Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Bayeux Tapestry and Port en Bassin

We continue to enjoy the bounties of the land. This year I have sown cucumber seeds and have now started to harvest them. The cucumbers are about 15cm long and just the right size for one meal. The cucumbers are hidden under the leaves and on close inspection there seem to be at least 7 or 8 ready to eat. The melons sown at the same time are now beginning to show their first fruits - there are about 3 or 4 but they are still the size of golf balls, so it's now a question of wait and see if they grow any bigger. The squash plants are just running wild all over the plot but do now seem to be producing small fruits. Last year they were very successful so I am hopeful that this year will be equally productive.

The broad beans and peas are coming to an end - just a few more to harvest and then it will be time to clear them from the plot.

The climbing french beans are providing sufficient for a meal every other day so I have frozen some for later in the year. I have also grown a variety called Barlotto Lingua di Fuoco, a type of Italian Borlotti bean. The plants have grown strongly but as yet not producing as many beans as the standard french bean plants.

This years crop of beetroot is not very good, I think the hot dry weather has something to do with it as some have started to bolt. Luckily my friend Verity has a good crop so we have enjoyed freshly boiled beetroot, with just a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and black ground pepper.

The fennel is growing well, this year I waited until after the longest day before sowing the seed directly into the ground. Last year I sowed the seed too early and they just grew ferny tops and no bulbs - hopefully this year will be better - they certainly look promising.

The courgettes continue to produce fruits and I am harvesting at least a couple from each plant every 2 to 3 days. There should be plenty for chutney making very soon. I have cleared the red currant bush of its fruits and frozen what we haven't eaten to keep it for desserts. The one bush has done really well. Plan to take some cuttings this autumn so that we can have a 'fruit border' along the boundary fence of the garden. The black currants cuttings I took last autumn have taken and a looking very healthy, they will be the first fruits in the 'border'.

Tuesday we headed off to visit the Bayeux Tapestry. We stopped off briefly in Caen so Rob could make a purchase, now we know the city quite well and I was able to park almost outside the shop and hover while he popped in, and then set off for Bayeux not so far from Caen.

We went via the coast and stopped for lunch at Port en Bassin a
small fishing port just to the north of Bayeux. Its claim to fame is that it was captured during WWII and was used as a Petrol Terminal for PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean), an under water pipeline from the Isle of Wight to France bringing fuel for the allied forces.

The harbour is surrounded by many fish restaurants which were full of tourists, we found a small restaurant in one of the back streets not far from the fish market, where we had a lovely lunch.

After a leisurely lunch and a stroll around the village we headed south to Bayeux. There was only a short queue to buy entry tickets but then we found a very long line of people waiting to actually get into the exhibition room. I think we hit the crowds coming in after lunch, anyway well worth the wait. I had seen it before when I was young, but I now understand the history behind the tapestry and can also appreciate the quality of the work.

We also visited the cathedral which has some amazing stone work, the first level of the nave has medieaval stone carvings see the interactive website to get an idea of the beauty of the stone work.

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