The great rivers of France, terrace furniture, and the story of a resident’s permit

One is never far from the great rivers of France. Today two of them featured in my adventures, the Garonne and the Dordogne, the Garonne because I crossed over it twice on my return journey to Bordeaux this morning, and the Dordogne because I drove alongside it on arrival in the centre of the city. The two rivers meet at Bordeaux and then flow out … Continue reading The great rivers of France, terrace furniture, and the story of a resident’s permit

First Monday in April 2021

I need hardly state the obvious: these are strange and difficult times. Everyone in their differing circumstances has a different set of challenges. However empathetic we try to be we can only really talk with any authority about our own challenges. Our own biggest challenge at the moment is the enforced separation caused by the “perfect storm” of Covid and Brexit. I’m here in France … Continue reading First Monday in April 2021

Kitchen Garden? Or Potager?

We didn’t think we were going to grow vegetables here. Certainly when we were only visiting every few weeks it would have been out of the question as without regular watering everything would quickly have died at worst, or failed to thrive at best. And with wonderful produce available seasonally in the markets around us what was the point … It is interesting how ideas … Continue reading Kitchen Garden? Or Potager?

Wildlife. And a trip to market

I’ve recently noticed a few large wasps lurking in the downstairs bedroom, around the French windows. Apparently (so beekeeping friends tell me) they are likely to be fertilised queen wasps which have been over-wintering somewhere and are now coming out of hibernation to found a new nest. Last autumn we suddenly had an influx of dozens, actually probably hundreds, of dozy and dying wasps into … Continue reading Wildlife. And a trip to market

Houseplants, flooding, and unproductive days

The rain has been relentless for some weeks now, so much so that the land is saturated, the rivers are overflowing, and France has declared a natural disaster in this region after extensive flooding. You can read about it here in The Local France. Fortunately we ourselves haven’t been impacted in terms of flooding. But there’s been a stream running down the drive much of … Continue reading Houseplants, flooding, and unproductive days

First Monday in February 2021

The equivalent post in January took us for a walk around the garden. This post is going to be more of a roundup of what’s been going on since. We’ve had quite a lot of wintry weather, a mix of hard overnight frosts, ferocious wind, and torrential rain. We are currently living through a period when the temperatures are mild (in the teens) but the … Continue reading First Monday in February 2021

First Monday in January 2021

A friend posted photos of all the plants in flower in her garden a couple of days ago. This inspired me to walk round yesterday taking photos of all the flowers I could find; very few! I had a real sense that the garden has now sunk into its brief period of winter dormancy. Winter is short in this part of south-west France, but it … Continue reading First Monday in January 2021

My top 10 from 2020

This time last year I downloaded an app called Top 9 which selects the best (not sure by what criteria) nine photos posted on Instagram during the previous year. I’m seeing a few people posting their Top 9 so I decided I’d revisit it. Unfortunately the app doesn’t want to play ball, just hanging and displaying the message “Doing some housekeeping …”. Its been doing … Continue reading My top 10 from 2020