>Weather still holding up nicely although we’ve had a couple of heavy storms over the weekend, with flashing lightening, thunder and heavy rainfall; fortunately not until evening, so no great hardship.
To our surprise, not to say amazement, the French televised the bleeding wedding live on a link from the Beeb on TF1. J went up to the boulangerie for bread and was met with frank astonishment by the staff who assumed she would be glued to the box, and assured her it was on Froggovision that morning. The commentary was enjoyable. They just don’t know what to make of the British class system and the royals, in general. They were on safer ground with the outfits and hats. Though Queenie’s canary look caused some surprise, it seemed. Maybe she’d worn it before!
The hens – or rather, a hen – has started to lay. We are averaging an egg every other day. Not too bad, and to be expected as they come on to lay for the first time:
The First Ouef:
It will be better when they both come on to lay – more equitable, I expect. Probably a week or so from now. Fingers crossed.
The garden is doing nicely, too: the lettuce looks a bit flattened after the storms but seems fine; ditto the celery which is now out in a raised sort of bed. The chillis have their first few flowers and they also look about to bud on the peppers. The peas are good although the beans – which took a battering from the mulets – are also showing some purpose. I cleared the final strip/patch of ground for sowing the remainder of the beans today. Just in time, I think, cos the clouds are again gathering and it looks like another storm is on the way overnight.
The rest of the gang are off swimming today at the local pool. Hamish has apparently overcome his initial fears and is now extremely enthusiastic and virtually swimming unaided. So it’s been a fruitful ten days for him, if nothing else.
We all went off for a day out to a nearby attraction – http://www.la-vallee-des-singes.fr/
– a rambling, open park-like affair with a marvellous number (about 20) of different species of monkey, all running fairly freely in the parkland. It makes a great difference to see these creatures up close – eg almost alongside you much of the time – and their agility and curiosity was great fun. I’m not keen on zoos in general, but this is a completely differnent ball-game. Excellently arranged, informative and interesting. A place where our primate cousins take precedence, and warnings are doled out to beware they might touch you and/or try to nick anything – food, bags etc – that you might have on you while visiting.
A Barbary Ape (I think!!)
A Bonobo – 98% shared genetic material – makes you think! – who is watching who?
And in the words of that old French favourite, Georges Brassens – Brother Gorilla:
It was extraordinary just how close they were at times, with no real fencing or separation – save for the Chimps, Gorillas and a few others, which were in areas separated and contained by either water channels or electric fencing strips.
A decidedly laid-back Lemur
All in all, it made for an enjoyable outing and the Grandsprog loved it – we all did!
On the way back home, we passed this beautiful building. Typically French, elegant and of an era clearly pre-revolution – an Orangerie designed and built by one of Richelieu’s master masons:
And it wouldn’t be complete without the formal gardens, of course!:
The chateau to which it was originally attached, is long gone. It went the way of much of France during the revolution; the orangerie, however, managed, at least, to keep its head!
Charlie is just beginning to accept the presence of our daughter, LVP, and Hamish. He even ventures indoors for tucker at times, and spent much of last night on his blanketty-thingy at the foot of our bed. A marked improvement and change in his behaviour. And one that is likely to be short-lived; the daughter and Grandsprog return to Wales tomorrow afternoon, flying from Limoges to Bristol. We are then off to visit an old French friend for the evening in the Limousin. ‘Twill be interesting to see what food he has on offer. He’s not a typical Frog; food is of little interest to him, and he lives mostly on noodles and Vietnamese-type meals. So, it should be interestingly different. Whatever, it will be enjoyable!