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My French Life: Home to France and Fred the stalker goose

My French Life, Flo the goose nesting

I’ve been away from home for three days and just writing that has made me realise that although I still have a foot in the UK I really am feeling that France is actually home now.

I had a great weekend catching up with family and friends in London though nowhere near enough time to see all the people I’d love to but my visits tend to be of the rushing-about-fitting-it-all-in variety. For the past two and a half years all my time in the UK was taken up with looking after my Dad who was ill. It was also the weekend my sister launched her vintage clothing business so I helped out with that and had my photo taken for the local newspaper looking utterly ridiculous in a huge La Dolce Vita hat – “it’s good publicity – people will laugh” said my unsympathetic, cackling sister.

I was a bit worried about how the Other Half would cope in my absence with the chickens, geese, cats and dogs but he’s done rather well! He refuses point blank to clean out the coops “you wanted them, you clean them” is what I get! The chickens though, are spending most of their days outside now the days are longer so it wasn’t too bad. I was concerned that Flo the goose would have her baby or babies while I was away but no, she’s still nesting contentedly in the converted wheelie bin storage shed. Fred her partner meantime has become hysterical and very over protective. I only have to open the back door for him to start honking, lower his head and stretch his neck and start goosing around the pen like a lunatic.

The poor chickens are terrified of him. Egg laying is at all-time low. I had to coax them out of the coop this morning. I stood guard duty while Fred hissed and honked – he won’t come too near if I’m there but as soon as I left the pen he chased them all under the hedge. As a result the work we had planned to do on the landing and stairs in the house has gone on hold while we get a new pen set up and fence off half the existing pen for Fred and Flo so that Eaglet the confused cockerel and my poor girls can get some food, peace and access to their coop without having to run the gauntlet with a manic male goose stalking them.

Loulou, ‘Enry Cooper and Winston the cats were pleased to see me too though they pretended not to be by running away from me! The OH doesn’t cater to their whims like I do. Every night I stand in the back garden shaking a bag of Dreamies – cat treats – to tempt them into the house. If I don’t do this they won’t come in. This is not a problem for him – and I know he’s right, they will be perfectly okay in the dark and the rain with all the bad strays and wild animals but…

The dogs Frank Bruno, Churchill and Ella Fitzgerald went wild when they saw me pull into the drive – you’d think the Queen had arrived! They are so what-you-see-is-what–you-get, they wear their hearts on their sleeves and give their love wholeheartedly. They will really appreciate the biscuits and chews I got them on my mad shopping spree in the Pound Shop which we don’t have in France.

So… to the garden to sort out the housing problem…honk honk.

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