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.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

La Boissière and flowers in the lane

On Tuesday evening, with a friend, I visited a restaurant I had not been to before.  We had been going to a different place but on arrival found it closed so drove on to La Boissière in Guingamp.  On the Tréguier road we drove off up a steep drive into a wooded garden and having parked walked round to the front door. 
It was 1940 hrs and we were welcomed by Véronique Monfort who showed us to our table in the empty, but well-appointed dining room.   Her friendly service made the meal even more enjoyable.   Within the following half hour two more couples arrived. 
Thomas Monfort is the chef who presented us with such delicious  food.  The photos have all been taken from the internet as I forgot to take my camera.
The whole evening was enjoyable and I would definitely recommend La Boissière to anyone looking for a very good meal in very pleasant surroundings.  It was not a cheap evening and I would like to go back to try their set lunch menu, which is obviously quite different but much more reasonable. 
Last night was the every 6-8 weeks quiz at St Gilles Vieux Marché.  Our team came second as we often do, although we have won once in the last six months.  We fall down on the sport questions as none of us has any knowledge of sport so have to work particularly hard at the rest of the quiz.  It's always good meeting up with people we haven't seen for a while and having an enjoyable evening.  
The little white bantam is continuing to sit on eggs in the feed sack so I hope that eventually we may have some little chicks.
Myosotis, forget-me-nots, are covering the ground everywhere at the moment and the wallflowers in my neighbour's garden scent the whole area.
This is a little bank beside the bread oven in the lane, studded with primroses, muscari and speedwell. 
The sunshine attracts not only me to the garden, but all three cats as well who want to get in on the act of sunbathing.  Although it has not been very hot this week, we have had 18°C in the shade and, without a breeze, it has been very acceptable out there.  Luckily we seem to have escaped the pollution that has been affecting much of the European mainland and the UK.

 Here is our calvaire with muscari, grape hyacinths, at its base.
The sunshine is out again and I'm just off up the lane to collect today's eggs.  The hens are all laying well at the moment and I'm getting duck eggs too.  This morning I clipped one wing on each of the six week old chicks so that I will be able to put them into an open run in the next week or so.
I was posting letters in the local village this morning when Virginie from the local bar/restaurant came out and asked if I could give her some of the poppy seed from the flowers which grow amongst my vegetables.  I am so happy when someone French asks me for something as I feel that I have been accepted here in my little bit of heaven.  I drove home, poured some saved seed into a glass jar and popped straight back to the bar to give it Jerome, her husband. 

I've just found out that a dear friend, Kathy, is going to have a heart by-pass in the UK as soon as possible.  She has been ill for for a while now but they have only just correctly diagnosed her.  My fingers are firmly crossed for her operation and good recovery and I can't wait to give her a big hug when she gets back to Brittany again. 

This was the beautiful sunset tonight looking from my field.

Three things I like:
1.   Hearing that my very good friend, Heather, has got her latest all clear from cancer.
2.   Searching for recipes for the duck legs I have in the fridge and finding a tempting one.
3.   My life here in Brittany.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mothers' Day, rhubarb and chicks

It's a beautiful blue sky day for Mothers' Day.

My chest infection finally seems to be coming to an end and I am coughing less and sleeping more.  However, yesterday was a difficult day with an allergic reaction to pollen.  I was not alone.  On one of the forums I belong to there were lots of people complaining about the same symptoms I had, streaming eyes, runny nose, sneezing etc. etc.  The general consensus was that it was the oil seed rape which is in full flower here.  I'm not sure about that as it doesn't normally affect me but something certainly did.   The lanes are clothed in white as the blackthorn blossom blooms. 
and the gorse is still flowering by the calvaire. 
In St Nicolas du Pélem, there are three magnolias by the town hall and the blossom is beautiful against the March blue sky.
In the morning yesterday, I drove out to collect some books and some empty Bon Maman jam jars.  I was passing close to friends so called them and went over to spend some time chatting in the garden and have lunch outside in the sunshine. 
It was good to catch up with their news and have a long drive in my new-to-me vehicle.
The Discovery has one of those little blue stickers of a Breton person on the back.  I think there's a name for it but I can't remember what it is.

 I thought I had lost my little white bantam to a fox, but last weekend I realised she had been in the barn all the time, sitting on eggs in the top of a full feed sack stacked at the side of the building.  
She was sitting on 7 little white eggs - hers, and 4 brown eggs.  However, on Friday I found a black hen in the top of the feed bag with the little white bantam very upset and noisy on the ground.  The black hen was eating the eggs and had albumen and yolk dripping from her beak.  She has been despatched as there is no way I can keep an egg-eating hen.  The little white bantam was back on the reduced number of eggs, which are increasing each day with brown ones so obviously other hens are just going into the sack to lay and go.  We shall see if she manages to hatch any of them. 
The chicks born 5-6 weeks ago are getting big now and enjoying their practice flights in the run within the rabbit area.  When I get back from my trip to Cornwall I'll put them up on the field with the other birds.
My granddaughter, Mia, is getting into good habits with her toothbrush for when she has something to brush!
She was eight months on Thursday last week and this photo was taken that day.
On the verge between me and my neighbours there are lots of primroses and some grape hyacinths. 
In their garden they have tulips which are a wonderful colour, I just love them.
They have planted along the front of the house abandoned by my neighbour but one of the plants coming up was not sown by them but presumably by a bird, a gorgeous scented wallflower.

The rhubarb up on the veggie patch is doing so well, and I've been pulling stalks for the last couple of weeks.  These were for my Breton neighbour, who's granddaughter, Jeanne, loves rhubarb.
There's nothing like a rhubarb crumble with a little ginger in it, bathed in custard, to finish off a meal.
The vine is now shooting.  In four years it has travelled metres along the walls of the cottages and will continue this year I hope, producing lots of sweet white grapes on the way.

 I dropped the flowerpot I was carrying the collected eggs in and although they weren't smashed, just dented badly, I had to use them straightaway.  I can't resist eating these and although I made them only yesterday afternoon there are only two left.

Mothers' Day came to a climax at 17.20hrs when I was Skyped by my three children, Matthew, Libby and Olly, Olly's partner, Emma, and my two grandchildren, Charlie and Mia.  What a lovely day!

Three things I like:

1.   My Mothers' Day cards from Emma, Olly and Mia.
2.   Lying in the sun this morning finishing my Book Group book for tomorrow's meeting.
3.   Believing I am finally saying goodbye to this persistent chest infection.