This past weekend was all about merde. Shit in French. A weekend musing from PumpjackPiddlewick

The lovely weather brought the sounds of playing children, sawing, lawn mowing, and ‘merde’. And I for one couldn’t stop laughing at the sounds of spring.

It was a gorgeous sunny weekend. The sort that begs you to be outside. So I was. And all my neighbours seemed to be out as well. With one of my walls bordering a village walkway, it is easy to hear people walk past and so give a wave. A jaunty ‘Bonjour. Ca va?’ ‘Ca va, et vous?’ ‘Ca va.’ was called for each time a new face was seen. (Hello, doing okay? Okay and you? Okay. – note, not a literal translation.)

Digging in the Garden

Time was spent in my garden divided between digging and reading. Digging is hard work, and the sun was shining. There were needs for rest, fairly often. And that need had nothing to do, honestly, with a good book on the go. Or the pleasantness of sitting in my garden with chirruping, happy Macey and her ducklings.

A happy duck is easy to achieve when digging is involved. As digging of course means worms. And worms mean a full little belly for a mothering duck. She lost a lot of weight sitting on her nest, so now that girl can eat!

Sitting in the Sun

The ducks generally stop when full (though will never turn down an offered wriggler). When replete, they simply wander off to lazily forage. Possibly have a snooze in the warmth of the sun. Macey on the other hand will be right there with me, through thick and thin, underfoot and nearly under spade, in hope that there is one little wafer more. Honestly, I don’t know where she puts it. She is one of those French women that never get fat ducks.

My Hugelkultur raised beds are done, with their topping of mulch and soil. They are patiently sunning themselves, settling, and awaiting the planting of seeds. Some early potato chits have gone in, but there are still more to plant. The idea being spread the planting, including with the seeds, and harvests will stretch over more time.


But as usual, I digress. I was talking ‘merde’. Well, maybe more ‘of merde’. Or both.

Merde, if you have never read/heard it before is, literally and figuratively, how you say ‘shit’ in French. It is an exclamation, like in English, when something goes wrong. It is also what what is deposited in my duck ponds, and will be used to fertilise my garden.

There may be some debate, at least in my head, of which is better duck or chicken merde? Currently, I have no idea. Both are good for the garden though. And as I hope to add chickens someday to my flock, I may get the chance to determine for myself.

And Chickens

Speaking of chickens, and what prompted me to write this post, my neighbour on one side was building a chicken house this weekend. Lots of sawing and hammering going on in his garden.

I have enjoyed sitting, reading, listening to the sounds of his progress. And laughing out loud at various timed explanations of ‘merde!’ (Plus a few other less congenial expletives I won’t note here, but let us say the more vulgar side of my vocabulary has certainly grown this weekend.)

The Sounds of Spring

And interspersed amongst the small construction sounds on one side has been another neighbour mowing her garden on the other. As with springs onset, there comes that first day of mowing the grass.

And I suspect her grass may have been left a bit long, in time and length. Her mower is struggling with its progress. There have been a few sputtering stops, and one good grinding break down. And a ‘merde!’, of course. Honestly, I was trying not to laugh again, at least not too loud, at the sounds of spring.


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  1. My new favorite word is Merde!!!! hugs and thanks Sarah

    1. And here I am teaching you ‘bad’ words. Though it’s not really a bad word here, more an exclamation 🙂 It’s a good one to know as you can use it when you need to be angry or upset about something, but most people around you won’t know what it means.

      Keep well, and lovely to hear your family are being protective of you. It’s a good thing, and I for one am taking note of the good things in my life. Even more so now.

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