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 15, 2012

February weather and bits in the village and my garden

Everywhere you look now there are signs of new growth, like the bright green shoots on the bramble in next door's driveway and the lichens and mosses are vibrant green too.

Ivy berries and dried up bramble berries are still in evidence while celandine have just started flowering in the verge on the lane. 

The catkins are now changing colour from their original lime green.

And my passionflower is in bud already.

Apparently, the forecast for the weekend is very cold again as we will be getting our weather from the east, but it will warm up once more next week as the front changes to come in from the Atlantic again.  I've been looking back at photographs of February holidays in Tobago, and they seem such a long time ago, although the last time was only in 2008. 

This is the view from the apartment, just 47 steps from the Caribbean water, where we have stayed twice.  We have alternated with a lovely hotel, much more expensive, and the apartment, basic and cheaper, leaving more to spend on superb dinners.

Then there's a brown me having enjoyed the wonderful Tobagonian sunshine.

And lastly the beach west of Pigeon Point, with it's white sand, turquoise water and far too many people once the day gets going.

Overall this winter we've been really lucky with the temperatures being so much higher than usual, but it's still appears to be a long period.  I can't wait to be able to wake up, put on a swimmer and read a book while drinking my coffee outside in the sunshine.  I have missed going away in February - the warmth of a tropical sun and a bit of a tan do wonders for winter morale.  Maybe next year, when I shall feel much more comfortable doing that long flight after losing so much weight.  It's not easy travelling when you're morbidly obese, although, if possible, the cabin crew always moved me to two vacant seats to give me and my squashed up son, Matthew, more room.   An extra belt was always necessary as the usual silver seat belt would not possibly stretch around my girth.  A member of the cabin crew would approach the seats waving the seriously bright orange extension belt saying, "Who was it who needed the extension belt?" and it seemed that all the passenger heads in the aircraft would turn to find the very fat person.  The other problem when you're grossly overweight is getting in and out of the toilets in an aircraft.  This requires special skills which are only acquired after several failed attempts.  Joining the mile high club would never have been possible! 

Today, at 18.15 hrs, I have an appointment with my lung specialist's assistant.  I will be fitted with an overnight recorder to monitor my breathing and oxygen levels to see if, having lost so much weight, 7st 5lbs since my operation in July 2011, I can do without my sleep apnoea breathing machine and the oxygen extractor.  I have to go back tomorrow with the machine before midday as it booked out every day to someone.  Fingers crossed for a good result.  Last time they stuck part of the equipment to me with a tape called Sparadrap.  I was allergic to it and had large blisters where the recorder had been attached to my skin - even the specialist was surprised and thought I had been burnt.  This time they have a note of this and hopefully will have remembered to get a substitute for me.

I've just been looking at the gym.  I have loads of exercise equipment including an electric treadmill, rower, reclining bicycle, cross trainer, punch bag, weights, multigym etc. etc. 

In the Winter it is impossible to access it as the garden furniture and other stuff gets dumped in the room, but in a few weeks when we get the furniture out to pressure wash it ready for the Spring, I shall be able to get in there and start some serious work - I might get fit at last - maybe!
Lastly a jay in my oak tree.  Harder to photograph than the magpies.  They are everywhere, but I never seem to be able to catch them on camera.  These are a bit blurry, but the best I've taken so far.

Don't you just love the flash of blue almost under the wing? give the following information:


A very colourful crow about the same size as a jackdaw, mostly pinkish brown under parts slightly lighter. The head has a black and white stripped marking with a black moustache and a white throat. A white rump and black tail,The eye is a pale blue, a black bill and pinky brown legs. Wings mostly black with white patches. A striking blue feather very noticeable as they fly off as they are very shy birds. prefers wooded areas.

Three things I like:

1.   Sampling the lovely chicken stock I made this morning - 1.7 litres/3 pints - mmmm - good enough to have as soup without additions!
2.   Finding another spare battery for my camera which I thought I'd lost.
3.   Watching a programme about Queen Elizabeth 11 - The Diamond Queen - which I'd recorded.