Winter dragged on as usual, then morphed into a lot of unpleasant foggy-dampness and rain. Frankly there was nothing of interest to report until mid-April.
As we all know in mid-April the combined forces of the USA, UK, and France, attacked chemical warfare facilities in Syria. Tempers flared, insults were thrown, and WW3 very nearly started. For a while we all feared Putin, but he eventually turned out to be just 'mouth'. No doubt he feared the superior might of the combined US and UK thunder, which is not to be messed with.
From mid-May to mid-June, it rained. OK, there were Girolles to be found, but everywhere was so wet that doing essential outdoor work ground to a halt. Trump and the Fat Boy shook hands.
Summer began in earnest on June 19th, and continued to be long, hot, and unrelenting. Temperatures above 30 C lasted for weeks from June, through July, and beyond. Every year they confirm that 'it's been the hottest/driest summer since records began', and this year was no exception. Phew what a scorcher!
Other than Trump's bizarre language and behaviour, the main subject matter through the summer months, and beyond, was that of 'Brexit'. Negotiations became a mess, there were cabinet resignations, and back-stabbing became the favourite parliamentary sport. The only relief from the 'Silly Season' was that Geraint Thomas (a Welshman) won the Tour de France. Da iawn Geraint.
Our traditional mid-August storms and downpours failed to materialise, so yet again we had no Summer mushrooms. This area, and specifically this village, is renowned for its Cèpes, and the annual nearby mushroom and chestnut festivals were once again without their treasured mushrooms.
At Haddock's there were successes and failures. For the second year running, my Tomato crop came to a very early end; disease won the day. It would surprise me if I produced more than 20 Kilos. Our fruit trees were also a bit hit-n-miss. No Plums, Cherries, or Pears, but we were blessed with a small crop of eating Apples, plenty of Peaches, Figs, and Quinces. Beans were plentiful (thanks to successive sowing), as were Courgettes, Aubergines, and Peppers. We didn't have a single Butternut Squash; normally I have a barrow-full. However, our Winter greens are still doing very well.
In store we have plenty of Apricot and Tayberry jams, paté, pickled Walnuts, bottled Figs and Peaches, and about 18 Kilos of Tomato based preserves. It wasn't all bad; above is only a tiny part of it.
On August 14th, the Shipping Containers arrived for our neighbour's new 'holiday village'. I am now wondering how exactly he will advertise his 'Gulag Style' huts to prospective tourists. Would you want to spend your Summer holiday in one?
We were originally told that the containers (there are about twice the amount as shown in the picture) came fully fitted; ready to connect to the facilities. But no, they were just plain old empty 'end-of-life' containers. The work to make them 'habitable' is HUGE, but nothing can disguise their bleak unfriendly look. We shall see!
Between October 25th and November 5th we had a sudden, and unexpected, copious crop of Cèpes. Full advantage was taken with omelets and preserves a'plenty. We had feared another year of famine; but we were wrong. Several tonnes were sold at the nearby afternoon Cèpe market; and for a while everything was 'as it should be'.
Christmas seemed to leap upon us so quickly this year; no doubt a sign of age. I loved the festive season as a child, then failed to appreciate it for most of my middle years, now I really love it again. It's the season of hope and nostalgia, and as I sit by the evening fire with just a few candles burning, and Bok's head on my lap, I think back to all those wonderful Christmases past, and look forward with anticipation.
Luckily it's been yet another really good year for us, and another perfect ending (other than poor Freddie leaving us on Nov'18th). Still healthy, still fit, and still managing to do all we wish. What more could one ask. Our only true concerns for 2019 are Brexit, and the possible rise of Jeremy Corbyn; two subjects that make my blood boil.
So, may I wish you all a very happy new year, and let's welcome 2019 with optimism.
Very best wishes, Cro, Lady M, and Bok. xx
RIP Freddie: I really do miss him mooching around the place. Here he is in the Quince tree; where I'll remember him. He was a goodun. Goodbye, old chap.
That is a lovely photo of Freddie.ReplyDelete
He was a lovely boy. I keep wondering where he is!Delete
Lots to be thankful for, including 20 kilos of tomatoes. Hell, how many kilos do you usually harvest.ReplyDelete
All the best for another fruitful year always in good health and happiness
A lot more than that. I preserve A LOT each year. My new year resolution will be to avoid Tomato disease. It's so depressing to see them fade and die.Delete
I'd forgotten how wet it was when we returned in the spring. We certainly had a good last summer.ReplyDelete
It was pretty rotten almost until June. When the boss of the V du Pd Pompiers came round recently for my donation, it was a cold foggy day and he said "Just like London". I felt like saying "Typical France", but I held myself back.Delete
Very nice review Cro - I look forward to next years 'meanderings'. Happy New Year to you both, Bok and all the family!ReplyDelete
Many thanks Sue. May I also offer best wishes to you and your Swifts for a fruitful 2019.Delete
Happy New Year Cro, and Lady M. ( and Bok). I look forward to another year reading about your life/garden/food/ etc. xReplyDelete
Lovely to have you pop by. More tales to come. Cro xDelete
While I am not sure why I read the blog of a straight Englishman living in France, I am very pleased I do. Thanks for everything throughout the year and my best wishes to you for 2019.ReplyDelete
Thanks Andrew. I make no distinction between black/white, straight/gay, male/female; if I enjoy what I'm reading, I stay. Looking forward to more from down-under in 2019. Cro.Delete
A few omissions there but it'll do. I look forward to another year of friendship with you Cro and reading and a bit of outside support too which is always much appreciated. RachelxxReplyDelete
Sorry; it was a bit long, but so was 2018. Always a pleasure to visit your page, and I intend to continue. Cro xDelete
Happy, happy New Year to you, Lady M and your family.ReplyDelete
Here’s to lots more blogging friendship and laughs in 2019 Cro.... we are off to a party tonight so I shall raise my glass to you and wish you all health and happiness
for the coming year. XXXX
That's very kind of you. Enjoy your party. Very best wishes, Cro xDelete
May 2019 bring a continuation of your good life Cro....all best wishes xReplyDelete
I keep hoping the same thing. Thank you. Cro xDelete
You said all that in the Round Robin you sent me.ReplyDelete
Which one? 2017? 2016? It's always much the same anyway!Delete
Happy new year Cro, to Lady M, Bok and the rest of the family.ReplyDelete
Thanks Yael. I wish you, and yours, a very peaceful 2019. Cro xDelete
What a lovely, nostalgic photo of dear old Freddie Cro. Losing pets is hard.ReplyDelete
The year here has been adapting to a new bungalow and adapting to life without the farmer - and with the belp of bloggers and friends here I am managing it. Happy New Year to you all.
Freddie was a dear little cat; I miss him. Good to hear you've settled in so well, and so comfortably. Al the best for 2019. Cro xDelete
Happy New Year to you, Lady M, Bok and, if I may, to all your readers!ReplyDelete
You may indeed. 'Tis the season. All the best, Cro xDelete
All the best to you, Lady M and Bok. Let's hope for better days in 2019. I still remember your photo of Freddie by your computer. Thank you for your blog. May you have disease free tomatoes a bushel of butternut squash in 2019.ReplyDelete
Thank you Jane. I was just thinking about Freddie sleeping on the table this morning. I miss him. Cro xDelete
The year seems to have gone so quickly and so many of matters about which you have written seem to have been little more than a few weeks ago. Hey ho. Another year under out belts. I hope to read your 2019 review with not worse news and better tomatoes! Have a good New Year.ReplyDelete
Thank you Graham. 2018 has been a very strange year in many ways, but 2019 could be even stranger. Nothing to do with us, of course; I blame our politicians. Good health to you; Cro.Delete
A Happy New Year to you, Lady M, your family and Bok and your readers too.ReplyDelete
Thanks Carol; let's all hope 2019 goes smoothly. Cro xDelete
A very Happy New Year to you and Lady M. I'll look forward to your blog on the other side!ReplyDelete
I shall try to continue; in the face of Brexit adversity. What larks. Cro xDelete
I only discovered you this year and I've enjoyed what you write. All the best for 2019 to you and yours.ReplyDelete
Nice to have you along Jenny. Best wishes, Cro xDelete
My summer was full of heat, rain and bugs, but over all, I had good, memorable times with family and friends. That is what really counts. It is a scary world out there and I do fear what’s to come, but in truth, it is the little day to day things that make a life and give us joy. I wish you a good garden in the coming year, Cro, and plenty of mushrooms to pick and enjoy.ReplyDelete
Yes, an interesting, yet scary, year. I fear politicians more entering 2019, than I did in 2018. I just hope I'm wrong. Best wishes, Cro xDelete
All the best for the coming year, Mr Magnon.ReplyDelete
Hope the new year brings health, wealth and happiness.x
Thanks Christina. I wish you the same. Cro xDelete
Happy new year dearheart xxxReplyDelete
I know it's been rough for you this year, so 2019 can only get better; which I know it will. All the best, Cro xDelete
Happy New Year! All the best to you and your family in 2019.ReplyDelete
Thank you Galestorm. Let's all make 2019 memorable. Cro xDelete
Happy New Year Cro and Lady M. Wishing you a wonderful new year.ReplyDelete
We shall certainly be trying our hardest. Best wishes, Cro xDelete
Happy New Year to you and Mrs M and dear Bok. May 2019 bring the demise of the "container" accommodation aka English garages and much peace and happiness to you and yours. Love the picture of Freddie...RIP lovely Tabby boy.ReplyDelete
Jo in Auckland
Can't say 2018 will go down as a favorite of mine. My Father in law died while staying at our house (admitidly he was in hospital at the time) and since then things have gone from bad to worse. Hopefully things are on the up. I retired, my oldest son at least has a job and the younger one decided to go to art college after he realsed he was going to be stuck in a dead end job after I retired. Now he is considering a three year deploma course in illistration. Can't say I'm impressed with that guy useing containers, they are like an oven in the summer and fridge in the winter but hey you live in France. They cost around 1500 quid each for a once used one. https://spudsdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-shipping-container.htmlReplyDelete
Happy New year to you