I decided yesterday that I really had to get stuck into tidying up my garden which had become very overgrown with weeds over the past few weeks. So yesterday I got out my electric hedge trimmer and cut back all of the briars and bushes plus the weeds along the front of the house and today it was time to cut what I laughably describe as grass but which is in fact mainly weeds, especially in the front.

What has been deterring me somewhat over the last week or so though, has been the number of plums that have fallen off the trees along the northern edge of my front garden and have gradually carpeted the ground more and more. I have this problem every year but this year my trees have produced an abundance of fruit to the point of my being at a loss as to know what to do with it all.

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I want to turn some of the fruit into jam and Madeleine said that she’d like some to do the same, so before I started I spent an hour or so picking up as much clean, ripe fallen fruit as I reasonably could plus even more ripe fruit from the trees that was obviously about to drop and end up on the ground.

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In the end I had two good size carrier bags full but it still left loads of fruit on the ground not to mention much, much more still on the trees. In the end I had no choice despite much of it being good, ripe fruit but to rake up what was still left on the ground and dispose of it on my compost heap as otherwise it would only have got squashed by the wheels of my mower and then I’d have had another problem with lots of little plum trees taking root and popping up next year.

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Today was another hot day, not as hot as it has been as we’re now into September but still in the region of 30 degrees C, so it was warm work to say the least. But it was worth the effort because here’s how the ‘lawn’ looked after I’d removed the plums just before I attacked it with my mower.

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Changing the subject somewhat, I’m still being plagued by car problems. I still have no idea what’s wrong with my Kia’s engine and neither does my mechanic, who’s now waiting until his friendly diesel expert returns from holiday in the next few days. This leaves me with a problem, however, because I’ve been on the receiving end of Victor’s fantastic generosity ever since I lost the Kia and have been using his amazing restored Citroen 2CV as my personal transport.

However, this can’t go on because I’m now knocking up the kilometres on what I think is a very special car. Yesterday I drove 1½ hours each way in it to Limoges and back to view a Ford C-Max Titanium that I saw on Le Bon Coin. I’ve decided that I’ll have to purchase another vehicle whether or not I’ll be getting my Kia back and I’ve decided that a 1.8 litre C-Max will meet my needs.

Sadly despite my having high hopes from its ad, the car turned out to be mechanically excellent with a very low mileage (or kilometrage) but it’s body and interior were shocking and I couldn’t believe how an owner could have abused a vehicle so badly. However, after being advised today by Madeleine where else I should be looking besides Le Bon Coin, my searches have already revealed some more excellent (sounding) vehicles on other web sites.

But don’t you know it – there’s absolutely nothing in my area. Everything as usual is hundreds of kilometres away. So that then presents another problem – how to get to view the vehicles in question because there’s no way after yesterday that I’ll be driving the 2CV and adding yet more kilometres to it. No way.