I drove Caiti down to Guéret today to get her back to school. She went down with something nasty at the weekend. She’s not 100% by any means but she didn’t want to miss all of her bac blanc (mock Bac) exams. Poor thing, she spent her 18th birthday full of disease and antibiotics on the sofa here yesterday. However, we had a pre-birthday tea with Pringles and ice-cream on Monday to cheer her up, and another one yesterday on the actual day itself with macarons and a chocolate cake to die for that Caits felt up to making. So it wasn’t all bad. She’s having an indoor picnic with her pals from the Internat (lycée dorms) this afternoon and getting stuck into exams tomorrow.

We went to Noz while we were at Guéret. We can’t not go there. Who knows what bargain you might miss if you don’t! I don’t know if you have a Noz near you, but they’re wonderful shops. They’re a discount store, flogging off ends-of-lines, damaged goods, promotional goods that didn’t sell, unsold catalogue stuff, cancelled orders and so on. And very successfully. There are 192 Noz stores in France and between them they made a whopping €230 million in 2010, which is very good going since their stuff is generally very cheap.

The Noz chain was founded in 1976 by Rémy Adrion. I had no idea it had been going that long and was so well established. Its motto is L’as des lots. That had me stumped for a while, as à l’as means ‘down the drain’, so probably not what Noz had in mind. It turns out l’as withou the à in front means ‘ace’, and lots means lots (as in groups of goods) or batches, so Noz is ‘the ace of batches’. Hmm. I guess it works better in French with the alliteration and a play on sounds.

Caits goes there regularly since it’s a stone’s throw from the lycée and it has a lot of cheapy nibbles, perfect for poor, hungry students. Noz also sells textiles, shoes, fashion accessories, crockery, rugs, drinks, CDs, DVDs, books – pretty much everything. Oh yes, and packets of dried fish for 75 cents. (Cat treats, only they won’t eat them!)

How does Noz find its bargains? I’ll refer you to this diagram from the Noz site. It’s clearly quite a complicated affair.

And now to Lambo. He’s moved out to the stable now. At a week old, he’s a fine sturdy boy now and didn’t need to be indoors any longer. It was making things a bit too chaotic. He’s settled in happily with some guinea pigs for company. We tried putting Maisie the goat in with him but she wasn’t too sure about  Lambo, and we couldn’t take the risk of her butting him when our backs were turned. Anyway, he’s out and about with us outside most of the day so he’s not alone for long at all. He comes on our rounds of the lakes. Here’s Sam, one of the anglers on Alder Lake, giving him his bottle. Sam was really chuffed as this was his first go at lamb feeding!

Lamby’s disgraced mum, No. 27,  is in the doghouse again, along with naughty No. 28. The pair of them have started escaping again. They’ve decided life’s not worth living unless they can get in with the llamas. Tonight they’re shut away in a stable and tomorrow we’ll do some fence reinforcing.

I’ve totally gone off sheep! Apart from Lambo …