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, June 29, 2013

Blossoming in June

The weather has made flowering later than usual but things are finally burgeoning and beautiful.

By no means everything in flower, more than a taste though, more like a mouthful.

The yellow climbing roses on the driveway are just lovely, and the pink rose which isn't a climber, but which is planted against one of the pergola legs by the pond.  I visited friends this week with interesting roses and they have promised to take cuttings for me in the Autumn so I'll have to find some more space for them.  

The aquilegia have been very promiscuous and I have new self-seeded plants this year quite different from the parent plants but equally as pretty.

My sweet peas have been treated to a barrel existence this year, the only problem may be that I couldn't remember how tall they are going to grow so the twirly supports maybe something of a feature if they don't get covered!  

In theory, it should be a wonderful chunk of colour and perfume.

This is Emma, my son Oliver's partner, who is also blossoming.  In this photo she has about five weeks to go - now it's only three weeks and I can't wait for my first cuddle with my new granddaughter, Mia. 

Three things I like:

1.   The seed heads on the poppies bobbing about in the breeze.
2.   Hearing the woodpecker drumming on the trees in my neighbour's garden.
3.   The fresh smell of the garden after the overnight rain.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Waiting Room

At Clinic du Littoral this morning Dr Braguet was running very late.  It was my follow up appointment after my bladder operation in April and my appointment was for 11.00hrs.  There were lots of other people waiting too, some for my consultant and some for the other two consultants whose patients use this waiting room too.

The man in the short-sleeved, pink and white striped shirt scratches his left armpit with his right hand.  His black trousers are too short and expose his thin white socks which are partially covered by black slip-on shoes.

Next to him is a very emaciated woman clutching a wooden walking stick between blue-veined hands.  Her husband who initially sat on her left side was clearly having trouble hearing with his left ear and kept asking her to repeat what she’d just said.  After a few minutes he got up and sat to her right since when their conversation has been easier.  You would think he would have known this before he sat down.  He is a man with extraordinarily small feet, encased in maroon, beige and grey striped socks and brown leather shoes with very detailed cutwork on the part of the shoes after the three lace holes.

However, by far the most interesting person waiting to be seen by a consultant urologist is the man opposite me.  His hair is Van Gogh red, mingled with grey and his beard and moustache are quite long and give an unkempt appearance.  He is slight in build and has black metal-framed glasses with a small, 2-3cm long rocket shaped attachment on the right arm, just before it wraps around his ear, I don’t know what it is for.  His jumper is straw-coloured with a cable pattern and his green checked tweedy jacket has bound cuffs.  His brown trousers are too short but on the right leg the stitching has come adrift and the hem hangs down evenly.  He too sports white socks and new-looking navy trainers with bright yellow and navy striped laces.  Beside him on the bench is a black trilby type hat with a tan leather band and a Prem’Touch carrier bag alongside a small black laptop bag also with tan trim.

We have all waited too long.  It is now 12.02hrs and the lady sitting the corner opposite the entrance who had an appointment for 10.15 hrs has just been called in.  It does not bode well.  People are mumbling and look miserable as it is now the hour of eating and they cannot have lunch.  They keep checking their watches.  I open a funsize Mars bar which I have found in the far reaches of my bag and the emaciated lady comments on how prepared I was.  Lunch and midday are firmly connected here in France and their importance in the structure of the day should not be underestimated.

Only three people now remain who were here on my arrival – a couple who have hardly communicated with each other since I arrived and the red-haired man.  People have begun to doubt their own watches and are asking each other the time whilst pushing their watch-strapped wrists towards the person they’re asking as if in hope that they will say that the time shown on the dial is incorrect.  The mood is low.

The lady previously in the corner with the 10.15hrs appointment returns to the waiting room and her friend.  It is now 12.20hrs – she takes her place again complaining about the hardness of the seats and clutching her lower back with her left heavily ringed hand.  She is dressed mainly in black, shoes, tiered skirt and cardigan which is patterned with cherry sized white spots covering  a white blouse.  Her hair is grey, longer than shoulder length, with the remains of an old frizzy perm.

Her friend has short hair and grey glasses with dark red sides, a very floral orange top covered by a grey felt coat with orange blanket stitching around the collar and pockets.  Her black crop trouser have little straps and buttons below the knee and her ballerina type flesh coloured shoes have a band of bronze plastic across the toes.  She flips the pages of one of the well-worn magazines from the rack appearing not to take in the content.

Ah – my name is called – thank goodness - and just one hour and fifty-five minutes late I am going into see the consultant.

The outcome was good.  The operation is deemed a success and I don’t have to see Dr Braguet again unless I have a problem.  I tell her that she has performed a miracle and that I love her.  She smiles and says that it’s always good to know that a patient is happy.

Three things I like:

1.    The duck breast with new potatoes and salad which I have just eaten for lunch.

2.    The sound of the bubbles of gas in my homemade elderflower champagne glugging through the airlock.

3.    The clear shelf behind me now I have dealt with the paperwork which was building.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Supermoon, dead pig and Breton animals

On Saturday and Sunday there was a supermoon visible here in between the night clouds.  I took several photos and I have to say it was the biggest moon I have ever seen, quite beautiful and atmospheric - I think it's impossible to depict in a photograph and understand the size if you didn't see it.



After a reasonably relaxing weekend the week has been busy.   Monday afternoon was Book Club and we took advantage of the sunshine and sat outside to discuss The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  I found the first half of the book very slow but thought that the second half moved at a much better pace.  I gave the book 7/10.  Unfortunately, it had a lot of similarities to the previous month’s book The Seamstress.
Tuesday morning was Short Mat Bowls at our temporary Summer venue of Laniscat Village Hall while our usual home at St Gelven Village Hall is renovated.  In the afternoon I finally managed to do the last official paperwork at the Maison de Services Publiques in Carhaix where a very pleasant woman, who spoke English, dealt with the changeover of my Peugeot to French registration.  Apparently I should receive my new number in 4-5 working days. 
I shall lose my personal English number plate but the DVLA advised me to hang onto the plates as if I ever returned the car to England it would probably get the same number plates again.
I also visited my friend who has just had a gastric bypass – not quite the same operation as mine, but by the same surgeon in the same hospital.  She obviously doing well and it was good to see her out of hospital and getting on with life again.
Wednesday was Writers’ Group, usually held at my house but today at another member’s house as she had just come out of hospital after a back operation.  On the way there my car felt strange and I asked my passenger, a former AA man, what he thought it was, I even suggested that the air pressure in one of the tyres might not be right.  When we stopped at SuperU for refreshment and fuel we found I had a flat.  He changed the tyre, new in April, which is ruined – buxxer, buxxer, buxxer!  Again it was warm enough to sit outside and read our work to each other in the garden.  On the way home my passenger spotted what he thought was a dead pig at the side of the road.  I turned the car round and he was right.  Not a good thing to see and for some reason outside double gates with a sign indicating something about pigs.  I took some photos.   


Heavens knows what had happened to it or where it had come from.  Not a nice thing to come across.  I can’t imagine what caused the marks on the lower abdomen.  When I got home I downloaded the photos and then half an hour later couldn’t locate them on the computer.  I drove out again to take more photos and the pig was still there but had been moved and the marks were hardy visible with its new position.
Much more pleasant were the photographs I took of poppies opposite my friend's cottage when I dropped him back home and the straw calf which was in a field as I came out of the village of Kerpert.
I was joking with my Breton neighbours this evening that here everyone likes to make animals out of things. Here is a new arrival in their garden.
I took my laptop round to my neighbours to show them the photos and was invited to stay for supper so had a good evening with them.  They told me that my opposite English neighbours had arrived in the village at their holiday home so I popped round with a dozen eggs on my way to put the hens to bed.  

The forecast for today was good and it lived up to its promise - a lovely day.

Three things I like:

1.   Making elderflower champagne - in spite of the mess on the floor afterwards!
2.   Watching the hens enjoy the weeds I've pulled out of the veggie patches.
3.   Lying out in the sun this afternoon and admiring all the flowers.