Not that I have been doing anything wildly exciting or anything that would stop me writing, I just don't seem to have done anything to write about.
At last though the weather has really picked up and I have been able to get to work in the garden. The temperatures have been in the high 20's for a couple of weeks now, frosts are a distant memory and the evenings are getting longer and longer.
This is a lovely picture of Gertie Goose strolling by the aforesaid magnolia.
I have bought some new plants for the flower beds - a Pieris 'Flaming Silver' with lovely white tipped foliage, and a couple of Phygelius, which will grow nice and tall with pinky/red flowers.
I have some pale blue irises in the flower bed under the living room window. They are beautifully scented, almost citrussy smelling. They are in full bloom at the moment and I must make a note to move some of them elsewhere in the garden.
The newest addition to the garden is this wonderful, old Cuisiniere. It was given to us by Penny, who had it in her shop in Le Dorat. It is a real work of art. It is an old cooker/heater/boiler. It is made from iron with enamelled front and sides. On the top there are two rings for putting your pots and pans on, on the front are two large oven doors. The tap on the right of the ovens supplies boiling water from a small boiler inside the appliance and the two doors on the left are for putting wood in (top door) and removing ash (bottom door.
When this was made it would have been state of the art and top of the range in kitchen appliances. Ian and I were talking about it earlier and about 100 years ago someone would have been cooking on this thinking she was the bee's knees to have such a wonderful piece of equipment. I am over the moon to have it now, and had I lived in those older times I would have been truly ecstatic to have this. Thank you Penny, we are thrilled to have it, and we would love to try lighting it in the summer, fancy coming round for a ceremonial 'lighting up' evening?
I have been busy working in the vegetable garden, or Potager as the French call it. I planted borad beans in February and they are about to flower any day now. I planted 100 leeks seedlings last weekend, some cherry toms, peppers, plum toms and a variety of round toms called 'Moneymaker' given to us by Juley and Paul. I have sown carrots seeds in between leek rows, and planted basil and parsley between the tomatoes. I must get out there and get my peas planted.
All the cats and geese are doing well. Sadly we lost one of our chooks this week. Her name was Blondie and she had a problem with her foot called Bumblefoot. It caused a nasty infection that caused her to go lame in one leg so she could only hop around the garden. The geese attacked her as did a couple of the chickens. She was barely eating and sadly died a couple of evenings ago. It was heartbreaking to lose her, she had such a lovely personality, but we console ourselves by saying that she had a wonderful life before she got ill, she was completely free in the garden and had a lovely warm house at night.