Wednesday 16 December 2015

November/December 2015

As the end of the year draws near we have decided to send out our blog early. We return to England on Thursday for Christmas and will be back here in France for the New Year.
Here are our albums for November and December.
Best wishes to everyone for Christmas and the New Year

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Well its been a busy and eventful month. We have sold our house in Maidenhead and have just been back there for a busy weekend of packing and organising. This is Lucy's piano being carefully maneuvered onto the removal lorry. Lucy is planning on installing a new digital version in her new home, but we didn't wish to say goodbye to this one after 20 years of service - so its coming to France!!

With all that has been going on, we only have a handful of photos between us this month, so will add them to our December albums. We have enjoyed wonderfully sunny and warm weather down here in November, until just before the end of the month when temperatures plummeted and it didnt stop raining for over 2 days. This fell as snow on the mountains so the ski season has had a good start so far!

We would like to wish everyone a peaceful and merry festive season 
Lesley and Dave 

Tuesday 3 November 2015

October 2015

We have just returned from a stay in England to spend some time with the family and to sort out our house in Priors Way, which is on the market. During the drive back through France and also here in England we remarked how vibrant the autumn colours are everywhere this year - the best for years!

It has been another busy month, but we did enjoy a few days holiday with friends Julia and Peter at their villa in Spain, and have also fitted in a couple of local walks.

There is no sign of an early snowfall just yet this year - the weather has been mostly dry, warm and sunny!

Here are our albums for October
Lesley's Album

Dave's album

Wednesday 30 September 2015

September 2015

Lots of photos to choose from this month!
We had a few days holiday camping near St Tropez at the beginning of the month. It was busier and more built up than when were last there over 20 years ago(!!) but there was also a lot that hadn't changed  - and we still love St Tropez!!
We also enjoyed visits from Clive and Sue and friends in England, and several walks in the mountains.
The garden is producing lots of lovely tomatoes - so we have also been busy stocking the freezer with sauces, soup and chutney

Here are our albums for this month
Dave's album

Lesley's album

Sunday 6 September 2015

August 2015

Busy busy month! Lots of guests and meals, but all good fun!
The weather has been mixed - some lovely warm sunny days interspersed with a few wet and unusually cool ones. The grass has regained its green-ness anyway!
Struggling a bit for different photos this month - maybe Dave has a few more interesting ones up his sleeve - I haven't seen his album yet!!
We have enjoyed a couple of days out - and some good evenings with friends as well.
However the days are drawing in already. The summer soon flies by - but the Autumn here is lovely as well!

Am writing this on the 25th - am back to England for a few days on Thursday, then we are planning a camping trip near St Tropez next week, which we will look forward to.

Here are our albums for August 

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Thursday 6 August 2015

July 2015

Its been a busy month, and Lesley has just been back to England for a few days - so the blog is a bit late!! 
The busy holiday season has well and truly started now, so we have had lots of guests coming and going - and lots more due for the rest of August. 

The annual village fete took place in the middle of the month over 3 days as usual. It is organised and run by the village 'commitee' and lots of volunteers. It always appears to run like clockwork! Food is prepared here in the village for hundreds of people and a temporary bar is set up, as well as a huge marquee and 'disco'. Its the one time in the year when all the village turn out for one or more of the events - so lots of music, dancing, chatting and food and drink. All in all a great event.

We also had two very enjoyable walks this month, but need to pace ourselves a bit more in the hot weather

Here are our albums for July
Lesley's album

Dave's album

Wednesday 1 July 2015

June 2015

 June has been the month for hatching baby geese! Our adult geese have turned out to be excellent at laying eggs, but useless at sitting on them. We invested in an incubator, but because conditions need to be simulated, it hasn't been easy to get the correct temperature, humidity etc. However Dave has persevered and we now have 10 baby geese, all of different ages! The oldest ones are now outside enjoying this lovely hot weather.

We have also enjoyed a couple more walks in the mountains, one to the Cascade d'Ars which is very impressive at this time of year, and another in very hot weather near Vicdessos.

So we have a few more photos in our albums this month!
Here they are

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Sunday 31 May 2015

May 2015

A very busy month with a visit to England and then planting, harvesting and cutting grass, 

We are still experimenting with the incubator, hoping to hatch a few more baby geese, but so far we have just the one! He(she?) seemed very lost and confused at first so Odile (our neighbour at the farm suggesting putting a couple of their ducklings in with him for company. That seemed to work well - he is now thriving and has gone to live with the ducks for a while, until he (hopefully!) gets some brothers and sisters. The recent batch of eggs are looking more hopeful!

We also had some very good news at the beginning of the month - Lucy and Andy have got engaged!

We were pleased to be able to celebrate with them during our visit back to England.

Because this month has been so busy - we each found we hadn't taken many photos, so have produced a joint album for May!

Our album for May

Friday 1 May 2015

April 2015

This month we have enjoyed visits from Lucy and Andy and Daniel - it was lovely to see them, and a good excuse for several more walks and 'being tourists'!! They were very lucky with the warm and sunny weather - ideal for walking and table tennis!
We also visited the underground river at Labouiche with Daniel, which was quite impressive. Photography was not allowed inside the caves so here is the website
Highly recommended for anyone visiting the Ariege, especially low-season when its reasonably quiet.

The garden is coming to life, and we are particularly pleased with the Wisteria which Dave planted last year and seems to be thriving on the front of the house

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

Wednesday 1 April 2015

March 2015

Spring is on the way!! Or at least we keep thinking it is, then the cooler wetter weather returns!
Well, that is fairly typical of Spring in the Ariege - a bit of everything!!

We have enjoyed some more snow shoe walking in the sun and fresh snow, as well as a very warm day skiing in Andorra. Otherwise we have been busy with guests, the house and garden, painting commissions - and Lesley spent an enjoyable week in England seeing family.

Dave's album

Lesley's album

Saturday 28 February 2015

February 2015

After a mild and sunny winter so far, the snow arrived in February, and then the rain! Excellent news for all snow sport lovers - and farmers!

Dave's album

Lesley's album

Monday 2 February 2015

January 2015

January is skiing month! We have just returned from a super week in the French Alps. The long-awaited snow arrived just in time, and then it didnt stop! There has been a good top-up in the Pyrenees as well so all looks good for the rest of the ski season.

We also enjoyed a day skiing at Ax les Thermes just after the New Year with Lucy and Andy.  It was incredibly warm up there in the sun and the warm and sunny daytime weather with frosty mornings continued for most of the month. It has been perfect for local walks and table tennis, and even sitting in the sun! 

One of our walks was around the local village of Le Vernet de l'Ariege where there was a small concentration camp during the war. It is mentioned in Kate Mosse's book 'Citadel' so we were keen to visit the village and the small museum dedicated to it, which was very interesting.

We saw in the New Year twice (French and English!) with a small party here with friends - everyone brought a dish for the buffet and live music, fresh oysters, good food, lots of dancing and good company enjoyed by all.

The top photo above is Mont Fourcat from the Prat d'Albis above Foix - and then our geese enjoying a frosty morning by the pond

Photo albums for the month are here

Lesley's album
Dave's album

Monday 5 January 2015

December 2014

A very Happy New Year to all our friends and blog readers!

We are a little late posting this month!! We spent a most enjoyable couple of weeks in England over Christmas, then drove back to La Maire on the 28th in time to prepare for our New Years Eve party which we celebrated with English and French friends here at La Maire.  Lucy and Andy came over to join us as well this year and are flying home this evening. They have been lucky enough to enjoy wall to wall sunshine over the past few days so we have been walking and skiing - hence the lateness of the blog!!
My photo album is also a little sparse this month - apologies!!

Lesley's album

Dave's album