Les poissons en France

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Civics

The 'road' in front of the house has been deteriorating for a number of years and I did go to the Mairie about 3 or 4 years ago but that request seemed to have been passed on to other departments till it got lost.  Then last year, as a result of some storms and a lot of water coming down the hill our 'new' mayor got involved and work was done higher up the lane to divert water into the fields before it got to us.
Then, at the beginning of April, workmen suddenly arrived and did some 'patching' on the road with some concrete.
But when we asked if and when the road would be topped off we were dismissed with "oh, July"

But yes, July it was!
On the face of it we have a 'new' road ... however it is the minimum amount of chippings laid on the thinnest possible coat of tar and we have no great expectations that it will last very long.  Still, it is better than it was!  Sue was particularly cross with the quality of workmanship and what they had done and what they had not done and she told the workmen in no uncertain terms.

Whether by design or coincidence, we had received an invitation from the Mayor to meet him and some of his councillors here in our hamlet on Saturday evening, and Sue was prepared to take the fight to the top!  So, 6.30 last night the delegation arrived, all of the inhabitants of Mas de Bouyé turned out and, after inspecting the road, everyone congregated next to the old Lavoir.
The Mayor introduced himself and his councillors and then invited us all to introduce ourselves and voice any concerns or wishes for the improvement of our hamlet or the village of St Germain.  Needless to say, all things are governed by money, which is very limited.  The Mayor was at great pains to stress how they are striving to keep commerce and facilities in the village to avoid it becoming another sleepy village with nothing left to attract people to it.

After this general discussion, the wine was brought out, un verre de l'amitié, and so we had a great opportunity to talk and get to know the councillors, as well as other folk from our area who we've never met before. 
All in all a great idea to develop a community spirit and to let us all know more of what is going on around us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Unexpected

Regular readers will know that I am always saying "you never know what's round the corner". Well we had one of those moments on Sunday night.

We have had a very busy couple of weeks which culminated in us preparing and serving a meal for up to eighty people at our Bridge Clubs' annual tournament on Sunday. We had given the meal a Spanish theme so lots of tortillas and a paella salad. It was very well received but as only 60 people turned up and not the possible 80 we had puds left over. When John got into the car to drive home he said that he suddenly had a pain in his lower abdomen. However we drove round the village distributing left overs to friends and every one was delighted and laughing and joking. After a bite to eat when he got home he went to bed but by 10 o'clock he asked me to call the doctor. He sent an ambulance as I think we all suspected a strangulated hernia. Indeed this was confirmed at Cahors hospital and John was operated on at about 3.30am.

I brought him home yesterday afternoon and he is tired but on the mend. The district nurse is calling for a fortnight to change his dressing and give him an injection each day.

No doubt I will continue to say "you never know what's round the corner" as that's life.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

After-thoughts

Now that the dust has settled and we've had time to reflect on the Open Day we are absorbing all of the nice comments but also some of the ideas we received to modify/improve some elements of the garden.  Sue was very encouraged when she talked to a lady who turned out to be a garden designer/lecturer.
However, the icing on the cake for Sue is the post on this blog
 http://www.jardinsmerveilleux.eu/2016/07/les-jardins-de-sue.html
We recruited Florence, the blogger, at one of the publicity events we attended and we then visited her garden when she opened it for the charity.  Her garden was 'designed', interesting, and well maintained, so we respect her comments.
She spent a long time here and appreciated and understood what Sue is trying to achieve.  You will have to use Google translate if you don't speak French but the photos really do show the garden in its best light.

Monday, July 11, 2016

With a Little Help From Father Chistmas

Our regional daily newspaper has a reporter in each commune. Ours is known to everyone as Father Christmas as he has long white hair with a beard to match and frequently wears bright red clothes. We met Santa at the recycling depot about a fortnight ago and asked him if he would mention the open garden in his column. He made arrangements to call and interview us and we had a full write up  (with coloured picture) in Saturdays edition. Furthermore we had a mention in the national expat paper again with accompanying picture. However the photos showed a more impressive display than that which was on show yesterday.  I realise that we can not predict with any accuracy what will be in flower on any given day but I was disappointed that after a week of temperatures in the mid thirties many flowers had just shrivelled.

However the day was a great success in every way and the garden did not look too bad the night before when Pat took this video.
video video
video
Hope you can open these!

It was worth it!

Well, the big day finally arrived yesterday, coinciding with the hottest day of the year so far, nearly 40 degrees!
We had recruited Pat and Mel to come out from England and they were invaluable in weeding and dead-heading in the days leading up to the 'big' day.
So, the alarm went off at 6 am and last minute watering and preparations began. Once I'd tidied up the hoses, I went round St Germain putting up directions.
We had announced that we would open at 10am ... and the first visitors arrived at 9.40!

However, with the help of Pat and Mel, and our neighbours/friends John and Lesley, we were able to deal with a steady flow of people, both French and English, during a warming morning.  I had expected the afternoon to be very, very quiet as the sun had become fearsome, but we still had visitors!
Pat and Mel did a superb job running the 'café' and, despite their lack of French, dealt with all of the French visitors.

All in all a very successful day meeting some very interesting people and raising over 500 euros for the charity.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Wildlife!

"OK Mr Gardener, what you got hiding under there?"

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Preparations

This opening of the garden certainly concentrates the mind and the hands that do the weeding. Beds have been weeded that have literally not been weeded for about four years. Further more, ideas that have floated in the background for years have come to fruition. John has constructed a bonsai bed adjacent to the car park. It is shaded and far more suitable than the veg patch which has been their home for years.
A friend bought us a beautiful hydrangea in May. That one hydrangea became the start of the woodland bed at the entrance to the alley. We already had a camelia and azalea that were looking for a home but coincidentally the garden centre were selling azaleas which had just finished flowering with 40% off. There is no need to say more! As our soil is totally unsuitable for these acid loving plants they will have to stay in pots which I hope in the future will be hidden. Who knows the right hand bank of the alley may turn into a woodland walk in the future. Us gardeners are ever optimists!!
Meanwhile a few photos of the long bed looking its best - too early for the opening - but that's what mother nature does.