Les poissons en France

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The View From Here

As you are aware this Blog is a reflection of our personal life in France and as such the implications of Brexit have such profound effects on us that I now feel moved to comment.

We must say that this result comes as no surprise to us although that seems not to be the case with many others. I have been really fearful of a Brexit vote for the last six months. A friend of ours was so sure that the outcome would be to stay in the EU that about three months ago she arranged a celebration party for last Friday. It turned into a Wake! However we all felt better for being able to get our thoughts off our chests.

Since we have lived here we have always thought that French people were reticent to talk about politics. However that has not been the case in the last few weeks. Even the post lady and shop assistants are expressing their views to us. On Friday we were not only getting messages of support from friends in England but emails from French friends as well. They are concerned about the political implications for them.

We are watching the situation in the UK with utter disbelief. I expected to be saying by now "after the dust has settled" but far from it, every day a new plume rises.

Meanwhile our "normal" contented life goes on. Yesterday I, along with a number of others, went to a cookery demonstration at a French friend's house in the morning and then our spouses were invited to join us for lunch to eat the fruits of the mornings labour. Well Bernadette had bulked the food up considerably and the wine flowed, followed by the homemade eau de vie and we got home at 4pm. I needed a little "rest" but John mowed the back field!

We plan to stay!

And now for a more academic view ... anyone who is interested in History or Politics will have realised what 'interesting' times we are living through.  The results of the Referendum will have world-wide ramifications, even though the 'people' of England are in denial that we all now live in a global world.

However much the feeling is to close the doors and pull the curtains, Britain needs many things that are outside of its shores ... more labour, markets, security.  I fear that the result of the Referendum commits Britain's future to a former empire, soon to become a faded backwater, a foot-note in History.  And its role in History will be seen as the trigger for the break-up of the European dream, which, for me, was the dream of a peaceful continent where the tensions of Nation states no longer lead to armed conflict.

But hey, all eras of peace end and Man is a violent animal.  Fortunately my doomsday scenario won't happen in my lifetime so I will stay here in our little backwater and enjoy the roses blooming!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Setting up the garden

At last ...the garden is finally set up for Summer, even though it is the 21st June and the summer solstice!
The last Dahlias were planted out and the gardener is now happy, especially as we open the garden to the public in 3 weeks time.  So she can concentrate on weeding and maintenance and I can concentrate on the lawns (as well as perhaps doing some of the things I want to do).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stressful Times

I always knew that if I decided to open the garden I would put stress on myself, as I freely admit to being a perfectionist. However I reflected that the worst that could happen would be that we had one of our dreadful thunderstorms the night before. I never in my wildest dreams considered that we would have rain, including thundery showers, for weeks on end before "the day". Based on previous years I chose the 10th July as it seemed to be the time that we had most colour in the garden.

The following photos will show you that far from colour we have hardly any flowers.
To cap it all we have had to take extraordinary measures as the deer ate all the buds off the roses in the front beds and started to eat the buds on the lilies in the Christo bed. 
They don't seem so keen on them once they have opened but of course they have stayed tightly closed with the lack of sun and warmth. We went out delivering publicity material yesterday in two jumpers and a coat!! It is the longest day on Monday isn't it?

Together with the unseasonal weather we have Brexit hanging over us with it's attendant insecurities.
The Rural Idyll ain't so ideal just at the moment!!

We've weathered worse in the past (excuse the pun!) and there are heaps more serious things going on in the world to worry about - so we'll just get on with it and try to stop moaning.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Silly old fools

As part of the ongoing garden development/refinement, we've come round to the idea of a Japanese 'feature' of some stones in/on the grass in the entrance to the rear garden.  I like the Japanese aesthetic of minimalism (I still have an interest in Bonsai) and so we came to the idea of placing 3 'viewing stones'.  This is when the problems started because Sue's idea of this concept was not at all like mine!  So we had to go through a process of finding suitable stones in the garden, and then positioning them to see if 'we' liked them.  Picture 2 old fools pulling huge rocks up a slopping field on a sack-barrow!!!

However I am pleased to report that we seem to have reached a consensus as to the size and positioning of the stones.
Fortunately there was only one stone which was rejected once we'd got it up to the house and it was a lot easier to take it back down the hill!