Sunday, 27 March 2011

Le Perigord in Blossom

Spring arrived in earnest a few weeks ago in this corner of SouthWest France. Temperatures have been nudging the mercury to around twenty two centigrade in recent days but inevitably each morning arrives with a cold start and a light frost on the grass, however it doesn't hang about for long and it's Tee shirt weather by lunchtime. My Peach tree above has been in bloom for over a week now, fingers crossed that we don't have a sharp frost as it'll yield little fruit, but looking at longer range weather forecasts it seems nothing too sinister is on the horizon, maybe there will be a glut this Summer?

Forsythia has been showy for weeks now. I know they're everywhere, but things are better for that as I reckon them to be the most cheery sight each Spring.

The perfect yellow.

The Château de Castelnaud viewed through Cherry blossom. Standing high above the Dordogne valley, I literally have to stop the car every time I drive past, a wonderful sight, really it's a case of any excuse to take a photo of it!

The Magnolias are almost finished now; all too soon the show's over. I particularly liked this one in front of a grand old Manoir in St. Cyprien.

Thundery weather today. Calm, not a zephyr, blossom scent just hangs in the air on days like these.

Ah well, the clocks have gone forward, the equinox just passed, Spring marches on.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Monsieur Bricolage

For weeks now I've been immersed in various DIY projects that seem destined only to be finished by the skin of my teeth. It's always like that. Last week was spent playing with a mini -digger scraping out the top fifteen centimetres of soil over a six by eleven metre area, ready to receive two grades of gravel for my soon to be created Pétanque court.

This week I'm stripping wallpaper in a high stairwell and making good any marks left behind with filler. I've devised various support mechanisms using carefully balanced, different sized ladders and scaffold planks that enable me to reach to the ceiling. It looks a little precarious to say the least, so if it goes hideously wrong, well, it's been nice knowing you all!

Just for the record, I currently have a half tiled bathroom which has remained unfinished for six weeks now as the remaining tiles are somewhere in Spain. The DIY store has been experiencing distribution problems and so there they sit, in a factory near Villa-Real, seven boxes, seven metres squared with my name on it. Just bloody well get them here!!!

If you're wondering what relevance these photographs have to my current handyman misery, well very little except to say this is where I'd rather be, wandering through the beautiful gardens at Sardy. I took these photos on a previous visit back in 2009. Warmer weather and a little bit of freetime, I'd take that right now.