Thursday, 21 January 2010

Thinking ahead

As we approach the end of January, it is time to give thought to the garden. I have done a stock check of the seed packets and made a list of both flowers and vegetables I want to grow this year. I shall start planting seeds in the warmth very soon in the hope of getting a long growing season. I also intend to restrict the number of plants I get but with just a few extra for my gardening friends to have a few.

Our good friends in France like the idea of growing their own food but have never tried it so I hope I will be able to encourage them by giving them some of my small plants. Sometimes we just need a nudge. Hopefully Alex will give it another try this year, despite his battle with the slugs and the neighbourhood cats.

It was interesting to compare how France and Britain coped with the bad weather earlier this month. In England there were complaints that the schools were closed and public transport didn't run t schedule, but in France the buses were ordered off the roads, that is where they run anyway and the lorries were banned from many routes to avoid accidents. It seemed to me that both places had similar problems and dealt with it is similar ways except that in England it was Gordon Brown's fault that it snowed,its easy to blame the government for everything, even the weather.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow in France

The weather forecasters here have got it right this time. It snowed overnight, there was a layer of about 5cm when we got up this morning. The sky was thick with snow clouds and it has snowed again, covering some of the foot prints which had been made in the snow.

When we went out this morning there were animal tracks in the fresh snow, cat prints to and from the front door and around the courtyard. There were other tracks from a larger animal which we assume are from a fox or foxes. They run up the road and in and out of our garden to the patch under the trees where the birds are feeding on the fallen apples. The print also run into the fields. The apples are providing food for a large flock of birds, blackbirds and what I think are mistle thrushes. A flock of about 50 birds are busy eating their way through the apples. We have hung a egg tray under the standard rose, with sunflower seeds for the smaller birds which are in and around the yard, robins, chaffinches and sparrows etc.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

It's cold outside and now it is starting to snow. We are having a quiet day after bringing in the new year with  friends who live locally. A mixture of English, French and Dutch - a truly European New Year's Eve, which is becoming a tradition in these parts.  We had dinner together and actually missed the chimes of midnight as the smokers were outside having a cigarette break. Never mind we were back in the warm just a few moments after midnight toasting in 2010 with champagne.

Serving the salmon

Hard core smokers in the cold!