Friday, 31 October 2014

Hallowe’en 2014…

Tim has once again been busy preparing for the arrival of the village children, dressed up in their ghostly finery, to collect their bonbons. Our neighbour Beber, the ancient baker, kindly gave us the pumpkins from his garden.


A bat…


A pirate ship…


and a ghost…


I think he has excelled himself, and has the callouses on his hands to show for his efforts! Here are his 2012 and 2013 offerings.

Any suggestions for 2015?

UPDATE: Just as I was about to post there was a hammering on the door. About twenty small children carrying bags and buckets streamed in to collect their sucettes. Thank goodness I’d bought an enormous bag! Unfortunately my camera wasn’t handy!

Next year I think I’ll make some cupcakes…


Google image.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

What a waspper…

This active nest was spotted in a tree on the roadside, as we drove down the hill into Preuilly sur Claise.


The falling of the autumn leaves has obviously made it more visible.

P1010834 wasp nest cropped

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Simple pleasures…

We have been very fortunate with the weather over the past weeks. Our very first Autumn in France has been wonderful. Shutter painting aside, we’ve tried to make the most of the mild and sunny weather. Amongst other activities we’ve fitted in a couple of fairly impromptu walks around the local area. These haven’t been of the large, organised Touraine Trekkers style walks, but rather walks of the “shall we?”, “ok”, “what about tomorrow?” type.




Our walks took us around the Foret de Preuilly and Chambon. Our fellow walkers, S&S and C&E were a mine of information about the local flora, fauna and fungi. You can check out some of their wonderful photographs and info by clicking on the links. We really enjoyed the walk and we spotted so many fungi, the names of most escape me, but I have added a good fungi field guide to my Christmas present list! Any suggestions as to which one to ask Santa for?











How many steares of wood do you think are here? Colin providing a sense of scale. Imagine stacking this pile of wood…


The advance party…


I wonder whether this still works…


We spent a while trying to spot then photograph this ruddy darter which was well camouflaged against the autumn leaves.


Nearly home.


On each walk we walked 8km with an average speed of around 3km/hour. Hardly break neck pace, but just right for what we wanted to do.

Thank you to our walking companions for being such good company. We hope to experience more of these simple pleasures in life, and to continue learning about the wonderful, natural world that surrounds us…

Thursday, 23 October 2014


We were in Loches earlier this week and as we walked around the market I took a few photographs with the intention of compiling a blog post with the title ‘Looking Up’.

This morning I was glancing at some blogs and spotted the almost the exact same photograph I’d taken on Sue and Leon’s blog- Melbourne our Home on the Bay Goes to Italy and France. Check it out and read about their travels.

Here are my photographs. Notice how there is a lock at the bottom, which we thought might make unlocking easier on the way up or down the steps, rather than when perching precariously at the top!




Great minds… ;o)

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Long time, no see (or read). I don’t understand where the time is going, but I’m certainly not finding the extra hours in the day that retirement promised! Perhaps it’s because my day lacks the structure that it once had? One thing I know is that the unstructured fiddling on my computer and tablet has to stop! I’m going to have to set myself the kind of limits one gives to a child about playing computer games!

We are having a very nice spell of weather. Would you believe the temperature on the terrace yesterday?


The thermometer wasn’t even in direct sunlight! The sun shone all day and promises to do the same today.



Views from another terrace, at the Presbytery in Loches.



Autumn pics taken near Leek, on a flying visit back to Staffordshire. Maybe there will be more about this another time…

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Makes it all worthwhile…

An email from my daughter this morning gave me a good feeling…

“Your name precedes me again!! I went to a CP conference yesterday and the health visitor recognised my name! She said she was the mum of ****, and how upset she was that you had retired before her daughter finished school. She said to tell you that **** is taking all Sciences and Maths at A Level and she thinks he got his love of science from you!! “:) 

Now **** is a very bright lad, and I think that whether or not I had taught him for three years he would have become an excellent scientist, BUT I truly hope that amongst all the scientific concepts and skills he learned that I had a very small part to play in teaching him to love Science.

Those were the days! Look carefully and you might just spot a fleeting glimpse or two of me…





Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Brocante discipline, you either have it or you don’t…

We called in to the brocante at Angles-sur-l’Anglin on Sunday. There were the usual stalls, although not as many as there are for the April event.


Tim was sorely tempted, but didn’t buy this…



However, he is carrying my 4 Euros spend. A beautiful hand painted plate, being sold by a British couple who were selling up and going home, after seven years living near Neons-sur-Creuse. Good luck to them. I shall be very pleased to find a home for their plate.


The weather was certainly more autumnal. Misty and cooler with some of the trees definitely on the turn.


Autumn has arrived in the Touraine!