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.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Frosty mornings, kittens and poppy seeds

It was really frosty on Thursday morning – the first hard frost of the winter here in St André.  I had to put my wellied foot into the animal water containers to break the thin ice coat on the top.  One of the lovely things about frost though is the way it settles on the plants and makes them look magical.
You can click on any photo to enlarge it.


The lane back home. 
I took a photo of an iced up cobweb and moments later in the early sunshine the frost had melted to little water droplets.  All around it sounded like rain, but it was just the frost on the tree leaves melting and hitting the lane beneath.
I was attracted to the shadows made as the easterly morning sun shone through my neighbour's gates.
Back home the kittens were looking photogenic.

You know that funny thing cats do - looking into the distance or upwards just to make you look for what they're pretending to be looking at ...

I had a large plastic box absolutely bursting with poppy seedheads from various plants over the last two years from my garden and the veggie patch.  This photo only shows a few of them.  I sat for an hour or so and split them all open and knocked the seeds out into brown paper bags to keep for sowing next year.

There were so many different shapes and opening for the seeds to disperse.
Just to show you that I am equipped for all weathers.  Here, on the terrace, you can see my two log trolleys which I keep filled so that I don't have to go far if it's raining, and a sunchair and footrest for catching even the smallest amount of sunshine at this time of year.
Three things I like:
1.   Drifting off to sleep in my reclined chair in front of the woodburner.
2.   Friends, who I haven't seen for a while, 'phoning to say hello.
3.   My elder son, has decided to come to stay for New Year.

Bowls Lunch, Maize Harvest and Autumn Colours

Firstly, I apologise for the changing text through this post.  I can't seem to do anything to make it right.

Yesterday was the Bowls Club Presentation Lunch at La Vallée in St Gilles Vieux Marché.  To drive there I have to pass, but this time stopped to take photos of, the lake at Corlay.  It is so lovely there in the Autumn with the changing leaf colours and the reflections.
































When we arrived at La Vallée we congregated in the bar before going through to our reserved room for a Kir - cassis and champagne, Breton drink - while we waited for our soup. There were about thirty of us I guess and these are a few of the people to my right toasting with the Kir.

The buffet was good and varied, followed by cheeses, apple tart and coffee.  We finished with the prize presentations and speeches.  It was a good event and well organised.

On the way home I took photos of maize being harvested.  It struck me that the ends of the fields look very similar to a cathedral vaulted roof.


I called in to see friends who had their horses on their lawn to avoid using the lawnmower.  Inside their woodburner was doing a grand job.  I left with a bag of beetroot which are cooking as I write this.

I did my usual Saturday early Supermarket trip this morning.  I go early for two reasons. Firstly, to ensure I get a €3 bag of the bread I use for the animals and, secondly, to get some of the €1 bags of veggies.  Today, the bread bag had a huge loaf round loaf in it (more than 30cm/12” across) with slashes in the top which I rescued for me to eat.  It cut beautifully when I sliced a piece to have with my fried bacon, tomato and egg breakfast and was in no way stale.  I just bought two €1 bag of veggies – mushrooms – and when I weighed them on getting home, there were 1005g of the little beauties.  They weren’t soggy or brown or damaged in any way.  I can never quite understand the criteria for selling the €1 polybagfuls.  I do though, transfer the mushrooms to brown paper bags before putting them in the fridge salad drawer to stop them sweating.  I bought a thousand of these brown paper bags on eBay and use them for all sorts of things, taking veggies and eggs round to neighbours and especially collecting and storing seeds.  The other bag contained two heads of Romanesci broccoli which I have never cooked or eaten before.  I shall have some with my supper this evening.

I also bought a net of oranges at full price as I was doing yet another beef casserole and rather liked the juice and flesh of an orange in the last one I made.  The beef I used this morning was basse cote de boeuf which the butcher cut for me from a very large chunk and it was surprisingly lean.  I browned it thoroughly deglazing the frying pan with the remains of a bottle of Merlot, added carrots, onions, garlic, swede, from the garden bay leaves and thyme, salt and pepper, a beef Oxo cube and nearly enough water to cover the contents of the pan.  The delicious cooking smells emanated from the kitchen for at least four and a half hours.  The book - 1000 Years of Annoying the French came in the post from a friend on the Survive France Network.

The sun came out about  midday; I was beginning to think it was going to be a grey day.  I took both kittens into the garden and introduced them to the areas away from the terrace.  So far they haven’t ventured further than the boring, flat, random paving and I thought they needed a bit of an adventure.  I took them half way down the garden and left them on top of a table so they had a good view of everything before venturing down to ground level.  By the time I had got back inside, removed my Crocs and put the kettle on they were back chasing round the settees.

Three things I like:

1.   Finding eggs in the house in the area where the Coucou de Rennes hens live - I thought they'd given up laying permanently.

2.   Watching the kittens sleeping together.

3.   Making and eating my first pumpkin soup of the year.