Saturday, 21 May 2011


The lovely weather continues, I got quite burnt last Thursday when I gave a stone carving lesson all day on the terrace. My shoulders and neck are still sore. I'm very pleased with the works of art produced, really surprising, as they always are, since one has no way of knowing what's inside the stone and what the effect will be. Here are pictures of the best piece, a fish jumping out of a piece of rock, the only one that was completely finished. Click on the picture to get a close up view. I am giving another class next Saturday.

The week before last I had the visit of an English couchsurfer for three days. We knew each other from chatting on a couchsurfing forum, and as we had foreseen, we got on really well. And he very kindly finished painting my sitting room ceiling (a major step in the right direction for those who know my house!).

And here is a picture of the back of the sleeveless pullover I have knitted for Cécile (she requested it in winter, it's now summer as you will have realised... luckily, winter comes round again!). The front is plainer. It's a bit of a funny shape, and too short, but never mind, it'll keep the bit of her it covers nice and warm, it's cashmere (mostly). I'll send it to England, Cécile, since you are going soon, I'll save on postage!

My garden is growing, but needs a lot of water. I've planted melons, as I'm convinced the good weather is going to last until September. October, why not! I pick a handful of strawberries each day (but the blackbirds are having a feastday with them), and I have a few wild strawberries almost ready. Raspberries just have to ripen. My runner beans have not worked at all, but my French beans came up almost as soon as I planted them. Tomatoes, salads, artichokes, coriander, new potatoes, broad beans, I'm really enjoying the fruits of my labour, and just wandering around looking at it all grow. Here are a few photos.

First plum tomatoes

First baby potimarron

Very proud of this - first artichoke!

First blueberries

Coriander and new potatoes
First courgette

Michael and Steve, we were talking last time I was in Dorset about how Daddy would have loved new technology, computers, digital cameras, etc. I was mowing the other day, I have a little tiny Flymo - do you remember how excited he was when he first bought a Flymo? And when he got a microwave? He microwaved everything in sight! Sad he didn't live to see Facebook and Skype!

I've just returned from visiting a few Trait Breton carthorses and their foals. What beautiful animals. But, boy was it hot again, out in the middle of a field mid afternoon.

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Apparently not everyone remembers the photos of my palm tree last year, so here is a reminder.

I've been working so hard. I've transferred things from my terraces down into the garden. I've cut a flowerbed into the lawn on the opposite side of the path to the vegetable patch, and brought up a maple from the bottom of the garden and two azaleas. I planted two holly seedlings that were on my front terrace, a virburnum, a large camelia from the back terrace which has been in the same pot for 6 years, a small camelia from the front terrace, I planted out all the bulbs which flowered in pots this spring, all the dahlias I brought back from England.  There are very tall ferns growing already in that flowerbed, and it looks as if it's been there for ages.

Last week I planted three lupin plants I bought, and brought up another maple from the bottom of the garden, a big one this time, I had a hell of a job getting it out of the ground. I've planted it behind my new apple trees, to the north of them, but it's looking very sad, I hope it will survive.

I've sown my runner beans (which don't seem to be coming up...), sweet peas and nasturtiums. I planted out a potimarron (a small sweet pumpkin) and a chili pepper which I have protected with glass cloches. Two aubergines, two bell peppers, lots of flower seeds. Eleven tomato plants. A dozen batavia salads.

The garlic I planted three weeks ago is up, and the radishes I sowed on top of the potatoes. The earlier radishes have been eaten.

I went  to a session of thai massage a couple of weeks ago, I needed it after all this gardening, my back was hurting, which is rare for me. The massage was free, with ovs. And the same evening, I went to the art meeting (remember 6 weeks ago I did a painting for the theme "Air, Terre, Eau, Feu".). This time the theme was "Anatomie". I knitted a frog and felted its innards (following a model by  found on internet, thank you ) and pinned to a corkboard, like we did in biology. It was far more original than drawings of naked ladies that other people did, and everybody found it  funny! The next theme is "L'histoire", very uninspiring, too broad.

It continues to be very hot, but cold at night. I did a lamb and mint sauce, roast potatoes and peas lunch for Eastern Sunday for 4 other people from ovs and they loved it. I did loads of lamb and even more loads of gravy so I'd have lots for shepherd's pie afterwards, but they ate three quarters of the lamb and nine tenths of the gravy! We ate out on the terrace.

I'm afraid the RSPCA may come and check on the welfare of my animals, they are so terribly stressed...

I have just won the first match of the new chess tournament. Maybe I'll go a stage further this time!