Les poissons en France

Monday, July 24, 2017


Another day of rural life began with a tour of a Vide-grenier (car boot sale) in our village.
Not only were there a lot of stalls, but we kept meeting people we knew and so had to have a chat.  The tour had to be cut short as we were booked into a restaurant for Sunday lunch.
Having finished lunch we took Guy and Lucy for a walk in the countryside (not just to work off the food!)  The leisurely walk took about 2 hours and, as we returned to the little village (Les Arques)  we found a choir warming up ready to give a free performance of mainly 17th century English music.
We followed the choir from place to place in the village, performing different songs before we left them at the church where they were going to finish their afternoon.

You never know what you are going to stumble upon in the summer.

Lucy has certainly had a different experience whilst she has been here with us.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Important Viisitors

Guy and Lucy arrived on Friday evening as part of their 'European Tour'.  They had spent 3 days in Paris, came down to us by train and were welcomed to Gourdon in a typical French way ... their train was delayed for an hour because locals, protesting against planned closures at the station, were on the tracks to stop the rail trafffic!
It is Lucy's first visit to France and so we're trying to give her an exposure to French rural life in 3 days.  Yestereday started with a 'typical' French market (at Cahors) ...
a French lunch (with knife and fork and not chopsticks) ... then on to a chateaux for a tour and explanation of the winemaking process, complete with wine-tasting.
The day's instructive activities were finished with a visit to a typical French supermarket to see how the French shop and to buy some local delicacies.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Soggy But Successful

Eversince Tuesday we have had heavy rain day and night. Perfect for displaying the garden!! But as there is nothing we can do about it we just had to open regardless of the weather. Saturday it rained most of the day and we had half a dozen visitors. Sunday it stayed dry but very grey and cloudy but it brought out the fellow gardeners. Fortunately such people understand the influence of the weather and were very complimentary despite things not being at their best.

Visitors were very generous and with the garden club visits we again raised virtually 600 euros for the charity.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


We haven't posted anything recently as we just haven't had time. We have been slaves to the garden. The weather throughout June has been in the middle thirties consequently we have continued the regime of up at 6.30am to water and then another 2 hours watering from 8-10pm. It is lovely to be out early in the morning and late in the evening but after 1pm we just have to retreat indoors. The heat wave just got too much for everyone. Still we have now got storms just in time for our open garden this weekend. We are opening the garden 2 weeks earlier this year but as no two years are the same we have missed the peak flowering time again. However I am more philosophical this year and it is what it is!!
I took these photos a couple of weeks ago - when things were looking better.
We had our second garden club visit yesterday, just before the storm arrived. I was very pleased because the group were very appreciative and understood the amount of effort we put in. Even I was surprised to see John out weeding the prairie beds at gone 10 o'clock on Monday night!!

Sandwiched between all this weeding and watering we have fitted in some socialising including a friends 60th birthday party for which we made a quick 300 canapes by 12 o'clock.

We have been a bit busy!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Finishing Touches

'Life is a mere Bagatelle'
                                                         'How to use up your old off-cuts'

Friday, June 16, 2017

Closing the door on that Era

The old barn doors have hung there, deteriorating, eaten by woodpeckers, since way before our time.  Some visitors have come and loved the rusticity of them, but ... having had the roof redone last year, the time came to 'tidy up' this aspect.  And so ...
The colour choice was a bit problematic as the head gardener wouldn't go with a shade of red!  We agreed on a green but then the problems began.  Sue seemed to want a browny green whilst I favoured a green green.  We settled on a colour which the tin described as Olive ... which is what you see in the photo.  However I was imagining Olive meant the colour of an olive, but no ... it's the colour of the leaves of an olive tree!!!  No matter, I'm happy that the colour tones with the surrounding greens of grass, trees, hills.

All that remains to be done is for me to fabricate the 'feature', based on an idea we saw in Taiwan, which will hang on the 'door'.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Neighbours Think We're Balmy

.....and they're probably right. The French just don't understand some Brits obsession with gardens.  It is just in our DNA as wine is in theirs.

For the last fortnight we have had temperatures around 30 degrees C in the afternoon, which is too hot to be working outside. So we developed a strategy of setting the alarm for 6.30am so that we could be out in the garden by 8 o'clock. At this time of year there is so much that needs doing, planting seeds, planting young plants, buying and planting new plants that you just can't live with out, edging, mowing, mowing etc. Yes he's on the tractor every other day, but it really sets the garden off. I can't pretend that he is mowing the grass as the "green stuff" contains very little grass, but whatever it grows incredibly quickly.

However we are pleased with our not inconsiderable labours and I took these photos yesterday before the scheduled storm. The storm did not materialise until lunch time today, just one and a half minutes after we had planted the last dahlia - perfect!