Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

An Army of Frogs.

He's quite clever only one front paw. We found him as a tiny dot on a lonely road mewing. I think he'd been dumped as he had a limp leg. He'll be 4 in June.

Planting some Snowdrops I thought seeing as though they like to be quite deep I'd see what was stopping the dig, boulders are everywhere.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

 We have an old Lavoir where the geese like to plunge and clean, the land here belongs to the commune and is also maintained twice a year by 2 men who come and strim all around. No one but the 2 geese use the lavoir anymore. I can't imagine where the future might be for such a thing. Perhaps one day the water will be diverted. It was tested for purity and it came out top grade clean.( we actually have a pump that sends water to the house to use for our showers and I like to water the garden with it too.)
Early spring Polyanthas.

After winter the first thing is cutting back brambles and for these old raspberries that produce very little I have been cutting them back to make way for something else.

Very little has changed here but as you know a trip to the second hand shop always throws up new  random things. This week I took photos too. A card of needles, a crinkled glass old shade that could do with a pulley and smaller bulb and a really nice basket with sturdy leather handles. In the basket are 3 house dresses in crazy fabric. Polka dot, paisley and a blue printed one. 

Polyanthus Stella

 A few new watercolours. I have a panorama button on my camera and I have started using it to squash more into the frame. I love to see little cottages in the landscape so at last I can get buildings all together so that you can see who is near who. Then I have tried painting in the style of these contorted images. It occurs to me now that I could exploit this. I have to piece together paper so that I can elongate my paintings.
Excitingly for me I have ordered a few art materials. I have included some watercolour pans, Chinese they seem quite cheap at £2.15 for large pans and the colours seem quite bright and a little bit unusual. I have also ordered some rough paper to paint on Khadi paper from India. Then more pens, the kind you can dip in ink and draw with as mine get worn quickly. I'm also going to try some new solvent for the oil paint, made from citrus oil rather than using a rather smelly white turpentine. It's quite difficult for me ordering stuff online. I do get free delivery on a £100 which is great but it also means I have to know for the future what I want to do. I can't afford to spend much as I am not able to sell anything from here. The other thing is, obvioulsy you can't just try something and then if it's pleasing go back for more. So I just end up buying a bit of this and a bit of the other. I might look at French mail order, might mean I can do smaller orders.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Driving to Semelay to a restaurant nearby. We found a great place to eat, Le Clos de la Bussiere. It's a quaint place that does an old fashioned menu right beside a C12th church. It had few people there, just a couple of guys on their own, having their working lunch. A few pastis drinking pension men who had a drink at the bar first before their meal. It's been so long since I went out I forgot you could do this. It normally works out a little cheaper too.

At this time of year we are either above or below the clouds. This bit here is where the deer are.

Terrine de Dorade was my main. For starters I had warm goats cheese in a thin parcel on a lovely fresh dressed salad. George had 5 courses I just had 2 a coffee and a pichet of wine or 4 small glasses. No I didn't drink all the wine that was shared 2 small glasses each! 31 Euros, so not hugely expensive. The attention to detail is the thing and the tasty sauces.  They do special events so might try and go out one evening you never know meet some people!


I don't like going out when it's like this but had to go shopping.

Other days have been a total wash out but the moss is doing very well this year.

Lovely foxgloves. I hope they continue to spread.

Mossy pathway down to pond.

Above and below are the gardens I have been saving from wilderness. I like wild areas but we have a lot of those still including a swamp. Here I have tried to create a cottage garden type border so Foxgloves, Rudibekias, Sage, Carnations, Poppies, Sweet Williams and Aquilegias so far. There is still bracken and brambles that keep reappearing and today I started digging out Buttercups that take over everything. I have a bit of a virus so I'm feeling a bit tired. First thing I've had like this for a long time.
In the garden below I am putting in a few fruit trees in the bit beyond what you can see here. George used to plough it all but it became too much to maintain. I now have small veg plots easier to manage.

My geraniums have been over wintering in here. I shall be ready to do a bit more work when it warms up. As you can see the blue door needs stained glass that was broken before I arrived. There is a lot of work to do. Most of the things in here except maybe my orange owl box (George asked me what it was for I said owls, obviously.) won't be staying. The big Armoire will stay, probably in another room. 

New shoots appearing, might be a bit premature as it's normally a harsh time of year here.
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My cat investigating. He loves coming in here usually hoping for the trap door to be opened.

One of my Auricula's grown from tiny seed from my friend Dolly.