Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas in France

Just like England, the shops are full of presents and gorgeous food. The quality of French food is superb and as fresh as it possibly can be. 

They often have different cuts of meat and it can be off putting to find a huge langue de boeuf, or cow tongue, lolling next to a pack of minced beef. 

Christmas is a good excuse to party and French people take any opportunity to socialise. I have been surprised by their sense of humour and fun. They have been very friendly and we have been to a lunch party, an evening social do and drinks before Christmas lunch. We were also invited to two family Christmas dinners but decided to stay at home with the dogs and celebrate our first Chrismas in France.

The Christmas tree below was bought at a local supermarked and is the best tree we ever had. Not surprising as we live in the middle of a huge, forested area.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Garden

The garden is about 1.5 acres with a large pond, mature trees and lots of weasles. 

A stream runs through and disappears under the road on its way to feed the river Aulne. Sometimes it's a babbling brook but, in times of heavy rain, it becomes something of a torrent.

The pond has been neglected and is so overgrown with weed it's inpenetrable. I have tried clearing it with a specially improvised rake, but nearly ended up in the lake myself. We will have to find somebody with a long armed digger to do the job; probably at the end of next summer, when the ground is dry enough to support it.

We have plans to build a wooden jetty with a rowing boat or punt. I will be able to float around, like the lady of the lake, keeping the water clear of weeds.

The planting will look natural with appropriate trees to soften the edges. We want to create quiet places to sit and watch the wildlife; mainly birds, which we have in abundance.

As well as the dozens of bluetits we have a large group of jays and, in the summer, a family of buzzards arrived. Two adults and their offspring from the previous year.

We have plans to make and sell bespoke bird feeders/houses and I will post photos when Craig gets round to making some.