Wednesday, 31 March 2010

It hardly seems possible!

It hardly seems possible that this was how I left the cottage just two months ago. Since then I've experienced temperatures up to 40 degrees C.

Now I'm back in France and our daytime weather is typically erratic; one minute sunshine, the next pouring rain. Classic springtime.

I took the above picture, and many others, to show my two 'Australian' grandsons what snow looks, and feels, like. It's a strange concept to us Europeans, to have never witnessed a proper winter. Snowmen, sledging, and blazing open fires, are all just part of our annual life. To people who live in hot countries, they exist only as pictures.

The picture shows the middle, and oldest, section of the cottage. It makes it look very ancient, but in fact it only dates from somewhere between 1700 and 1750.
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Tuesday, 30 March 2010


I put these in last autumn, and I'd almost forgotten about them.

Everyone seems to be so aware of spring this year. I suppose it's because we had such a long hard winter.

These miniature daffs are beneath a couple of fruit trees that are directly in front of the cottage. The tree in the foreground is a Greengage, and the one behind is a Granny Smith.

The daffs are almost over now, but there are cowslips everywhere, and lots of japonica in the hedgerows. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that we have no late frosts.

Even the horses (in the distance) are enjoying spring. No flies as yet, and plenty of new lush grass.

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Monday, 29 March 2010


Ah, my little Freddie. I missed him so much when I was away.

He's recently taken to following Cro and me when we head off on our daily walks. This might sound cute, but it limits our range.

After the first half-mile he starts to moan. It's either last autumn's chestnut husks that are hurting his feet, or he's just plain tired. From then on, I either have to pick him up, or just turn around and head for home.

He loves joining us, but (I'm sorry to say) our daily walks are more leisurely if he's curled up somewhere, asleep!
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Saturday, 27 March 2010

Close shaves.

I also had to run the gauntlet of a Tsunami that never happened, a cyclone that passed us by, and some very temporary flooding.

Life's hard in Paradise.
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Great Keppel Island.

Fancy doing absolutely nothing? Great Keppel is a small island off Yeppoon on Australia's Great Barrier Reef coast.

The island is reached after a 20 min ferry ride; you can either return a few hours later, or stay over at one of the island's resorts. Whatever you do, it's a great place to un-wind, get the sand between your toes, and do nothing.

I took the photo above at about 10am; not a soul in sight. It was as if I had the whole island to myself.
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Just Back!

I'm just back from a two month trip to Oz. Still a little jet-lagged, but not enough to halt my new blog-adventure. See you soon!