Sunday, 30 November 2014

Budding Eucheras, second time this year.

Very green, this is our view out of the verandah looking towards the forest.

Some of the stone work here is a bit iffy. I have looked at it and contemplated how to do something about it but recently I feel I am getting somewhere researching how best to repair it. The stone used here is granite ranging from pinks to greys. We have piles of it around the farm and stone walls along old boundaries. The walls are a great place for wildlife to live so the grass snakes, slow worms, lizards and mice have plenty of habitats. The trouble is the soft lime mortar is also starting to crumble a bit too much, I think. It's popular with wildlife but including nesting birds but it's a bit neglectful of us to let if get too bad on the buildings. The walls are all drystone.
The traditional mortars are limestone based. The cement based mortar is prone to cracking and doesn't let moisture pass through so it can be locked in the walls. Prepared Limestone is white but when mixed with sand, yellow ochre coloured here has a lovely warm tone to it. Then I read about 'chaux chanvre' last night which is Lime, straw or rather Hemp here to make a material used to make a plaster for the interiors. Unfortunately now is not the time to do anything about the crumbling walls I need to wait until any fear of frosts have passed, it's still warm see all the primulas flowering. But the change can be quick. 
Has anyone being watching the castle building going on in Guedelon, Burgundy. Ruth Goodman and Co. It pretty much covers everything I have been looking into and more.

Always thousands of jobs to do. George cuts wood here, there are piles everywhere mostly in long lengts of split wood but also sticks to start fires.

I have moved plants in and this is just one of those places that is a continual shifting tide of things;

The lamb from last spring, she's big. Unfortunately her mother died, I'm not sure why she just refused to get to her feet one day and no end of coaxing could I get her to move. It's sad but at least there is an elderly ewe that keeps an eye on the lamb.

This is my male Barberie here or Muscovy in the UK. He follows me and breathes heavily like Darth Vega. No quacking;

Cow Parsley.

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The newest kitty sat on one of my footstools bought at a Brocante.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A few things that have drawn my attention over the past few weeks. The snow is normally here by now but this year it's been so mild. I keep putting on my boots and socks and needing to remove them and put my flip flops back on. I saw this van while out on Sunday cycling.

My car I need to sort out some things on it. The roof lining was melted when I had to have the arches on the doors welded, I'm thinking I should insulate and put some fabric or something interesting up there. Maybe oil cloth I was wondering about some old ticking stripe or tartan tweed.
This image and the ones below are from the village where our amenities are, can be very quiet.

Photos in an old shop window.

We bought this 'Cuisiniere' or range from 'Le Bon Coins', it's an internet site for unwanted things for resale. Normally because we live in a very sparsely populated area the things you really want are a days drive away but I found this one up the road. This one is a Deville. The left part with the narrow door has a long narrow box to put logs in, 50cms this one. They sometimes have a box on the back to heat water. The recess it's in was part of an old bread oven in the kitchen. It was dismantled before we came but I'm pleased the old granite arched stone alcove still remains. I have been scraping off the stuff on top, started where the bricks are and thought it was a brick arch and discovered the stone so I was really pleased. 

The village from the road.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A few typical views from this week. The view above is a stones throw from the house. It's a lovely sweet chestnut.I am lucky that there is a circular tour around the lake. Normally I am can lose a bit of time in the garden but at this time of year this is my way of getting away from the easel and chair. It has been strange this year, very mild as it has been in the UK. I have a French friend down the road who I was talking to last week. We talked about how the climate seems to be changing towards milder winters and wetter summers. This year we had a stormy August but then a very warm September. We think it's drier than the UK. When it's cold it can be hot under the sun but the air feels sharp and crisp. Today we are in the clouds a bit grim.
The Nivernais canal is close by, it's a great place to head to at the weekend to cycle along. It's keeps us busy when all the flea markets have ended. The pink painted cafe below is near Corbigny and Etang or lake Vaux. The guy who runs it has collections of fossils and bits of sculptural looking pieces of wood. Sunday was very quiet except a couple of fishermen.