Sunday 30 November 2014

November 2014

No apologies for lots of mountain photos this month. The weather has stayed incredibly warm and dry just up until this weekend, and of course the Autumn colours have been wonderful, so we have been making the most of it! 
Not so good for the skiing season just yet - we have had a few falls of snow on the higher mountains but the warm conditions are not allowing it to accumulate - still, there is plenty of time for Winter!!

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Saturday 8 November 2014

October 2014

The blog is a little late this month as we have just returned from a most enjoyable 2 week visit to the UK to catch up with family and friends. 

We also spent a day in London in order to renew our passports - during the 4 hour wait we enjoyed a pint (and a half!), scampi and chips and faggots and mushy peas in a Whitehall pub, then walked down the Southbank from Westminster to the Tower to see the wonderful carpet of poppies.
It was a lovely day, if rather overcast.
Dave forgot his camera on this day so I made the most of it as you will see in my album!!

October in France has been wonderfully dry, warm and sunny. We spent another day walking at Soulcem with Lisa and Neil. Snow could start covering the mountains at any time now so it was good to enjoy the sun up there this late in the year. 

Here are our albums for October

Dave's album

Lesley's album

Sunday 5 October 2014

September 2014

Here are our photos for this month -  a bit later than usual!!

Dave's photos

Lesley's album

Tuesday 2 September 2014

August 2014

The blog is a little late this month as I have just had a whistle-stop visit to the UK to see family.
Its been a very busy month with guests and the garden - but very enjoyable!

Here are our albums for August
Lesley's album

Dave's album

Saturday 2 August 2014

July 2014

July is sunflower and party month in St Victor Rouzaud - our party, the 4 day village fete....and we were also fortunate enough to have the Tour de France passing right by the village again.
We will let our photo albums tell the story.

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Tuesday 1 July 2014

June 2014

June began with a most enjoyable family reunion and holiday in Devon. It was lovely to get everyone together and to re-visit North Devon.
Friends and neighbours very kindly looked after the geese here and watered the veggies in our absence. Both here and in the UK everything seems to be thriving in the warm sunshine and heavy downpours. 

Now in our 5th year here, the garden is definitely looking more like a garden than a field, and the vegetable patch is working better every year - but there is always something new to learn and experiment with.
This year we have discovered chard - easy to grow and very tasty with onions, garlic and pine-nuts!!

June marks the beginning of the Summer party season, with live music and village fetes.
Mid-summers day is the 'fete de la musique' all over France. This year it happened to be a warm and sultry evening so people turned out in their droves to listen to whatever live music happened to be on offer.

Here are our albums for this month

Sunday 1 June 2014

May 2014

We have enjoyed some beautiful sunny days again this month - and with the cooler spring temperatures its a perfect time for walking.

Spring in the Ariege can also be very wet...but as a result it is very green and beautiful at this time of year. 
We have had a bumper crop of strawberries this year and bowls full of cherries from the farm. The potatoes and onions are happily growing away - and all the other veggies are settling in and enjoying some days of warm sunshine...and and others of heavy rain!!

Our goose eggs sadly didn't hatch - which is often the way in the first year. So it is particularly surprising that the one egg that our neighbours at the farm put in their duck nest did hatch!! That goose is now much bigger than his mummy duck - and its very funny to see him (or her!) waddle down into our garden each day with his duck family! 

We decided to buy some more baby geese to fatten up for Christmas, and to eat the grass!! Its taking a while for our 3 existing geese to accept them, but the babies seem quite happy and are growing very quickly.

Here are our photos for this month

Dave's album

Lesley's album

Wednesday 30 April 2014

April 2014

We have had a busy month with guests, another walk in the snow and a few local outings. The weather has been typical of April with some glorious sunny days and some cold, wet and windy ones!
Our female geese are still patiently sitting on the eggs - taking it in turns in fact, which appears to be very organised of them! We will find out in the next week or so if the eggs are fertile and will hatch.

Here are our albums of the month

Dave's album

Lesley's album

Tuesday 1 April 2014

March 2014

This month we enjoyed a couple of weeks of wonderful sunny and warm weather.
The mountains are still covered in snow so we decided to do something that we have been considering for some time - we bought some snow shoes!
Contrary to our expectations, they were very easy to get used to and we managed a climb to the top of Mont Fourcat with friends. It was a slightly hazy day and very cold in the wind, but still a great experience - you can see some photos in our albums.
We enjoyed the experience so much that we tried another walk a couple of days later - this was in much warmer sunshine and our legs were still quite tired so we didn't get as high or as far, but enjoyed some more fantastic views.

Our other main news this month is that the geese are sitting on their eggs, so with any luck we might get some little goslings in a few weeks time. In fact one has already hatched - but from one of the goose eggs which we gave to our neighbours at the farm - they put them in their ducks' nest, and one has hatched. The mother duck and baby ducklings seem quite happy with the intruder and the gosling has settled in happily.

Here are our albums for the month

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Saturday 1 March 2014

February 2014

This month began with a lovely week skiing at Morillon in the French Alps. There is no lack of snow this year and we had a few fresh falls while we were there, so with a bit of sunshine as well, conditions were perfect.

We also had a superb day in Andorra with friends from England who were staying there - again, the snow is not in short supply this year.
The clay soil in the Ariege is still very wet from Winter rainfall and it is astonishing to see how the land is slipping away on some of the steeper slopes. However it has been a very mild winter, the only really cold and snowy spell being in November.
This is a quiet time of year for us workwise, so we have been able to get out and about and enjoy the clear air on sunny days. The mountains really do look wonderful at the moment.

The geese have been laying eggs! We have eaten a few but hope they will soon start sitting on them so we get a few baby goslings in a month or so.

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Friday 31 January 2014

January 2013

Another mixed month of weather - some Winter sunshine but lots of rain as well. Our photos probably give the wrong impression of much more sun than rain, but in fact the wet days are not very inspiring for taking photos!
The clay soil here in the Ariege is completely waterlogged so every new rainfall has no-where to go and the rivers are as high as we have ever seen them. However the sunny days have been beautiful, and it has been a real treat to get out in the countryside and feel the warmth in the sun. Alongside that, the snowy mountains look beautiful and very inviting.
We have been busy - we (well, mostly Dave!) have dug over the vegetable patches, I have had some watercolour commissions and we even had a visitor in the suite for a week.
We have also enjoyed some lovely evenings with friends and been out for a few walks and bike rides.
Tomorrow we set off to Morillon in the Alps for some skiing - so are looking forward to that.
Here are our albums for the month
Dave's album
Lesley's album

Wednesday 1 January 2014

December 2013

Empty ski slopes, frosty mornings and Christmas!
A very Happy New Year to all our blog readers

Here are our albums for December
Dave's album
Lesley's album