Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Where does the time go? Sunday, 17 October 2010

The early mornings are really fresh now and it’s tempting to pull the duvet slightly higher and watch the morning news from bed for another half hour. Luckily the sunshine hasn’t been slow to come out and most mornings have warmed up nicely by the time I’ve got the fire in the woodburner going well, fed the cats and fish and had my own breakfast too.

The acer palmatum dissectum atropurpureum in the large border has turned every shade that Autumn possesses and I see that the birds, probably blackbirds like last year, have made off with at least half of the crop of holly berries while I’ve been visiting Cornwall. My daughter, Libby, had her 23rd birthday last Sunday and we all went out to the local golf club for roast lunch. I also had my usual six monthly dentist and hygienist appointments and shopped for the things I miss as I’m living in Brittany. None of the things are essential, but nice to have in the cupboard or freezer, like creamed rice pudding, mature cheddar cheese, mint jelly and redcurrant jelly. I also brought back something I didn’t want at all – a cold. Well, more a red raw sore throat, which has laid me low this week and, in fact, resulted in two pyjama days. I’m feeling much better today though and have definitely turned the corner. Unfortunately it meant that I had to postpone the endoscopy appointment I had for last week, and that has now been rearranged for Friday this week.

My fish tank surprised me when I fed the fish on Monday morning. There were about 20-30 little fishes, from the Kribensis couple I have. The parents are guarding the front right hand corner of the tank from all marauders and are mostly hiding in a slate tunnel which I created from some broken bits Brian brought me specially for the tank. I had been worrying whether the environment was quite right in the tank, but this has allayed all fears as I feel sure they wouldn’t breed under difficult conditions.  I have a new snappy camera which I collected in England last week, but still have to take some photographs with it to illustrate this blog.  They will be inserted when I've done them.

Alfie, my oldest cat, who came with me from Cornwall, is definitely not quite right. He has abandoned his usual seat on the sofa as he can’t seem to make the jump to sleep there. I’ve folded a velour throw for him on the carpet next to my chair and the woodburner, and he now spends most of the day curled up asleep at my feet. I’ve checked him all over and he doesn’t appear to have anything obviously wrong, so I’m guessing it’s just old age – it does come to all of us.

The geranium foliage is still looking very healthy, but the flowers have disappeared. The cosmos is still in bloom at the side of the terrace and the yellow climbing rose on the east side of the house is still putting out the odd pretty rose. I suppose I will have to take the geraniums in soon if I want to save them for next year. This afternoon Flick planted in the polytunnel some salad leaves, spring onions and herbs I brought back from Cornwall.   They look a bit sorry for themselves, so fingers crossed.

In view of the current fuel crisis, I am glad that I fully filled my car before I left for England. The Land Rover is empty of diesel, but has a transmission pipe problem and can’t be used until I receive the ordered new parts when the next person coming over on the ferry collects them from the garage in Saltash. Perhaps by then the supply will be re-established and I won’t have to worry about finding fuel.

This morning, my friend, Flick, cleared out my understairs store cupboard, which resembles a mini Tesco and is indeed better stocked than many of the tiny épiceries in villages here. People generally laugh at my hoarding instinct, but it’s inherited from my mother who never forgot the deprivation of rationing in the 1940s and 1950s. It was a very useful resource when we were snowed in for ten days last winter and I lacked for nothing. The trick is to know what you have in the store and use it well before the expiry date. Something I have not entirely perfected. As a result of this, the hens are in for a mixed treat this afternoon. Loads of apple sauce, dated 2008 which has fermented and I wonder what effect this will have on my birds. A jar of bean shoots and another jar dated 2007 of foie gras, all mixed with yesterdays stale bread slices. I now have enough empty jars for my next jam making session.

Three Beautiful Things:

1.   Being home again in front of the woodburner fire.
2.   Celebrating with my daughter, Libby, her twenty-third birthday last week.
3.   Sinking my teeth into a Crunchie.


  1. Hi Sandy, Hope you are feeling much better and your hospital appointment went okay. What a lovely suprise with your fish population, I guess you are right, no they would'nt breed if the conditions wern't to their liking. I have been clearing and tidying my garden ready for winter, have a few rows of leeks and parsnips in also cabbage and sprouts. My geraniums also need to be brought in to the greenhouse and conservatory as soon as I get a minute, last year I lost a lot as I dident fetch them in early enough.
    Still busy with crafting especially felting spinning and knitting. Eldest daughter Sharron and family will be home for a few days next Wednesday so a few days of retail therapy will be wonderful.

  2. That makes two of us visiting French hospitals in the last while - spent 4 days in Dinan with the effects of a herniated disc :-( Do hope your appointment went okay.. I'm with you on the Crunchie front - one of my favorites!!! Take care Miranda x

  3. By the way I forgot to mention - I reckon you'll love this one... I'd be surprised if you didn't watch the Masterchef series being such a keen cook - Enjoy Mx

  4. Hello Jenny

    Sorry I haven't replied earlier. I haven't thought about my blog at all recently. You still seem really busy. I have done very little this year really mainly due to my weight stopping my bending! I do hope you had a good time with Sharon etc. visiting. I can't wait to see Libs and Charlie at Christmas. My Freemontededron is flowering again on the house wall, I don't think it knows what season it is and some of the little creepy plants in my containers have started again too. Take care, Jenny. Sandi xx

  5. Hello Miranda

    I am sorry to here you've been into hospital. This disc problem must cause you a lot of pain and how you do all your gardenin with it I can't imagine. I had seen the youtube video - so funny it was good watching it again. We had our first fleeting glimpse of snow yesterday, but nothing came of it. Very cold last night though. I have just bought another two buckets of fat balls for the bird feeder and don't they just love them! Hope we don't get too much of the white stuff this winter, especially with familes etc. coming for Christmas. Take care. Love Sandra x