Tuesday, 8 April 2014

le chat caché

Could not find Eric today.  Looked everywhere, and was starting to worry that he may have followed me outside to get the post this morning..... he is petrified of outside, so would have panicked and run off.

Went in to the bedroom for something and realised I had not made the bed that morning.

Guess where Eric was.....

Yes, you guessed it.  He was hiding in the rolled back quilt.

All that could be seen were two little ginger paws peeping out of the end.

He looked super cute and cosy in there, so did not have the heart to evict him and make the bed..... I know I am a sucker for a cute kitty face..... so I just lifted the end slightly so I could take a photo, then quietly left him to snooze away the day in his warm tunnel.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Chicks!

Our chicks are hatched, and just need to grow big and strong and then they will come to live chez nous.

Can't wait!  They are super cute, peeping away under the heat lamp.  This is a legbar chick.  Very pretty chickens when they have their big girl feathers.  I am getting two hens and a rooster.  Hopefully they will do as nature intended and I will have a small flock in a year or so.

Had a visit today and tried to get a photo.  Unfortunately, the chick does not know how to keep still so a wee bitty blurry.

Oh well, just nice to see them when so small.

Have been fairly quiet on the blogging front as the weather has been spectacular, so I have been making the most of it and gardening.  We are due for a cold snap end of the week, and some rain.  I don't mind though as rain is vital to the success of my plantings and the continued growth of my new lawn.

My veg seeds have all been sown, and are little green sprouts in the mini serre (glass house).  I should be able to start hardening them off next week, and then start sowing my next lot of seeds.  The terrain has been plowed, and I just need to go over it with the cultivator to make it finer grain and then the potatoes and carrots etc seeds can go direct in to the ground.

Flowers and shrubs are gradually being added to the bedding areas, as well as hundreds upon hundreds of bulbs.  Hopefully we will have flower beds that are interesting year round when finished.

In the meantime there is no shortage of garden work and house renovations to be getting on with whilst I await the arrival of my chicks.




Monday, 24 February 2014

Eggs a plenty

Well, I have had a nice break from blogging over the festive season and into the new year.  I am not in to all these new years resolutions etc, so no hardship to take a break from all of it.

The cake did make it to the UK intact and was enjoyed after Christmas. Phew!

Things have been a bit busy around here the past few months.  I have been doing a few hours a week at the village school, and with my other usual committments it has been a whirlwind of activity.  School holidays this week, so I have been back to my old schedule and catching up with friends.

Today was gardening club, and it was great to see everyone and talk gardens.  It was also gloriously sunny, so a pleasure to be out and about.

Our gardening club, Les Amis du Jardinage, meets at a local pépinière called Arbres et Abeilles (trees and bees).  It is a lovely nursery near Civray and in a very pretty spot.  They have a website also www.arbres-et-abeilles.eu and you can check out the dates for upcoming workshops and gardening club meetings, as well as order your plants.  There are bee keeping courses available, and gardening accessories.  Anne, the owner, also has chickens.  One of my favourite animals!

Luckily I had the fore thought to email Anne a week ago and ask if she had any eggs available for eating.... you do need to specify this as she also has eggs for hatching.... could be an interesting mix up...  So today I came home with a dozen lovely fresh eggs.  Half brown and half blue.  Yes, blue!!!

One of the chicken breeds that I am keen to own is the legbar.  They lay the most pretty coloured eggs you have ever seen.  A pale tourquise blue colour.  Gorgeous.  ...and yes, before anyone asks... the insides are normal looking - not blue...lol

First thing I had to do was take them out of the egg carton and put them into an antique dish filled with straw.  They looked so lovely, I could have quite happily made them an ornament for the dining table.

Unfortunately, our neighbours' chickens were killed by a stray dog, so we have not had nice farm eggs for weeks.  These blue eggs, whilst very pretty, will be eaten not admired. 

Well, maybe they will be admired for a few days, then eaten.

I cannot wait till my hens and rooster are big enough to come live here.  Can you imagine eating these beautiful eggs every day.  What a joy to enter the coop each morning and find these gems waiting for you to collect.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas cake

I did it.  And it has snowflakes.

A lot of frustration, and wondering WHY I chose  a square shape (tricky business), but in the end it all came together.

Mind you, the kitchen is coated in icing sugar dust, and the cats are walking through sneezing and looking disgusted.  No appreciation for things that are not tummy rubs, cat food or warms....

Lets all hope it tastes good, and travels well! It is going to London with us next week, so here's to no sudden braking incidents on the way...lol

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year where ever you are in the world next week.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Atelier

This afternoon I did something which I have wanted to do for a long long time.

No, I did not run amock in a garden centre with an unlimited budget!..... I went to a cake decorating workshop.

What a great way to spend the afternoon!  We had so much fun and finished the session with mince pies and mulled wine and a cup of tea.  Lots of laughter and chatting as well as exploring our artistic side in icing.

Before I went, I had said I wanted to do snowflake patterns, but after seeing a cake with holly on top changed my mind and wanted to do something similar.  A girl is allowed to change her mind.

We started with fruitcakes made by Bev,
and she took us through covering them with marzipan,
then sugar paste, (modelled expertly by Janice),
and then decorating with sugar paste.
  Lots of sticky, sugary fun.

Aren't we a clever bunch?!  Three completely different ideas starting with the same basic cake and icing techniques.


Bev is running classes at her home this week and next, so book in quick.  A great Christmas present for a family member or friend, or just a nice treat for yourself.  You can find her at www.cheztantemabel.com

 Classes will also be available next year with other themes (ie; Easter etc).  Check out her website, some of the cutest things ever can be found there.

My holly decorated cake will be raffled to support the Combined Services Support Group this saturday lunchtime in Fenioux at Café des Belles Fleurs. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sejour

Off to Paris for a few days for my Birthday.  Looking forward to seeing all the lights, and to do a bit of shopping with the girls.  Can't wait to see everyone.  It has been far too long.

I hope it is clear skies and no rain whilst there.  Last trip it rained miserably and was very windy.  Am hoping for good weather so I can stroll around, and to enjoy a chocolat chaud sitting outside a café people watching.

Lots of catching up and eating out will be done.  Think I am going to need a holiday to get over my short break.....  this little country mouse isn't used to the fast paced city mouse lifestyle anymore!

Back this time next week with an update on the big city life.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Glorious sunset

Tonight I was driving home from a Christmas party (yes, already!!!) and had to stop and take photos.  The sunset was magnificent.

When I arrived home I ran out the back and took this shot looking down towards the river.

The colours were extraordinary and it felt warm - even though it definately wasn't!

We have already had one snow fall, and a few frosts (some light, some hard), with the frost last night turning the fish ponds on my journey into patinoires.  Lucky I have pretty much finished up in the garden for the year.  Will put some extra straw around my rhubarb and strawberry plants tomorrow, then I am done till late january when it is time to prune the apple trees.

A few of the locals have said it is going to be a hard winter this year..... let's see what eventuates.  In any case, I am ready with full store cupboards and freezers.  Chimneys cleaned and emergency candles in place.  Plenty of "projects" to keep me busy, and lots of lovely friends in walking distance to share a cup of tea and a walk in the brisk sunshine.

Life is good here.