That’s Better……. Monday, Sep 8 2014 

Typically once I’ve decided to do something , I couldn’t wait.  So I got stuck into dismantling this old archway last week & now have a view from the house out across the garden.
This took four whole days to remove & clear all the debris. With deeply planted wooden posts, a metal frame & steel rods attaching the two,all of course knitted together & gripped by ivy roots, it was not as straight forward as first thought.

I think you’ll agree though, it was well worth the effort……

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I’ve taken the above photo with the fisheye lens because it is the widest angle lens.

As you can see, I also stripped ivy off the stones in the centre of lawn surrounding the Rhododendrons & will now be able to enjoy the lovely Camellia Sasanqua which starts to flower next month which will continue until January !

Plus all the autumn colour of the Sumach trees will be more visible from inside the house.

 

Before

Before

Fortunately I have all the tools need for the job.

Work in progress.


Work in progress.

I was originally going to take down the Italian cypress on the right,but once all the ivy & lover dead branches had been removed I rather like the elegance of the bare trunk, so it has been reprieved.

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As you can see,the bee man has still not taken his ladder away, I don’t think he knows how to capture the bees in the roof .

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Finished !
Of course one job always leads to another & now I can see the far trees more clearly, I’m eying the ugly palm in the top lefthand corner of first photo, I did have one removed earlier in the year,but I shall just take the ivy & dead leaves off this one.

Summer On The Wane……… Tuesday, Aug 19 2014 

I’ve been rather lazy of late, yet time seems to fly by.

The plums have ripened, been collected,stewed & frozen, there has been such a crop this year I’ve had to buy an additional freezer, with the blackberries & crab apples still to come.

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The corn was cut weeks ago but for some reason & unusually the farmer has not collected the bales.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the meantime, I’m eyeing up this arch which is getting overgrown with Russian creeper….

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I lost the Italian Cyprus tree on the left so now the other one looks very scrappy & not completely healthy…….As I now have the large picture windows/doors, the arch blocks the view across the garden from that room.

It’s a shame to (more…)

Test… Saturday, Jul 5 2014 

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Phew….What a Week ! Sunday, Jun 29 2014 

As expected a friend arrived on Monday for a short visit, he’s a very energetic person so I knew there would be much to get through & as delightful as he is I’m usually very happy to see him leave !
I had put off collecting my new car until he arrived, he is a fluent French speaker so he may have been needed on handover day.
As it happened all went well, after parting with my 21-year-old diesel Audi we very quietly & regally glided out of the dealership car park.

This was the first time I’d been behind the wheel, having not even test driven this petrol model & you can imagine the difference for me in a modern car, most of all the silence,it is also one of those which cuts the engine in traffic, I don’t have a clue whether the engine is running or not until it moves !!!
I absolutely love it & even more on finding a bottle of Champagne in the glove compartment later.

So cute…….

 

 

 

 

 

After a celebratory dinner that night.

Tuesday morning I was awakened by the noise of heavy vehicles arriving on the field side of the house,looking out I saw a convoy of lorries & tractors with lifting gear all coming in my direction.

The French electricity company EDF have been doing work on a grand scale in the region,relaying cables underground, they had finished that work some weeks ago & were now back to remove all the pylon/poles.

What a joy to be rid of the one nearest the house & another further up the field.

They also cut down this dead tree for me.

 

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Tree gone & the Cherry picker came to its own as the big tree to the right,out of shot was heavily laden with cherries & the driver picked a basket load for me. Later to return & fill two buckets for himself :-)

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This took most of the day…allowing for almost a three-hour lunch……. to get out this pole & the one further up, I have to say they were quite well organised  & just look at the difference, I now have an uninterrupted view !

 

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Sorry about the stick on wine glass, I shall need to take that down now.

So again we went off out for another celebratory dinner !

Wednesday was slightly more relaxed where my friend decided to set up an internet booster.

My Livebox just doesn’t seem to have any strength, Orange say it’s because I live in the countryside…. blah blah………..anyway,I now have full strength & can use my laptop outside at the top of the garden again……..as I did originally when I first went onto Wi-Fi.

Thursday was much the same but an early night & farewell to Mr energy !

Jamais Encore ! Friday, May 23 2014 

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For sometime now I’ve wanted to have a go at gilding. It always looked so easy when watching others on these home decorating TV programs. So, having looked at this large mirror many times thinking it looks so drab & knowing brown furniture is unfashionable at present, I chose this as my victim.

P1040016 I should have known what was afoot when after buying a book of gold leaf [ Dutch gold] & laying out all the materials ready to start the next day, I poured myself a glass of red wine & promptly knocked  it over … spilling all over the book of gold leaves….this meant they stuck together & I lost at least a third of each page !

Fortunately it was only a starter book of 12 not 24.

I started a dummy run the next day on a plywood tissue box, using egg white for ‘size’ [ glue] as I had failed to find any other product in the art shops. Gilding was nothing like as simple as I expected,the thin light gold had no give it creased/crumbled at the slightest touch.Seen here with added chocolate wrappers for decoration, all faults can be seen.:-(

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I then progressed (more…)

Invasion….. Tuesday, Apr 29 2014 

When I remodelled my garden I made sure it would attract wildlife,I chose plants trees,shrubs with this in mind. Berries for the birds flowers for bees & butterflies. Being a thatched house I wanted a truly country garden to match.

This has been hugely successful, especially the birds who clear any infestation of black,white & green fly from the roses, I never have to spray, they’ve also nested in various varieties in many places …….as you saw last year with the Flycatchers.

The bees are happily buzzing around the top of the Judas tree at this time of year & will pollinate various fruits from Apple to Blueberries , Hawthorn & multiple berry trees for the Autumn.

The Lizards are lazing in the sun on walls, the conservatory roof eating unwanted insects & this  snake was spotted last week,in the greenery close to the house.

Could the snake explain why I have not see a frog in 12 months, even after the wettest winter, not even a Toad ?

 

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Another Challenge……. Wednesday, Apr 9 2014 

But one I’d rather not have had.
My British made mower,bought in France approximately 4/5 years ago has always had a dodgy handle,you know the problem where the wing nuts constantly need tightening & occasionally you lose one so it has to be replaced.
Well last week the worst thing happened & the metal completely sheared off !
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Clearly there is a design defect here, it has gone at the weakest point.

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Parliamentary plots and conspiracy

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