Sunday, 15 April 2007

Vide Greniers or Gardening ?


An uninvited guest is trying to take up residence at Le Chateau but its all rather exciting and she will be a welcome addition. Not only that but I shall have a ringside seat which will not affect our visitor in the slightest. Beautifully constructed and built is the largest untidiest nest we have ever seen. Wedged between the window of an upstairs room and the shutters it sits ready for occupation. Soft fresh green moss forms the base whilst in the centre are small white feathers. His Lordship who generally knows it all is stumped for once by its incredible size. It occupies the entire stone ledge for heavens sake.

It’s impossible to be the owner of an old house in France and not feel slightly alarmed when pitter patter turns to pelting rain accompanied by claps of thunder and flashes of lightening in the middle of the night. I tried to ignore it but in the end common sense and preservation got the better of me. ‘I’ll do the top floor you do the front and back doors’ I said somewhat wearily. Which is why we were to be found with tightly belted dressing gowns, wellied feet and stiff brooms in our hands at four in the morning. Nothing like a good swirling mass of water threatening to lap round your ankles to enliven the nighttime and set the adrenalin pumping. Swish swish swish go the brushes as it seeps and snakes its way into the hallway. Afterwards when it has subsided as quickly as it arrived it’s a grand time for a cuppa.

Blink and you might miss the arrival of the first signs of life appearing at an incredible speed round the garden. Tiny plump fruits are revealed on the fig tree, lilac bushes throw out their first heady aromas and last years lavender planted out are showing tiny heads of deep purple. Most extraordinary of all is the bush rose, a botticelli for rose lovers, which we eventually agreed was a climber and is now happily snaking its way along its wire trellis.

So today despite being torn by the first arrival of the famous Vide Greniers , it has to be gardening gloves and wellies before the sun, and it’s coming soon I’m promised, hits us and the weeds run to riot.

P.S Might find time to nip along quickly though, wouldn’t be me if I didn’t , who wants to be too sensible anyway ?

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