My life in a small French hamlet in Brittany. The flora and fauna, the weather, veggies and polytunnel, garden flowers, neighbours, friends, cats, rabbits, hens, ducks and goats and everything else which comes into my life here in my home in St André.
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.
I visited Étang de Dordu at Langoëlan on Thursday afternoon this week.
It was a lovely location and I talked to two Breton fisherman who were hoping to catch pike. One of the men had four rods set up along the bank, so he was obviously serious.
The sun shone and it was without question the best weather day of the week. I walked round the lake and met a woman with a large butterfly net. She was searching for dragonflies as part of a survey for Bretagne Vivante - an organisation concerned with the nature and environment in Brittany.
Canada geese were everywhere and a few beautifully clean swans.
This is one of the bluebells in the lane on the way to the field - I'm sure they are about, but I haven't seen carpets of them in the woods like I used to in Cornwall.
Friday afternoon was drizzly but as the veggies were getting out of hand in the polytunnel transplanting was the order of the day. My worker and I planted out all the squashes, pumpkins and broad beans which left room the polytunnel to sow some seeds.
This is a bed with squashes, pumpkins and young fruit bushes.
This photograph shows onions, squashes, broad beans, red cabbage, woad, fruit bushes, strawberries etc. etc. This morning I sowed seed for Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Carrots and Perpetual Spinach in the empty beds on the right. You can just see one of the goats, Betsy, in the next field.
I also sowed cucumber seeds inside in the soil and pots of aubergine. Then I potted on pepper and some more tomatoes.
The runner beans have also been planted out on this side of the frame and seeds put in the ground direct on the other side.
Back at the house the wisteria is somehow withstanding the wind and the rain which has returned today.
My clematis seems to be much later opening flower than friends' plants, but there are loads of buds and there should be a good display eventually.
The pink aquelegia is in full flower, here it is with ajuga in the foreground. The blue is just coming into flower now.
The blue aquelegia is just coming into flower now - here is the first bloom.
Three things I like:
1. The spicy prawns for lunch today with the sauce mopped up with a fresh baguette.
2. Watching the rabbits gorging on the armful of dandelions I picked in the lane. 3. Getting more seeds sown outside in spite of the drizzly rain this morning.
Yesterday I went to collect three laying hens - I met the vendors in a supermarket car park. Two were in a cardboard box and I placed that on the back seat of the Discovery, the other was in a cat basket so I transferred it to one of my cat baskets and put that beside the cardboard box. I then locked the car and popped into the supermarket for five minutes to get some bread. As I pulled out of my parking slot I realised that one of the chickens had escaped from the box and was sitting on the top of the rear seat.
I decided not to risk stopping and trying to get her back in the box in case she escaped through the door as I opened it. She sat on the seat back all the way home. I took the photo by holding up the camera facing backwards as I was driving. I was a bit worried as I had an open box below her with pond fish in it which I had collected before I fetched the hens and I had visions of her falling into the water, but she clung on round the bends adjusting herself to the tilting and braking and I caught her easily once we were in the field. All of the hens needed a wing clipping which they allowed me to do without fuss and, when I went up to settle the girls for the night, they had already settled in beautifully and arranged themselves next to each other on one of the perches in the henhouse.
Just down the road from the supermarket I got stuck behind a tractor and felt I recognised the driver from the back as my neighbour.
I took a photo to show him, but he then turned left just before Plounevez Quintin and I could see that it was him - coincidence - I've never seen him near his workplace before. Look at that lovely blue sky with white fluffy clouds - a pleasant change after the recent poor weather.
Coming back past my neighbours this morning I took these three photos. The wallflowers have the most delicious scent and the
I particularly liked the subtle colours of the primroses and the soft sky blue of the mysotis - forgetmeknots.
This isn't my actual village sign but shares it's name with my home.
For some reason we don't have a sign for our village - I might talk to my neighbours about this - as I can't understand why we don't.
The broom is all along the lane and this morning I walked into a neighbour's small field and photographed the plants and fruit blossom there and along the verges.
Another sort of Daisy in the long grass.
Finishing with the two flowers which are everywhere on the lawns and verges, but no less attractive for that.
Three things I like:
1. Meeting new people this afternoon for a walk round Langoelan lake.
2. Chatting to neighbours over their garden fence while I was taking photographs.
This morning the sun is shining and the sky is blue. I love the way the early morning light hits the trees and the roof of the tumble down barn belonging to my neighbour next to my field.
According to the weather forecast we have two days of good weather before the rain comes back again. I'm off later to collect three laying hens and some fish for my pond to replace those that the heron removed last Autumn.
Last night when I was coming back from putting to bed the animals on the field, I had my camera in my pocket, so I switched it on and took a photo of the horse chestnut "candles" in my lane. Unintentionally, the flash was on and I thought the effect was magical - sort of Japanese, if you know what I mean.
These skies and the dandelion seedhead were also in the lane this evening.
These flowers - rosemary, ajuga, and lithospernum (which I love as the blue is so intense) are in my garden.
The aubretia - one for my purple collection - was clothing a wall in Laniscat on my way home from Bowls this afternoon.
And I had to include two bright yellow oil seed rape fields, also on my journey back, as you know I'm a sucker for them.
This morning I was trapped at home waiting for the ERDF man to come and change my electricity meter in the middle house as it seems to have stopped working and no numbers are visible on it. I asked if they could change it for one that can be read from the outside of the house with a handheld computer thingy, but he didn't have the authorisation to do that.
Three things I like:
1. Waking up to the sunshine coming through my bedroom window. 2. No dead mice bodies on the sitting room floor this morning. 3. Making stock from the chicken carcass, onions and parsley.
Good to see my Breton neighbour this afternoon as she’d been away
for three weeks on the other side of France with her daughter who has
just had her first child.They have
chosen an unusual name – Clotaire – who was a sixth century king of France; so
there will not be lots of children with the same name once he goes to school.
No change in the wet and blustery weather.I have so many seeds I want to put in the
ground and the plants I started off in the polytunnel are getting out of hand
sizewise and really need to have their place in the great outside.I have always been a fair weather gardener
and can’t bring myself to get geared up to work in this horrid stuff we’re
getting at the moment.
Two ducks have gone missing in the last four days.I found feathers all the way down the lane by
the calvaire after the first one disappaeared and, last night, a duck who had
been limping for a day or so wasn’t there when I counted them into their house.
The field isn’t entirely foxproof as I’m
very religious about putting them away well before dark, but I suppose having
had one duck, the disabled second one was easy meat.I hope that the remaining seven are still
there tonight at their bedtime.
Yesterday there was the usual very tiny market set up in St Nicolas du Pélem, but no fishmonger, which was a pain as I had only gone down to get some mackerel.
However, there was a table top sale being held in the Salle de Fetes and I succumbed to a blue and white plate with an illustration of the Rembrandt painting, Girl in a Pearl Earring. It's now sitting on the mantelpiece over the woodburning cooker and I find my eye frequently drawn to it while I'm sitting in my usual chair at the other end of my downstairs room.
In the evening a friend came round and brought me these lovely flowers and we then went out to Auberge Le Pelinec at Canihuel for dinner. We were the first diners to arrive, but soon the restaurant filled up and the atmosphere was very good. The food was lovely as usual and the welcome from the owner, Patricia, who I hadn't seen since before my operation last July - it was lovely to be back again.
Daisy brought a live mouse in during the morning which she promptly allowed to escape and it took up residence in the wood pile beside the woodburner until venturing out fatally to meet up with Daisy again.
Today has seen me sitting watching recorded TV programmes, talking on the 'phone, reading magazines and writing on the laptop - all inside and cosy but I've just had to brave the wind and rain and go up to the field and put the animals away. Luckily all the ducks are present and correct - let's hope it stays that way.
Three things I like:
1. Having visits from friends.
2. Eating Eton Mess for a treat this evening.
3. Falling asleep in my chair with Purrdy on my lap this afternoon.