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.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Felines, Fluffy Chicks, Flowers in the Rain and Roast Lunch

Purrdy has settled in so well, it's as if she's been here forever. Alfie has accepted her with no problems.  Here are my three beautiful felines cat napping on the sofa.

Daisy is getting more tolerant of this little darting bundle of fluff, for whom everything is something to be played with, but she likes to keep an eye on her, just in case. 

Purrdy seems to play, eat and sleep in equal amounts. Every leaf blowing along the terrace in the June breeze has to be stalked, caught and fought. Each petal which falls off the geranium seems to trigger the starter's gun and she's off again to chase it down. I love her exuberance and the way she sleeps just under my neck when I sit back in the chair watching the television. If I am sitting forward, for instance, while typing this, then she sits on my shoulder as if I were Blackbeard and she my parrot. She has captured my heart.

I know I'm a sucker for chicks and hens of all sorts, but on Saturday I drove for 40 minutes to a lovely young French couple, living the good life with so many different families of cockerel, hen and chicks in separate runs. I was telling them that today I picked and ate my the first home grown broad beans of the year for lunch and they laughed and told me they'd had their first home grown peas for lunch today.

It's difficult if not impossible to buy broad beans in Brittany, and I love them, so I have to grow my own. This year I have planted them very close together, not as recommended on the packet, and just put a stake in each corner of their bed and tied string round. They seem to be supporting themselves and not collapsing at all like last year's crop.

Anyway, the reason I drove to see Dominique and Hervé was that they were selling Faverolle chicks and I thought I would buy five of them. However, when I arrived there was a family of Lavender Pekin bantams which later left with me in a cat basket.

I decided not to have the cockerel as my two cockerels just about keep the peace most of the time and I didn't want to upset the balance. So I went home with the mother hen and her tiny weeny nine chicks. I also gave in and had two of the Faverolle chicks.

They all seem to have settled in their runs in the rabbit parc and Purrdy seemed quite delighted with all these little inaccessible bundles of feathers, pouncing near the fencing of the run and bounding back and forth not quite knowing what to do about all these chirping chicks.

Finally, it rained last night and is still trying to rain today.  The waterbutt by the house is full, but the 1000 litre IBCs on the land are strangely empty.  They are fed from the barn roof, and should be filling up now, but don't seem to be.  Investigations necessary on Monday when my worker friend is here.

In spite of it being grey and wet, I decided to take some flower with raindrops photographs.

The first is of raindrops on a beautiful purple coloured poppy petal.  When I lived in England, after the summer of 2005, I collected a mugful of poppy seeds and this year found them amongst some boxes I unpacked.  There were a lot of seeds.  Most of them have grown into red poppies, but there are two purple ones - one single and one double.

Next a marigold whose seeds were collected last year from flowers on one of the small roundabouts in my nearest town, St Nicolas du Pélem.

And lastly, another poppy growing alongside the driveway - not well focused as quite a breeze today and I was just using my compact camera.

I don't always bother with doing a roast lunch when I'm here alone, but when I was shopping on Friday, I just felt like going the whole hog, as it were, and bought a rolled stuffed joint of pork.  Here in France the butchers remove the skin, which really I love to score and cook until it's a tasty crunchy treat on the side of my plate.  It looked very pretty before going into the oven and, in spite of having no crackling, it tasted very good when cooked with onions, sage, carrots and with roast potatoes and parsips  in a different dish and petit pois.

Last night when I was putting the hens and ducks to bed on the field, the goats were being very active, head butting each other and generally running around in their end of the barn.  I opened the gate between the two halves to collect an egg which had been laid behind the goat feeder trough and they took this opportunity to barge past me and through the main door of the barn.  Twenty minutes later, Basil was on the top of the roadside bank and Betsy was munching through the strawberry bed.  There was no way I could get them back in the barn without help.  I had my mobile in the car so 'phoned my worker friend which I hated doing as the Grand Prix was being televised.  By the time I had put the 'phone down, Betsy was in a corner and just walked through the barn door.  Two minutes later Basil walked in too with no encouragement at all.  I drove to meet the rescue van, but met them on a junction as I was too late to stop them leaving and couldn't for that moment get a signal on my mobile.  They were not amused, so I'd just like to send an abject apology to Andy and Flick. 

Three things I like:

1.  The sound of my cats purring .
2.  The way a raindrop trickles down the windowpane collecting other drops as it goes.
3.  The crackling of seasoned logs flaming in my well-loved woodburner.  


  1. Hi Sandra - I'm v. sorry to have abandoned ship for a while but bit by bit trying to find the time to get back to posting on my own blog as well as visiting others - sorry to see that you've been in hospital but by the sounds of it doing much better since your op - you could always try a very dilute mix of lavender oil in something like almond oil to put on your scar - this worked miracles on a burn scar all the way up my right arm! I just put a small amount on morning and night and now I can see absoultely nothing. I absolutely love the little kitten I also wouldn't have been able to help myself nor would I have been able to resist the beautiful Lavender Peking Bantam & chicks - they are the breed I'd like most once I've managed to persuade my hubby to have some hens here! Anyway do have a good week - am hoping the rain stays away for a little bit this weeek to allow me to cut some grass! Take care Miranda x

  2. Hello Miranda I can't agree with you about the rain - I'm absolutely desperate here to fill my collecting containers on the field and want it to rain and rain and rain. Thanks for the advice re the scar. I've taken some more photos of the Lavender Peking and chicks, so may post those this week. Did some weeding and I've been to Bowls today and have flaked out in front of the television now. Have a good week! Sandra x