from Easter eggs and the Cob House

I don't even know when it's Easter. Is that important at the moment?

Back in the days when the girls were still in primary school I knew the Easter holidays.

But now that they live on their own and we live in France, I really miss that.

Last Sunday I went to the bakery in the village to pick up our ordered bread. There I saw the shop window full of chocolate Easter figures. Yummy!

On the counter were all trays with loose Easter eggs in all kinds of flavors. Probably not for Erik, but the baker told, to my question whether it was also lactose-free, that there were two types that he would like, made by the bakery itself. Completely happy!

So I took it, and the third was of course made with coffee.

I see on the calendar when it is indeed Easter: April 12 and 13 in the Netherlands. I have no idea whether Easter is also celebrated in France for two days.

I will also choose a nice branch outside (there are enough), which I can decorate with Easter eggs and bows.

Too bad that 'The Passion' is not being held in the Netherlands this year: a music spectacle that runs through an entire city and tells the Easter story in a modern way with contemporary (pop) music. There will be a special on TV instead, which I think will be recorded in a studio without an audience and broadcast live on TV.

When we still lived in the Netherlands we always liked watching the English program 'Grand Designs' (Which we now follow through Daily Motion).

Once there was a house built with clay and straw, 'The Cob House'.

I found that quite intriguing and always wondered what such walls would look like in real life.

Well, now I know.

Yesterday we were in the attic, one of the oldest parts of our house (at least 3 centuries old) which is still almost in old condition and has been partly renovated. (luckily there is also a new roof and partly new floor)

Here you see the construction of the trusses very well AND what do you see there?

Right. That the walls are made of clay and straw. Called Cob.

I find it incredible that our walls are made that way.

Cob and stones. Fortunately also stones. Sometimes 'normal' bricks, but also huge boulders.

Supported by beams that seem to have come straight from a tree.

The shape and arc of the trunk has been used in this way.

It makes hanging things on the wall easy sometimes, but not always.

Because where do you have a grip.

And sometimes you drill on a boulder. Come through that with a screw ...

Funny: we always watch English landscapes and old houses on TV, but we are going to live in France.

In an old Cob House, though.

Do you know the story of the three stooges?

Well, I found them: I would almost say Kwik Kwek en Kwak (Huey, Dewey and Louie), but no, they are Rengie, Rooigie and Sjors.

Since we 'kidnapped' them to France with a lot of bobbing and wailing in the back of the car, they've liked their turn.

They don't come outside, I don't really dare.

Rengie and Rooigie never came outside in the Netherlands so I think they would get the shock of their lives, all that space, forests, farmlands.

Sjors was an outdoor cat and lived the start of his life outside for a year and a half, usually with us on or under the garden table.

But he also seems to rest in his inner life.

Preferably lies in bed, love me, and snores cozy at night.

Now we also see that the three stooges are increasingly looking for each other.

And then you can sometimes find them like this: lying together in a warm hobby.


The reason they were so close to each other was actually the same reason we went up to the old attic: our heating system was malfunctioning again.

We had not had a good flow of the circulation water in the pipes to the heat pumps for more than a day, with the result that RIGHT now the wind is blowing hard outside with an icy east wind, and the temperature has plummeted from 23 degrees to 3, the house also got quite cold.

Looking for the malfunction, and excluding things.

There are automatic air vents in the attic, so we will see if they were open.

Yes. And no air in the heating pipesystem.

However, we soon realized that there had to be something with the circulation pump. Even though the system did not report a malfunction.

When there was also a huge power dip and peak, we turned off the heat pumps and Erik opened the circulation pump.

I don't know what he did, but now everything is working again and the air radiators blow lovely warm air back into the house.

The weather report for the coming period at Meteo Basse-Normandie predicts that temperatures will rise again (as from 20 degrees and more!) and the wind will start to turn.

The wind is going to come from a favorable side and takes warm air with him.

The sun also comes back, they say (although others say it will rain again. Let that stay away!)

I'm already looking forward to it. Tired of the cold.

We do not live in the warmest part of France, but in a temperate climate. Just a bit better than the Netherlands (why would you go there you would say)

However, the advantage of living here is that, when the sun shines, it is immediately much warmer than in the Netherlands.

Look, that seems nice to me!

Cheered up by the weather forecast and the prospects for warmer times, I started baking again.

For this time it will be a carrot cake.

I had quite a few carrots left. Funny, it is a good thing that our youngest daughter is not here at the moment, because she absolutely does not like carrots.

Although she should really try my carrot cake.

I put a 'secret' ingredient in it, which I definitely find better than just cinnamon as a spice.

The house has again filled itself with the delicious sweet and spicy aroma of the cake in the oven.

When it has cooled down, I will make the topping and put everything in the fridge overnight.

That will be delicious from tomorrow!

Eating English carrot cake (although in several European countries it dates from the Middle Ages) with French carrots, in a French Normandie 'English-way-made' Cob House...


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