Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Music in the park

Our nearby Spa resort of Bagnoles de L'Orne puts on musical events every Sunday afternoon during the summer season. These take place in the park in front of the Chateau. We spent a pleasant afternoon there last week listening to 'Calypso made in Calvados'.

Open Farm Weekend

This last week end our Dutch neighbours opened their farm to visitors as part of 'Les pieds dans l'herbe.' There were four farms open in the region, our neighbours and a farm in Passais were the ones close to us. On Saturday we visited Isabelle et Jacques Mousset's farm of Saint Auvieu
at Passais la Conception. They have set up their own creamery and Isabelle makes fresh cream, butter, yoghurt and fromage blanc from their own milk. They have also installed a heating system which uses chipped waste wood, many visitors found the boiler and feed system interesting.
Sunday we helped out our Dutch friends on their farm at La Dennee. They had just over 100 visitors on Sunday afternoon. They showed their waste water reed beds, the holiday cottage they rent out for holidays and the cows and milking parlour. We finished they day there with a BBQ for the helpers and their guests in the guest house. We had a lovely evening sitting outside until late in the evening. For more info see the link.

Bardsey Apple

Our Bardsey apple is now two years old had has produced 9 apples this year. One apple has already fallen from the tree and we have picked three others as they have been attacked by earwigs and we don't want them to rot on the tree. It is a beautiful apple, similar in colour and appearance to a nectarine - they have rosy cheeks. A crunchy apple with a fresh clean taste, sweet with a little tartness. The flesh is clear off white, the skin is thin and tasty. Our current feeling is that this is a nice cheerful apple. I will update when we have harvest the rest of our apples. But for the moment we are very happy with this new variety in our orchard.

Visit to Caen
Last week we drove up to Caen, the castle has several exhibition spaces as part of the museum of Normandy. We went to see an exhibition of travel posters. As usual it was very well presented and also very interesting. We also climbed the hill to visit the Abbaye aux Dames, which now houses the regional government offices, but is open to the public, well worth a visit. It is nice to spend time in a proper town, with shops, busses, trams etc. It makes a change from the peace of our rural surroundings here.

We continue to harvest vegetables from the garden, the tomatoes are ripening fast and are really tasty. The two butternut squash plants are running rampant over the garden. Several fruits have set - hopefully they will ripen before we leave.
Chutney making continues using the wind fall apples and other veg as it becomes available.

Today we have installed another satellite dish, with the help of an English friend. We now have the BBC/ITV etc as an alternative to French television. I like to watch the local and national french news programmes, however we don't find there is much else of interest - at least not in the summer.

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