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.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Two days, two walks and two meals

We all went on a one and a half hour walk yesterday afternoon along the woodland path which goes from the swimming pool in St Nicolas du Pélem to the Lanrivain/St Nicolas road.  We didn't quite do the whole walk as it was getting very cold and we had to turn round and come back in time to put the ducks and hens away too.

The stream which runs through the mill here, is full at the moment and running really fast.  It meanders from one side of the lane to the other rushing over the boulders in its bed.

Gareth and Charlie seemed determined to put Libby in the water, but even though she was carried away she escaped.

They've been doing lots of logging high up from the path and Gareth and Charlie walked up on the high path and then had to find a safe way down.

And then over the clapper bridge

Charlie played with bubbles which Libby was blowing - not a very clear photo, but I still like it.

We went to the Creperie in St Nicolas du Pélem in the evening and after his galette, Charlie went to sleep on the bench seat of the table next to us, with a fleecy blanket from the Land Rover.

Today there was a less biting wind, but it still seemed jolly cold out there.  We decided to go for a walk around Corlay Lake, next to Corlay Castle.

A really grey day, but a lovely happy photo of Libby, Gareth and Charlie on a bridge across the lake.

Charlie and Gareth took a high path, like yesterday, and ran down the slope back to our level.

The reflections were lovely, but not as good as the ones I took here in the Autumn with the copper colours of the beech and oak trees.

Here's Corlay Castle which is alongside the lake and then the old wooden-bounded steps which lead up to the playground.

Lastly, the "children" playing on the seesaw, which I also joined them on for a few minutes - it's a long time since I've been on a seesaw.

After this, we went to the Pizzeria in St Nicolas du Pélem and had beer and pizzas for lunch.  It was good to see Muriel and Ahmed again who manage it, as I hadn't been there for months and months.  Charlie and I couldn't finish our pizzas so we packed the remainder into takeaway box and I had mine again later in the afternoon, warmed up under the grill.

Early start tomorrow as we're leaving at 8.30am to get to St Malo in time for the 11.30am ferry back to Plymouth.  I'll be sorry to see them go - it's been a really lovely visit!

Three things I like:

1.   Having my log pile by the wood burner piled high again thanks to Gareth and Charlie.
2.   Going for a walk each day with the family.
3.   Seeing the last of the laundry loads dried for their return to England.

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.