Friday, 15 March 2013

Blossoms, Birds and Blue Skies!

 Well it does seem incredible that we are now halfway through the month! Time just seems to be going more quickly these days! My cousin (who is more like a niece to us)  turned 21 on the 13th and I can remember the day she was born as if it were yesterday! I was at the time 7 months pregnant with our first daughter and just needed to know what it was all about - although I did get very frank answers! We had some great times watching our girls grow up together (until we moved here every Birthday was shared)  My Mum bless her spent many a Saturday looking after the two scamps! But that was 21 years ago and we have many happy memories.

Whilst looking for a photo to share (ok to embarrass said 21 year old) I ended up finding so many wonderful memories and so much reminiscing was done - suddenly realised that I haven't seen so many friends and family for so long that seeing them through photos made me feel a little sad! BUT it doesn't matter how far away we are from each other, it's knowing we all have a special bond and we can still  talk and I can still share all my photos and memories!

My Mum, Griff and Me!
This photo was taken by my Dad over 40 years ago, me with my Mum (and dog Griff) sitting on the top of Leigh Cliffs overlooking Two Tree Island, Canvey (and what I used to think was France!) which I now of course realise is Kent, it looks such a peaceful scene doesn't it? It probably wasn't though as I was most likely chatting away. I am so excited by this photo I have decided it's going to be printed up and framed for my Mum for French Fêtes des Mères - so I will be off to the printers with this on my stick the next time I go!

We have had bizarre weather again - going from really lovely and warm and an almost balmy 19 degrees last week- to 1 degree on Tuesday night!

Yesterday it was bitterly cold and we did actually have some snow - well I say snow it came down like hailstones and lasted for all of 20 seconds! But the morning was filled with beautiful sunlight and I felt the Blossoms of the Mirabelle and Golden Plum were begging to be photographed! (not to self coat and gloves next  time!)

Mirabelle Blossom

I am thrilled to see that the Blossoms of the Almond tree are increasing - hopefully this means more than one Almond to harvest this year!

Almond Blossom
And a walk to my "Wild Garden" gave me the thrill of finding the Cowslips are spreading...

Cowslips in Spring
And then there is the Golden Plum looking so beautiful against the Blue skies, I now await the sound of Bees humming around the blossoms - they sound like motorbikes when they cover the tree!

 Whilst I haven't been lucky enough to see the Kestrel again I spent a few minutes (oh ok a lot of minutes) watching the birds and and was quite pleased with this one!
Fatballs are for sharing!

I am going to show my ignorance - I have no idea what this little bird is?

At lunchtime yesterday (14th) I happened to glance out of the Kitchen window - again - and saw the Woodpecker (Pic) back on the fatballs - I love watching him as he really gets into it and underneath are the little birds just clearing up all that falls away!

I thought I would be a bit clever this time however and go out the back (which our front) and creep around the side and get a capture outside - but no! I am not quiet enough quite obviously... or was it this Bird that circled and called..and then right over my head it went! I still want to see a Buzzard stationary - but when you have a dog with you walks aren't very quiet and he does somewhat scare things away before we have even spotted them!

Over the top

And another little bird that didn't seem perturbed to have me loitering by the trees (again I am not sure what it is but assume it is another Tit - maybe Willow?)

SO it's been another bird week really! I am now so looking forward to the Butterflies, Bees and the return of the Hummingbird Hawk Moth! And talking of Moths on the wall today was this little fellow sunbathing (do Moths sunbathe?) 

The urge to stroke was quite tempting but I didn't but it does look all soft and fluffy!

Taking a walk around the garden this afternoon (hanging out the washing requires the camera at all times!) I was actually watching our Ollie cat stalking - well - just about anything really, if it's not the dog, the Coq Norman then it is his shadow.... or in this case - ME!!
I has spotted you!

Silvery lights
As I was getting up from my stalking position these seed heads caught my attention the light was so lovely and them and the background just added something to the already pretty scene!

The washing is now in, even though it hasn't been that warm, the sun did it's very best to get it dry and the breeze helped so no the bedding and I are ready for the onslaught - in technical terms I am ready to fight the duvet! 

It is the weekend insert big YAY here, who knows what we are going to be doing! Daughters will be home tomorrow so it's definitely film night which this week will be the 2nd Part of the final Twilight film (shame on me I don't know what it's called!!) Last weeks choice - Skyfall was fantastic and quite the best Bond film I have seen!

By the way - proud parents last week - our youngest sang beautifully, the whole evening was full of talented youngsters, the biggest surprise was The Lambada played so fantastically on the accordion by one of the students - I don't think I have seen an accordion played so well by someone who is only 17!  The other instruments were brilliant as well of course! 

Well that's it now - I shall be off to go and fight the good fight with the duvets! And then re-organise the studio for a family photo shoot next week, another one to be excited about as we have a Baby Bump to include in this shoot!

I bid you a good evening and a brilliant weekend! 


Thursday, 7 March 2013

March is coming in like a Lamb!

Well I can hardly believe that is now March and saying the usual "Pinch and a Punch first day of the Month" finishing off with "White Rabbits" which is great until you start explaining this phrase in the local restaurant (at this point I think why? oh why did I start this!!) Thankfully my dear girls were there by my side to help translate but I don't think poor Isabelle really got it - although she was all for popping off to the kitchen to start pinching and punching!

The last day of half term today and we did think we might go out for the day - escape the confines of the office but it was too flipping cold! So yes, by the way the -5 did come last week, along with 2 days of snow!! Woke up Monday morning to a semi-white world and again on Tuesday, I didn't have chance to get out with the camera on Monday but took a quick 15 minutes with the Robins (again) on Tuesday.....

I started this post quite obviously on the 1st March and it's now the 7th!
Every time I came back to update something else came along! In the meantime I did finish off the editing of all the photos I took at a lovely Family Photo Session...4 Children, 1 baby and their lovely parents. There have been a few faves so far but I think this one is going to be on my cards this season!
Although Valentin slept through most of the 2 hours there this one is possibly one I will be happy with for a long time. Whilst getting things set up I like to "test" the lighting etc....but for me sometimes this time turns to a moment like this
There are many, many more but I won't share them all :)

We had our first lovely long walk (7.5kms) on the 3rd March, the sun was out and the sky was blue - warm in the sun but chilly in the shade....we enjoyed the time talking and walking, taking in the silence and of course a few photos!
Scooby enjoys his first paddle of the year - clear but chilly!

Source du Chaboussant


Signs of Spring

We popped to Charroux on Tuesday - primarily to leave cards at the Office de Tourisme whilst waiting I did take a few pics of the infamous Abbaye de Charroux for more information on this Benedictine Abbaye it's worth a little read it never fails to amaze me - how something built in the 11th Century still stands proud today! So full of history and quite a few stories! The photos were taken through a fence but I will hopefully go back when they are open!

Finally, I heard the Cranes flying over but could I see them? I was so busy hanging out the washing - oh yes I did and it dried! I realised that the noise I could hear was not coming from the playground from the Primaire but from the sky - another mad dash indoors and.........

Flying High!
Yes they are high but you can clearly see they are the wonderful noisy Cranes - I don't remember them flying over our way before but hopefully they will come back again and again! Not the hundreds that other family and friends have seen either but I am happy to have seen them!

Another Spring day blossomed on the 4th - it's always a lovely time of year (my favourite!) because of the new, fresh shoots flowering the anticipation of what's to come and of course the Bees and Butterflies come out to eat, drink and work hard!

Today though I have had one of those "moments" you know when you see something you want to take a photo of but the camera is not next to you? With a yelp I ran to my youngest daughter's room who had her camera  located in a place I could lay my hands on it and ran back to the kitchen praying the batteries were charged ..... and that my subject was still where I had left in... YES....(taken through the kitchen window) a Kestrel makes a brief stop on the bird house!

and I have a feeling this is what made him fly away
umm that's a large one on my bird house!

Need to check....oooh it's gone!

and this is what you have to deal with if you come back big bird from the sky!!
This photo was taken on the 4th March - I have a feeling by the end of today we will have more in flower! Although I am hoping the reports of snow are wrong - we really need some sun and warmth now!

New Facebook Page alert - my lovely friend has started her own business - her page is new as it was only launched last week but I know it's going to be a very useful page (and I might even start on my own house when it's time for spring cleaning!) but in the meantime I am reading and digesting all her fab ideas/tips! Cut the Clutter can be found here

Have a great weekend - when it arrives - we are off to our youngest daughters second concert with her music class and am already anticipating her solo of "With or Without You" with nervous excitement...another "proud mum" moment!