Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Well, it is that time of year.  A time when everyone thinks of family and friends and settles in for 2 months of eating and drinking.

So, I am off to Australia for nearly 2 months of family, friends, eating and drinking.

I may update the blog while I am gone, but cannot guarantee taking time out from all the visiting and adventures in order to do so.  As this is a personal blog.... there will be no guest bloggers/ holiday competitions/trite electronic postcards etc... sorry if that disappoints

What I will promise is lots of photos on my return and time to once again blog every week.

Today I sent in my dissertation for the course I have been doing.  A huge relief and a huge burden from my shoulders.  It is not due till mid december, but I have worked extremely hard to finish it before my trip.  I thought that the last thing I would want to do is hide away in a room and write and study, not when there is the beach and people I love to spend time with.

On the home front, the garden has been put to bed for winter.  All tender plants are under a covering and the trees have been pruned to keep them snug till spring.  We have had so much sunshine and blue sky that it hasn't felt like winter yet.... although the temperature has been low and no matter how inviting the sunshine looks - it is NOT warm.

I have a successful hedgehog shelter.  Already 3 hedgies are in there all curled up and cute.  Due to the warmth they come out for food each night still.  So I have been feeding them up so they are nice and fat to hibernate while I am away.  Very pleased with that project.  The pic above is my new hedgie.  No name yet.  He had just tipped the dish of cat croquettes upside down on to his head and I found him underneath grunting and muttering away as he scoffed them down.  Not quite used to pats yet, but have explained that if he doesn't let me pat him then he can't live here.... he remained unimpressed.

One visitor which we have seen evidence of - although not the actual animal - is a badger.  He has helped himself to hedgehog food a few times, and left a little "present" by way of thanks.  In fact it was his little calling cards which enabled me to identify which animal was visiting.  (Wayne was laughing that I borrowed a book on animal faeces from the library.  My response was that if there was a book available to borrow, it was not a strange thing to do.)  I spent quite a few days examining evidence and comparing to pictures and descriptions in the book before deciding that it might have been a member of the weasel family (the books said probably a marten) and most probably a badger.

Also on loan from the library was a book on the native plants of the region.  Fascinating stuff.  I have all the good plants in my wild meadow patch.  I was thrilled!  So have followed instructions for best propagation and self seeding and left it to wait out winter.  Hopefully next year I will have an even better wild meadow area.

The owner of our house called by a few days ago.  It was nice to meet him and put a face to the name on our lease.  He was a charming man and made a point of asking if we would stay for a long time please.  I laughed and said that we were happy in his house and so had no plans to move soon. (Besides that - after all the struggle to get everything here from Paris and Australia, I don't think I could face another move for a few years yet!)  One thing we he said was that he was extremely happy with the garden and house under my care.  He said it had never looked so good before.  A nice compliment. 

The boys are loving the house, and really loving the fireplace.  Guy has claimed a spot on a cushion in front and he sits there in anticipation each day until I finally light the fire.  Eric doesn't care.  He waits till I sit in the recliner to have a half hour break in the afternoon, and then claims my lap. Starting to be a snuggle puss now.  Salameche is growing day by day.  Still thinks he lives with us and tries to spend the night more often than not.  In the morning our bedroom is flooded with sunlight.  Of course all the cats are to be found sprawled across our bed basking and snoozing in the light and warmth.  This pic is of the paws of Salameche.  If the size of his feet are any indication, he is going to be a good sized cat when fully grown.

Since the summer we have really settled in here.  Friends have been made that we will treasure for a lifetime.  My days are full and we are living in a beautiful area that always offers something new to experience.  Sunday afternoon was lovely and sunny, so we went with neighbours to an area about 20minutes away and walked along the river.  A gorgeous spot and I was annoyed that I left my camera at home.  We have promised that we will go back again with them as it was so beautiful and a lovely thing to do on a sunday afternoon.

Building works beside the farm (about 100metres from our house) has thrown up a layer of undisturbed geology which has provided hours of enjoyment for a few others and myself.  Last saturday we were finding pieces of ammonoids - some very large ones too!  It is not surprising as every time I disturb the soil in the garden I find fossils.  I put them aside and examine them afterwards, then pass most of them to a child in the lane who is really interested in fossils and rocks.

Well, time to finish this long update.  We have an apero with the neighbours tonight.  A bon voyage drinks party that promises to be a lot of fun.

For those that celebrate, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  For everyone else, see you after the holidays.

This is one of my photographs which I have made part of my panel for my photography course.  A pastel pink rose from my garden, edited into monochrome. No other editing needed.  It was the most perfect rose at the perfect stage of opening.