After a good start with Bram, things went a bit pear-shaped last night, and, disheartened and worried, we felt that the few days might be more to be endured than enjoyed for all of us. Tom decided to go to bed and read, only to find his still-quite-new shiny Kndle p@perwhite seemed to be broken, freezing weirdly or failing to come on altogether, then flashing up unhelpful messages. Assuming it would have to be sent back, I looked around for the very deluxe packaging and paperwork it came with, without success. I snarked at him about this, then e-mailed the relevant French limb of The Megacorporation from whence I had bought it. Within the hour we had a phone call from a very patient and polite young woman who calmly took me through the elaborate procedure of holding down the on-off button for forty seconds and waiting a few more, which miraculously resuscitated the device. If it did it again though, she said, let them know, as it might mean it really was faulty. No fuss about packaging and paperwork.
Bram's much better too, and the rain cleared by after lunchtime so we had another good walk. One of the things about having a dog to walk which gets you out on a regular basis is that even, or perhaps especially, in these quiet parts, you run into people, stop and talk, keep a bit up to date with things. Our former neighbour, who looks after our field, stopped his van, curious at seeing me with a dog again, and we chatted about dogs and exchanged information and thoughts about septic tanks, to our mutual benefit. When we got back, Tom said he'd go out alone on a provisioning foray. Bram seemed in fact quite bothered by his absence, and, while still quite reticent, genuinely pleased to see him and join in the rather deliberately exaggerated welcome home celebrations.
Less regular walking also means I'm more ignorant about what goes on in the fields round and about. When E came the other day, she pointed out (with a view to where it might not be a good idea to walk) a rather fine young silvery roan bull in one of the pastures. He was new to me, and I realised that the handsome gold coloured Limousin who used to be seen all over the place, a rather gentle seeming character, easily bossed around by the farm dogs and his harem of black and white cows, and who sometimes featured in my Molly walking blog, I hadn't seen for a long time. Scarcely earth shattering, you might say, but of no more nor less importance than many other things. When I did get out walking this year, back in the summer, I noticed a lot more fields of these pretty violet flowered peas:
sometimes on their own, sometime mixed with field beans, like small broad (fava) beans, and a cereal type plant:
(there were some fields of just the beans, which I sometimes filled my pockets with and cooked, can't remember how)
I picked a bunch of the flowering peas and put them on the window sill, sometimes using the top shoots for salads and stir fries, but mostly just to admire.
What they were used for I don't know, they didn't seem to be there long so they clearly weren't harvested for the peas and beans, but whether they were made into silage or simply ploughed in as green manure I never saw, or spoke to anyone to learn. Pretty while they lasted anyway.