Les poissons en France

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Omnibus of the last two weeks of May

Well it has been gardening , gardening and more gardening. The weather has continued to be very changeable, consequently lots of tutting from John about how quickly the green stuff outside is growing. Green stuff being the operative word as there is very little grass just weeds!! However it looks nice after his efforts. Between mowing he swung into edging mode and extending the iris bed so that I could plant it. He refuses to dig anymore beds but this is classed as an extension so I got away with it. I fear that the deer will eat my tiny plants like they have the buds on the roses. My friend told me to look at it as just a little judicious pruning! Despite all the "difficulties" it doesn't look too bad.
Our barn roof is now finished and we are very pleased with the result. We could not believe how meticulous the artisan was about everything he did. Unfortunately the kestrels were a casualty of all the activity, but there is always next year.
It is not just the garden that is colourful as the fields are a blaze with poppies at the moment.
In the last few days we have found a new little friend to share our lives. Well actually he/she is the size of a fist.
It is a few years since we have had a toad around and we hope that this one does not want to hide in John's gardening shoes like its predecessor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

When you go down to the woods today..........

Our friend Irving who is staying with us enjoys walking, as we do, but we never seem to make the time. However yesterday we went for a walk along the Masse valley around the village of Les Arques. We realised that although we have done this walk several times we have not been on it since we were ill, probably because we were both a little apprehensive that it would be too long and that we wouldn't make it up the final steep hill. We needn't have worried - fit as fiddles us!! (just a few strings broken)

First of all we were most impressed with the improvements that have been made to the village. I was thrilled to see a large tulip tree in flower as we left the car park. We have a trail guide which described distant hills etc which are no longer visible as the trees have grown about 2 metres since our last visit. However little else has changed. The mill pond is full of frogs searching for a mate and their calling is deafening. 
We found a convenient wall to perch on to have our picnic before following the path through the woods. All of a sudden we heard the squeals of lots of children playing, almost as loud as the frogs. What on earth was going on? This is a walk in the middle of nowhere and if you pass another person it is an event!! We soon found out. A group of people, and their children, were on a pilgrimage from Rocamadour. In the church at Rocamdour is a famous icon of a black madonna. I have read the story surrounding her but I have forgotten it. Apparently the madonna rides on a donkey around local villages for a week at Pentecost. The Pilgrims were delighted to see us and wanted us to join them. We naturally declined but not before I had had a cuddle with the donkey!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Roll up, roll up!

As some of you may know, Sue is planning on opening the garden in aid of a kid's charity.  So today we made an appearance at a local Garden Fair to publicise the charity and our opening.
We had to be there and set up by 8.30 am and so it all began a bit slowly, but we were very encouraged by the interest shown and also the people who said that they were interested in opening their own garden!
So we will now wait to see how many people turn up when we are open.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I wish it could be Christmas every day!

Our friends Mike and Irene had wanted to spend last Christmas here in France but Life dictated otherwise.  They arrived here last week and so ... last night became Christmas.
Mike and Irene plus some French friends (and Irving, a friend staying with us) were treated to a surprise when they came to our house to be greeted with "Happy Christmas!" and Slade singing their Christmas song.
Sue had decorated a small 'tree' ...
... and everyone entered into the (Christmas ) spirit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

More Roof

We were not going to blog about the new roof on the barn until it was finished, but, due to persistent enquiries from some of our readers, here is an update of the work our man has done in the past week.
Having taken all of the old tiles off of the first side, he leveled the old joists and then proceeded to lay the new tiles.
So the first side is completed except for the tiles at either edge which will have to be cut and cemented.
Now, our man has stripped the tiles from the second side and is leveling the joists. 
We would think, given favourable weather there's another week's work.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Oh no, don't let the rain come down

Sorry about the title, but it's for all you oldies who eill remember the song ... it continues "my roof's got a hole in it ..."

All of this was to build up to the fact that we're having the barn re-roofed so that it won't let the rain in.  We found/were recommended a local man who started last week.
He and a friend tried working on Saturday but, of course, it rained all day.
It has been sunshine today and he's been plodding on.  I think it will take him about 3 weeks ... we'll see.


Some girls get perfume, some get jewelry and then there's me.  I get 45, 6 metre steel reinforcing rods and a bolt cutter, and I am delighted. Its all Monty Dons fault. Last year on Gardeners World he demonstrated how easy it is to make plant supports using reinforcing rods. As ever with my garden I need loads and buying proprietary ones would be totally price prohibitive. Not that our supports were exactly a give away.

First find a strong man - well in my case John had to do!
Measure and cut.
Find the right size tree and hug it.
Next put rod between two planks and pull up.
Hey presto a plant support - only 95 to go.