Friday 30 December 2011

Cro's Review of 2011.

It's been a reasonable year for the Magnons. We are still in rude-ish health, we achieved most of what we wanted to achieve, and we are still just about solvent.

The biggest event of the year (without doubt) has to be the arrival of Monty (Montague-Macbeth Magnon), including his subsequent encounter with the Processionary Caterpillar. He has now, unquestionably, changed our lives for the better; and we can no longer imagine life without him.

Of course, he's no longer the little cutie, above, that we brought home from Miss Tadpole's Rescue Centre. He's now one year old and weighs-in at about 40 kilos (and still growing).

In August we also returned to chicken keeping, with the purchase of 3 point-of-lay 'turken' hens; Edwina, Richard, and Richard (don't ask). Even at Christmas they are still producing a couple of eggs a day; wonderful.

2011 saw Lady Magnon and myself finish our infamous 'tower'. To illustrate my enduring memory of this crazy building project, I've selected this picture of the 'charpente' wood, just as we brought it home from the sawmill... (panic!). I then had to work-out how to saw, hammer and nail it all together to make something that resembled roof timbers; and us, ageing rank amateurs.

Anyway, it all went up OK. We learnt as we went, and ended up with a pretty good job. This is what it looks like now (I really must thank Lady Magnon for all her hard work and patience).

We also began another unnecessary project with the acquisition of an old Tobacco barn and some land, just behind the house. We've already handed in our planning application for the construction of a simple apartment, and we await their decision (fingers crossed).

As you can probably see, all the bare-bones are there. All it now needs is time, a little money, and effort; a nice project for 2012 (providing we get the go-ahead)....... and (amazingly) it's just arrived... Le Permit de Construire est Accordé!

The other great event of the year was the wonderful August Cèpe harvest; the first decent crop for several years. For those who find it odd that I should continually harp-on about wild mushrooms, it should be noted that they constitute a major element of our local gastronomy.

Omelets were consumed, the freezer stocked, and several boxes of dried mushrooms put away for winter Risottos. 

2011 was also the year of the new kitchen. We have finally dragged ourselves into the 21st Century, with a non-leaking sink, a thermostatically controlled cooker, and an actual dish washer. It's heaven.

So, we end the year's hard labour with our wounds healed, our splinters removed, and our mouths (mine mostly) duly washed out with carbolic. For the moment we're roughly OK, and we trust that you are too. 

May 2012 be drama free, and let's all hope that the predicted world financial crisis doesn't materialise.

We send our very best wishes to all our friends and family throughout the world. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

p.s. Monty's friend Bok, is now officially ours. His previous owner knew he would be happier here, and it was she who suggested his 500 metre move. Welcome Bok Magnon. 


  1. a dog changes ones life cro doesn't it?
    Happy New Year

  2. Best wishes to you and yours. I agree about the life changing properties our canine friends bring along with them. I can't imagine life without the Hooligan now either. Nightmare that he is!!

  3. Monsieur Monty has indeed been a joy! Give him a nice pat from very chilly New England! Merci!I I think you have had a splendid year..with all your improvements! Well done both of you!
    I would like to taste some of that mushroom risotto in my new year! the mushrooms look heavenly! Happy New Year to you very nice people!

  4. It has been a most wonderful pleasure to read your blog, and meet you and Mrs M through the vast wilderness of the internet.
    May the New Year bring many new doors that open and present their contents.
    Happy New Year to both of you and Monty and Bok.

  5. Sounds like a good year to me! Glad I found your blog this year. I am all for the NO DRAMA year. Happy New Year to all of you.

  6. You accomplished so much this year! It was fun to watch. And congratulations on the new pup! He's lucky to be joining the Cro family.

  7. All in all, sounds like a happy, productive year. All the best and more for 2012 to you and yours Cro. May the adventure continue.

  8. quite a year for you and m'lady! Your building projects turned out wonderfully. And your pup (now pups) must be a fun addition to daily life.

    I fixed my video link if you want to endure the hell I endured on the telephone to our t.v. cable company. Ugh.

    Happy New Year to you!

  9. I think looking back you have had a amazing year,like us getting Molly in our lives it has given all of us lots of laughs so many licks and dog loving that we do not know how we would be without her now,so now you have that 2 fold,I think that's lovely and it shows what lovely people you and Lady M are.Your building project kept me enthralled as I loved seeing it grow from nothing into a really special piece that you will always be proud of,the both of you have done so well.
    I wish for you a great new year and that you will be blessed with the finances that you need for your new project to come along,also with enough left over for your fav wine and soap lol..have a happy celebration and many wishes across the miles.

  10. Happy New Year triple M. You've all done very well and achieved a lot. Hope the planning application goes through. Looks like 2012 is going to be busy too xx

  11. You and your lady have accomplished quite a lot during that you have approval it'll be exciting to see your progress on your Tobacco Barn Apartment during 2012! A happy New Year to you, Mrs. M., Monty, Bok and the hens!

  12. Happy New year - if it is as productive for you as this past year it will be good.

  13. And a happy new year to you, Lady M, Monty, Bok, and the hens.

    I like the idea of wishing someone a drama-free year. Boring can be quite refreshing, methinks.

    No dogs here as hubby is terribly, terribly allergic, so we content ourselves with cats, as he's only plain old allergic ;-)

    Life with furfriends is such a blessing.

    Love the tower, and the mushrooms look wonderful. A passerby asked if he could scrape the shelf fungus off a dying tree i have in the front yard. I told him he could, and he thanked me with some black trumpet mushrooms. I have dried them and look forward to a lovely meal with them.


  14. So glad I discovered your blog Cro, via Mr T Stephenson I think, or maybe it was John the dogs of Wales. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I'm glad I did! That top photo of Monty is just a a heart melter. What a sweetie. Happy New Year to you and Lady Cro.

  15. When Bok officially moved in with you, did you say, "Welcome back Bok!"??

  16. (And I certainly hope he boks at strangers....)

  17. What a fabulous tower, almost as beautiful as the dog! I hope your 2012 is a happy one. We shant be too sad to see the back of 2011 here, except for the obvious need to relish the time you have. And I do identify strongly with the clothes for the weather blog. My particular problem is shoes. Have lost count of the times I have shivered in sling backs in a storm or sweated in boots.

  18. I love following your adventures Cro, love Mrs. M.'s eye rolling, love your new kitchen and would die for that barn. Happy New Year and thanks for the laughs. love linda


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