We didn't have to go to Tours after all. We found a good mower right here in Saint-Aignan. Or, rather, in Noyers-sur-Cher, across the river. BricoMarché came through for us. They advertised a mower with a Honda engine and the right specs. It cuts a 53 cm swath, which is almost as wide as the largeur de coupe of the old mower (it was 56 cm).
The grass we have to keep cut is probably almost 20,000 sq. ft, or half an acre. That's 2,000 sq. meters. And it can grow pretty fast when conditions of heat and moisture are right. If you let it get out of control, you're in trouble. Walt is the lawn mower, or the lawn-mower operator.
The other important feature of the mower is self-propulsion (we need une tondeuse tractée). It's hard enough to follow the mower around, guiding and turning it at the edges of the grass plots and around obstacles, without having also to push it. Our yard is not really big enough to justify a riding mower (un tracteur is what everybody calls that). There are too many trees, garden plots, grape vines, bushes, and walkways so the grass is divided up into fairly small plots.
I'm cooking a couple of pork shoulder roasts in the pressure cooker this morning. I flavored them with smoked paprika, hot paprika, salt, pepper, and some vinegar. They'll cook for 90 minutes to two hours. I'm also making rillettes de lapin confit today. I started the process yesterday by salting down the rabbit pieces and putting them in the refrigerator to more or less marinate. (I guess "marinate" comes from "marine" and words like that, so it's based on salting.)
More about all that later. Our unnaturally warm weather continues, and no end to it is yet predicted. The last time we had such a warm, almost hot April was in 2007. That year, May turned chilly and cloudy, and the rest of the summer remained cloudy and rainy. The garden was pretty much a failure. So we'll see how 2011's weather evolves.