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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Family and Cold Weather

I can't believe how cold it's been over the last week or so.  For several years I went away somewhere really warm during February and now I remember why.  Sri Lanka and Tobago are definitely appealing to me at the moment.  In fairness, it has not been as cold here as in other parts of France, but cold enough for me.  As I write this it is lunchtime and still only 1.2 degrees Centigrade.

There was a tiny bit of snow the day before Libby, Gareth and Charlie arrived in France.  Here it is settling on my wellie boot cleaners.  Not much compared with what they've had in England and further south in Brittany and France proper.

I know this is a really fashionable look, but I have to try to keep the bitter wind out of my ears, and I wear my "too big now" red fleece, so I don't get my decent fleece mucky up at the field.

I have to wrap up really warmly to go and do the animals and really just want to stay in the warmth of the woodburner.  This week, my five year old grandson, Charlie, is staying and he's been helping me with the ducks, hens, goats and rabbits every morning and evening. 

In the morning we see the sun come up into the trees down the lane and in the evening he

loves looking in the nest boxes for eggs and bringing them down carefully in a small plastic bucket and we admire the sunsets, which have been brilliant in this frosty weather.

Here's Charlie doing "it rocks" while dressed up for the twice daily animal walk. I love the coloured fingers on his gloves.

Charlie liked the catkins on the hazel tree at the entrance to the field.  The catkins are the male flowers on the hazel tree, pale yellow in colour and up to 5 cm long. They open in February, and are one of the first obvious signs of spring in the countryside.  The female flowers are tiny red tufts, growing out of what look like swollen buds, and are visible on the same branches as the male catkins.  The trees aren't self-pollinating though and need other trees in the same area to pollinate successfully and to produce hazel nuts in the Autumn.  Although I see the nuts before they are ripe, by the time they are ready to be harvested they all seem to have been taken by wildlife around here.

For some reason, Libby has become even more camera shy than she has always been and it's almost impossible to get a photo of her - I have no idea why, as she is a lovely looking girl. 

Yesterday I had a visit to the Nuclear Medicine department of the hospital at St Brieuc.  This was for a scintigraphy to see whether I had a recurrence of last year's tumour on one of my parathyroid glands as my parathormone levels were more than twice the maximum normal range.   Unusually, the hospital was really cold and nearly three hours later when the radio active material had worked its magic and I was in the scanner, without me asking, they put my fleece over me as they must have realised how cold it was.

In June 2011, I had one of the right parathyroid glands and its tumour removed.  Unfortunately, the news wasn't good and I have a tumour on each of the left hand side parathyroid glands and possibly another tumour on the remaining right hand side parathyroid gland.  This will mean another operation once I've seen the endocrinologist again and the new surgeon.  My lovely surgeon from last year has retired unfortunately. 

The cats have been ousted from their usual settee sleeping places while the family are staying.  They all found a new place to sleep together yesterday evening.

Three things I like:

1.   Seeing Libby and Gareth so happy.
2.   Spending so much time with Charlie, who has grown in every way since last summer here.
3.   Eating the Anzac biscuits Libby baked yesterday afternoon.


  1. I am so sorry that you are facing another surgery. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just live our life curled up on a cushion as your kitties. Well, perhaps not. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for your well being.

  2. Enjoy having your family with you Sandra. Charlie has grown up a lot - I remember meeting him and Libby and you about 3(?) years ago at a BBQ at Philippa's!

  3. Hello Ann - Yes, if I come back again it'll be as a cat - in a good family, of course! Thanks for your kind words. Sandra x

    Charlie has really grown in so many ways, Mandy. He's been a real pleasure to have around this time. He's sleeping in my spare room to give Libby and Gareth some time in their own house together and he's so full of life in the morning, talking non-stop and then straight after breakfast asking to come and do the animals with me in spite of the cold. I've been getting lots of cuddles and it's lovely! x