Sunday 1 December 2019

November 2019

November has seen the first snow of the Winter up on the mountains. The ski resorts haven't opened yet, but we enjoyed a drive up to the Plateau de Beille to have a stroll in the fresh snow.

Its hard to believe, but we collected the keys to La Maire exactly 10 years ago. The time has flown by! There are some photos included in Lesley's album this month to show how the house and garden have changed

Lesley's album
Dave's album

Saturday 2 November 2019

October 2019

Summer weather continued in October here despite the shorter days. We enjoyed a lot of warm sunshine and have been busy tidying the garden and vegetable plot and planting new strawberry plants ready for next year. The pool still looks inviting, but the water is too cold to be tempting.

We had another very successful music evening here at the beginning of the month - great music, dancing, food and friends

We have also just returned from an enjoyable and busy week in England. It was good to see the family and to catch up with some friends

We don't have many photos this month - in fact Dave doesn't have any! Several of mine are from our week in England, and I admit that the bike ride was actually the very end of September!
Here they are
Lesley's album

Monday 30 September 2019

September 2019

September has remained for the most part warm and sunny, especially over the last few days when the temperature has reached 30 deg. The pool has still been inviting despite the water temperature having dropped to 20 deg. 
We enjoyed Dad and Auntie Linda's visit at the beginning of the month and appreciated the opportunity to re-visit some of the nearby towns and villages as well as lingering over coffee at the  several markets. We went to Pamiers, Foix and Mirepoix, as well as The village of Sabarat and the impressive cave at Mas d'Azil which we never tire of visiting.

In the middle of the month we enjoyed a few interesting days away, visiting the Pic du Midi and the Col the Tourmalet before continuing on into Spain and the Ordesa National Park which is known for its incredible gorges.
Here are our albums for September

Tuesday 3 September 2019

August 2019

A busy but enjoyable month - lots more hot and sunny weather, guests, dinners with friends and generally keeping on top of things in the house and garden.
Here are our albums for August

Lesley's album

Dave's album

Thursday 1 August 2019

July 2019

We have been busy with guests for most of July, but had luckily allowed ourselves a few days off when the second heatwave of the Summer arrived. We love the heat of summer, but 40 degrees is a bit too much!! It doesn't prevent the farmers from working though, and the wheat harvest is all done.

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

Wednesday 3 July 2019

June 2019

Last week saw the highest temperature that we have recorded at La Maire - 40.9 deg C. We luckily didn't have it as hot as some parts of France. We love the sun and the warmth but that was a bit extreme! Temperatures are more back to normal now. We have Lucy and Andy staying with us for a couple of weeks with Nala so we are enjoying a bit of a holiday ourselves as well.

The strawberry crop has been excellent this year but other crops are taking a while to get going. We have covered the vegetable patch with mulch as much as possible as that does help to keep in the moisture and prevent the weeds.

Dave has bought a rigid kayak for fishing on the lakes here. No fish on the first exploratory outing - but Dave is confident that it won't be long before we have fish for dinner!

Lesley's photos

Dave's photos

Sunday 2 June 2019

May 2019

We have had a couple of trips back to the UK this month (my first 2 photos are of Cheltenham) and have also been busy in the garden. The weather this year is so far more favourable than last year for the vegetable patch. The strawberries are doing well and producing a lot of fruit and Dave has planted most of the seeds and plants - not we just need to make sure they get enough water and sun (but not too much!) and keep them weed free. Weeds always seem to grow whatever the conditions!!

Dad came over to stay with us for a week so we took the opportunity to visit some of our favourite places with him, such at Mas d'Azil town and cave, (above top) and Mirepoix market (above below), and also the Prat Dd'Albis above Foix, which is a lovely drive with great views at the top.

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

Thursday 2 May 2019

April 2019

At the beginning of April we enjoyed a weekend in Dublin with June and Jim - our first ever visit to Ireland!  During the rest of the month we have been busy with guests and the garden.
Our photos are mostly of Dublin, but there are also a few of the garden here at this lovely time of year.
Dave's album
Lesley's album

Wednesday 3 April 2019

March 2019

Our albums this month are dominated by photos of our family holiday in Devon - not the best time of year for sunbathing or swimming, but perfect for empty beaches and walking!

Spring is arriving at La Maire and everything is coming into bloom. Dave has strimmed and rotavated the vegetable patch so all is ready for planting. Its been a very dry month so the ground is quite hard.

We also had another successful music evening evening here, which was very much enjoyed by everyone. Dave and I were brave enough to perform4 songs this time - sorry, no videos!!
Here are our albums for the month

Dave's album
Lesley's album

Saturday 2 March 2019

February 2019

Above are some local sheep enjoying the February sunshine. We have not had any snow here at La Maire this year - not yet anyway!! The mountains enjoyed a good fall of snow at the end of January so we have been able to have one snow shoe walk, but the last couple of weeks have been unseasonably sunny and warm, like Britain, so the snow is melting very quickly.

We enjoyed a week back in England for Lucy's birthday and since being home, have been busy tidying up the garden. Everything is starting to grow!!

Here are just a few photos of the month

Saturday 2 February 2019

January 2019

We have just returned from a few days skiing in Andorra. We timed it well as the much awaited snow fell during the night after our arrival, so we were able to enjoy several days of fresh snow, despite cold temperatures. We haven't had any snow at home (yet!) this year, but January has been quite cold and wet.
We also enjoyed a mountain walk in the sunshine - no snowshoes required just yet!

Bookings for the B&B are starting to come in the for the summer and we are keeping busy with mostly indoor activities - and social events!

Here are our albums for January

Lesley's album
Dave's album

Thursday 3 January 2019

December 2019

A very Happy New Year to all our blog followers
We are now back at La Maire after spending an enjoyable Christmas in England with the family. As usual in December, we drove back and were fortunate enough to have good weather for the journey. We just had a 50 minute hold-up at Rouen where the 'gilet jaune' protesters had taken control of a roundabout and were only letting the traffic filter through slowly. The drive back home on Friday was good. 
Its turned cold here in the Ariege and our boiler has broken down for the second time this winter so we are keeping warm with electric heaters and hot water bottles until the replacement part arrives.
There is not much sign of snow here yet this winter and the ski resorts have barely opened. Even Andorra is relying on snow cannon to keep the slopes open, so not a good start to the winter sports season!
We have had some bright sunny days and often a foggy morning, which is quite typical of the winter here.
We just have these two photos above of St Victor Rouzaud to share with you this month.
There will be more to follow next month

Best wishes
Lesley and Dave