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.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bastille Eve fireworks, veggies and a week of breakdowns

It’s only 10.00am and yet the sun is burning into my skin reaching deep down to my bones – I love this feeling.  A couple of doves are cooing to each other from each side of my garden and other birds are singing all around.  Apart from that the only sounds are those of the trickles of water running off the projecting slate into the fish pond.   The temperature in the shade has already reached 24.3°C and promises to become much hotter as the day drifts by. 
The animals were all fed and watered a couple of hours ago and some watering and weeding on the veggie plot.  The first funny shaped vegetable of the year has been produced a conjoined pair of courgettes.

My swimming pool is such good news now the weather’s so brilliant.  The water temperature has been at 24°C since it was cleaned and refilled and it’s lovely in there either jogging, swimming or just floating about on my bodyboard.  I’ve been in cooling off at least three times a dayand don’t know why I find the first dip of the year so difficult as it’s fine after you’ve dipped under the water but I always put it off in case it’s too cold. Here’s Charlie in it last summer.
This week my Peugeot changed it’s identity.  No more UK personal number plates but  brand new French registration plates for €20 each.  I had been waiting for my Carte Grise, the new registration document and it arrived yesterday.  They were printed out in seconds at my local garage and then put into a former where the rigid adhesive transparent panel was attached to each one before being compressed in a machine and then riveted – screws not allowed in France – on both ends of the car.  The owner, Sebastian, first had to remove the existing plates and these were firmly stuck over the original plates.  There was a lot of Gallic shrugging and mutterings meaning “this couldn’t be like this in France”.  I kept the old plates as the DVLA told me that if I ever took the car back to England again the chances were that I’d get the same registration number again. The garage also kindly pumped up my tyres before I drove off with my new look.
The climbers on the pergola – honeysuckle, grapevine, roses, clematis, passion flower, wisteria were growing out at all angles.  I am not into heights so felt very frightened as I climbed first onto the pond side and then a chair and finally the garden table to tie them into the crosswires.  It looks much neater now and I’m so pleased I conquered my fear long enough to do it myself.
Finally, my worker managed to unblock my sink wastepipe.  I’ve had hassle with it on and off over the last two years and in the end he had to cut the pipe in order to put a deblocking pipe with a little fuzzy brush on the end – called a herisson, which translates as hedgehog – down the 3-4 metre waste to clear it.  The deblocking pipe wasn’t long enough so we had to cut the pipe at the other end to enable the herrison to unblock the far end as well.  Out came, not grease, as expected by my worker, but a mixture of straw and fibres.  These bits are probably what I wipe off the eggs in the winter while standing over the sink, when the rain makes the bedding stick to the hens’ feet and then onto the eggs.  We had to drive to Rostrenen to get joining bits to repair the waste pipe. We also put a rodding point into the wastepipe so that we don’t have to cut the pipe next time it blocks.  I can’t tell you how good it is to see water running straight out of the sink again.
The red lettuce in the polytunnel has been taken over by ants.  I’ve never seen so many red ants as there are up on the veggie plot this year.  Every time the earth is disturbed they are swarming over my shoes and up onto me.  I have ant bites everywhere and they itch like billio.  The lettuces have been pulled up now and given to the hens who received them gratefully along with the weeds I pulled up – they love pecking and scratching at them.  I’ve put some green lettuce plants in a different bed in the polytunnel and hopefully the ants will not get into these.  I had some free seeds for Italian salad leaves from somewhere and these have grown on beautifully and taste brilliant with a good dressing and the addition of the baby broad beans I picked this morning.
The sweetpeas planted in the barrel in my garden have been flowering really well and I get a small vase of flowers every day.  The scent just lovely.
It's been impossible to post anything as my Orange Livebox gave up on me and having talked to the technical department on the ‘phone they asked me to take the box into my nearest Orange shop to have it reconfigured.  I went to Guingamp Orange Shop and got it sorted on Saturday morning.   Then an emergency electrician had to come in to fix a problem we couldn’t fathom which was constantly tripping my fuse box.  He lives at the top of my lane where it meets the main road so that’s good to know for the future.  The internet was still not working properly so I then had to call in a computer repair man.  He sorted the problem and I'm finally back in touch with the world at large.  My watch battery died in the afternoon yesterday but luckily I had a replacement in my "technical drawer".  Can anything else go wrong?
Last night it was a moules and frites and feu d'artifices night in Corlay to celebrate Bastille Day which is today.  Friends, JaneF and Paul picked me up and brought me back home.  It was extremely well attended with virtually all the spectators sitting on the ground surrounding the lake.  It was a brilliant, happy, no drunks, no arguments, evening for the whole community.  Fireworks were set off at the top of the castle and it was, without doubt, one of the best, if not the best, display I have ever attended.



Finally, Claude - not lying in the sun but seeking out the shade under a table on the terrace.  I'm going to join him but in the sunshine to catch some rays and read my book - it's now 26.8°C at midday - perfect!
Three things I like:
1.  Picking the veggies on the field for my lunch now that everything is growing fast.
2.  Taking a dip in the pool and drying so fast afterwards in the sunshine.
3.  Talking for ages on Skype with my UK based daughter and grandson. 


  1. How lovely Sandra, you are certainly making the most of this wonderful weather.
    Hope it lasts till we get to France next week and beyond.


  2. Well the BBC weather forecaster seems to think that it'll last until the end of July with the odd weird day. I hope it does and that you have a brilliant holiday here. We must try to get together at some point