Monday, July 28, 2014

Hot weather

Rob was on holiday last week so it was a busy one. On Wednesday we went with Olivier to Saumur to help him clean up his apartment and bring the rest of his belongings home. Not an easy task as it was very hot and humid. He bought us lunch at Mcdonald’s and I tried a chicken burger with avocado sauce – delicious, needless to say I ate a salad with it. We finished the cleaning in time to go for a drink before the inventory.

Rob and I spent a very pleasant hour waiting for him to finish in the park at the top of his road. We found a shady spot to sit and listen to water running – bliss on a hot day.

I love trees

I had a walk around the park and discovered a charming alley. Eventually the arches will be covered in roses.

On Friday we went to visit one of Rob’s colleagues who is working at Georges Clemenceau’s holiday home in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, Vendée. There is an excellent gift shop, I bought a rose scented drawer sachet and some rose scented sweets in a pretty tin. We also bought presents for up and coming family birthdays. Again, it was a very hot day, the sea looked very tempting.

On the way home we drove through storms, the temperature dropped by 15°C within an hour. There was a lot of rain once we arrived home. It disappeared very quickly and by Saturday you wouldn’t guess it had rained at all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thanks to LinkedIn

I found a missing blogger.

Green stuff...

A couple of weeks ago one of my students asked me to help her write a letter to a company in the UK. She wanted to buy a specially adapted mouse for her husband’s computer as he has Parkinson’s disease.

A week later the letter had come back as the company was not at the address. I tried phoning the number which appeared on the website and a nurse on a stroke ward somewhere in the UK answered. She was very nice but couldn’t help our quest.

The following Saturday I decided to see what I could find out and came across the French website of a company that sells the same adapted mouse . I contacted my student who emailed back a few minutes later to say that a mouse was on its way! When she came for her lesson last Thursday she came bearing a plant as way of thanking me for my help. Her husband is very happy now that he can use his computer with ease.

This is an excellent year for hollyhocks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them grow so tall. One in our garden is more than twice my height! I dragged Rob out to take a photo so that you could see it. I’m 1 meter 67 (around 5’ 6”)

To finish off; I received a message from Dom at the weekend. They live in the Boivre valley which is a protected site of natural interest. They discovered a deer at the fence at the back of the garden, eating their plants.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Weird and Wonderful

Exceptional sites this weekend:

We live next to the ‘Mairie’, town hall and if there is a wedding on a Saturday afternoon we usually hear and see some of it.

This Saturday was different. I heard the sound of bagpipes coming up the road. Fortunately I was in my office which is upstairs and when I looked out of the window I saw this little band coming towards the house.

They are a traditional Breton band of musicians so the bagpipes are in fact cornemuses. Isn’t it interesting that one of the men is wearing what looks very like a kilt? Must be the Celtic blood.

Afterwards they went into the town hall garden and played to the newlyweds and guests.

Last night I was closing the shutters upstairs before going to bed just before 11.30 and saw a row of lights. At first I thought that they were cinders from a fire floating through the sky. I ran downstairs to get my phone and was lucky enough to take some pictures. My phone is just a humble Samsung with no smart bits.

I was facing the East and the lights were moving from North to South. They were a reddish colour and seemed to flicker like flames. Very beautiful and I didn’t feel threatened of frightened by them. In the picture they are just above the streetlight. I didn’t count them, but there must have been around ten of them. I’ve always wanted to see a UFO so I feel very privileged.

The sun sets at around 10 o’clock here so I wondered if perhaps it could be the reflection of the sunset on a flock of swans flying over. A bit late for that perhaps. Do swans fly at night?