Monday, 22 June 2009

Butterfly Border

There's a border beyond the swimming pool which I tolerate (just).

It's filled with senecio and santolina planted by the previous owners and I don't quite have the heart to dig them out. They're tough grey spreading shrubs which cope with dry hot weather so in theory are low maintenance. They are bossy and fight for space with the pale blue spring irises and the late summer deep blue agapanthus. They also both briefly produce masses of yellow flowers, which then quickly go brown in the heat and flop everywhere. So all the dead flowers have to be pruned right back to allow the shrubs to recover their shape. The pruning takes ages and yields barrow-loads of scruffy stems.

But today, I forgive them everything. Their yellow flowers are smothered in Painted Lady and Peacock butterflies.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Almost Midsummer

The midday temperature has been up around thirty the last couple of days. Too hot to garden during the day, I was pulling weeds from the gravel alongside the wood store at half past ten last night.

The western horizon up behind Monsieur F's field with the winter wheat was still glowing orange and in the pale turquoise sky above me two bats were playing chase.

The water canon spat and swished in the sugar beet field below the cottage and a nightingale sang.

And across the grass the pool invited me to a late swim, blue and cool in the dusk light.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Breakdown Assistance

Tod put the merc in the ditch yesterday evening.

He was coming back from the recycling bins and driving down our chemin. In dry weather the chemin gets rutted and very dusty, so Tod was avoiding the ruts and driving on the bump in the middle and what he thought was the verge.

He left the merc there over night and went to see George this morning who has a big truck.

Trying to pull the merc out of the right hand ditch, George put his truck into the left hand ditch. So now two vehicles in two ditches.

Fortunately the merc was partly out. So Tod got the batmobile and pulled the merc out. Then the merc pulled the truck out.

Good job they hadn't been drinking - what would the neighbours think?

I'd never make a photo-journalist. I missed the whole thing reading postings on the Total France forum. So no pictures.

George, thanks for the help.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Morning Sounds

The chattering tweets of the warblers hanging from the seed heads in the rape field. First one, then another replies.

Two flies buzz in then out again through the open French windows.

Contented grunts from Vita, flat out on the tiles after a good breakfast.

Murmur of deep male voices from the veranda and the chink of butter knife on plate - Tod and a visiting friend are putting the world to rights.

As always, the summer sound of distant cow bells.

The rustle of wind in the leaves of the wisteria hanging round my study window - calmer now than yesterday's storm that tore ragged crop circles in Monsieur F's ripening winter wheat.

And the tap of the keys as I type this.