what we hoped to do in the end.

I’ve spent my free time preparing our new dining room and kitchen floor, it’s almost finished but the final result isn’t ready yet as we have to move the sink to be able to finish it. I also made a pot holder for some our strawberry plants. I haven't done as much as I would've like to but it's difficult to find the time with work and the short evenings. But with spring coming and the longer days, I'm hoping to accomplish much more after my working hours.

Jean-Guy (Magali’s dad) and her uncle Dom inherited the big job of helping us to prepare the installation of our water pipes and electricity network. We took advantage of the moment to also install the posts for the future alpaca fence, who we hope to have in December if all goes well. We’d love to thank Dom and Jean-Guy again for all their help, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

We had to remove a lot of vegetation to avoid encroaching on the field and around the old buildings and we hope to replace all this before spring. So we’re in a race against time these weeks, and the weather forecast has decided to be against us, but we're hopeful we’re going to make it, especially now the sun is starting to come out more often.

On the Tiny House side, we’re experiencing our first winter and learning more and more about its use: how to manage humidity, cold, ground movement, but it’s the freezing of the pipes that gave us a hard time, not only for the Tiny House but also for the water of the rabbits and chickens that never thawed, even with boiling water. Luckily, after only three days we had unfrozen the water for our guests! We’ve learnt a lot from this winter, so hopefully we’ll be able to avoid it next year if it gets to the same temperatures.

In a previous email, we mentioned that you, our subscribers, could have a 10% discount on your next stay in La Tiny Kiwi. We’d like remind you that it’s still valid and that there is no expiration date to use it ☺ But following a very large number of new subscribers, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting us and to put you in the draw for a two night stay in La Tiny Kiwi. So keep an eye out for our next email as well as our Facebook and Instagram posts to see if you're a lucky winner ☺

In the meantime, take great care of yourself, get some sun, and don't hesitate to send us messages, comments, ideas...We love it!

See you soon.


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