Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Daisy and Harry

I’m not sure how I managed to go shopping this morning, but I went early, on the way back from feeding the hens, ducks and goats, with swollen eyes and a nose which was red from crying.
Since I have had my new cat, Harry, the girls, Purrdy and Daisy haven't been happy at all and have spent a good deal of time away from the house.  However, by yesterday I hadn’t seen Daisy since Tuesday last week.  Daisy was one of the two beautiful kittens I had from a friend on an expat forum here.  Maisie on the left and Daisy on the right.
Yesterday evening I could hear a cat weakly miaowing behind the sink area in the utility area.   Andy came round and pulled out the washing machine which he had been working on the day before, replacing bearings.  Daisy was in the corner of the room unable to get up.  I crawled in and carefully got her out.  She had a large wound on her lower back, infected, oozing and very, very smelly.  She had breathing problems and couldn't walk – she was very, very weak.  I think she may not have been able to see.  She was incredibly thin – it doesn’t seem possible that in ten days she could be so emaciated.
I called the Veterinary Surgery at Corlay at 9.20pm and amazingly someone was there, he’d just popped in to fetch something.  I explained that Daisy was very ill and needed to be on a drip straightaway.  He asked me to go in.  He examined Daisy and said she might have been poisoned and that she was haemorraging, but wasn’t sure.  Her temperature was only 34°C.   He thought it was worth trying to save her.  She had a chest xray as he thought she might have a herniated diaphragm – she didn’t.  He was going to clean up her wound, put her on antibiotics and a drip and asked me to 'phone this morning to find out if she made it through the night and if so, if she was any better.  I said that obviously I wanted her to survive, but that if she was suffering too much I would prefer it if they put her down.  It’s always such a difficult thing to say.
I 'phoned this morning at 8.30am.  Daisy didn't make it through the night.
I then 'phoned B and J, who gave me Harry after their original cats couldn't live with him.  He is a lovely cat and very loving, but wants to be the only cat in the house. 
I couldn't have Purrdy so distressed with him here and so B and J picked up Harry mid morning to try to rehome him. 
I am devastated - two cats gone in one day and so soon after losing Alfie too.

Life during the last few days

Saturday morning and the fish van was parked opposite the Credit Agricole bank in St Nicolas du Pélem so I parked up and bought some mackerel fillets and a very large brown crab.  I had a third of it dressed with Hellman's mayo and chilli paste - it was definitely worth the money. 

The woman who sells the fish is lovely and always chats to everyone.  A few years ago in the morning, I came out of the bank and went over to the van to buy fish.   In the afternoon the bank 'phoned me to say that an envelope with €1000 and the withdrawal slip with my bank details on it had been handed in to the bank.  I hadn't noticed that I'd come home without it as it was to pay workmen at the end of the following week so I hadn't been looking for it.  The fish lady had found the envelope, opened it and taken it back into the bank for me.  How lucky was I that this honest person had been the one to see it?  It gives you back your faith in human beings.
I have just had two lots of horrid news from friends back in the UK.  One has been diagnosed with a tumour where her bronchia divides to right and left.  She is a positive person and I hope this will help her through the next weeks and months as she receives treatment and recovers.  The other is now waiting for tests and then results, so fingers crossed for her. Life is shit sometimes though, isn't it, and it's always the best people that horrid things happen to, while grotty people seem to sail through life without hassles.
I have been wandering around the garden today taking photos of the last of the blooms before the weather really changes, now that Autumn has arrived today.  The last photo is of a dahlia. This is one of a whole load of dahlia tubers which were given away on AngloINFO earlier in the year.  I passed some onto my neighbour and hers are blooming well too.

When the youngest girl - three years old - across the road first saw these boot wipers she looked very worried and obviously thought there was a giant living here.  I keep cutting back the nasturtians and they keep coming across the doorway again, in spite of the coolness of the nights and early morning now. 

Yesterday I took three punnets of my polytunnel tomatoes, a mixture of ordinary tomatoes, cherry type, plum and yellow, and made a very tasty sauce.  In the pan went tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, sugar, cider vinegar and olive oil. 


After everything was really soft I liquidised it all and then passed it through a seive.  Several batches later and I had three litres of really lovely passata.  I tried a spoonful of it and then got a small mug and drank that too - very good!

Last week I bought a huge bunch of watercress at Lannion market and made watercress soup for the first time.

It may not look too delicious at this stage, but once liquidised with a little more cream and seasoning added it was very good with hot buttered toast.

I had a large container of poppy seed heads from last and this year and as they are thoroughly dry I have been emptying them of next years flower seeds, but before I did, I took a couple of photos.  There are so many different types and they all have quite different containers.

My opposite neighbour is not a gardener, but every Autumn these bright yellow daisies grow tall and burst into flower in front of his conifer hedge.

My own garden still has some good things happening in it, although today I finally took out all the nasturtians and trimmed back the clematis on the house wall.  On the pergola, the clematis montana has suddenly started flowering this week - I can't imagine why.

You can click on the smaller photos to enlarge them.   

The hawthorn berries and the snowberries are in the lane.

Three things I like:

1.   The way the season has changed to Autumn so dramatically.
2.   The fungi popping up in the verges round the village.
3.   The possibility of seeing old friends very soon.