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, April 27, 2014

Poorly Claude, a recovered swallow, clearing veggie beds and the studio

It's been a busy time here in St André since my last post.  My first guests of the year, German doctors living and working in Devon, arrived to stay in Middle Cottage, with their two delightful small boys.   I do like having people here, it reminds me of my B&B in Cornwall where there were always new conversations to have with people from all walks of life.
Gardening has occupied me too.  I've finally managed to clear the polytunnel of the weeds which had grown since the last blitz I carried out.  I love it when there's bare earth waiting to receive new plants.  The salad leaves which had self-seeded and which I transplanted neatly into their new beds hve grown tremendously. 
Most days I pick a big handful of salad both for me and for my neighbours.
I just pick one or two leaves from each plant and that way it keeps on growing and supplying me for months with fresh green and red salad.
The rhubarb is performing well too and I've had spinach from the veggie patch too this week.
Wednesday lunch was a meal in a Chinese restaurant, Lanterne Rouge in Pontivy with my special friend.  (This isn't my photo - it's off the internet.)  Although I have eaten there before, as we've had our Writers' Group Christmastime lunch there for the last two years, I hadn't had Chinese for ages and it was lovely.  
As there isn't a Chinese near to me here in St André, I usually make a point of eating Chinese when back to Cornwall but hadn't done on this last visit.  It was absolutely bucketing down with rain when we arrived in Pontivy and everyone was having to make a dash from their cars to the porch door of the restaurant to avoid getting soaked. 
The weather has been very mixed this week with hail, rain and also wonderful hot sunshine when the clouds disappeared and I got quite a colour one afternoon lying out in it when I fell asleep when intending to read. 
On Wednesday afternoon Claude brought in a swallow.  Luckily, it was not injured and after a brief cuddle from me he flew off happily.
In the evening Claude was not at all well.  He was very cold, except for his head, breathing rapidly, not eating or drinking, very lethargic and making a strange noise.  I stayed up all night with him, getting just a little sleep while on the sofa.  I managed to get a 0900hrs appointment for the following morning at the Vet.  His temperature was very high at 40°C and, having listened to him and examined him thoroughly, the Vet announced that he had a bronchial infection.  After two injections, one of antibiotic and one of cortisone I brought him back home with two different tablets to be administered over the following five days  He was very poorly but has now recovered thank goodness. 
Gracie gave him a lot of love while he was not well and seemed to understand just what he needed.
A very dear friend, Kathy, currently in the UK, has had a double heart bypass and I am keeping my fingers crossed that she  is healing well and will be feeling much better soon. 
I needed a ruthless friend to help me sort and clear the studio.  Jackie came over and whittled down the contents making some sort of order in the area.  So that I couldn't retrieve any of the numerous full-to-bursting black sacks and empty boxes they were put into a trailer and taken to the tip within the hour.  It's so good to be able to walk in there now and see the floor!  Why is it impossible to do this myself?  Why do I need someone being firm with me to get rid of junk?  My father was a hoarder so perhaps it is hereditary ...   Being a glutton for punishment, Jackie has agreed to return and do other areas too - what a good friend!
Some of the utility area was sorted by my cleaner when she was here doing the changeover on Middle Cottage.  I ended up with two grocery boxes full of empty glass jars with lids which I advertised on our local expat website.  Someone I knew answered and she came over and collected them for homemade preserves also taking home with her the two cockerels born in September, who were beginning to get Spring in their steps and were constantly hitting on the hens and fighting with each other.   I also managed to get her to take the latest pile of magazines I had read - result!  The empty boxes, which had held the jars, I put in front of the woodburner and they were soon filled again.
Today I had lunch at Bon Repos with two friends.  I had a perfectly cooked entrecote "bleu" - just shown the pan - and it was lovely served with mixed, dressed salad and chips.  None of us wanted pudding and as it was a really cold morning we had hot chocolate instead.   We went on afterwards to a Single Mingle in Mur de Bretagne, where I sold all my eggs, and after that I drove on to buy a load cover for the Discovery which had been advertised on the same expat website where I offered the jars.
The little singleton chick born last week is doing well and is definitely going to be a bantam as she's hardly changed size and is very small still and very sweet!
Three things I like:
1.   Seeing the veggie seedlings growing so fast both in the outside raised beds and in the polytunnel.
2.   Watching a video of my gorgeous granddaughter, Mia, waving and sort-of-saying "Hello!"
3.   Catching up with Jackie who I hadn't seen for ages.


  1. Hi Sandra. I'm envious of your salad! So far I've got inch high Little Gems and all the rest of my other varieties of lettuce failed to germinate so I've had to buy more seed. Glad the swallow was unharmed but it gave you the chance to see one close up and have a photo op! We've had lizards and shrews brought in recently.
    Pleased that Claude is OK, that must have been worrying. The chick is very cute! :-)

  2. Claude is on borrowed time after pissing on my laptop! I have it back now but have to replace the battery - bad cat! The photos below titled "Photos for Mandy" are for the Mandy doing my website - thought I'd better explain! Bought in some aubergines and chillis today and have planted them in the polytunnel. Runner beans are seriously large now and dying to go out in the garden but I'm waiting until after 13 May, three days of ice.