icky weather enjoys a good clear up at PumpjackPiddlewick

This month has been an unduly cold month. Bonus though it was a good opportunity to have a good clean up and clear out inside. Especially the office. I had been meaning to tackle my inventory stock that has been hanging about. A no purchase until it is catalogued photographed and listed has been in place since January and there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Just as we head into vide grenier (e.g. flea market) season here in France. Hurray!

Spring has finally arrived now with warmer temperatures. Bulbs are blooming and the garden beckons. Sunnier, longer days give the opportunity to do so much more and truly feel the winter cobwebs are cleared.

Spring also brings out nature in the animals. The ducks become a handful as they forage for rising worms and consider nesting locations. We spend a good portion of our time fetching back errant ducks from neighbours gardens. The cats have taken to roaming further afield. And Chewie (our standard sized dachshund) is, yet again, on the search for a girlfriend. And then there are the increase in critter gifts.

Our cats have always been good mousers. Until we moved here, where there is a dearth of mice. But we have quite a few neighbourly cats so that probably explains it. Yet, this spring has dawned a little different. This week I have been in receipt of roughly a mouse a day. Noisette very kindly brings them to me already dead. Duly praised, she then gets down to the serious business of eating them. And then barfing them back up. She really shouldn’t eat the brains. Serious ewwww.

Lapsong on the other hand brings them alive. I noticed her sitting by the wall in my office, staring intently at my boxes. Uh oh. Moving one of the boxes revealed a mouse hiding from her. What ensued was much moving of boxes, empty containers for trapping and Lapsong happily helping in the game of cornering. Finally, duly caught and released for another attempt at life in the garden, I came back in to an office in complete chaos.

Ah well, it had been on my list to reorganise and have a good clear up. It seems now it had been bumped to the top of the list. Everything for our shops is stored away in plastic containers. A very real necessity when you live with animals, particularly if they have fur. This was my chance to consolidate, shift and generally get the stock area sorted.

From this led to taking photographs. For my online shops I obviously have to take a lot of images of my items. But, I also tend to take lots of photos of our animals, restoration work and more. I used to have an old wee camera I used for this. But it gave up on all the activity about a couple years ago. Just at the time my wonderful brother gave me a posh phone. The camera on this phone is very good, so it took over duty of the photography. However, the trouble when doing double duty, is it often gets full. So a clear out is regularly necessary. Such was a moment this week. And honestly, it had been awhile.

Photographs were sorted for social media, sent to laptop for saving and Flickr for diarising our restoration journey here in France. That was yet another area desperately in need of a good clean up, so as I was already there…

Flickr led me to our blog. The blog is an on-going, never ending clean up and update. It’s always being added to, and also means trying not to neglect the previous posts. They need regular reviewing for broken links, updating photos, and re-promoting.

After all this activity, I have declared this week a holiday from the office. Sort of. Okay, not completely. Rather a break from inside as the sun beckons me outside. Which is good, as there are large mounds of hedge prunings currently residing all along one side of our garden.

They will be used to make a wattling fence for our asparagus patch. Woven through the base of our hedge to create a sort of barrier for curious roaming ducks. Time taken to mulch and spread out in the duck enclosure. The ducks love a good forage for worms and bugs amongst mulch.

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