Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Something Rather Creepy?

Last night, our neighbouring farmer made the most of the dry weather and cut the wheat harvest. The farmers work such long hours. They didn't finish until the early hours of this morning.

There was something rather creepy up in our loft......

Oh thank goodness....it's only Chris!

He was up there investigating some cables and how the bathroom ceiling is constructed in relation to loft floor.

It was a beautiful sunny day so we had lunch outside....cheese, sausage, homemade bread and chutneys.

I have a rose blooming on my 'Golden Showers'....

I dug over a patch of earth near our veggie patch and planted some of the small monardas that I thinned out the other day. Hopefully they will grow well here and will attract lots of bees and butterflies.

Chris having a relaxing read after lunch...

I've recommenced cleaning the wall in the living room. To do this I use a wire brush, a spray bottle of water, a pair of protective glasses, a step ladder and a dust sheet. These can all be left in situ so I can go and clean a stone when the mood takes me! You may remember we cleaned some of the stones a couple of years ago on the other side of this wall.

Chris did some more work in the bathroom, removing the rest of the false ceiling and the wood paneling on the rest of ceiling. He discovered three cables that were redundant and removed them. He also discovered that the boxed in corner was free standing now that the false ceiling had been removed!

In the early evening, our neighbouring farmer was back in the field baling the straw.

Lovely to have your company!

Maggie xx

Monday, 14 August 2017

Ceiling, Cleaning, Mulching, Relaxing

Today Chris tackled removing the false ceiling in the bathroom....

...whilst I cleaned and sorted the pet food cupboard and the under sink area.

I cut some more brambles on the driveway and put some grass cuttings around the monardas as a mulch.

Chris got to relax later, playing his guitar....

...and snoozing in the hammock...

It was beautiful weather and we had tea outside.

After the success of my last sewing project, I made a start on cutting the fabric to make another top. This is a different pattern to my last one. The fabric is a very pretty broderie anglaise white cotton with pink flowers.

Thanks for popping by!

Maggie xx

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Hummingbird Hawk Moths

We have regular visitors to the monarda flowers. In addition to bees, butterflies and crickets, this year we have also had Hummingbird Hawk Moths. They are very quick. My camera cannot cope with the speed of their wings but here's our best pics....

Thanks for visiting!

Maggie xx

Bathroom Work Commences

Chris started work on the bathroom today, removing the door and hacking off the tiles.

I've been playing a supportive role as there's not room for both of us in that bathroom!

Also I've been in the garden, improving the soil around the monardas and pulling up some small and straggly ones to pot up or plant elsewhere.

I've been picking blackberries and cutting back more brambles at the side of the drive and I've started knitting a baby dress.... 

I finished the tunic top I started last night....surprisingly I'm rather pleased with it. Whilst I was making it I thought it was going to end up thrown in the bin!

Before tea, we went for a very pleasant early evening walk....

Thanks for popping by!

Maggie xx

Saturday, 12 August 2017

An Apero and Trip to the DIY Store

On Thursday morning we went to the house of our friends, Pierre and Gabrielle. They had invited us to an apero. We had a lovely time chatting in French most of the time with some English thrown in now and again. We often chat to them about wildlife and gardening and this usually results in all of us swapping words in French and English for various species of animals and plants. This time it was the Swallowtail butterfly or queue d'hirondelle, Love in the Mist or nigella and London Pride or saxifrage. Gabrielle commented that we have pretty names for our plants referring to the common names.

On Friday morning, Chris investigated what was in the false ceiling in the bathroom. 

We had always joked about hidden treasure but, rather boringly, he found a rafter and an electric cable. We needed to know if this false ceiling could be removed to allow room for a shower cubicle. It seemed that it would be possible. We then headed for the DIY store in Quimper. We usually go to Castorama but online we had seen a shower cubicle that we liked at Leroy Merlin. As we approached Quimper, we noticed a huge cloud of black smoke in the sky. The traffic came to a standstill and we had to turn back. We checked the news and it turned out that the fire had been at a chicken factory. The poor birds had all perished.

So we tried again on Saturday. This time we arrived at Leroy Merlin. We were pretty impressed by the store which had all the usual DIY supplies as well as some good homewares. We found the shower cubicle we liked but the display model was up on a high shelf so was difficult to assess. It would have been nice to be able to step inside it and check it for size and quality.  

We had lunch in Harvey J in the store car park (What are we like?!) After some discussion we realised that we have to do quite a few other tasks in the bathroom before we can fit the shower. These include replacing the ceiling, hacking off the old tiles, assessing the state of the walls, possibly replacing them, removing the old bidet and sink etc.. We think we will still buy this shower cubicle but have put off buying it for now. It wasn't a wasted journey though as we bought some essential plumbing supplies and of course we had a lovely lunch in the car park!

In the evening, I started sewing my tunic....

....and we noticed there were a few bails in the field. The farmer had bailed the straw that he had managed to cut the other night before the rain had set in.

See you soon!

Maggie xx

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sewing Room and Knitted Cardigan

I've set up my sewing machine in the spare (still to be renovated) bedroom. This will work well for me as I will be able to do a spot of sewing whenever I want!

My first project is a tunic in a retro purple and orange cotton fabric.

A couple of weeks ago I completed my knitted cardigan. I felt like I'd been knitting this for ages. I was certainly knitting it when we were here in the Spring as I have the photos to prove it! I'm pleased with it as it fits nicely and will be nice to wear on a chilly evening.

Thanks for visiting!

Maggie xx

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A Walk amongst the Christmas Trees

There's a Christmas tree plantation across the road from our house. Chris and I have often said how wonderful it would be to walk Spencer there. It's straight across the road so we wouldn't have to walk along the road and ambling through a wood (these trees are tall!) would make a refreshing change. Even though we thought that it was likely that no one would mind, we have never liked to take the chance of upsetting anyone by walking there. Also there is barbed wire across the entrances and a 'Gerdarme' sign so we thought it best not to risk it anyway!

Over the last few days, I've been saying to Chris that the next time we see the man who maintains the plantation, I would ask him if we could take the dog for a walk there. We'd seen him last year but only exchanged a wave across the road.

Well, as luck would have it, yesterday, a van pulled up on the verge near to our house. The man from the plantation appeared with a strimmer and we all exchanged 'Bonjour' and 'Ça va' and he warned us that it might be a bit noisy for a while whilst he strimmed. A couple of minutes later, I plucked up courage and walked over to him. I thought, what have I got to lose, he can only say no. We exchanged a couple of pleasantries and I then asked him about the dog walk. He confirmed he was the owner of the plantation and that of course we could. He couldn't have been more friendly and seemed really pleased. He told us he'd seen deer with fawns and there were lots of blackberries to pick. It seemed that he was happy that someone would get some pleasure from using the plantation. We exchanged names and he introduced himself as Gerard.

So today, we went on our new walk.

During his visit, Gerard had also mown the tracks.

It was a very pleasant walk, different to our walk along the track amongst the fields.

I'm sure we will see different wildlife here too.

It will be cool and shady on hot summer days!

I'm so glad I plucked up the courage to ask Gerard about the walk....nothing ventured nothing gained as they say!

In the evening, the combine harvester appeared in the field next to us. I always find the harvest so interesting. They were just getting into the swing of it around the perimeter of the field when it started raining. It was such a shame as they had to abandon it for now

I'm sure they'll be back soon.

Thanks for popping by!

Maggie xx