Ferme Berdot


I was trying to write about a typical day in Berdot but so far there’re no typical days. Days here depend on the weather, what’s going on around and what comes our way.

The weekend I arrived, a storm was brewing and the entire sky was heavy with dark clouds. I dare say the entire sky because back home in Singapore, we only get pockets of sky when we look up from the bottom of our high rise buildings. Reminds me of the ‘frog-in-the-well’. The frog looks up from the bottom of the well and thinks that the world is the big circle above.

Out here in the countryside, things are not taken for granted and we can’t expect each day to be the same as they did before or available immediately. If you want something, you’ve got to work for it. Do I have lots to learn!


On Sunday we wanted to play golf but the greens need trimming first. Out with the John Deere and a manual grass cutter, we worked as much as we could before the rain came which it did in one strong burst making the ground too wet to do anything. So we retired indoors to do something else.

The following days got warmer and feel more like summertime. Irene taught me how to dig for onions and shallots from the vegetable patch, rows of them harvested and lay out to dry in the sun. We harvested beans enough to last an entire year when boiled and frozen. For the rest of the week, we plucked tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes, and dug enough potatoes and beet root for the three of us and perhaps a guest or two.

On Tuesday we kind of dropped everything for Tour de France when they passed through this area. Irene prepared a picnic, Tony picked up his grandsons, all packed in his 4-wheel to Mas-d’Azil to join the cycling supporters on route from Carcassonne to Bagneres de Luchon.


Mid-week was perfect for swimming but only after we remove the leaves and twigs blown into the water after the storm. I’ve seen the maintenance man cleaning the condo pool effortlessly but it isn’t as easy when I have to do myself even with Irene guiding me.



In between the main activities of the day, Tony will share intriguing stories about France, his time in Asia and the amazing trips he made around the world. The best moments for me so far must be dinners at the corner of the garden on the edge of the hill where we eat, talk and do nothing but watch the sun sets and the first star appears in the night sky.

C’est si bon.


Joan Yap



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