Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another chick pic and grapevine cuttings

All 10 baby chicks survived the night and have voracious appetites.

Today is a bank holiday in France - I am still not used to the idea that you can have a bank holiday on any day other than a Monday, and today has felt very strange all day.

Brendan took off this morning with his band of motobike buddies, and Thea and I headed off to a car boot - it all felt very weird doing this on a Thursday and not a Sunday.

We found nothing to interest us at the car boot, certainly nothing that I was going to break into a note for, so from there we set off to the supermarket for our girly goodies for our night in.

And then we were off for the highlight of our day. A visit to our kittens. Thea's is a little dark tortie, almost all black, and very very mewly, in fact she didn't stop mewling all the time we were there - I think she and Thea are peas in a pod!

My little kitten is white and beige with a grey tail and ears and, at the moment, vivid blue eyes.  He settled in for a cuddle on my neck very quickly, I even managed to get a purr out of him.  We get to take them home on the first of June.

Once home, I was going to do a bit of gardening but it started raining again and therefore I abandoned that idea fairly quickly and went to hunt down something else to do from my 'to do' list. 
One of the things that I have been intending to do for a while is to use one of the paper tape measures that a leading furniture supplier gives out for free, as a table measure in my studio.  
Out came the PVA glue and on it went, now I can run the material upto the line for easy measuring and cutting.  
What is it about PVA glue and the way it coats your hands, it is such a memory invoker of school days and peeling bits of glue from your fingers.
That just needs to dry and another coat to go on top.

Just outside of my studio door is my grape vine cutting.
 I took this cutting last year, and was very pleased to see it survive over winter.  I did take three but only one has budded this Spring, to be fair one never had a chance after Ernie nibbled on it.

Having looked all over for cutting methods and finding several recommendations, I took three cuttings from our most prolific grape vine and tried three different methods.  

This one, which has been the successful one, was cut in summer from a small shooting branch from the main stem of the grapevine.  The rooting end, the base of the stem, was then cut criss cross (like a sprout) and the four quarters pushed open gently.  The French method is to now insert a grain of wheat into the split ends to keep them open, but I did not do this, and hence my neighbour gave me many pitying looks and some teeth sucking and told me it would never grow.  I used some rich compost from the bottom of the manure pile and used the lumpy texture of the soil to keep the ends open, the stem was gentle held on top of the compost the four ends slightly splayed open then I piled more of the same rich compost around the stem until it was buried about 6 centimetres deep, the length of my finger - again much tutting and head shaking from my neighbour.

I have just transplanted it from the pot it was in to the old metal watering can from the barn and was pleased to see the nice healthy root ball it has grown.  It now has pride of place on some reclaimed stone slabs in front of my studio.

Off to watch some day time TV rubbish with my unpicking.  Before I can start on my wardrobe refashions tomorrow, I need to take a couple of things apart and I also have some knitting to finish.  With peace reigning throughout the house I have at least a couple of hours to myself now so should be able to acheive that with no problems.  

Hmmmm - is it wine o 'clock yet?  Well it is a holiday..............

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