30 April 2017

Windy Day

The frost has gone but we are going to be hit by gale force winds, rain and hail this afternoon.  Today is the Villefranche stage of the Tour de Perigord, I feel so sorry for the cyclists battling against these weather conditions this afternoon.  Needless to say our bicycles are currently tucked up in the garage, they are fair weather bikes!

The birds are battling to fly in the wind.  Our ring necked doves think Grandma’s seat is a great place to perch.

The wind and rain arrived mid afternoon.  Paul was not happy because it knocked out the satellite reception and he missed the last two laps of the Russian Grand Prix.



The log fire is burning, the wine is plentiful and I shall roast a chicken for supper.  Summer is not here yet.

29 April 2017

Grandma's Seat

A frosty start to the day gave way to blue skies and sunshine and it was warm enough to get outside and play in the garden. I strimmed the rockery and Paul gave the lavender bushes a haircut.  The weather is looking unsettled for the next few days so we thought it wise to take advantage today and do some jobs.

Grandma's seat
Later in the afternoon I walked to the far side of the garden and sat on Grandma’s bench.  (This seat, lovingly restored by Paul, was the only item we kept after his mum died a few years ago.)  I like to spend a few quiet minutes here each day looking out across the valley and admiring, of course, my rockery!

side view of the house

Madame Caroline

28 April 2017


at least the broad beans were not affected

Philippe presented a very dejected figure this morning.  The second overnight frost has decimated the young, tender shoots of his grapevines and also hit his potato crop badly.  He is very unhappy.

frost damaged grape vine

We are being well and truly punished for our early warm weather and the gardens here have taken a big hit.  Paul wrapped up his tomatoes and courgettes in fleece but it still looks like he’s lost one tomato plant and the leaves on the courgettes are not looking good. 

My beautiful hydrangea that had just put up small flower heads has been burnt by the frost.  The cherries have been hit too, such a shame as it looked like it was going to be a bumper year.  Our potato plants are not looking good either.

rogue potato plant in the compost heap escaped the frost

The local wine and fruit producers will be badly affected.  Mother nature can be very cruel sometimes. 

Diane Dawg looked dejected too

27 April 2017

Bollywood Couture

When daughter Sarah returned to Sydney last year after her trip to India she presented Paul and me with cotton tunics each.  Mine was a lovely lightweight, white embroidered top, whilst Paul’s was a brightly coloured long length kurta.  It fitted him perfectly but looked more in keeping with Delhi (or Southall) than our little French hamlet.  Philippe would be very amused.

After failing to convince Paul that it would look great as a dress for me, I got the scissors and trimmed it to a more conventional length.  This worked well until I noticed that the pockets were now longer than the hem.  Back to the sewing machine, adjustments made and voila, a new shirt!

25 April 2017

Bath Time Fun

great view from my bathroom window

We awoke to misty, murky drizzle and a chilly morning so our cycle ride was cancelled and instead I indulged in a luxurious, bubbly bath.  Our bathroom is situated high in the pigeonnier and I had great views across the countryside, until the window misted up with steam.  Usually I shower so a soak in the bath is quite a rarity for me.  Old age is catching up with me fast though as I had quite a struggle getting out of the deep tub.  I wondered how long I would have to lie there before Paul came looking for me.  I also pondered on whether if I filled the bath right to the top I could just float out (it would probably make an awful mess). Anyway, I managed to eventually scramble out in a rather undignified manner. 

This reminded me of when I was a student nurse back in the seventies. A new state of the art walk in bath tub was installed on the ward.  The patient was effortlessly placed in the tub using an electric hydraulic chair lift and a quick release door on the side of the bath.  While my fellow nurse was washing the elderly gentleman in the bath I thought it would be a hoot to try out the chair lift.  Unfortunately my uniform dress got caught up in the hydraulics and in the panic the quick release door somehow opened, shooting thirty gallons or so of water out through the bathroom door and into the ward.  I can still remember the shocked look on the old patient’s face, luckily he was still in situ in the empty bath.