Les poissons en France

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Summer in the Garden

Whilst we are not in the same league as the garden at Eyrignac our garden is quite pretty at present. This year we have had the usual 30+ temperatures but we have also had some rain. Not vast amounts but sufficient to keep plants green. I still have to water morning and evening but the occasional day off makes it seem less of a chore.
We are pleased with our "prairie beds" considering it is their first year but we have ideas to plant more ornamental grasses in what is now the path between the beds.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Eyrignac Summer

Sorry to keep going on about the gardens at this Manoir, but we are intent on seeing it in all seasons!
We last went at the end of May and so we wanted to see how the summer flowers looked.
The Hornbeam hedging which was so severely pruned in January almost looks like it has never been touched. 
What was striking was the way they have virtually everywhere just used white flowers.
I'm amazed that the photos are nearly devoid of people!  Being peak tourist time, there were a lot of people in the garden.

An Evening 'En plein air'

Another amazing evening in deepest rural France!

As part of a concert season based at a town about 45 minutes away, there was a free concert of a 60 piece wind orchestra at the nearby small town of Labastide Murat.
The concert started at 8.30 (which is early for France!) and, even though it is the height of the tourist season, there must have been about 500 people turned out; they were having to fetch more benches.
It started with the obligatory speech by the local Mayor and then we were given a selection of film scores with the emphasis on Ennio Morricone who is most famous for 'The Good. the Bad and the Ugly'.  It was good to see that the orchestra was composed of all ages, from about 12 to at least 72.
The interval was marked by the offer of a free drink, courtesy of the local commune, but they hadn't anticipated such a large turn-out and so the drink (juice or beer) had to be reduced in size!
Good to see these events so well supported.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

An Evening at the Chateau

John regularly cuts the grass for our summer neighbours John and Leslie whilst they are not here. In exchange they take us to a concert or play during the season. Last night we went to a local chateau for this year's "treat". The village is very close but none of us knew that it had a chateau, and neither did our neighbour, Fred, who was born in the village!! As John and Leslie have some of their family staying we decided to have a picnic in the grounds before hand. However the owner didn't want any riff-raff  cluttering up his grounds so we set up camp just outside the gates.
As the bourgeoisie started to arrive we made our way to the venue. Actually the Chateau was magnificent if a bit shabby chic. The drive was bordered by a double avenue of mature trees and was lit with enormous lanterns for the occasion. As we rounded the corner of the building to find our seats we were faced with a wonderful parkland vista which "Capability Brown" would have been proud of. As the sun sank and the bats came out it was a truly magical experience.

The woodwind and piano ensemble were extremely good musicians but the programme had a mixed reception from our party. However there was no denying that you could imagine yourself in a bygone era as guests of a count and countess.

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!!