Monday, 22 December 2014

Busy time of year.....

Wow!  It just seems like yesterday that I made my last post, and here it is two months later.

I had heaps of catching up to do after my recuperation, and have been so busy that time has just flown by.  In fact there are still things that I am behind on.

October saw the death of one of my chicks.  I had purchased two dwarf chickens (not bantams) as my "mother hens" for next year.  The sweetest of the two was still a bit too young to cope with being outside in the cold and unfortunately she died.  I was a bit sad as she was the one that liked to cuddle.  A lovely little personality and quite tame as well.

Two weeks later my rooster took ill.  He was quite often a bit "off colour" as he ate anything that he could fit in his beak.  Bees, rubbish, you name it.  If it could be swallowed - it was swallowed.  He developed sour crop and could not be saved.  Unfortunately he was very much a "don't touch me" kind of rooster, so by the time I could touch him, he was too weak and sick to survive.  A real shame as he was a superbe rooster and absolutely enormous.  I have a replacement, but he is just not quite as good as my original.  Nothing wrong with him, but the first one was a hard act to follow.

November saw heavy frosts starting to hit and everyone racing to get ready for winter.  The garden however was still in full flower, so I am still now - in december - doing my autumn pruning!  Another week should see it done for the year.

We spent a weekend weather proofing and insulating the hen house.  It really is a chicken palace now!  I use the deep litter method, so it is very cosy inside.  The mice think so too..... grrr.  They are so bold that they don't even move till you get right up to them.  Have been putting mint in the house which mice hate, but it only lasts a few days to a week and has to be redone.  I will get rid of them though!  If all else fails, I will lock Sophie in there overnight.....

The spare bedroom is now much better organised and more user friendly for my sewing projects.  Cannot wait to start making a few new outfits.  Same with the office.  I had a major sort out and reorganised a lot of things and now have a good work space for my craft projects as well as desk space for working.  Much nicer and easier to work there now.

Guy and Eric are loving our new heating.  The wood pellet fire is fabulous and they think it is just for them.  There is now a basket in front of it and they take turns curling up in it and basking in the warmth.  Think I might have to get a second basket so they can each have their own.  Sophie, meanwhile, has discovered the joys of a heated bed.  We have a heating pad in her bed in one of the outbuildings.  It is on a timer and turns on around 17h30 and off around 08h30.  Between those hours she is not to be found outside.  In fact, she demands dinner at 1700h and then goes to bed!  In the morning she stays in bed till it starts cooling off, and quite often is still in bed late in the morning.  Very funny when you go looking for her and call out for ages, only to go into the dependance and see a little furry head poking out of the cat bed all blinky and fuzzy eyed.

We planted a new apple tree this weekend, part of the plan of getting ready to replace a few fruit trees which are very old and not fruiting very well anymore.  It will bear fruit in about three years, so that will be just in time for the current old trees to be fading out.  Gradually over the next few years we will replace some of the older fruit trees and rejuvenate the orchard.  Will be nice to have eating apples as well as the current cooking and cider apples.

Our neighbour has been in hospital the past few weeks.  All ok now and he is back home, but his chickens have meantime moved out and decided they prefer to live chez nous.  I was feeding them whilst he was unwell, and combined with the fact that they have always wandered in when the gate is open and visited our terrain, they now think I am their owner.  They follow me around everywhere and if they hear my voice they come running (have you ever seen chickens run flat out?  Funniest thing you have ever seen!!!).  After the fruit tree planting saturday I was digging up the parsnips and the last of the carrots and beetroots with the assistance of his flock.  Really funny to have a flock of chickens poised attentively around you waiting for a juicy worm or bug to be unearthed.  Had to be careful not to tread on one of them if I stepped backwards!  Afterwards I was trying to put them back in their coop, but it was more like a Keystone Cops or Benny Hill episode than anything.  I am tempting them through the gate and closing it, to turn around and walk back to the house, only to find more chickens to herd towards the gate, shepherd through, close, turn, more chickens..... repeat repeat repeat.  The cheeky beggers were walking in the gate and along the fence a bit (till behind a tree and out of sight), then flying back over to my side again whilst I was busy getting their flock mates through the gate.  All in the freezing cold without my coat on.  I was not a happy bunny, but had to laugh as it was so ridiculas.

The photo above was taken by Wayne on his iphone.  Me wrangling the neighbours chickens with the assistance of Sophie.  She loves chickens, and always helps me feed, lock up etc every day.  Mind you, she is also quite fond of sampling any tidbits I throw out for them as well......

Anyway, Christmas is coming quickly and hopefully things will slow down a bit.  We are celebrating on Christmas Eve with our neighbours (French celebrate Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day) which will be lovely.  We are sharing the food preparation and it should be a great night.  The 25th we will be recovering quietly at home, and gathering strength for the Orphans Picnic on Boxing Day which we are hosting.  (Casual potluck for friends in our group who are not travelling to family for the fetes.)

Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and look forward to having more time in the New Year to blog more frequently.  Best wishes!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Back on track

Phew, what a month!

Surgery went well, and I have been recovering slowly but steadily.  Thank you for the lovely emails with get well wishes.

Not a lot of news to report.  Have spent my time resting and not being able to do anything, so the garden and house are a bit neglected and in need of some TLC.  Oh well, not the end of the world.  All will be back to normal soon.

I borrowed heaps of books from the library, thinking that would keep me occupied for the month.... then two days after coming home from hospital I passed out and gave myself a bad concussion...... so could not read, watch tv/dvd's or anything interesting.  Typical! lol

One thing I have been doing this past week is working on cross stitch designs for Christmas ornaments.  A piece of graph paper and a pencil is all you need.  Have started making some, and they are coming together nicely.  You can buy some of the ornaments and my jams, jellies and chutneys at the Chez Tante Mabel Christmas market which will be the last weekend in november.  Stay tuned for more details closer to the date.

I had grand plans of crocheting, stitching, reading and watching a few films on dvd over the past month.  All that has happened is that the cats have had lots of snuggle time and the dining table is still covered with everything I planned to occupy myself with. 

At least we have had some lovely sunny days, which has meant I could sit outside for half an hour each day and bask in the sunshine with Sophie.  She has been very happy to have me sit and stroke her and just spend time with her. 

It is starting to feel like autumn now.  The leaves are falling from the trees, the nights are cooler, and we have fog and mist in the mornings and a heavy dew.  We have actually run the heating a few times to take the chill off the air in the house! 

Our neighbours did the vendage this weekend.  I was very disappointed to not be able to join in.  Will have to wait till next year.  It is hard work, but very satisfying and it is lovely to be out in the vines at this time of year.

I love this part of the year when everything is starting to hunker down ready for winter.  The garden is lovely and the woods are bursting into gorgeous warm colours just as the temperature drops.  There is a special feel to the air that just makes you impatient for the cold weather to arrive so you can bundle up in jumpers and scarves and walk for miles enjoying it all.

The chickens are starting to get ready for the cold weather too.  Eating a lot more and heading in to bed earlier each night.  They start waiting at the gate to the chicken palace at about 7pm, and if I am not there by 7.30pm they take themselves to bed.  Very funny and cute.  Strawberries and tomatoes are their favourite foods, and I make sure I hand feed them something every day so they are happy to be approached and be near humans.  The rooster doesn't like to be patted, but the girls are ok with it.... well, I think they put up with it rather than like it to be honest.

This week sees the start of getting back into my usual routine, so I will have more interesting updates next time.

Thank you again for all the good wishes emails.

Friday, 22 August 2014

end of summer

Already, in mid august, we are experiencing the end of summer.  Far too early!  We can only hope that the warm weather and sunshine will return for another few weeks.

Our normally scorching summer days have turned balmy.  The nights are cool.

The swallows are gathering to fly south to Africa.

Apples are ripe and dropping from the trees.

Everyone is left feeling rather disappointed and deflated.  After a long, wet and miserable winter (even though not as cold as usual), we have had a very short summer.

All signs are pointing to another long winter, and a cold one at that.  We shall see what happens.

Most of the sunflower fields are already faded and waiting to be harvested, but there are still the odd ones which have bright sunny flowers.  Even on a dull and grey day they are beautiful and give a much needed splash of warm colour.

Annoyingly, my tomatoes are not yet ripe.  I have the fruit in abondance, but not enough sun to ripen them.  We may be eating a lot of green tomato pickles etc this year.  Worst thing is that I will have to buy tomatoes to make sauces and preserve for winter.  Feels really wrong to do that somehow when I have such a big potager.

The chicks are doing well.  We have enough eggs to not have to worry about buying them.  I would like a slight surplus, but that will happen when I enlarge the flock.

I was very excited last night when I was making us a light snack of eggs on toast for dinner, and we had double yolkers!  What a bonus!

OK, enough time spent inside, there is work to be done in the terrain.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Once again I have not been sitting at my computer as too much to do outside.  Apologies as photos and updates very overdue.

Well, we have our rooster now, and he is lovely.  Still doesn't have a name.  Can't quite decide what to call him.  Would love to call him Roger the Dodger as he spent the first few days dodging the girls.... but we have too many Rogers in the village, so it would not be tactful if I had to explain the joke behind his name .... hmmm.  Was thinking of calling him Bordeaux - as Coq au Vin is a bit of a mouthful.  We shall see what happens.

Whilst the girls are pretty shades of browns and coppers (with mullet hairdo's!), he is striking in white, grey and black, with tiny hints of coppery brown.  Still a bit of growing to do, so we are waiting to see how big his tail gets and what form his comb will take.

The girls are laying pretty much everyday.  Beautiful pale blue eggs like jewels.  Have had one full size egg so far, the rest are "training" eggs and a bit on the small side.  They are very happy and content in their coop.  No more attempts to explore the terrain, so their wings have not needed to be clipped.

Sophie loves the chickens, but unfortunately the rooster is not so fond of her visiting them.  If she gets too close he gets a bit stroppy and fluffs himself up and runs at her.  Would be interesting to see who came out the victor in that battle!  Both are little warriors.

Our freezer is filling with veg ready for winter.  Haven't started preserving yet, but will have to start soon.  Hasn't been a fabulous year for the crops as too wet, so everything is late and some things not doing too well at all.  Still no aubergines and the capsicums are only just fruiting.

One thing that is thriving is the sureau and berries in the hedgerows.  Have made one batch of elderberry jelly, but will have to make more to sell.  Also have a batch of syrup put up ready for winter.  The blackberries are ripening, so will go foraging for them monday and make up some blackberry jelly.  Also a few kilos for the freezer.  Rosehips on the eglantines seem to be coming along nicely.  Am keeping an eye on them so I can harvest for eglantine jelly in a month or so.  I detest the texture of rosehip jam, far too gritty for me.  The jelly is the same lovely perfumed flavour, but a much nicer texture.

My jams and jellies are now available to buy at Chez Tante Mabel at Fondemoulin.  Hopefully they will sell well there and benefit both Bev and I!

The apples are nearly ready for picking.  This year we are trying to get a group together to take all our apples to a professional cider mill to have them crushed and pressed.  You need a lot to do this, and no one has enough on their own.  So if we club together it should work well.  Also, the more varieties of apples in the mix, the better the flavour of the finished product.  Win for all!

OK, time to go and make rhubarb compote.  I have a bountiful supply of rhubarb, which is fabulous.  I could eat rhubarb every day with no problem.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Les Poilus... and other things

No, these are not Poilus, these are cupcakes....

Realised that I forgot to post an image from the decorating workshop that I went on a month or so ago.  It was heaps of fun and I learnt so much. 

Things have not slowed down for summer.  I seem to be busier than ever.  Luckily it is school holidays and I have the extra bt of time to cram in my

The garden is looking fabulous!  Will have to take proper photos soon to post.  These ones are just snapped on my iphone.  I have flowers everywhere and the orchard and potager are looking fabulous too.  The wildflower meadow is coming along slowly, thanks to Jean's unfortunate plowing incident just when it was ready to flower.... let's not talk about that though.  Hopefully next year it will be fully established and look wonderful.

Unfortunately I lost the battle with doryphore beetles this year.  They have decimated my potato plants.  Hopefully the potatoes will be ok, but the plants are almost gone.  Very annoying.  I went out every day and removed the eggs and beetles, and then when that didn't seem to be working I tried dusting them with flour ( a remedy from an organic website).  It seemed to slow them down, but did not stop them.  So I don't think I will get the same massive yield as last year.

The chooky girls are doing well.  Completely at home in their chicken palace.  They have taken to following me around inside it and "helping" me weed etc.  The paler one has a fondness for pecking my toes.... she is the cheeky one and has a very bold character.  The darker one is slightly more timid and skittish.  Yesterday we went out and bought our new heating system and a whole heap of hardware items for the next months works.  When we got home it was 7pm and first thing I did was go out to collect the washing off the line..... only to be met by a chicken.... outside the chicken pen.  The lighter one had decided to have an explore, but could not get back in.  Needless to say I have no strawberries now as she feasted on them all day...hmmm.

The cats are all spoilt and content.  Sophie has not been battling everything that moves, so has been looking good the past few weeks.  The boys are loving our new memory foam overlay on our bed.  They also think it gives the best nights sleep!

At present I am working on a project along with a few others in the village.  We are putting together an exhibit about the villagers who went to the First and Second World Wars, and including the British SAS soldiers who were executed by the Nazis and are buried here in the village cemetary.  One of the team has done a huge amount of work tracing teh genealogy of the French soldiers and finding as much information as possible about each of them.  My job is to translate all the information into english and then to research the SAS soldiers and produce profiles on them.

Les Poilus is the name given to the local soldiers who went to fight.  It has been interesting to learn about the lives of these men (and sometimes boys) who lost their lives and are now commemorated on the War Memorial in the village centre.  So many of the names are still to be found here, and they really are still remembered by the older villagers.  One of the first stories I was told when we moved in, was about Clémentine who rode her bicycle over the Vichy line taking messages for the Resistance.  Her family owned our house.  There are still members of the family living nearby and the cemetary is full of those that have already gone to "pastures green".

As part of the project, I am going to London next week to conduct further research in the National Archives and the National Library.  Hopefully I will come across some interesting images to display in the exhibit as well.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


My chickens are finally here.  So happy.

I have the 2 girls now, and the rooster arrives in a few weeks.  He is still a bit young and needs to learn how to be a big boy before coming to live with us.  Mind you, the girls are still quite young and have a bit of growing to do as well.

They have settled in fabulously.  Loving their new coop, and letting me have little pats each morning.  Hopefully they will be quite tame and will sit for lots of cuddles and pats before too long.

Sophie is happy too.  She has missed having chickens to guard.  Yesterday she made her inspection and then sat outside the door purring.  I could swear she was smiling.

The breed is Legbar (lays lovely blue eggs) and they come from Anne over at Arbes et Abeilles.  Fabulous plant nursery, and chickens too!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

and suddenly there were bees!

I was going to do a post about the wild orchids growing in the terrain today..... but as sometimes happens, another topic came to the forefront.

Last tuesday I had a very busy day.  Wayne had to fly to Sweden, which meant a train at "ugly o'clock" in the morning.  I drove him to the station, stayed in Poitiers for a little shopping, then returned home in time for a quick lunch before working that afternoon at the museum.  Of course, being a busy day, it did not stop there.  I had to go home from museum, finish off some light summer trousers I was sewing, so that I could wear them the next day on a trip, then I had a council meeting to attend.  You are starting to get the picture that I hardly had time to think, let alone sit for five seconds and breathe.

In between getting home and gobbling down some dinner, before rushing back out to the Mairie,  my neighbour knocked on the door.  He had been strimming along the drystone wall that runs along the boundary of our place and his, and on our side he ran into a bee swarm......

Literally walked right into it - with strimmer running - and bees trying to guard their queen from the nasty invader.

Luckily he was not stung, although he did do the crazy bee dance trying to wave them away whilst backpedalling very fast.

A friend of his is an apiarist, and was very happy to come and collect a healthy swarm of bees.  So he came and placed a beehive beside the angry mass of bees and gently smoked and coaxed them into moving house.  As it was late in the day and the bees had been upset enough already, the hive was left in place till early next morning to enable them to calm down and settle in.

Bright and early the next day (again! another 5:00am start - eek!) the beekeeper arrived and gently loaded the bees into his van for their trip to a new home.  I waved them off, then went on a coach trip to Beauval Zoo... but that is a story for another day....

I have been promised a jar of honey when it is ready to be collected, and suffice to say, whilst I am happy that my garden is so appealing to the wildlife I would rather not have bee swarms to deal with -  or snakes dropped on my feet for that matter (are you listening Sophie?).

Not many photos as I was not willing to get too close to all the action.  I am super allergic to bees!

It seems that every time I have a really busy day, some other drama arrives to cap it off.  No one can say life in the country is boring!
Just because, a photo of my baby boy Guy.  Isn't he gorgeous!

Monday, 9 June 2014


Just a quick post with an image of the cellier window filled to overflowing with petunias.

Everything is just looking so beautiful at present, and I am super busy keeping it looking that way, whilst still advancing the garden works, and keeping up with other chores.

Saturday, 31 May 2014


Well spring is finally fully here and my flowers are blooming beautifully.

I have pots with petunias billowing out and draping everywhere.  Lovely big purple and white, or raspberry and white blooms. 
My pansies have finally flowered too!  They did nothing last year and I was really disappointed.  This year they are a mass of flowers and so pretty.

The peonies are nearly finished, but have been magnificent!  My favourite flower.

One thing which has me really excited is the amount of elder flower this year.  Am looking forward to late summer and to making jelly and syrups.  I could not survive winter here without gelée du surreau.

I have heaps of borage plants in the garden.  The bees love them and that area is always alive with the sound of buzzing.  The plants themselves are quite attractive, and the flowers are a lovely blue.  Borage flowers taste a bit like cucumber, and make lovely decoration for cakes or in salad.  I was fascinated by this little white and blue spider who was happily living on the flowers.

One of the downsides of springtime is that all the small animals are out and about..... Sophie has been bringing me her spoils of hunting and displaying them in front of the arriere cuisine door.  Much as I love her, I wish she wouldn't kill the lerots.  They are super cute and completely harmless.  Mice and rats I have no problem with her killing.  She is, after all, a farm cat. 

Yesterday she was making her calling noises to alert me to the fact she had something for me... I could not find her at first, then eventually saw she was under the car.  Her behaviour was a bit peculiar, and I was wondering what was up..... till I saw she had caught a snake and was proudly bringing it to me.  Hmmm...  Thanks, but no thanks Sophie.  I called out to Wayne who came and quickly dispatched it whilst I distracted Sophie and told her what a big brave girl she was and thanked her for my "present". 

Oh well, at least the snakes here are nothing compared to what we grew up with in Australia........

No photos as did not think you would like to see a "spiflicated" snake..... you're welcome.

Monday, 5 May 2014


Long time between posts..... sorry about that.  There is this little thing called life, which keeps interfering with my leisure

This weekend was the annual Marché aux Fleurs et vide grenier in the village. 

Lots of interesting stuff to look at in the vide grenier (trash and treasure or white elephant sale), but nothing that grabbed my eye.  ...Actually, that is not true.  There was some gorgeous furniture - but Wayne would have had kittens if I had asked him to lug it all home... no transport as we had walked in to the village. Hmmm.  So I bit my tongue and did not even ask.  Yes, I know, you cannot believe that I showed such restraint.  Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour.

Actually, I did say how gorgeous the furniture was and he said, we shall think about it while we walked around.  Knowing full well it would be snapped up before we had completed one row.  I could have insisted, but let it go.

Aside from that, the marche aux fleurs was good.  Not fabulous, but I found everything that I wanted.  I have about 10 tomato  plants sitting under cover waiting for the Saints des Glace to pass.  This year it is the 11, 12, 13 May - depending which region and which one of the saints you are waiting for.  Basically it is the date that signals the end of frosts, and you can start planting out your more delicate and frost tender plants.  Of course, it is not an accurate science, more a rough guide, so you still need to check the meteo before planting.

One thing which was great was the cupcakes on sale by Bev and Paul from Chez Tante Mabel.  Absolutely gorgeous confections, which tasted as good as they looked!

I had a vanilla cupcake for lunch, and bought four to bring home and enjoy.  They are almost too pretty to eat, but I shall enjoy one with a cup of tea in a few minutes. Cannot wait.

Bev does incredible edible artworks.  I love going over to Fondemoulin for afternoon tea, and always hope she has her lemon drizzle cake on the menu.  Her decorated cakes are beautiful.  And of course, they are all delicious!

Paul is no slouch either.  He makes the hand made soaps they sell, and is a dab hand at carpentry.  I love checking out the doll houses and furniture that he has.  Simply gorgeous.  I want a doll house for myself, they are so lovely.

Anyway, enough about yummies.  On to work.  We have spent the past four days demolishing the rabbit hutches and pigeon house.  For something that looked so rotten and ramshackle, they certainly were a lot of work to tear down!  I could not believe how many nails had been used.  Seems that the person who built them, and then repaired them later, subscribed to the theory that if one nail was good - four nails were better!  Phew!

All is looking good and the fence posts for the chicken coop are up and the concrete is setting, ready for more work this weekend. 

My veg are nearly all planted.  The peas and beans are well and truely out of the ground, as are the potatoes.  We shall see how many kilos of potatoes we get this  Still eating last years crop, and think they will see us almost to the new crop.  Only a few bags of green beans in the freezer now, and one bag of leeks.  All the peas are long gone, along with the spinach, carrots and parsnips.  I have a bag or two of kale still on hand, and one drawer still has fruit.  A few jars of tomato purees and sauces still left, and a few jars of apple compote.  All in all, I think I managed to stock just enough to see us through winter and to the growing season.  I am quite pleased with it, so aim to reproduce the same quantities this year.

Our fruit trees have flowered and you can see tiny fruits.  We are hoping that we  don't get a bad frost or storm and lose all the cherries this year.  If all goes well we will finally get to taste them in a month or so.

One thing which is a bit annoying is my resident mole.  I think I actually have two in residence.  One at each end of the land.  Will check on them today and see if they have gone.  I poured used kitty litter down the burrows last night.  Last time that got rid of them tout de suite!

The flower beds are coming along fabulously.  Thanks in large part to lovely friends who keep giving me cuttings, bulbs and divisions from their gardens, and to my favourite nursery - Arbres et Abeilles.  I never seem to come home from gardening club empty handed......

OK, enough typing.  Time to have my cup of tea and cupcake, then get out in to the garden and make the most of this glorious sunny day.

A bientot!

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


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 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

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.