Les poissons en France

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Raised Bed

As you'll remember, Guy did a lot of preparatory work for Sue on the raised bed and this weekend she's been continuing to work on  resurrecting it.
She lifted all of the old irises on the corner nearest the house and has weeded it.
The irises have been sorted and prepared for replanting ...
...and so we now have the first part of the bed which no longer looks abandoned!
However, there's a lot more of the bed to be worked on!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Too Much Enthusiasm

As if we don't have sufficient work with maintaining and developing the garden, the Head Gardener wants to press on with some Garden Archeology, namely the recovery of the 'dry river bed'.  As it is there are plans in the pipeline for the 'Christo bed'.
I'm not privy to the plans but I've strimmed it off and it's been sprayed!

So today I have strimmed down all of the long grass in the dry river bed and on the mound where the 'stream' begins.
Again I'm unaware of the plans but I just do as I'm told!

In between all of this frenetic activity in the garden, I'm trying to progress with the guttering.  The guttering to the front of the 'lower' house is now done (although we await rain to test it!)
And I've made a start on the 'top' house.
A day off tomorrow as we'll be going to the Bridge Club in the afternoon ... I'll try not to nod off!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Harvest for Everyone

We continue to have to clear the floor under the plum tree everyday and we're now at the stage of trying to think who else we know who might want some plums!
However, this morning, whilst harvesting the plums, I noticed some small object amongst the plums on the floor.
These look suspiciously like droppings, and as our neighbours have seen deer in the front garden , presumably after rose buds, I think they may also be having a pudding of plums!
The deer are eating well at the moment ... rose buds, gladioli flowers and now plums!

Isn't it good, living in the country!

PS After discussion with our neighbours the consensus is that the droppings were hare .... not deer ... too small!    Editor.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back up the Ladder

Now that we have a little time to ourselves, it's time to push on with jobs.  So today, as I couldn't cut the grass (rain) I've started to fit the guttering on the front of the house.  This is something I've been meaning to do for the past 7 years.
But, I encountered the bats again.  When I put the ladder next to the shutters and went to open the right-hand side, a bat flew out and when I carefully looked behind it, his mate was still there!
You never know who you're going to meet when you do these jobs!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Well that didn't work!!

As I have said before I have been pleased with how "the long bed" has developed this year. In an attempt to prolong the season I planted some gladioli which are now flowering.  Well, they were yesterday. I know that gladioli are edible and presumably so do the deer as they enjoyed a snack last night. We have derived great pleasure from watching a doe and her twins and another doe and her fawn for the past couple of months but I wish they did not find flowers so tasty. I bought a new product that was recommended by a respected garden journalist as she was adamant it was an effective deer deterrent. Well it may be on English deer but French ones cannot read the instructions. In all honesty they don't seem to have been as troublesome this year, maybe it's because we have more plants growing and the odd nibble is not so noticeable or maybe it's just that I have learnt to accept the inevitable.

We had originally decided to transform "the raised bed" into a japanese garden but then reflected and thought that we would just be providing winter fodder for the deer. Hence the new ideas, starting with Guy's pebble river. I have got lots of plants that I have noticed the deer don't touch and I plan to split them and furnish the bed in the Autumn. The best laid plans.......!

Meantime it continues to rain and although the petunias have really suffered this year other things have flourished, so here are a few photos.

Labour of Love

What you will do for your parents, eh?
Guy has gone back to the UK now but here are the results of his help. 
As the first step towards reclaiming the 'raised' bed, I strimmed off the long grass.

 Sue then organised Guy to move a huge pile of cobbles onto it to make a stone 'river'.  After he'd laid the first day's worth of stones he had to do some adjustments to the contours before continuing for a second day!
With this major feature now in place, await further developments ... although regular garden maintenance is now calling!
Guy is now back home having a rest from his holiday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


We have one Plum tree in the front garden and it seems to bear lots of fruit about one year out of three.  And this is the year of bounty.  Perhaps because of the wet spring, the tree is laden.
But, as we haven't had our normal ration of sun, they're taking a long time to ripen.  However, the jam making season has begun!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Restfull Day Off

As Guy has been helping us despite the fact that is a holiday for him, we all went out yesterday.  We started off at the nearby town of Figeac.  We don't know it very well and we first had to find a parking place as there is a big market on a Saturday.
The town is full of old buildings and we realised that there is a lot to see and do there.  A return visit is required.
Because the town was full of people and holiday-makers we left it a little late to find a restaurant so when we did, the service was slow and the specials of the day were off !  However, we enjoyed what we finally chose and then went off to the chateau at Lacapelle-Marival for the annual art exhibition.  Even Arvin would have to admit that there are some very strange ideas of art out there and some very inflated prices being asked!
There were a few things that I liked (but not much!)

 After all of this excitement we came home for a couple of hour's rest before we set off for a concert in a small village about 30 minutes away

I'd seen this in an article in the local paper; it features a mother, her daughter and another young lad who sang music from the 70's in a folk/pop style. It was held in the small church of the village of Milhac and when we got there we were a bit worried because the village was deserted and we could see the church on the top of the hill but could not work out how to get to it. We climbed the hill fearing that it would literally be us and the proverbial one man and his dog. However, we were just early - the French don't do 'on time' (but then neither does Sue normally!) and it eventually started twenty minutes late. We were distinctly worried that it was going to be very amateurish ... well that was until they began and we couldn't believe how good they were.

I talked to the 'mother' at the end whilst we were enjoying a free drink and a piece of cake and she explained that all three of them were musicians/teachers and just liked performing for their friends.  Despite the fact that they were all French they sang mostly in English with no trace of a french accent.  A surprisingly good evening to round off our 'day out'.
I've uploaded a small video of their performance onto Youtube.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Chainsaw Artist

Our son Guy is with us for a week and the head gardener had ideas to use his strength to position an 'artwork' in the garden.  However it involved a large, old sheet of iron which Guy and I were unable to even lift off the ground!  So that creation has been shelved.  But never fear, an alternative idea was sprung into action; an idea which involved searching for and cutting down a number of dead trees.
 There needs to be a lot of work carried out on the trees before they can be positioned, but, at the moment , it looks promising.

To make the maximum use of an extra pair of hands, we then had Guy moving large stones down to the 'Raised' bed prior to a make-over.
 The Head Gardener was last seen avidly consulting her gardening books.                       

Monday, August 04, 2014

Wherefore art thou...

 ...we were in Domme in the Dordogne for a performance of Romeo and Juliet!

This company do a tour in our area every year and we try to get to it with our friends.  This year we tried Domme as it seemed to have advantages in terms of parking and toilets but we hadn't made allowances for the tourists!  Still hundreds of cars and people even at 6.30 in the evening.
However, we set up our picnic and proceeded  to enjoy ourselves despite the curious looks and comments from the French!  
Our contribution to the picnic was the dessert.  Sue prepared a sponge filled with peach mousse but I was fearful that the mousse wasn't firm enough.  And I was right!  I had the job of dishing it up from my lap and I ended up with half of it on my lap!
It was made worse as, in true thespian fashion, I was wearing white trousers.  Naturally everyone found this hilarious and I had to refuse all the offers to wipe it off and rub me down.
After all of this excitement we went to the garden of the local Salle de Fete where the production was given under the clear sky and stars.  
A very enjoyable performance and evening.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Day of Rest

We decided to give ourselves a day off today to escape all of the gardening (and socialising).  So we took ourselves off to a scuplture exhibition we'd seen advertised in a small village to the west of Cahors.
It was held in a charming little village of about 8 houses, a village full of flowers in the middle of nowhere ... and there were exhibits in the church, out in the road and in the 'salle de fete'.
As always there was a wide range of styles, some of which we liked and, of course, lots that we didn't.  But then that's the point of exposing yourselves to new ideas and inspirations.

At midday we went to a nearby town for lunch and then drove off to find a layby. 
We can't take all of this excitement AND two glasses of wine!!