Monday’s Expat Blog Hop went incredibly well, so a big thank you to all the bloggers who took part with fascinating posts and generous prizes, and to all our visitors who took the time to call by and meet us. I will be organising another one soon as it was great fun and there was such a nice atmosphere. I’ll be announcing my prize winner tomorrow.

Eldest Son came home on Monday for a week. It’s the spring holidays in this academic zone (B) so the Uni is deserted and he didn’t have any coins for the laverie (launderette). Home seemed a good option! We’ll be working him for a couple of hours a day in return for limitless cups of tea with sugar. Like many students living on a grant, he’s given up buying the sweet stuff since its expense was eating into his beer budget. He’s come home with very short hair. A few weeks ago he had none at all, having a lost a bet concerning shaved heads and England winning the Six Nations. He may become less of a gambling man now!

Caiti is over her nasty bug so we had an official but belated 18th birthday tea on Monday. We finally opened a bottle of Pouilly Fumé that we bought the year she was born, with this very intention of celebrating her coming of age. Like Caiti, that bottle has moved from Harry’s house in Corbally Co. Cork, to Killountain, then Shanvalley and then Finnis, all County Cork too, and thence to Les Fragnes. It’s well travelled, but hasn’t travelled well. It was a touch on the vinegary side, sadly, but we drank it none the less!

Lambo is on his second box of Ovibion powdered sheep milk. These cost €30 for 2 kg, ouch. When we opened it, I found a much larger measuring cup than the one that had been in the previous box. This big one was the official one. I don’t know where the other one had come from. So we discovered that we’d been giving Lambo well under the recommended amount of powder per litre. Caiti had remarked he seemed less bouncy the last few days. Now we know why. Poor little mite, we were underfeeding him. So we’ve upped the dose and he’s all perky again! Mind you, the recommended powder level is 200g per litre. That means just 10 litres per box of Ovibion, and it’s within my limited mathematical capabilities to work out that each litre will work out at €3. That’s a bit steep. Fair enough I suppose if you’re fattening a lamb up quickly for market, but otherwise you’re going to spend way more on feeding the critter than it’s actually worth.  So we’re giving Lambo slightly less than the full whack of Ovibion per litre and will move him onto cow’s milk as soon as we can. Judging by the ingredients, this sheep milk powder is 60% powdered cow’s milk with various fats and thickeners added, including palm oil and wheat germ. So he may go moo but we’ll be able to afford to feed the children as well as him!

The weather is awful at the moment, but we’ve had a dry morning and so have spent a couple of strenuous hours lugging wood and splitting logs in readiness for winter. It’s an endless occupation, but gives us all plenty of fresh air and exercise in the process. Lucky us!