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, July 25, 2012

ALFIE - just the best cat - 1998-2012

For me, today is one of the saddest days.  My beautiful Alfie, the best cat in the world with such a lovely temperament, has just taken his last journey to the vet.

He joined my family in June 1998 with his brother Oscar and has been a treasure.  This is him when he was young and before he filled out to be the big cat he became.


In May last year I took a photograph of him on the stairs and when I loaded it onto the laptop and looked at it properly his right eye was like a solid emerald stone – his left eye was the yellowy golden colour that was his norm.  Apparently it is the lens which becomes detached and creates this effect.  

I took him to the vet in Corlay and they operated on 30 May last year to find that he had a tumour and had to remove his right eye.  They were unable to remove all of the tumour because of the restrictions of space in that area.  After a little problem with an infection everything healed up and he had just over another year of good life with us.  Here he is with the other two after his wound had healed.

Yesterday when I arrived home he was walking very slowly and I picked him up and took him to his food.  His miaow had also changed last week from a normal cry to a guttural sound – I thought he must have a bit of a cold.  In the early evening he sat on my lap for about half an hour and when I turned him round to face me I suddenly saw that his left eye had also turned to emerald stone.  I was devastated and just couldn’t stop crying.  My lovely Alfie, who has been with me for just over fourteen years was going to have to go to the vet for the last time.  

Here he is with Daisy on the left and Purrdy on the right all sleeping together on the windowsill.

Alfie has seen countless kittens and cats come and go and has never ever fought with any of them.  He had such a lovely nature, even the vet says she has never known such a placid and easy cat to treat – quite different from my other cats.  He has never been much of a hunter far too laid back for that.  He just liked lying in the sun and then the shade, being combed, stroked and loved and getting close to the woodburner in the winter months.  
Thank you for bringing such joy into my life, Alfie, it will be the poorer now you are no longer here with me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Camel in St Nicolas du Pélem and life

Last week I received a letter from Adec Amor who seem to be responsible for encouraging people to do health checks for bowel and breast cancer.  I can’t believe it’s two years since my last mammogram but apparently it is.  In the 90s I had a friend in Cornwall who had breast cancer picked up at a mammogram session and since then I’ve tried to remember to do it regularly.  Now I don’t have to remember as Adec Amor send out letters to remind you.  My next one is going to be on 21 August.  They enclose a long list of places to have it done and my nearest appears to be Guingamp so I’ve booked there.  A very good friend of mine in Cornwall has just had breast lumps removed and is waiting for possible radiotherapy, so  having been thinking about her it’s been very much in my mind.

I awoke on Sunday with the sun shining and just knowing that it would be wall to wall sunshine all day.  Here is my lane early in the morning as I came back from doing the animals.  You can see my house at the furthest point of the lane with the Discovery parked outside. 

I had downloaded the Archers omnibus from the previous week and sat outside listening to that with a mug of black coffee.  Then my worker and family arrived to deliver the concrete mixer that he will need later this week to do the mortar between the slabs on my terrace and they caught a brief glimpse of new cat, Harry, who was at the far end of the garden.  By 15.40hrs it was 50°C in the sun and I was alternating between the shade of the pergola and the tanning sun on the terrace.  Daisy joined me on the new table for a wash.  By 17.55hrs the sun had been off the sensor for about an hour and it registered 31.6°C in the shade.  Even at this temperature I couldn't stay in the sun for long, although I tried while reading.  My arms, chest and back are quite red, but I don't usually burn and have a problem, although there has been so little sun lately that I haven't yet become tolerant to it this year.


Having just finished a very gentle book about a farming family who have to give up their farm appropriately called The Farm by Richard Benson, I am making inroads into a book called The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason.

This book is about an English piano tuner who is commissioned to go to Burma to repair an Erard grand piano in a practically inaccessible place and I'm really enjoying it.

There are some kind people about.  A few days ago I advertised on an expat website here to see if anyone had any  spare roofing felt.  I needed two metres to cover a hen shed.  I had a roll in the garage, but when we came to fit it we realised it was rotten all through.  A roofer replied and let me have the end of a roll for nothing and even gave me some roofing tacks to fit it.  I collected the felt on the way to collect the table and chairs I had won and it's now all fitted on the shed - perfect!

Monday morning and another lovely day.  I was up early and did four loads of washing to take advantage of the drying sun.  At 13.55hrs the sensor was in full sun and it was registering 45.9°C.   Inside, with the doors open to the garden it's registering 24.5°C and rising.  I think it's going to be even hotter than yesterday.

At midday I had a chiropodist appointment in St Nicolas du Pélem and first drove to SuperU to buy some bread.  I was a little surprised to see a camel on the verge by the roundabout!  I drove round the roundabout three times to take photos of the the camel and the llama next to him and also parked and walked up to him to get a better photo.  There were other animals on the verges, donkeys, shetland ponies etc. and it's because the circus is being held in the supermarket car park this afternoon. 

The chiropodist hadn't seen me for two months and reckons I am disappearing.  She said I am lovely enough now I am slim to get a fiancé, but I think that's a pretty unlikely scenario!  She has another patient at her other practice who has lost well after his bypass too, so is used to people changing shape.

Couldn't resist after lunch and braved the swimming pool.  It was apparently 22°C and although I should have hoovered out the eucalyptus leaves which had blown in I decided to jog and swim amongst them.  It was lovely!  As this weather is due to last until late Thursday, I should get a fair few swims in this week.

Three things I like:
1.   A chocolate covered icecream on a stick I found in SuperU which has my absolutely favourite nuts embedded into the chocolate - macadamia nuts - scrumptious!
2.   Getting all the washing dry within a couple of hours of hanging it out - I love this weather.
3.   Finding exotic animals in places I wasn't expecting to see them.