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.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010 Clementines, cats and birds

As we’re getting near to Christmas, Super U had an offer on clementines this week.  I bought a net of them, as I had watched a cookery programme with Nigella Lawson making a clementine cake.  It’s certainly different, and the first instruction is to boil 4-5 clementines for two hours and then, after removing pips, blitz the whole fruits in a food processor before adding the usual suspects for a sponge cake, substituting ground almonds for the usual flour.  It sounds as if it will be a very moist cake and I love the taste of almonds, so I plan to make it in the next couple of days.

The cats have been happy staying in the house during this white weather.  Alfie prefers to lie on the stairs as the heat all rises from the woodburner and the warmest place in the house is around the seventh stair which he has made his place.

Yesterday, when I looked through my photographs, I found I had taken three which showed two birds.  The first is a chaffinch and a sparrow on the snow-covered wall.

The second photograph is of a pair of chaffinches. 

And the last pair are a song thrush and a chaffinch.  The chaffinches are numerous here and seem determined to star in every photograph.

Before we moved to Cornwall from Gloucestershire, my mother had this old staddlestone in her garden and it travelled with us to Boswinger and then emigrated with me to Brittany.   It is a genuine staddlestone. These were used to support the body of a granary.  As many as sixteen could be on each side of the grain store.  The overlapping mushroom-like top of the stone stopped rats climbing up into the barns, allowed the flow of air through the grain and the height of them kept the granary and its contents above the ground and flood water away from the harvested grain.   Here is mine, covered in the snow which has recently fallen.

There are lots of plants associated with Christmas for me, Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe and Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera).  My mother had a Christmas Cactus which was more than twenty years old.  It was huge, 2'6"/75cm, or more, in diameter and it had its own table in the corner of the sitting room.  Once it started coming into bud it was given pride of place in front of one of the sitting room windows and was not moved again until it had finished flowering.  Moving its position once buds are developing causes bud drop.  I have bought two this year and here is the only flower which has so far developed.

More snow overnight, bringing the depth here to 5"/13cm.  The sun is now out and the sky is blue, with no sign of snow there at all.


  1. hello Brittany Girl. I see on our weather news that England is totally under a blanket of snow. Lovely scenery, but I imagine that it is very cold for you. My mother-in-law, who is now in a rest home, kept dozens of Christmas Cacti with spectacular blooms. My dear friend gave me one a few years ago and it stays put and blooms. Your bloom is awesome. cheers. ann

  2. Hello Ann

    Yes there were great pictures on the television yesterday showing the UK covered in snow and/or cloud. My children in mid Cornwall have no snow, which is not pleasing them! Here in Brittany, France, there was rain last night, which took a lot of snow off the trees and shrubs, but there's still a lot of snow on the ground where I am in St André.
    Still jolly cold out there too. Sandra