Friday, 14 August 2009

Today - another sunny day in Western France

So far we have had around 2 months of continual sunshine, albeit with the occasional shower for maybe an hour. C'est tres seche..... peut etre une canicule.... I do not know - I listen to the French radio (do not get the BBC - could do on the TV or computer but it is not the same as listening to a transistor radio!!) and do not hear anything about weather probs. Also, as we are now obliged to watch English TV, coutesy of the the daughter and her partner, we are missing out on French newscasts. Oh how I miss Canal + and their wonderful programmes and TF1, TF2, etc.... OH well, maybe we will get back to the French way..

Have an English couple arrived yesterday. They left Dover in rain, arrived in Calais in rain, drove through Normandy in rain. Rain stopped at Le Mans..... They thought they were going to have a wet holiday.

Had some clients from Normandy, last week and this week, they also remarked about all the rain that they are experiencing..... c'est normal!! Even when we came out for our hols all those years ago it always rained in Normandy!!

Sud de Loire = soliel.... C'est vrai!

My grass is so very beige and crisp underfoot. I worry about my spring planted shrubs - they look as though they are about to die..... We water them but they still seem to be in autumn mode... But; the piment, poivrons, aubergines, courgettes, tomates, haricots, onions, are all absolutely fantastic.... Lots of Ratatouille this year (my man does not like Ratatouille in spite of it having his '5 a day' in one dish). Me... well , I could eat Ratatouille all the time - I love it!!! I also like Aubergines in middle eastern cookery - tough on my man - he grows it - he will eat it!! Good for his heart :-)

I have a Bramley apple tree, sourced from a very nice garden centre in Kent, it has been through many traumas since arriving here 5 years ago.. Planted in a suitable spot, growing well then having its bark chewed to the core by some ravenous sheep.... It was then relocated two years ago. The bark on the trunk is absolutely amazing! I must take a photo and add to this entry. It has, this year, produced the most magnificent apples.. such a delight to see. The tree is on a Malling rootstock (can't remember which one but I think it is a dwarf rootstock!). I should have taken notice as I worked at the East Malling Horticultural Research Station when my girls were small. I learnt a lot about fruit, pruning as well as about the types, breeding, as well as when to pick... Anyway, back to the Bramley apples... I will harvest in the next couple of weeks. weigh them and then probably make some of my special apple chutney and turn the rest into apple sauce - I have got bottling down to a fine art now. Better to see on a shelf than taking up room in the freezer.

I still ask myself, "why am I doing all this preserving??" "there is only two of us now" "why is he growing so much? we are a couple not a big family anymore." etc.....

1 comment:

  1. Our Bramley had a chequered career, too. We bought it for a friend,carted it over from Woolworths, if you please - they used to do some good plants, and when she and her husband went baqck to the U.K. she gave it back. We moved it twice and once it recovered it started to give mounds of fruit. Nothing like a Bramley for English recipes.