Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Our new Victoria Plum tree!

My mum loved Victoria plums; no other plum would do!  And many years ago I bought her a Victoria plum tree for her garden.  It was no more than a few twigs when I bought it but it flourished and gave her (not to mention friends, family and neighbours!) loads and loads of fruit over the years.  After she died and Tony (my brother) and I were selling the house, I really really wanted to dig up the tree and plant it in my own garden but I listened to my head for once and didn't.  So when we moved here, I decided that I would buy a Victoria plum tree for my own garden in mum's memory. 

There is an English run pépinière or nursery which advertises in our local English magazine ( and I contacted the owner soon after we got here to see if he sells Victoria plum trees. He does!  It was literally months ago when I asked him and he told me it wouldn't be available until November. I've been so looking forward to getting it so you can imagine how excited I was when he emailed me last week to say he would deliver the tree on Tuesday.

And today, Danny planted it for me!

And then dog-proofed it (well, hopefully!)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Learning to blog!

Just a quick post to say that I've resolved a couple of things......

I gather some of you have been trying to add comments and were unable to do so.  I think I've changed the settings now so that anyone can now add comments.  Please let me know if you're still having problems.

I also believe I've managed to set the time to GMT+1 which is our time here in France.  I had been confused as to why the blog was showing that I'd posted on here about 12 hours before I actually had done so!  What a twit I am..... the default setting is Pacific time (something to do with the fact that Blogger is owned by Google I suspect!)

Anyway, while I'm here, I would just like to thank all the people who have given me such good feedback about this blog.  It's fun to do and I'm glad you like it.

And as this is supposed to be about our life here, would you like to see how our garden is looking right now in Autumn?  Of course you would......

This photo was taken yesterday after high winds blew all the leaves not just off the trees but also off the lawn!  Saved Danny going round on his tractor mower collecting them all up!!

Incidentally, Finn and Liam are happy to play in the garden regardless of the season!

And this is a picture of a beautiful white rose that grows up the barn wall..... still flowering in November!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Marché de Noël ~ Fenioux

Well, we've now been to our first Marché de Noël or Christmas Market! 

It was held  in the "Salle des Fêtes" - which is probably the equivalent of an English village hall.  Even the smallest of villages (like ours) has a Salle des Fêtes, along with a Mairie (Mayor) and a church, the latter of which usually dominates the centre of the village.  The Salles des Fêtes which we have seen so far, like most places here, are very well kept and looked after.  I believe some of them are used to hold what we might call "tea dances" where older people go and do ballroom dancing and I'm told it's a very popular activity on a Sunday afternoon (perhaps something to bear in mind for the future?) 

The Salle des Fêtes in Fenioux was the venue for this first Marché de Noël experience of ours.  Whether it will prove to be typical remains to be seen but it was not quite what I expected.  It was a bit like a craft fair, with maybe 25-30 "stalls" run by both French and English people.  The produce was of a very high standard and there were some really unusual items.  As with a lot of things here, the prices were reasonable given the amount of work which must have gone into making some of the items.  Among other things there was hand made jewellery, hand painted pottery, wooden and leatherware and paintings.  I could have spent a fortune on knickknacks for the house but we were supposed to be buying things for Christmas!  I had expected stalls of cards, wrapping paper and decorations but apart from a few hand made cards, these weren't present.  Never  mind, we did buy two presents (obviously can't say what or for whom!!) and two paintings for ourselves.

What does impress me about the markets (and indeed the "vide greniers" - or boot sales in English) is how beautifully presented they are.  We went to several vide greniers during the summer months and were amazed at how clean and well presented the goods were.  I did several boot sales in the UK and have to admit that my wares came straight out of the loft and on to my table on the day!

Anyway, I think we have Marchés de Noël to go to every weekend leading up to Christmas so it will be interesting to see how they compare.  I'll let you know!


Saturday, 24 November 2012

A French Camper Van!

I have written before (in our Newsletters) about the bureaucracy here in France.  Of course, when you make a move like we did, there are bound to be things that you don't like.  Thank goodness there are very few but one of them is the "red tape".  You might imagine that having a vehicle registered in one member state of the EU would be enough to give it automatic registration in another - after all, people are free to move between member states!  Anyway, let's not bleat on about it.  After a pretty long-winded process, we have successfully registered our VW Camper Van here!  We have ordered his new number plates and hope to get them on Tuesday.  In the meantime, here he is with his UK plates, along with Danny's son Joe, who enjoyed driving the camper while he was here in the summer.....

Our next challenge, vehicle-wise, is to get Danny's Dodge Dakota truck registered.  The problem with that one is that it was imported into the EU from America.  That it was successfully registered in the UK (part of the EU last time we looked!!) doesn't count and we have had many problems.  We are having a last shot at it, probably this coming week, but if we're not successful, then we're going to have to take it back to the UK and sell it.  Flipping nuisance as it's incredibly handy for all sorts of jobs!!

Still, all that aside, tomorrow we are going to our first Marché de Noël (Christmas Market) in a little village called Fenioux, about 20 kilometres south of us.  I'll tell you all about it afterwards.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Well, here it is!  If this works then I really have created a blog!  A real 21st Century lady eh?  And just after turning 60 years of age! And why?  For what purpose?  Well, we believe that lots of our family and friends are interested in our new life and like to know what we're up to.  Since moving to France in January 2012 we have sent three  Newsletters - and will continue to do so - but for more of a day to day/week to week record of our lives, I intend using this blog as a kind of diary.  My friend Caroline suggested it to me back in the summer when she found out that I do keep a diary anyway!  So here goes..... let's give it a try and see how it works out!

So for a first entry......

This week we were persuaded to add to our animal family.  Please welcome Mo and Cali....

Mo, the black, approx 6 month old kitten, cuddles Cali who is approximately 9/10 weeks old!