Monday, 17 May 2010

Bye Bye Rabbits - Blog 61

After a week of intermittent internet connection, on some days none at all, my blog has been 'dragging its feet’ somewhat!! The technician arrives today and I am hoping that the result will then be a permanent, speedier internet. One can always dream :-)

Never mind, the lack of computer use meant I got to work in the garden and I sincerely hope, that the rabbits can not get over, or under, my new fence around the vegetable garden.
Artichoke in the foreground, potatoes just coming through behind and rhubarb at the back.

It was extremely difficult to do on my own and by hand; I was not going to spend more money on new tools! Nigel would have liked me to have waited until he arrived at the end of the month, but I just wanted the job over and done with, so I could get planting. I don’t think I will ever manage to get a job as a fencer with my results, but if it does the required job I will be happy. The bunnies can go and eat vegetables elsewhere.
The potatoes, with the onions on the left and on the far left at the back is the topinambour.

We had a couple of slightly warmer days while I was doing the fence, (it is cold and damp again today!) and it was a pleasure working in the peace and quiet of the countryside. Apart from the odd tractor, I could hear crickets chirping; we seem to have quite a lot in the lawn. The birds were singing and I could identify a few from their calls, but generally I need to see them to do a positive identification. I did see the Great Spotted Woodpecker tapping away at one of our trees looking for bugs. I also saw my first Scarce Swallowtail Butterfly - Iphiclides podalirius, of the year.


Iphiclides podalirius,

On Sunday, my neighbours took me to the ‘Concours de Pêche’. This is an annual event, and last year when I saw it advertised, I thought that was strange. It was too early for peaches and I wondered why they were having it then! In fact pêche not only means peach, but also fishing, just to confuse me totally. The event is actually a fishing competition held at a local dam which is stocked with trout. This is followed by a luncheon in typical French fashion. We arrived too late for the competition; my neighbours had been in Bordeaux for a couple of days, so they had quite a long drive to return. On our arrival, one of the guys showed me a very unique trout that he had caught which was golden. I have never seen anything like it before, but it was, I was definitely assured, a trout! One lives and learns.

I suspect that the bar had been quite busy during the course of the morning and everyone was very cheerful and full of fun. Finally we all got to sit down at tables in a large tent and the food, wine and bread was served in abundance.


The starter was some sort of salad type mix, with rice, corn, crab, tomato, cucumber and egg with an unknown dressing – it was delicious. Then the herbed lamb with a saucepan of haricot mixture arrived. I have no idea what was in the latter, other than the haricot, but it was very good, and the tasty lamb was melt-in-the-mouth tender. There was so much meat that the trays came round three times and you could help yourself to as much as you wanted. Then in the normal French way, the dressed lettuce came around afterwards as its own course. This was followed by bread and cheese and then ice cream. Finally the champagne arrived, and need I add there were many ‘happy’ people around by this time. As each cork exploded across the tent there were cheers and people clapping. Have you ever heard about 80 people all talking French at the same time……….? I am pretty sure I was the only native English speaking person there, so it was quite an experience!! Even my neighbours commented that it was so noisy they could not hear themselves talking. It was all great fun neverthe less and I was safely delivered home just before 5pm.

21 comments:

  1. Well done on your rabbit fence - yeah, let the bunnies get fat on someone else's veggies and when Nigel arrives you can catch them and have a couple of pies ... :)

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  2. OneStonedCrow. I managed to catch a small one last year, not big enough for the pot so it went on a car trip and was released about 30kms away. This year they are too clever, eat any food around the outside but will not venture in :-( Diane

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  3. Oh you did a WONDERFUL job with that fence Diane!! It looks like it will work like a charm but I cannot help but feel sad for the bunnies. :) Poor things!! Love the butterfly, it looks so different to anything we have here.

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  4. Joan, I feel nothing for the bunnies at all, there are plenty of other edibles around besides my veg garden :-) !!!! The butterfly is beautiful, but you have lovely swallowtails as well. Diane

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  5. I've seen brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, but never a bright gold one like that! It looks like it was a good day.

    Glad you've gotten your garden fenced. Often I do things terribly, but if they function as I need them to, I don't worry too much.

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  6. That fence looks great: you must have been exhausted! But it'll be worth it for all the great veg. I'm totally jealous of your gorgeous big planting area!!

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  7. Hi Marjie, It is certainly a new colour trout to me, I wonder what it will taste like?
    As you say so long as things function and do not look a total disaster that is good enough for me. Diane

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  8. InnBrooklyn, I was exhausted, but as long as it is all worthwhile then I am happy. After the little paved 'garden' we have in the UK this garden is an absolute pleasure. All I am missing is Nigel who is still trying to retire. The financial state over there is no help!! Diane

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  9. I think your fence looks great - well done!

    The fishing competition sounds like a great time, all the food they served would have made me happy!

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  10. Your garden is really coming along and I'm impressed with the fencing you erected by yourself. I think the luncheon must have been a great deal of fun. I love to see folks enjoying them selves as long as they're not in the car to my front or rear:-). I think it's wonderful that you can navigate the through the people and landscape while you are on your own. I hope you are having a good day. Blessings...Mary

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  11. Hello - I am not sure how I found you but have just read all the way from the beginning and will be sure to come back. Great blog, you are living my dream. We also own a home in France but live in Canada ! Our place is in Haute Vienne so not so very far from you. And it is a work in progress so I can really relate to some of your earlier posts. a bientot

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  12. Hi Pam, there is always masses of food at these French luncheons and nobody will ever go home hungry!! Diane

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  13. Thanks Mary for your comments. Yes I have to agree about people having fun in cars, there are a few irresponsible youngsters around, especially in the UK. The French youngsters, (or the country ones anyway), are polite, well mannered and kind. Have a good day. Diane

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  14. Softinthehead, thanks for visiting. I see your stairs are about to be installed so I will be watching for more photos. You are lucky that you have good friends to keep an eye on things for you.

    I am living my own dream, but it would be better if it was the two of us! Bonne journée.
    Diane

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  15. Woo hoo! It sounds like you had a great time with all the French! Funny with the peaches! I love it how things get lost in translation sometimes. I'd say you are an expert fence builder and maybe I see lots of fencing jobs in your future. ;) I'm so glad your internet is running better now and that you're a happy gal!

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  16. Hi Pam, It is wonderful to have the internet working properly - long may it last!!

    I have never enjoyed parties as much as I do with the French. It is a combination of great food and lots of fun. I miss a lot of it with my rubbish French, but when they party they really seem to let their hair down. Diane

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  17. Just called by your Blog from Italy, via News From France. Your post was fun to read, I admire you coping alone in France until your husband retires.

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  18. LindyLouMac, thanks for your visit. I enjoy working around the house and the garden, but you are right it would be so much better if we were together. Hopefully only another year if all goes as planned. Diane

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  19. I'm very impressed with your fence - especially since you erected it all by yourself ! Your day out sounded lovely .... the golden trout is quite unusual, I've never seen one before. (P.S. Hope you get your internet connection sorted out - I see it's not only here in Africa where these things are s-l-o-w !)

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  20. Hi Lynda, the internal wiring to the phone/internet has completely been rewired and it seems all is well. Long may it last!. The worst part of the fence was having to bury it at least 6 to 9 inches into the ground to stop them going under! Diane

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  21. Merci de votre visite sur mon blog! Je découvre avec beaucoup d'intérêt le vôtre! Je suis désolée de ne pas pouvoir répondre en anglais!Vos expériences dans la belle campagne de Charente sont très intéressantes!
    Nous revenons des Shetland où les lapins sont plus nombreux que les habitants!!!
    Je vous souhaite beaucoup de joies dans votre nouvelle installation ( et que votre époux puisse vous rejoindre bientôt!)Cordialement.Lucie.

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