Thursday, 31 October 2013

Nothing to do with us or France!

One of our friends shared this with us... It really is worth watching.

The Ohio State University Marching Band 

It has had 9.8 million views up to this afternoon.  Hope you enjoy it.

Colin and Elizabeth

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Flame Dance!

After taking the brush cutter to our 'hill', which we have left to nature since the spring, we had a great deal of 'brush' to burn. So we would have a little bonfire!!!

Also our 'hole', in which we dump anything and everything green, had got rather full.

So for the past two days the bonfire has grown and  has burnt an incredible amount of the Leylandii and Laurel branches from out of the hole...

Elizabeth captured these dancing flames as the fire was in full swing.

So we now have half our hole back in which to put more waste... (I note Elizabeth is poised with saw in hand!) and a great pile of ash for the garden.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Winter Fuel...

Our winter fuel supply arrived on Saturday, courtesy of the multi-talented Monsieur Bourreau...

Interestingly it was three weeks later than we have received it for the last two years and had increased in price slightly. BUT...

When you think M Bourreau, who is in his eighties, has cut down, sawn up, transported and matured the wood. He has then re-cut it into 50cm lengths and split where necessary and then loaded the trailer and driven it to our house... All on his own!!! He certainly has earned his money.

We get the same trailer load of six steres, which generally sees us through the winter. We are fortunate that the house is well insulated and maintains its heat for long periods. 

All the remains now is to stack it up. Elizabeth!!!!

At least it keeps you fit and works up an appetite. I like to think we will still be doing it into our eighties!!!

All completed and sheeted in about an hour and a half...

With a brew in between of course.

To see a comparison follow the links to - Wood 2011 and Wood 2012

Note... Elizabeth begs to differ about wood stacking in her eighties... Ahhh Well.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Woodland Wander Part Two

Continuing the theme from yesterday's post, we look at some of the fungi, lichens and oddities we saw on our walk through the woods.

First the fungi....
Now the lichens..
And an oddity...

Lastly a treat; a mass of eating chestnuts....

So guess what we'll be roasting by the fire tonight!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Woodland Wander, Part One

We had intended to go to the Fungi Foray in the forest at Preuilly today but the weather this morning put us off. Instead we took advantage of a brief dry spell this afternoon to go to an area of our local woods which we've not visited for just over three years.

These particular woodland tracks can be accessed from just outside the village but we chose to drive round to the Braslou side of the wood and approach from the D20 to the West of Braslou.

The area is mixed woodland criss crossed by wide CR trails.

Despite the weather there was plenty to see. So for Part One, here are some of the flowers we saw this afternoon....
 And counting the spindleberry as a flower....

And then a promise of what's to come next year...

Orchids! Susan we could do with your expert identification skills please?!

Part Two to follow tomorrow!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

At last!

After weeks of asking "Will it be open this week?" the new rail bridge on the D749 Richelieu - Chatellerault road is now open.

As well as building the bridge the contractors have built their own mountain!

All brought by road transport and given the state of the roads, most of it through Richelieu.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Collecting seeds

Like many gardeners at this time of year we collect seeds from a variety of plants, usually from flowers but we have collected Tomato Seeds and last year, Radish.

This year given the cost of Cucumber seeds we left one growing in order to collect its seeds.

They were an English Cucumber and if we could have found the seed packet we would have given you the variety. We do know that the seeds were about £2.50 for 6/8 seeds. Hopefully once dried out these will be planted next spring.

What the results will be is anybody's guess given that our Radish seed harvest produced some strange radish!

For those of a certain age... Esther Rantzen would be proud of that one!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Off Piste (or was it just Pi**ed)!

The problem of mowing the lawn when it is covered in leaves is that when you come to empty the grass box you can't see the 'hole' for the leaves...

This isn't the first time we've been stuck like this, so Colin knew exactly what to get...

The trusty winch was fixed to the autoportee and one of our beloved (!) poplars.....

and the winching began..

A few pulls of the winch later and the autoportee was out of the hole and back in service - which is just as well, because unless we can use it to pick up all those leaves, we'll have the same problem again!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A new tool for the collection...

Given that I broke the old axe attempting to split some of our own logs it was time we had something different. Having looked at the various options we decided on a splitting axe. 

They come in various weights, the largest I could hardly lift let alone swing! So at the end of the day we chose a fairly lightweight one at 2.7kgs on the basis that Elizabeth could also use it!!!!!

Today was its first test on a nice piece of willow.
 As I suspected not heavy enough to spilt a large log it on its own.
But with the help of the sledge hammer
No problem!
 Smaller sections were no problem either.

So if you need your logs splitting...

Find somebody else, I have enough to do. Besides we are awaiting a delivery of our usual trailer load of ready split ones. All which will need stacking!