Friday, 13 July 2012

Danger MOGS on the prowl!!!

Our recent cottage guests Trevor and Gill have sent some good photo's, I thought I would share some of them with you. The weather during their stay was reasonable so they managed to get out and explore the local region in the Morgan. In the 'Attractions in the region' section of this website I have an article entitled 'Driving in Central France from Les Deux Platanes' in which I describe the deserted roads harking back to the 1950's in the UK. So no matter what type of vehicle you drive, two wheels or four you can be sure to find some beautiful deserted roads here in central France.

The MOG visiting a local chateau
MOG & our MGF visiting the distilling man!

For the past month the official alcohol distilling trailer has been parked next to the local canal. After extracting the alcohol the 'mash' is put into the river - the fish must have a great time! Last year we managed to obtain 18 litres of eau de vie (pure alcohol) from the plums from our trees we had fermenting over the winter. This is a unique and disappearing art in the French countryside as the government are not replacing the licences as old people die. The distiller has a busy trade in the month he is based here and I hope we can continue to use the service into the future.

A good photo of the MOG at the cottage

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Preparing the games

Every year the local town of Chatillon hosts groups of young people over the national weekend in July. Our contribution to the event is to organise the 'Its a Knockout' games better know in Europe as 'Jeux sans frontiere', sorry but I have not discovered how to put the accent over the 'e' using this blog software.

This year we have five games and representatives from six countries - no doubt you will have a full report with pictures on a future BLOG posting.

A lot of testing takes place, Poppy is coming over to investigate the situation!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wildflowers & jam!

In an attempt to support local wildlife I planted a variety of wildflower seeds on the area taken up by the large filter bed for the fosse septic system which is situated in the field at the rear of the house. This filter area, covering 11metres x 6 metres and nearly one metre deep consists of layers of gravel, special sand and volcanic rock with waste water from the house and cottage entering at one side and clean water leaving at the other side on its way to the roadside ditch.
This is the filter under construction in 2007, Poppy appears to be checking the ground for bumps!
The flowers have just started to come out in the past few days and already the butterflys and bees are visiting

The ducklings that arrived several weeks ago are growing fast and taking full advantage of the duckpond although when I took the photo they appeared to be having a rest period.

This year has been a bumper year for all sorts of fruits so jam production has been in full swing for some time. This morning Maureen has been busy making gooseberry and raspberry along with more blackcurrant.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Harvest time

The weather here in central France has at long last returned to more or less normal, its hot and beautiful so the corn is ripe and golden and the local farmers are busy with the combine harvesters. Our neighbour Monsieur Bonnamy has his own combine which is dusted off and started up every year to cut his crops in the local fields. The combine must be at least 40 yrs old. I took a photo today when he was passing so you combine harvester experts can tell me the exact decade of manufacture!
I thought a B&W photo was appropriate
Maureen has been very busy cooking meals for guests of late, last night it was Duck with Berry Lentils followed by Cherries Jubilee - this desert has been popular this year due to the Queens Diamond Jubilee I suppose?
On Sunday our French friends (Michel & Chantal) who live three houses up the road held their summer lunch. So we arrived at 12.15 and left at 11.00pm after evening dinner!!!!! Yes this is France and they do enjoy a long day eating great food and drinking fine wines with a rest in between to play a few games and have a walk.

It's a great way to integrate into the local society, and we have met many different people over the past number of years that Michel has held his summer party. John's guest on his left was Veronique who is an English teacher in Tours while I was next to her husband Alain who is a classics scholar (Ancient Greek and Latin) but who doesn't speak any English! Makes for interesting conversations.