Les poissons en France

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Simple Pleasures

It was a beautiful late Autumn day yesterday. I looked out of the window, the sun was shining on the remaining bronze oak leaves and I just felt contented. The weather also prompted a couple of red squirrels to come out to "play" which added to my sense of well being.
Although we are in the midst of Christmas preparations it was lovely to spend a day in the garden - John even cut the grass. Similar weather is forecast for today so must dash and make the most of it.

Saturday, November 05, 2016


At last.
Can you hear the grass seed, the daffodils, the Cherry tree laughing?

Friday, November 04, 2016

Many hands ...

Yesterday evening we went for a meal with neighbours around the corner and during the course of the evening Sue talked about the delivery of our latest tree.  Our friends kindly offered to help dig the hole and so this morning we began digging.
(Nicole isn't standing in the hole, only squatting down in it!)
We were amazed how quickly we were able to dig down, as we had expected to be battling rocks and stones.  Sue and I decided to press on with planting the tree as the weather was forecast for rain in the afternoon.
The first job was to cut off the pot as the tree was too big to lift up out.
 We were then able to roll the tree into the hole.
We filled the hole with a number of barrow-loads of Sue's special compost and soil mixture,
and finally leveled it all off with some of the soil we had taken out of the hole.
 Now all we have to do is find a home for the soil that is surplus to requirements!

The Good Samaritan

Yesterday John had to go to Cahors hospital to be checked by the surgeon who did his last hernia operation. When we arrived we realised that everyone had been given an appointment for 10.15am. Seeing that we were going to be waiting ages I decided to go and look for a jumper. However when I reached the shop they had a sale on plus another offer of a further 10% off if you bought three items. I therefore found it necessary to comb the entire store with a fine tooth comb to ensure that I didn't miss anything. Needless to say I bought three items!!

 Of course all this shopping took considerably longer than anticipated so when I returned to the hospital John was waiting in reception and talking to an English gentleman. I assumed he had met this man in the surgeons waiting room. Far from it, he had felt sorry for him and his wife who were wondering aimlessly, obviously floundering in the French bureaucratic system -  without any French. Apparently the couple were on holiday and the wife had had a mini stroke and had been hospitalised for tests. She had been discharged and been sent to reception to pay - a very protracted process.

Meanwhile another English couple came up to reception and they were equally floundering with the language. Ultimately John ended up standing in the middle of the reception desk turning left to right as each couple needed help. Eventually I was enlisted to take care of the holiday makers to try and speed things along as the queue behind grew and grew.

The first couple were extremely grateful. However I had little sympathy for the second people as they grumbled the whole time about the French system when in fact it was their lack of  French which was the problem. It transpired that they had lived here for five years!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Too soon

We were out on the land early this morning and were feeling pleased with ourselves as we planted the last of the daffodil bulbs just after 10 o'clock.  So we went to investigate the area where we want to plant the new tree we bought on Tuesday and we've skimmed off the grass ready for digging to begin.
Back indoors (we had to get ready for Bridge in the afternoon) and the phone rang.  "Can we deliver your tree in the next half an hour"  We had been led to believe that we had a week in which to prepare!!!

The lorry duly arrived...
but they weren't too happy about driving across the back field and so the tree was unloaded and taken down to where we are going to plant it on a sack-barrow!
Back up to the lorry ...
a cheery wave and they were off.
So now just a hole about 1.5 m diameter and 1.5 m deep to dig.  Good cardio-vascular exercise!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Blog Posts Are Like Buses.........

....none for months and then two in one day. Just shows how we've sprung into action!!!

On Saturday we called into the Garden Centre where we bought our trees last year as they had a sale on. We didn't really need anything but what reason is that for not having a look. Well the only thing we liked was an enormous ornamental cherry tree with 70% off. As the weekend wore on we convinced ourselves that we couldn't live without this tree so this morning we went off early to see if it was still there. You've guessed it.  We have just over a week to prepare the planting hole before it is delivered. The man at the nursery kindly said he would put it in the hole when he delivered it, which is just as well because we had no idea how we were going to move it.  (More to come about this!)

Whilst we were at the garden centre on Saturday I noticed a contorted willow in the skip. I thought it would look great painted and baubles hung on it for Christmas. So when we went today I asked the owner if I could have it and explained why I wanted it. He looked at me very bewildered and said you do know its dead don't you. However, he put it back into a pot, carried the free tree to the car and we eventually managed to get it into our little Clio. 

When we were unloading it at home we discovered that it was shooting and I didn't know what to do. 
I felt a complete philistine contemplating spray painting a living tree, so we planted it in a pot and placed it in the middle of the lavender beds at the end of the serpentine bed.

This "free" tree will now cost us the price of a very large pot and I still need a tree for Christmas!


At last the grass is growing, albeit slowly now.  Yesterday I mowed for the first time in nearly 4 months!  Yet this resumption of duties was significant for another reason.  At the weekend we went to a second-hand book sale in aid of charity and Sue found a book on Garden Design ... bad move as it has led to a rethinking on the 'wild meadow/grass' at the far end of the rear garden.  The difficulties of dealing with the very long grass in the Autumn which you have to scalp if you want wild flowers in the Spring has proved a problem.  So, now I have mowed two rectangular beds/areas to leave as grass as inspired by the garden designer Piet Oudolf.
However, the size of the grass beds and their exact positioning isn't cast in stone ... yet!