Les poissons en France

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Yesterday morning we awoke to the first real white frost of the winter.  It actually was a lovely, crisp, clear morning with the sun rising over the hills behind us ... and not a breath of wind.  As Yoda and I set out for our morning walk leaves were gently tumbling down, creating little carpets at the foot of the trees.
Interestingly, the Oaks which abound here in the Quercy, still have their leaves; perhaps they need a longer exposure to cold before they are affected.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


You know that I am always interested in wildlife well  I have just had an encounter. Not actually with the animals but piles and piles of their droppings. I was going down the alley to throw away some food which Yoda wouldn't eat and I thought I saw evidence of deer so I decided to walk back along the long bed to assess the damage to my precious plants. Couldn't see any problem until I neared the barn when I saw that a large area of the field was covered in what I thought was wild boar pooh. In best detective fashion I looked for more proof and ah ha there were foot prints and evidence of rooting all over the old Christo bed. I rushed indoors to investigate on the net which confirmed my thoughts. Sorry no pictures - because of loading problem - but you too can search the net for wild boar droppings should you so wish!!! My concern was the obvious size of the herd and would I get up to find any garden left tomorrow morning.

When I took Yoda for a walk this morning our lane was  covered in green droppings.At the time I assumed that a farmer had moved a herd of sheep yesterday but there were no sheep to be seen anywhere and the tracks took a very strange route and then just disappeared. I now realise that it must have been this marauding herd who had had a change of diet!! A neighbour told us that he had seen boar running through the fields adjacent to the hamlet a few days ago. The hunters are out most weekends but they obviously don't have much success.

Monday, November 18, 2013


This is the third time I have written this blog, it has got lost twice but the main reason is that we can not upload any photographs. Old computer just about to be hurled through the window!!

We don't have too much to report as  we have just been working away in the salon steadily for the past 10 days. I have been wire brushing the chimney for all that time and frankly it doesn't look much better to me. I have managed to remove the soot and tar from the inside walls and have variously used acid, a caustic solution and elbow grease to clean the surround. However "the elbow" has now given up so we are hoping that when John joints the surrounding stones it will cover the imperfections.

Meanwhile John has been cleaning the beams nearest the fire and has now treated them with a special product which is supposed to hold back the tar stains when we paint them.. I think it must contain gold - the price it was!! He has also cleaned out the old mortar from the wall around the fire ready for rejointing.

We had hoped to show you our progress but that has proved impossible.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Lotois Feast!

We had been thinking of taking some of our summer visitors to the local Catering College for a meal, but the visitors and the college academic schedule never coincided, so, yesterday evening Sue and I went by ourselves.  We think that they put on something special on a Friday night and we weren't disappointed.
The meal was themed around the gastronomy of the Lot and there were a number of producers there to be on hand to talk about their wares; a vintner, cheese producer, Foie-gras and Ducks, etc.
 Having chosen a small 50cl bottle of a nice cahors wine (I was driving home after all!)...

...we commenced with a small plate of Mise en Bouche.
Duck hearts in a wine sauce, a mushroom 'ball' and a small tartlet.
This was followed by a fabulous plate of two 'rolls' made of filo pastry filled with goats cheese and tomato confit.
The next course was some sauteed Foie-gras with some wonderful pears poached in a safron sauce.  It was covered in 'foam' ...it had a lovely flavour but unfortunately it does look like cat vomit.  However we ate it with our eyes closed.

We then moved on to the main event of the evening with Flambeed tournedos of Duck .

Our waiter didn't set light to anything, didn't spill anything ...boy done good!
We had managed to save some wine for the next course, the cheese!  We were offered 3 types of goats cheese, although we only partook of two.
And so the puddings!!!
It was a buffet of desserts and we had to go up to choose what we wanted and then allow our waiter to serve it. (the 'chef' was there only to describe the huge selection.)
After all of this food, coffee was essential ...but we'd still not finished.  Coffee arrived with little sweet pastries.(mignardises)
And all for 27 euros!!!!!!!!

We had a wonderful evening, especially as we could watch the other diners and the students.  It was fascinating to observe how some students just had it ... confidence, character, whatever you want to call it.

Animals are Dumb?

A snapshot of our house yesterday .....

....so who are the dumb ones in this house?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Dead Line

It's really scarey! We have a dead line for the man to come and fit the chimney and woodburning stove. He rang yesterday and we were obliged to negotiate a date. I have to admit that we do let the "House Project" drift a bit if more interesting things are on offer. However panic did set in yesterday and we rushed off to Brive at 4 o'clock to order the stove - that's even scheduled for collection earlier than we anticipated.

Must rush off now to start cleaning the stones around the fireplace!!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Splitting Image

As John told you last month I have been splitting plants and moving them to fill in particularly in the long bed at the back. Well in fact I/we have been doing it virtually all of October. "When" they all mature I hope not to have a bare piece of earth visible, well you know "hope springs eternal".

We have eventually obtained an artisan to line our chimney and install a woodburning stove. The point of telling you this is that the "assistant gardener" declared that he could only give me his services until yesterday evening as he now needed to push on with the salon. As you can imagine I took full advantage of all the hours of daylight. We have been lucky that it has conveniently rained at night to water in our transplants and softened our concrete soil so that John could dig holes.

I am really satisfied with our efforts although of course as with all aspects of gardening it is never quite finished.

We even managed to find time to redesign  the raised bed although work will not start on this until the spring. More information when the ideas germinate.