Les poissons en France

Friday, August 30, 2013

Back up the Ladder

We have had one or two problems recently with rainwater when we have violent downpours.  So we've finally decided it's time to fit some guttering.  One of the reasons we've not done this before is that I'll have to do some jointing of the tops of the walls where our builders 'made good' 6 years ago when they were renewing the roof!  However, 'time and tide ...' has caught up with me and so ....
But .... before I can fit the guttering and downpipe I'll have to get into our water 'citerne', which is under our terrasse, to check/make good the walls.  Our builder was concerned that water could get through into the klitchen.  We'll see!!!

How Much is Enough?

You may remember that we have been lifting (and throwing away) a lot of the old 'outgrown' Irises.  Mainly Sue's been taking out the 'common' dark blue and then replanting with some pale blue.  As we have so many to get rid of, Sue directed me to use them to fill in the old 'cherry alley' we started making about 6 years ago!
Yet .... we went and bought more irises from a specialist nursery to the east of Cahors!!!
Needless to say, they aren't blue.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Adoration Society

John and Leslie our neighbours have had three separate sets of grandchildren to stay over the summer. The first two little girls were rather nervous of dogs but after a couple of days with Yoda that passed. Then Oliver took over and Yoda was the highlight of his holiday. He took him for walks every night and took lots of photos. Then along came three more little girls who were just as anxious to walk Yoda. However as there were three of them holding the lead was carefully measured by fence posts to ensure that everyone had their  fair share. Even carrying the poo bag had to be shared!! Yolanda, the youngest still has her toy Yoda which she bought at a car boot sale when Yoda was staying with us a few years ago. He is remarkably like the real Yoda. Not to be outdone Mya drew a beautiful drawing of Yoda which she is showing you in the photo.


 Now they have gone life is really boring, says Yoda.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gone Potty

Here in the Lot we're drawing towards the end of the summer tourist season but the fetes continue unabated.  This afternoon we went to the  little village of Uzech les Oules, only 15 minutes away.  This village is renown for the number of potters working there, and once a year they, and other nearby artisans, hold a fete to try to sell their wares.  As well as the potters, food and drink is available, there are workshops for children, and the day culminates with a dinner and then a dance.
Arguably, we were stupid to have gone because we were unable to come home empty-handed!  We succumbed to a dramatic plate ...
...and a chinese inspired vase decorated in a late impressionistic Monet style.  And the artist was a really nice man!

Three Tenors!

Our summer here in the Lot continues with a plethora of cultural events which we find amazing for such a rural environment.  Last night we went with our friends and neighbours John and Lesley to a tiny village about half an hour away where there was an opera-concert in the church.  It's a tiny church holding about 200 seats.

We went last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and so were determined to go again this year!  This year the concert was entitled 'Three Tenors'.  Once we were there and saw the programme, it contained all of the choice arias for tenors and we gradually realised that the evening was to be a tongue-in-cheek homage to the famous 'Three Tenors' world cup concert.  This makes it sound like a bit of a pastiche but, due to the quality of the singers, the evening was a bravura performance.

The concert has been organised for a number of years by an englishman in aid of the upkeep of the village.  Quaintly, the audience had the quality of a step back into Colonel Blimp land; old gentlemen in their summer linen suits and ladies in light, flowing summer frocks giving the occassion an air of the village cricket barbecue.  However, the 'colonel of the regiment' has wonderful connections and is able to attract top class performers to come to this little sleepy village; these tenors have sung with many of the leading opera companies. 
We took our own nibbles and glass of wine to get us in the right mood before the start, and the tickets included a glass of wine at the interval.  A fabulous evening ... but we hope it doesn't get too well known!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013



To most of you "Betty" will need no introduction. To those who don't know her she is a lady born under the sign of Leo and displays all the traits of that strong sign. Nevertheless she is one of the kindest people ever; she must be, because she has been a second Mum to me for over 60 years. So we went back to England this weekend to help her celebrate her 90th birthday.  It started on the Friday morning when we went to a birds of prey centre where she had a private hour and a half session with owls, which are one of her favourite birds.
As you can see it was close up and personal; we had time with a Little Owl, then a Barn Owl and finally a Bengal Eagle Owl.  The handler had the owls flying to Betty's hand and we all had the opportunity to rub our cheeks on the Barn Owl's feathers!
The Saturday evening, after the arrival of more family members, we had a meal at a canal-side pub; a lovely, noisy get-together.
Finally, on Sunday, friends joined us for a barbecue with Betty's son Clive valiantly braving the smoke to cook for us all!
Needless to say, Betty spent a lot of time opening presents.
The week-end passed so quickly but everyone enjoyed the occassion!  Especially Betty and her family.

Friday, August 02, 2013


Most concerts and 'events' start here about 9 o'clock in the evening.  So we were surprised and pleased when we saw the advert for a concert in Gourdon starting at 6. 30!  It was part of a week-long cello celebration; master-classes, rehearsals open to the public and performances.
vingt-cinquièmes rencontres, 2013
So, in contrast to the normal complaint of 'I'll not keep awake!', this time it was all rushing to get to the concert on time!  Fortunately, nothing starts on time in France; you have to allow time for all of that kissing greeting!
We are continually bowled over at the standard of musicianship we see/hear.

This was all in contrast to the free Gospel concert  we went to last Friday in a tiny little village near us.  This one was true to form and didn't start till sometime after 9 in the evening.  There seems to be quite a following for gospel music in this area and the audience and performers were French, but, as the songs were in english we were able to join in!
Over these two weekends we went from the sublime to the ridiculous.