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, December 18, 2011

Storm repairs, roast chicken, cottages and logs

The wind dropped yesterday and there were even spells of sunshine between the very hard rain showers.  My worker came round first thing and put back the two blue logshed doors which had blown off and put some swivel pieces of wood at the top of each door to see it that did the job.  He also did a temporary fix on the double gates, though they will have to be taken off and the hinges sorted properly sometime soon as they have bent out of shape.

Daisy spent the day inside, I don't think she went out at all.  In this photo she was on my laptop table enjoying the fire, but it wasn't long before she was chilling out on the settee in another of her peculiar positions.

While she relaxed I made my usual soup.  I also roasted beetroot at the same time as the veggies for the soup were in the oven.  People keep saying that roasting beetroot gives them a better flavour, but to me there seemed to be little difference, if any, from when I simmer them on the hob.  There were lots of peelings and leaves for the compost bins up on the field.  I always roast the veggies in olive oil now and my local supermarket sells one I like.

The rabbits enjoyed the beetroot tops but the rest should rot down nicely and be ready for topping up the veggie beds in the Spring. The rabbit grassed area is absolutely drenched.  The ground must be so wet that there is nowhere for the new rain to soak into.  The rabbits seem to sit out whether the sun or the rain is on them, they don't seem to care one way or the other, unlike the cats who really don't like the rain at all.

Last night I decided, as frost was forecast, to turn on the storage heater in my bedroom.  It was well-timed as the temperature had certainly dropped during the night.  This thermometer was on the ice covered glass table on the terrace showing a low of -4°C - brrr!

The quagmire on the field was easier to walk across this morning as it was frozen, as were the animal water containers.  I took up the veggie peelings and leaves for the compost also the pan full of ash from the woodburner  which I spread on the top of the current compost bin.  The wood ash is supposed to be good for the compost too as it's a natural source of potassium and other trace elements, and it can be applied directly to the soil.

It's going to be a lovely day today.  I took this photo coming back down the lane from the field which shows the junction in the village.  At the calvaire, the stone cross, I turn right down the lane to my home.

When I got back home, the sitting room was lovely and warm, both from the woodburner and from the kitchen oven in which I had put a chicken and a couple of potatoes to cook when I first came downstairs.  I start it off upside down and then turn it about twenty minutes before the end of roasting to let the breast side take on a golden brown crispy skin the same as the underside.  I then strip the crispy skin off - any fat has cooked away - and eat it while it's still almost to hot to handle, also on my plate was one of the baked potatoes seasoned and with a large piece of butter melted onto the cut sides.  I then wrap the skinned, piping hot, roasted chicken in foil so it stays beautifully moist.  I shall fridge it when it's cool and the meat will be used for a chicken, leek and carrot pie.  The carcass would normally be made into stock for the vegetable soup I make each week, but this stock will be frozen and used for Christmas Day lunch gravy/sauce. 

This week my local supermarket, SuperU, had two bunches of radishes in a bag for €1 which was half price or better, so, as I eat half a bunch every day, I bought two lots and I am dipping them in salt and then eating them as I write.  I love a bargain, and you don't see many over here, compared with the UK, where they are always marking prices down to silly amounts at the end of the day.  I cut the stalks and leaves off each bunch and the rabbits really enjoy those.  Then I top and tail the radishes and store them in a bowl of iced water in the fridge, which ensures that they are really crisp to eat, drying them in a clean tea towel when I want to indulge.

It's really sunny outside this afternoon and I took a few photographs in the garden.  These show my cottages from two directions:

The first door at this end of the cottages is where you enter for the utility and gym. There's also a storage area upstairs. A vine grows along the south-facing wall in the summer months.  

In the second photograph the first door is a one-bedroomed cottage and the middle door leads into the house my daughter and grandson use when they are here, which has two bedrooms.

So I don't have to worrry about getting logs in from the huge logstack when the pile by my woodburner disappears, I have a covered log trolley on the terrace, so I can collect from there.

The logs are all bought in, but the kindling which I use to start the fire, is still wood we saved from when the houses all had new roofs, separating it out from the old slates.  Even after five years of fires, there is still loads of it left and it's lovely and dry, perfect for starting my fire each morning.

Three things I like:

1.   Crispy chicken skin.
2.   Getting 'phone calls from two of my children, one after the other.
3.   Downloading the first books onto my Christmas  present Kindle.  I haven't been given it yet, but have been able to download some books while it is still in England. 


  1. Thank you your site has cheered me up

  2. Good - I am pleased - whoever you are!