Monday, 30 May 2011

May 30th

Here in France today is not a holiday, we have ours on Thursday when we 'faire le pont' (make the bridge) and have Friday off as well.
I am really sorry for all you folks over in the UK your weather sounds horrible.
Here it is lovely. I think this weekend has been one of the warmest so far. So for all those people who choose to come to France, they should be lucky with the weather.
However our potager is looking very sad. We have water restrictions here. Luckily we have a well that is on our land so we use that to water the veg but the grass is yellow. It looks like it normally does at the end of August and it is only the end of May!!! What's it going to be like in a couple of months?
Sorry I have not posted for ages. I do have loads to tell you and will start again tomorrow

Friday, 6 May 2011

Miss - RIP

Her favourite sunbathing position

This morning at 9 o'clock my beautiful, loyal and wonderful dog died.
She has been with us since we moved into this house - nearly 12 years. We got her from the SPA  ( French RSPCA) and they think she was about 18months old.
Both the boys grew up with her and she has always been there, following me around, checking where I was and looking for cuddles and love.
She had not been 100% for a while, but the vet said it was just old age. Then 5 weeks ago she was bitten by a snake on her nose. Amazingly she got through this, but I was warned the poison may do lasting damage.
I don't know what she died from, but I was with her and that was very important to me. I hope she knew I was there.
We will bury her in the garden tonight.
The house will not be the same

Sunday, 1 May 2011

What's in our back garden this year?

We have been in our house for nearly 12 years and every spring we look out of our back door and try and work out what will be in our back garden this year
Our back garden is not really our garden, but one of the many fields that surround us.

We have had a variety of crops over the years, wheat, peas, colza (rape), oats, potatoes ( we were able to help ourselves to any that were left in the field when they had been picked  - by eastern European women, but that's another story). Last year we had sunflowers.
This year we have watched the tractors planting and the wheat start to grow, but right behind our house we have had an empty space for a few weeks now and we could not work out what it was going to be, we thought maybe sunflowers or mais ( corn). 

This is the view out of my bathroom window
You can see our garden at the front, then the wheat, then the empty field, then the wheat again.
Yesterday MOH and I were enjoying the sunshine  in the back when the farmer walked across the field towards us.

This was the first time we had met him. He rents the fields from our neighbour, who stopped farming about 14 years ago. 
Naturally we asked him what was going in the empty space.

Apparently it is going to be 2 metre squares of different variations of mais which will be castrated in July to produce the best grains.
This is something that is very popular with the farmers around here. Mais is grown quite a lot in our area and most of the big farmers do this. It is very labour intensive, they always use young people between 16 & 18 year olds for a couple of weeks in the summer to castrate the mais. Both my boys have done this, D will do it again this year for his second year. They are paid the SMIC, the basic wage.
The farmer told us yesterday that if the results are good they can make a good profit.
This is a picture from last year. It grows really high, then it is trimmed back to make it easier to walk through.
Because the weather has been so warm recently they needed to water in the seeds they had just sown.
This was taken yesterday evening with the water going over the ground
My final photo shows part of our back garden

Can you see the line across the grass? 

This is just one of the dog paths. Miss has created these paths all round the garden and Max is following them too.