Friday 30 June 2023

Thank Goodness.


Thank goodness that the Court of Appeal has found that the planned sending of the UK's illegal immigrants to Rwanda to be 'unlawful'. I hope this now puts an end to this ridiculous idea.

I don't know who dreamt-up this crazy scheme, but it serves no purpose and would cost a fortune; much of which has already been spent.

There are rules in the EU, which also apply in the UK, that people leaving war-torn or dangerous countries should apply for asylum in the first safe country they reach. People who flout this rule would be returned to that country. 

Those crossing The Channel in small boats should be returned at once to the country they came from; i.e. France. 

France is a good country to live in. The weather is good, the food is good, and as long as people don't gather in huge enclaves, the people are very tolerant. The prospects for gainful employment are also very good.

Speaking personally, if I was an immigrant I would far rather settle in Marseilles than Manchester.

The easiest way to solve this problem would be to re-join the EU, that way the French would be 'obliged' to accept the return of their illegals.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Compost Fry-Up.

 

Not our own compost this year (as yet), but we still have the desire for this dish; a true family favourite.

This particular example consisted of supermarket-bought spuds, beans, aubergine, red pepper, courgette, and a few broad beans.

All cooked and fried in olive oil, salted, and with dried herbs and plenty of ground cumin thrown in at the last minute.

What a treat.


Wednesday 28 June 2023

Tuesday 27 June 2023

A day of plantings.


I don't remember by whom, when, or why, this Phoenix palm was bought; this is Southern France, not a Moroccan oasis. It's been hanging about in its side-splitting pot for years; it was about time I did something with it.

There was only one spot; by the pool gate. I shall wrap it in some frost-proof material over winter, just in case; although its demise wouldn't worry me.


Amazingly, whilst I was digging the huge hole for the palm, the men arrived to plant the new telegraph pole. They didn't attach the wires; that's for another team who might possibly come in about a week's time. We'll see!

The new pole looks like wood but is in fact a composite material. It should last for ever. 


The new pole should have been planted in February, but we now hear that they had confused the names of two tiny hamlets, and planted ours at the other one. Presumably someone there has a new pole that they weren't expecting.

No, it doesn't surprise me!!!

Monday 26 June 2023

Bay Tree


Cutting back errant growth is not unlike 'The Feeding of the Five Thousand'; one ends-up with far more than one started with.

This Bay Tree had become unruly and was taking light away from our sitting room; it really needed to be cut back, so I spent part of yesterday morning 'hacking' at it. I had already taken one barrow-load of branches to the dump before I took the photo, so the amount I cut away was almost twice the amount as in the picture.


Lady M told me that there was a big Green Lizard living under the bush, but I didn't see him/her. It must have known I was coming.

I do hope the Bay grows back. I only use about three leaves a year, but the bush was given to me by an old friend, and I would hate it to die. I'm sure it'll be OK.

 

Sunday 25 June 2023

On The Map!


It's official. At last some recognition, I'm finally on the French map. My village has named a road after me. All I need now is Macron to award me the Legion d'honneur.

In our absence, the French government has decided to name every tiny little country road, and to give every home a number. We are now called Two Hundred and something or other! Another example of their taking control of our lives.


 

Saturday 24 June 2023

Who's your 'best friend'?


Everyone seems to have a best friend, but how does one honour just one person with that esteemed title? Most people have plenty of very good friends (I know I do), so how does one choose from amongst them?

Is it the one you see the most often? Is it the one you've known the longest? Or could it be the one who thinks and acts in a way that is most like yourself?

In my case I had to think quite hard about who I would nominate, then having recently received an Email from a life-long friend, I knew immediately who mine would be.

We don't see each other that often, in fact we hardly see each other at all, but we still remain the firmest of friends.

Michael Cole and I met at Prep' School. We were probably about 6 years old, wearing short trousers, and still learning that 2+2=4, and how to spell 'Cat'. We stayed together at The Abbey, until we parted company at the age of 14 when he went to his upper school in Kent, and I went off to Cambridgeshire. 

Michael became the world's top Tennis Photographer. Even if you don't follow Tennis, you will more than likely have seen some of his photos. His work has always been brilliant.

Like his father before him, Michael is also a dedicated 'petrol head'. When we were still together at The Abbey, his father owned a gorgeous Mercedes 300 SL (the famous one with the gull wings). Michael himself has owned a variety of cars that would even have made Lord Montagu jealous. 

There has just been a new book published about his 40 year career, mostly at Wimbledon, Roland Garros, and Flushing Meadows. If you are interested in Tennis (or even if you're not), the link is below.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Cole-Shotmaster-Professional-Photography/dp/1913089509/ref=sr_1_2?rcrid=2CQ9X9OX7686C&keywords=shot+master+tennis+book&qid=1686899535&sprefix=shot+master+tennis+book%2Caps%2C69&sr=8-2

p.s. A few years ago Michael and I were going round a 'Boot Sale' together, and I was rushing ahead as usual. When we got together again he scolded me saying "you just missed Steffi Graf". She had apparently come up behind him and they'd spent a while chatting. C'est la vie; I missed her!

Friday 23 June 2023

Another garden tour.


This is the part of our garden (below) that we leave to others to tend on our behalf. It is possibly the most important element of the garden and we have faith in their work. The hay had just been baled the day before.


A nice ancient pinnacle, and a local style green glazed pot, outside our cosy 'auvent'.


'The Pearly Gates' with The Compact Royce Mark 2 beyond. St Peter out of shot.


The tortured poolside Fig tree that I worked on last year, auvent, and cottage. Tower out of view.


And finally, the Pool. The heart of the home. Splish, Splash, Splosh.


 

Thursday 22 June 2023

A nearby house.


Just down the road from my first house here (and not that far from where we are now) is this house owned by a doctor from Brive. It's a small ex-farmhouse with a very large Pigeon tower and barn, giving it a rather grand atmosphere.

At the time (Oct 1996) I was going round painting simple sketches of all the interesting houses in the village, and nearby.


The house comprised of three main buildings. The house itself, this very cute but tiny cottage (below), and another house that was in a poor state of repair.


This (below) is the ruin. Back in 1973 when I bought my first farmhouse this had still been 'saveable'. It still had a roof, the adjacent barn was still standing, and the porch over the front door still had tiles. By 1996, when I did this sketch, it had become dangerous and risked falling down.

I haven't been to see the house for quite some while so I don't know if it's still standing. It would be an awful shame if it was left to crumble; it used to be a really lovely old house. I must drive by sometime and see what's happened to it.


If I see the house's owner before we leave, I must give him the three drawings. They could be of more interest to him than they are to me.

 

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Radio.

 


I am an insomniac, and as a result I tend to listen to the radio through the night, with a mono-earpiece firmly stuck in my left ear.

I used to listen to LBC but their non-stop, and vicious, 'Boris bashing' forced me to look elsewhere. Eventually I found the BBC's Radio 4 Extra, a channel that broadcasts comedy, plays, short stories, and documentaries, amongst other things. It was the perfect listening for me! 

Just recently they started interrupting programmes with a short warning saying that the service via Internet Radio would soon stop; and it already seems to have done so. My Internet Radio is now left with just two pre-set channels; LBC and BBC World Service.

Last night I listened to LBC for the first time in about 5 years, and guess what? Yes, the same people were still 'Boris-bashing' in full force; Nick Abbot being by far the worst offender. They are obsessed by him. They see him as some uber-intellectual toff who is the greatest living danger to Socialism; and must be stopped at all costs. Nothing is beyond their extreme venom. I'm all for a bit of political banter, but this is crazy. We've all had a good laugh at the expense of  Foot, Kinnock, and Corbyn (which they rightly deserved); but this Boris-bashing has been going on forever. It now looks as if they've got what they wanted.

I should add that when Nick Abbot isn't on air, LBC isn't too bad.

I'm not too keen on The BBC's World Service. It focuses on international news, on foreign politics, and finance. Not much in the way of entertainment per se.

I shall have to see if I can find a few more channels to pre-set into my radio. I shall really miss Radio 4 Extra; listening to the tripe from LBC is just awful. Somehow I doubt if I can find anything that will replace the variety that Radio 4 Extra offered. 

Very few things in life change for the better!

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Haddock's 2023


I had really been looking forward to planting a few Courgette plants up at Haddock's. I only bought 4 plants, and have added a few Broccoli plants as well.

Both are plants that grow quickly, and will hopefully give us a reasonable crop before we leave; especially the Courgettes. 

I know it looks a mess and that the Courgette plants are probably planted too close together, but I couldn't resist growing something. Not to do so would go against my whole bucolic philosophy.

Everything seems to be doing well. I took the photo about 3 days ago, and the plants have already doubled in size.


 

Monday 19 June 2023

Too much of a good thing?


Mushroom hunting is high up amongst my favourite pastimes.

Since we've been back, not a day has gone by when the woods have not provided a really good crop of Girolles (Cantharellus cibarius).

To me the most interesting part of my current mushrooming exploits is that I seem to have the woods to myself. Previously, even if I'd gone out at half-light, I might have found a new neighbour or two scratching about and taking every single Girolle in sight. The newcomers seemed even more fanatical than us long-term residents. I think that this year the novelty of 'foraging' must have worn off. 


Girolles make great omelettes, as of course do Cèpes (Boletus edulis). I have found just three Cèpes this year so far, but all were too old to be eaten; it hasn't really been their season.

Most mushrooms are best brushed clean (hence the little brush at the end of my mushrooming knife), but Girolles need to be washed under running water. Earth gets between the gills and needs to be washed out. This results in the mushrooms becoming gorged with water, which, when cooking, needs to be evaporated before the actual frying process can begin. 

This (below) was the result of yesterday morning's foray. A lovely lunch-time treat.


 

Sunday 18 June 2023

A Garden Tour.


I suppose our garden is probably at its best at the moment. The grass has been mowed, the climbing plants all cut back, and general tidying has been achieved.

This (below) is the pump house for the pool, there are three steps down amidst palms and roses. I designed the building to look a bit like a small Pigeon tower; it has aged quite well. 


Lady M bought this beautiful blood red rose a couple of years ago. It's a climber, but hasn't climbed too much so far. It sits amongst a load of Day lilies, with Greengages hanging down amongst them all. It's getting a bit swamped.


And lastly our 'front door', beside which is a big red Oleander which is just coming into flower, and yet more Day lilies.


This is probably the best time of year for flowers. The garden actually looks quite nice!

 

Saturday 17 June 2023

The EU Bramble crop.


It is staggering to see how much really good productive land is lying fallow yet again this year.

A good example is right in front of our eyes. The large field beyond the one cut for hay, is totally covered in Brambles. All that lush green you can see is 6 ft high Brambles; about two hectares of it. Not even of the fruit bearing variety, but the red stemmed one.


In the past the field has been used for Maize, Wheat, Hay, and more recently for Horses.

But these days the owner does nothing. He receives his 'single farm payment' for his acreage owned, plus (in this case) an extra payment for not touching the land. He has been growing Brambles there for the past 10 years or so. What was once a very productive field is now almost totally covered in Brambles. I notice that a number of trees have begun to emerge also.

We hear constantly that the price of food is rising because of the lack of production, yet the EU is actually paying people NOT TO PRODUCE.

This lovely part of France that used to be so productive and proud of its produce, now feels abandoned. Yes, there is still a bit of Maize and Wheat grown, and some farmers join forces with outsiders to grow Sunflowers for oil or seed. But unused land is everywhere, and there is a feeling of depression in the air.

Farmers need to farm. They want to grow, and want to be paid a decent price for doing so, but they are being discouraged. I cannot see this being a good thing.

Friday 16 June 2023

Champagne (or what passes for it).

 

We drink very little genuine Champagne these days (other than when I'm with Kimbo). As with most people, a bottle of Prosecco usually now replaces anything that emanates from Épernay.

In the UK, a decent bottle of Champagne will cost you around £20; one can find cheaper, but they are often lacklustre. More expensive does not necessarily mean better either.

Also in the UK, a bottle of comparative Prosecco will cost around £6, and on a blind test will often compare extremely well.

Out here in France, a Vin Mousseux (fizzy wine) will set you back anything from about €4.50 per bottle; several regions having their own varieties.

However, in amongst the pages of my recent Leclerc 'special offers' advertising bumf, I noticed that they were offering a case of 6 bottles of Kriter 'brut' for just €20; a little over £17 (under £3 per bottle). A bargain that could NOT be ignored. Kriter is excellent; even the bottles look nice

I should have bought 2 cases. If they still have any left today, I shall buy another (they didn't).

Thursday 15 June 2023

Genius Boost +


Just in case you are unaware of what this object (below) is, it is a portable jump-start 'booster' for when your, or your friend's, car battery is dead. Rather than relying on a second vehicle and a pair of long jump leads, this, when fully charged, will not only fit in your pocket, but will remain fully useable for months. 


When I recently returned to France, I couldn't find the cable that charges the booster. It was a simple affair that plugged into the wall, and into the booster via a tiny USB plug not unlike that which charges my iPhone. I know where I left it, but it ain't there now!

In frustration I visited a specialist electrical shop to find a replacement, only to be told that I'd have to contact the manufacturer, as such things were not available over the counter.

I searched again, and still found nothing. I looked online and still nothing.

Then I thought.... find an alternative. That alternative was right in front of me in the form of an external speaker for my laptop. It has the exact same small USB port as on the booster. I plugged it in, and BINGO; it works.

I also discovered that the booster had remained fully charged for the past 9 months. Amazing. If you look at my photo, under the BO of BOOST you will see a symbol for a lightbulb. Yes it even has a light for working in the dark.

Luckily I have no need for it at the moment, but it's a great little device to have in the car.

 

Wednesday 14 June 2023

The Compact Royce Mark 2.


Our recent 700 Km journey south went without incident. We found our hotel easily, there were no significant roadworks to slow us down, and we found petrol stations when required. But most importantly of all; Billy wasn't sick.

The 'new' car was comfortable, smooth running, and as fast as anyone could require. She coped with the trip even better than I had hoped.

But, I later discovered, there had actually been one blip of which I'd been unaware; she'd thrown a fetlock. One of her rims (hub-caps) had become lost en route


In fact this didn't worry me too much because they were a bit tacky looking, and I'd already considered changing them. Previously they had been a rather unpleasant silvery silver.

Thanks to Amazon I have now changed them for a more sporty looking set of mat black rims (about £20 for 4), and she looks altogether more elegant. I am expecting an extra 10 mph as a result.

All I need now are some go-fast stripes, a few Silverstone 'Members Enclosure' stickers, and a pair of 'Fangio' driving gloves on the front seat.

I hope the new rims stay attached on the return trip. They do seem solidly fixed.

 

Tuesday 13 June 2023

Rory and Reg.


Just like last year, Rory started 'first go' after having been left in the barn, unused and unloved, for 9 months. 

Reg, on the other hand hasn't run for two years, on account of a flat battery. This has now been rectified. Reg (the red one) is almost brand new and has hardly been used, so a new €90 battery had him up and going at once.


So, why two mowers? Well one throws the cut grass out sideways, and the other does so from the rear. 

I much prefer driving Rory (the grey one), he is simple to use and very manoeuvrable, but Reg has a more robust attitude towards life, and is a tad unruly. However, both do what's asked of them extremely well.

I have used both today (yesterday), and the garden is once again looking kempt.
 

Monday 12 June 2023

Artichokes.


Not as good a crop as last year, but they'll make a very pleasant addition to our Sunday Lunch.


Many people find Artichokes a tad frightening. It's that 'what the hell do I do with these?' feeling that overcomes certain people when they see the green balls of spikes, looking anything but edible. But they're worth persevering with.

They can, of course be boiled whole, and the leaves taken off individually before being dunked in a vinaigrette and the fleshy part consumed.

I, personally, prefer to prepare them in advance, then eat the whole thing. I trim them, neaten them, and make them look appetising, then serve them all ready to eat.

At this point I was going to show you how they ended-up, but I forgot to take a photo; so here's one I took earlier. Yesterday's were just the same. Delicious.


Sunday 11 June 2023

Wonderful France Telecom.


This (below) is the 'Telegraph pole' that fell down in January. The 'pole people' promised to erect a replacement within a month. Obviously, it still hasn't been done. I've now lost patience with them and will saw-up the old one for use as logs on our fire-pit.


And these (below) are our phone/internet wires that were previously supported by the pole, simply left lying on the ground. they have re-joined the wires, but as far as I can gather, they have no intention of doing anything else about them.

According to France Telecom, they are just fine the way they are!


So, France Telecom, if this really is up to your highest standards of service, then you are a bunch of inefficient plonkers. I cannot imagine anywhere in civilised Europe where such behaviour would be tolerated. And we pay about €35 a month for this fine service.

And this (below) is how their pole ended-up yesterday afternoon; sawn and split. It's Pine, so only fit for use on the fire pit.


Saturday 10 June 2023

Weather: S England v S France.



The difference in weather between our two locations is instantly noticeable.

Here, compared to the UK, in Summer it's hotter, and in Winter it's colder.

Also in Spring it is hot, steamy, and stormy. We are expecting storms next week, and they will be very wet, very noisy, possibly with hail, and very 'electric'. We have already had one such since we arrived back. They also are very beautiful and dramatic.

Back in England we had a few Spring bouts of very distant rumblings, but nothing like the spectacle of here.

In early Spring we often have devastating frosts, down to maybe -15 C, which can destroy the crops of early flowering fruits (and often do), such as Plums, Peaches, and some early Apples. Luckily this year we seem to have got away with it, and our crops of Peaches, Plums, Greengages (above), and Apples, are looking extremely good. The Peaches especially are looking excellent. 

Fruit growing here is never guaranteed; for that one needs to move much further S E. And don't bother planting-out the Veg' patch before mid-May because everything could easily be wiped-out.

So, which of the two locations do I prefer? Well, I have to say here! I like the drama of it, even including the extremes of Winter. One needs to be prepared for all occasions, and that includes a refreshing pool for Summer, a covered outdoor terrace for when it rains, and a good blazing open fire (or stove) for those cold Winter months. Warm clothing is also important, and is ALWAYS required; it wasn't this last Winter in Brighton.

This is not to say that I don't enjoy my time in England; I do, and I love it. It's like two different worlds, one happily set back a while in time, the other ever eager to move forward and discover. 

At my last real garden back in the UK, I never expected anything to fail. There were always Plums, Apples, Pears, and all the standard Vegs, but here one never takes anything for granted. Even a sudden storm of giant-sized hailstones can devastate your garden in a flash.


Friday 9 June 2023

Dog rescued from the water (Amsterdam)


These are really GOOD people. Well done to both of them, especially the girl.


Thursday 8 June 2023

Blind Russian Tank Driver?


Just like with Covid, the longer Russia's war continues, the more we simply accept it as a part of every day life. We donate a few £'s, children's clothes, and dried food, but it does very little to stop the suffering of the Ukrainian people. 

The thing that upsets me as much as the unnecessary death toll, is the total destruction of towns and cities; and for what? These are innocent people's homes; it's where they felt safe. I really feel for those who've lost everything they owned. They don't deserve to be randomly attacked like this by some bastard neighbour.

I tend not to read or watch too much about the war; it's simply too depressing. However, occasionally things come my way (as they do with all of us) that I cannot ignore; the recent destruction of the dam for example.

Like weather forecasters, tank drivers should really look out of their windows (portholes?) before making rash decisions about in which direction to advance, or retreat. Not many drivers would have missed those plainly obvious land mines spread across the road; but this Russian dim-wit did, and presumably paid the ultimate price. I feel absolutely no sympathy with the idiot involved.

If you go around with the intention of killing your neighbours, you should expect to be killed yourself.

N.B. A T14 tank (the tank of choice for the Russians) costs about £4 Million. It doesn't take much to destroy them. The Russians have now lost over 2,000 !!! GOOD.


Wednesday 7 June 2023

Damn it.


Up until my dose of Covid in March, I hadn't been ill for about four years.

On returning to France last week, and being over eager to get the pool up and running (and used), I've managed to catch an absolute stinker of a cold.

I really shouldn't have gone swimming in the icy water, but the call was too powerful.

I'm now feeling totally rotten, and will probably do so for another week or more.

Lady M has also succumbed. Woe is us!

Tuesday 6 June 2023

Downpour.


One minute you're grilling steaks on the BBQ, the next minute the skies open and the whole garden is flooded.

I really love spring and summer storms. Our auvent (covered terrace)  protects us from the worst of the weather, and we can enjoy the son et lumiere in reasonable comfort.


Last night's storm was very wet, but without the enjoyment of the thunder and lightning. There was a bit, but not to the noisy extent that I really enjoy. In fact the rain was so heavy that we were eventually forced indoors; and copious enough to bring up some Cèpes in 10 days time.

Such is life in our neck of the woods. A 27 C swim in the afternoon, a BBQ for supper, then a vicious downpour to accompany one's glass of port.

One has to wonder what the morrow will bring.

 

Monday 5 June 2023

Sunday Lunch.


It was the Fêtes des Mères (Mothers Day) here in France yesterday. The day when all dutiful sons and daughters take their mothers out for lunch.

As we have no offspring here with us, the duty of preparing a decent lunch fell to me. Asparagus is in season, so that was first on the list. Cherries and Strawberries are also plentiful, so we had to have some of those. A little salad never goes amiss. And I also treated myself to a cheap tin of sardines.


The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze to cool the 27 C heat, and the buzzing of Crickets kept us entertained as we ate.

In the morning we'd visited nearby Cazals market; one of the best in the region. Everything came from there. 

Two new restaurants have opened nearby, so we'll soon be busy sampling their fares. I can hardly wait.

 

Sunday 4 June 2023

There's always something!


Other than finding that our gardener is a total waste of space, we also found that our bath/shower wasn't draining away.

Below is the man that deals with such things, and he came almost at once. He emptied the fosse, and blasted all the pipes. Everything now works again.

As I was unable to take my shower here yesterday, I went up to the barn instead. Guess what? The water wasn't draining away up there either. So up I went with my trusty plunger and extracted about a kilo of hair from the drain. Yuk!


What a nice man he was. This (below) is his lorry, he came about two years ago to do much the same thing. 

We now have to try to find the cause of all the trouble which sounds as if it's some de-greasing chamber which he fears is probably rock sold with gunge. I have no idea where it is.


Life's never simple. Not for us anyway! Looks like we'll be having a whole new system next year.

I had a swim yesterday. The water was 20 C, and freezing. Lady M followed my example.

Saturday 3 June 2023

The Gardener.


When we left for England last September, we did so in the knowledge that the gardener (lets call him D) would come with his half-size tractor and keep the grass cut up at the barn, to a height where I could then continue to mow with 'Rory' when we returned. After the disastrous previous year, my mind was at rest.

D was contracted to do the work, and a sum of €30 an hour was agreed. He would come as soon as the grass grew above about 10 cms, and on a couple more occasions until we arrived.


So, did he do the work? Of course not! I really don't know what's wrong with these people. They want the work, and as near to their own homes as possible, but when it comes to actually turning up they can't be bothered. Our good friend Craig did some mowing with the small push-mower so the important bits remained short enough for Rory to take over. I suppose the long bits will have to stay as they are, and I will continue to trim either side of the drive to make it look neat. The rest will become jungle.


In front of our own house the lawn is mowed and will soon look good again, but just beyond the field has yet to be cut for hay, so it does all look rather messy.

I've now mowed quite a lot up at the barn (below), but some of the grass is far too long and I shall leave it. I'm now relying on my system of 'green, fairway, and rough'. There's quite a bit of fairway, and a lot of rough; but very little green for the moment.


We have now found an English gardener who will come today (yesterday); not to do the long grass mowing, but to saw-up a fallen telegraph pole, cut some big Pine branches, and put the fallen telephone wires up in the trees, out of the way. The 'pole-people' said they would replace it several months ago, but, of course, they can't be arsed! Sadly the new gardener doesn't own a small tractor to do the long grass. Frankly I think he should buy one; the demand for mowing is huge.

At my advanced age I could really do without these bloody people who won't do what they're asked. I'm exhausted!

We opened the pool yesterday. It's a bit green, but clearing fast! 28C again yesterday.

Friday 2 June 2023

Parents


We all take our parents for granted. They are usually the one stable part in our lives. A Mother and Father who belong to us alone. They are the one's who we say goodbye to in the mornings, and hello to when we return. They are our rock-solid foundation.

But one day we have to say goodbye for ever, and it's a horrible part of our lives. The very source of our lives is no longer there. It's a shock. 

I was with my Mother when she died, but not with Father. He had been suddenly transferred to a different hospital, which was much further away, and had died in the night. Somehow his death became very unreal.

My own Fathering skills, and my Father's were very different. My Father had been 41 when I was born. I must have been about 23 when my oldest was born. He was a 'bystander' Father, a very typical Father of his time. I, on the other hand, liked to get involved; we played Cricket, we swam in lakes together, we ate out a lot, we travelled, and we had a really great time.

I do miss my Father; I've begun to realise this the older I get. He was somewhat aloof and 'old school', but he did his utmost for his two children. We were away for most of our childhood days, so we didn't see that much of him. For his holidays he preferred mountains and hills, whereas we headed for beaches and sunshine with my Mother. I remain very grateful to him for his generosity, and I try to remember him as often as I can.

One of my close neighbours here has recently died, and yesterday I went to see both her daughter and husband. The woman in question had been a long term friend and was also teacher to my children. I'm afraid that returning here has delivered quite a few shocks about people's health and their family situations. There's a lot of change in the air, and as most families are farmers, I'm not sure what the future will bring. C'est la vie.

Thursday 1 June 2023

Success!!!


I was up at the crack of Owls-hooting this morning, and into the woods.

Just as I had been hoping, there were mushrooms everywhere, so it'll be Girolle omelettes tonight.

All I need are some eggs. I'm off to Leclerc.


 

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