Saturday, 22 April 2017


Because he loves me! (or rather he knows they are my favourite crisps and doesn’t want me to steal his.)  Goat cheese and chilli in case you're interested.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Lizards and Pollen

photo by Jeremy Taylor
I went down to the potager earlier to inspect the strawberry beds and spotted a rather large lizard tail sticking out from behind the water butt. 

I peered around the corner and was very pleased to see our elusive and shy Big Greenie.  The beautiful green lizard (Lacerta Viridis) is much larger than our common wall lizards and a wonderful iridescent green.  Whilst the wall lizards are abundant and inquisitive and love the sunshine, Big Greenie prefers the shady, green areas and will scuttle away and hide as soon as he sees you.  I tried to get a photo but the auto focus on the camera refused to behave.  This was the best shot I could get before he ran away.

fuzzy photo by Susan

Yesterday we rode in the afternoon when the day had warmed up and the wind had dropped.  As soon as we got home I started sneezing, my nose and eyes were streaming and I’ve been like that ever since.  I haven’t been affected at all by the recent clouds of pine pollen but apparently the grass pollen levels are very high right now so I guess that’s the culprit.  I took some  Clarityn and the symptoms have eased off a bit now.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Windy Day

The dilemma we have at the moment is whether to cycle early when it’s still icy cold before the wind arrives or cycle later when it’s warmer but risk the strong blustery north wind that starts up mid morning.  This morning we suffered both.  We waited until half eight but my ears and nose were freezing as we cycled down the valley. We followed the gravel tracks along the Theze river and then started the long slog back up Oak Tree hill.  (I started reciting the Owl and the Pussy Cat but forgot whether it was owl or cat who played the small guitar.)  

We stopped for a breather half way up and were rewarded by the sight of a stag standing at the edge of the woods.  He strode off into the undergrowth and then we could hear him barking like a big, gruff dog.  At the top of the hill we were hit by the wind, it was so strong we were almost blown backwards.

Finally back home for hot showers and coffee.  I put some washing out, triple pegged to withstand any strong gusts.  Hopefully my big, white pants won’t take flight.

chives almost in bloom, I like the flowers sprinkled on salads


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Find Me Some Sand

We switched the television on at lunch time expecting to watch our regular Bargain Hunt programme and were surprised to see Theresa May standing outside number 10 Downing Street announcing a surprise General Election for 8th June.

Paul chose to watch all the news coverage with the political statements and listen to the pundits’ speculation whilst I decided to give it all a miss and take my lunchtime glass of wine outside into the garden.  

There is a cold, north wind blowing today but I managed to find a sunny, sheltered spot in the corner of the courtyard.  I sipped my wine and watched the butterflies and bees working hard and gathering nectar from the wisteria blooms.  I am just weary of politics and world affairs.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Reckless Riding

Our small, quiet hamlet is awash with children.  Monsieur Escalier has his four year old twin grandchildren staying on the farm, and ten year old Tomas and his family have arrived at Philippe’s gite for the Easter week.

Tomas, you may remember, spends hour after hour riding an old bicycle up and down the lane.  He doesn’t get the opportunity to ride a bike in his home town of Calais so he relishes the freedom he has here in the countryside.  Yesterday he was joined by another little boy racer, four year old Jacques Escalier.  I was watching them from my window and Jacques was trying his hardest to keep up with Tomas.  Just as they disappeared around the bend Jacques came a cropper but Tomas was there instantly picking him up and dusting him down.

all smiles again after his tumble

I had a good ride out this morning and actually managed to get up Scramble Hill, albeit very slowly.  I’ve still got a lot of work to do to regain last summer’s form.