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.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday, 20 March 2010 - Moaning about horrid wet and windy days etc.

It's so frustrating to have this horrid wet and windy weather now after a beautifully sunny start to the week, just like having a main course and not being allowed a pudding.  I am all fired up now to garden and still need digging to be done before many things can be planted. 

I saw the consultant yesterday, who did my gall bladder removal in November.  I am extremely fat and have recently spent three weeks in a clinic to get me going on an exercise and sensible diet routine, which is going well.  However, it seems that I may not be allowed to lose weight following this new regime as I have been diagnosed with a marked fatty liver which could lead to cirrhosis (I had wrongly thought this was primarily a problem for alcoholics) if not dealt with relatively quickly.  The consultant said he would book me in for a gastric bypass operation for October as he doesn't believe I will be able to lose the huge amount of weight necessary to reverse this situation without surgical help.  To say I am stunned would be an understatement.  I had been offered a GBP before, just for weight loss, not for anything more sinister associated with my weight, and refused as I couldn't contemplate life with a few spoonsful of food being my future meals.  Not sure quite which way to go at the moment.

To cheer myself up, I've changed my header photo to one of plants in my garden last summer, and I can't wait to see them all again, along with new neighbours.  Here's a beautiful primrose in the lane.

Three Beautiful Things:

1.   My goose Grace, bathing with her new partner, Gerry.
2.   This morning, picking in my polytunnel fresh-as-a-daisy salad leaves, beetroot, shallots and herbs to accompany my own free range hens' eggs omelette for lunch.
3.   Knowing that a very good friend is arriving to stay with me this week from England.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday, 18 March 2010 - Canes, Geese, Cockerels and a little Black Hen

Just thought I'd post a photo of the raspberry canes being planted through the weed suppressing membrane. 

I've sown loads of vegetable seeds this week in the outside beds and the polytunnel and spent a lot of time clearing up the whole area. B helped me with collecting the new goose yesterday, and has had a bonfire this morning after gathering up various rubbish on the land.

No-one was sure what gender the new goose is, so I have named it Gerry, which will suit male or female.  On meeting each other, there was a bit of initial hissing and running but only for a few minutes and this morning they were sharing a bath together, so things must be going well!

Here are four of my cockerels.  Over the years I seem to have acquired a motley selection of hens and cockerels.  Some of the cockerels are fighting now and so B killed two yesterday for eating.  These four boys are reprieved so far, as they are so lovely to look at and aren't so aggressive with each other.

We also collected a dear little black hen, now called Bridget, from the people who sold us Gerry, and she is very sweet.  I have no idea what breed she is, but she's pretty and really friendly. 

The last photo for this post is of lots of the birds enjoying a dust bath in a section of their run nearest to the barn.

I ordered six Verwork chicks yesterday from someone who was really selling eggs to incubate, but has agreed to bring six on for me to collect on 19 April.  They are a breed I have never come across before and are supposed to be good hens for eggs and the table.  They will only be very young chicks when they come to me, so will have to go in a small run in the barn until they get large enough to cope with the outside world - I can't wait to have them!

Well, the weather is about to change.  The sun has gone and the wind is getting up now - the forecast is rain for the next few days, so I'm glad I got on with so much outside this week in the lovely sunshine we've had.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday, 16 March 2010 - Beautiful day and started work in the veggie garden

It was really foggy when I woke up yesterday morning, but the sun came through and I ended up gardening in shorts and a strappy top with sunoil smeared over the exposed bits.  K, my builder and handyman, came to help me today.  He dug over and weeded the old potato patch, covered it in weed suppressing membrane and planted raspberry canes through it.   Then the runner bean patch was dug through and a quarter of one of the compost bin contents dug in, before tackling some of the raised beds and mending holes in the fence round the hen field.  We had thought the chickens were flying over the fence, but we found that there were several escape holes which have now been wired over.  After the afternoon teabreak, under a clear blue sky, K planted two new azalea plants in the large border in the garden and last of all, the strawberry beds in the polytunnel were dug, composted and some strawberries planted and watered.   I put in some shallots and red onions and did some of the watering, not more, as I'm still hampered by my ankle.  It's lovely to come in with dirt under my fingernails for the first time this year and a very slight red tinge from the wonderful sunrays.

Yesterday the sunset was so gorgeous, making truth of "red sky at night, shepherds' delight".  For some reason, I can't get my photo to post the right way up, so here's a previous one I took from the far end of my garden.

I have a eucalyptus in the garden which was caught by the sunset and the usually silvery  trunk and limbs turned rusty red.

I planted more strawberries today in the polytunnel and carrot seeds outside.  I can't find the runner beans seeds I saved from last year, I've obviously put them somewhere safe!  A good friend is coming over from England next week, so I'm hoping I can get her to bring me some as we don't really have a selection of runner beans here, and they're grown for the beans inside, not for eating the whole thing like in the UK. 

A friend, B, has put a nestbox up for me today which has a colour camera inside, so when I can work out how to connect it to the television, if birds nest in it, I shall have a great view.

 Three Beautiful Things:
1. Earth from the veggie plot under my fingernails for the first time this year.
2. A cloudless blue sky and the first touch of sun on my skin as I wore shorts and a strappy t-shirt.
3. My bedlinen hanging out in the sunny air, and smelling so fresh and lovely when I brought it in to fold.