Archive Article: 2001/02/16

16 February 2001

WE are going into our 18th year in France now and during that time Tim has given blood 37 times. He loves it. As I am often away at lunch times, he goes down to Vimoutiers to the "old folks home" where there is a general get-together of the regular

contributors, and he arrives around midday because afterwards they are invited to eat sandwiches, cheese, ham, biscuits with a choice of wine, beer or coffee, and that way his lonely lunch is taken care of.

Every year there is a blood donors ball. One of our

doctors is the president of the association for Vimoutiers and she always rings Tim to make sure we are going. Last week Tim had a phone call asking him to go and give blood at the centre in Argentan, there is a shortage at the moment. Its rare that they should ring; but he couldnt go, we were stuck for cars. Cherry has taken one to Paris while she is on a course, and I had the other.

This week they called him again so he went, but it was a waste of time. Anyone having lived in the UK for a 12-month period between 1980 and 1996 is now not an acceptable donor because of the risk of BSE. He came back feeling pretty fed-up; it has always been something he felt worthwhile doing. It will be interesting to see if the rules are changed again, as Ive just heard on the news that blood is

desperately needed in the earthquake zone in India.

We have a 16-year-old

student staying with us at the moment on a two-week training period. He was here last year and has a total of 10 weeks to do for his CAPA (Certificat dAptitude Professionelle Agricole), a two-year course. He comes from a farming background, his mum and dad have a traditional mixed farm with a milking herd of 55 Normandes, a dozen sheep, 20 beef sucklers, seven sows, two goats and poultry. His brother drives a milk tanker for Graindorge and it was his idea to ask Tim if Nicolas could come here.

Hes a good lad who works hard and its encouraging to know that there are still youngsters keen to go into farming. He wants to go on and do a BPREA which will qualify him to become installed as a farmer with his dad and be able to take advantage of the young farmers loans with a low interest rate. He comes from a home where mum milks and does the cooking so it was a bit of a culture shock to see Tim coming in (quite often) and setting about lunch or supper, but he has adapted very well to our irregular lifestyle and is game to try anything to the point of eating and enjoying haggis for his lunch yesterday.

Chrissie Green farming in Normandy with husband Tim

See more