Sunday, 10 June 2018

Flinging off the grey blanket!

It was a good job I took photos of all the lovely flowers when I did as, the very next day, we had downpours of really heavy showers which damaged so many of the blooms.  Since then, day after day, of chilly, cloudy weather.  A respite with some sunshine last Sunday when family and local friends enjoyed a BBQ Housewarming but, since then the cloudy days have returned until late morning today and what a difference sunshine makes!

We now have even more who have joined our family of birds:

Previously mentioned...

Blackbirds, chaffinches, blue tits, sparrows, collared doves, wrens, a jay, jackdaws, rooks, starlings and, overhead - house-martins, a buzzard.

An owl.

And, since that meeting...

Another jay, magpies, pigeons, robins, chiff-chaff, a pheasant...and a heron overhead,

When I saw a chaffinch close by it seemed to me it said "Hello, hello - pleased to meet you!" and, of course, the pigeons are always so assertive "I'm a pigeon, Yes, I'm a pigeon, Yes, I'm a pigeon, Yup!"

Seems it is not just we who enjoy our garden!

There have been a couple of delays in sorting out the rest of our belongings which we hope to have done by the end of this month. Once the base has been put down and a summer house erected, many things due to go into it can be cleared from the garage and maybe then we'll find those still-missing items!

Daisies of course are pretty but grow in the grass which has to be cut and so these will soon be beheaded as Ron enjoys his "new toy"...

Boys and their toys!

Friday, 1 June 2018

June is bustin' out all over...

June 1st and an overcast day but a cheerful sight amid the June roses on the back-garden terrace...

A splendid rhododendron viewed from the front porch...

More roses and bright poppies in the front garden...

Yes, all cheerful sights on a dull day.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Another bird!

At 9.30. last night I stepped out onto the terrace.  The day was dimming but lit by the golden glow of the almost-full moon.

A large shape swept silently past and landed on the recently-erected bird feeder.

An owl stared at me for a minute or so then took off into the night again.

We had thought the surroundings would be suitable but, so far, had not heard an owl hoot.  Still haven't...but now I've seen him up close and personal - what a thrill.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Walky 'round the garden!

Technogrief partly sorted out - let's see if this works...

Part of a small primary school opposite us with flags growing in the ditch we have to cross to get onto the driveway!

The moles are back!

Yay!  A "new" way (set up when the old way stopped working) now itself stopped working to upload/download my photos - but the "old" way is o.k....go figure!  No worry, at last I've been able to share with you a little "walky 'round the garden"!

Technogrief...and update

I've taken a few photos ready for an update here...but technogrief strikes again and I am unable to upload from my camera.  Access to other parts of my computer have also proved to be impossible. So here is just a "naked"update...

Each day we achieve more and the bungalow is looking quite homely although we still have some boxes to unpack - mostly books and we think even more of them will have to be taken to charity shops as we had built up a considerable collection.  But we have moved from a spacious house with plenty of wall space for shelves and will also have to find somewhere else for our many framed photos and paintings. Still books in English will no longer be difficult - there are many charity shops in Dereham, also a library and, I'm told, a mobile library visits the village.

The day of the move-in was a very hot one but the house-movers worked on cheerfully as too did family and friends and the bungalow, garage and sheds soon became box city - again.  It has taken a while to get everything sorted and there are still diverse missing items!

We haven't been able to get all the furniture where we would like it but have squeezed it in somewhere somehow.  But it is all manageable.

The main bonus here is the beautiful garden which is secluded, surrounded by trees (maybe we won't be quite as enthusiastic come Autumn!) and filled with birdsong.  In the garden and above it so far we have identified blackbirds, chaffinches, blue tits, sparrows, collared doves, wrens, a jay, jackdaws, rooks, starlings, house-martins, a buzzard and, to entertain us, a family of squirrels; on the pond over the fence at the bottom of the garden coots and a rabbit alongside the far bank.  We have also seen bats in the late evening. There are also many flowering shrubs and the whole surroundings are very pretty. I hadn't realised just how much I missed a garden until I felt very emotional the first few times I sat in it.

Here's hoping the technogrief is short-lived!!

Friday, 20 April 2018

At last…

April arrived and so did Spring - it had seemed a long time coming, just like the start of the next chapter in the history of our lives. We, like the Winter, just seemed to mark time.  But eventually of course things began to change.

Family problems apart, we have enjoyed living in the Meuse area of Lorraine in north-eastern France.  It felt right for us to be here for ourselves and to support our daughter and her husband in their new business venture, which they made a success of but our daughter’s worsening health caused problems and, after ten years, they decided to sell the business, which they did and quite quickly. Her health continued to exacerbate and eight months later she was admitted to hospital and, a few days later, died from septicaemia.

After her death in August 2016 life was somewhat a blur but after about six months we could more clearly consider our options and decided it was time to be on our way again. 

The house was put on the market, on line, in Spring 2017 and here we are, a year later, and not one enquiry.  Now it will also be put in the hands of local estate agents but it really is time for us to leave.  Lovely as it is, the house is too big for just the two of us, downstairs is empty and echoes with memories and I am getting nervous on the stairs, so we are renting a bungalow and returning to Norfolk and will await developments there...
-  if any! The property market in this area is slow indeed.

We have been unable to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather of the past week or so as we have been too busy sorting out our belongings and packing boxes.  But, this afternoon, an appointment was postponed, we needed a break and so we took a short ride to one of our nearby favourite spots - by the pond at Azannes-et-Soumazannes…perhaps for the last time.

Sitting partly shaded under a willow tree, how lovely it was to hear the birds sing, chirp and chatter.  We heard sparrows, chaffinch, chiff-chaff, a jackdaw and saw a swallow swoop through a dusty, broken window into a small barn.  The countryside is looking so green and beautiful and tugging our heartstrings at leaving it behind but we look forward to being in the English countryside again.  Here we do not have a garden - the bungalow does and I can hardly wait to enjoy it. I am also reminded of Browning’s poem, Home Thoughts From Abroad…“O to be in England now that April’s there“.  Of course it will be early May before we actually move into our new home so we’ll even miss the verse of the song Mountain Greenery…“On the first of May, it is moving day” - but both the poem and song are near enough!   


Overseen by the church...

...Ron catches up on a little blessed sleep after much insomnia of late - so much buzzing 'round our minds!

Lovely countryside shining in the Spring sunshine on the short drive home.

But, for now, back to box city and our preparations for leaving…but first a quick glance at the tulips in our little strip of garden.  

Spring - and almost ready for a new last.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Wedding Anniversary

Thursday, 29th March 2018 - our 60th Wedding Anniversary!

We celebrated with a lovely lunch at La Taverne du Cygne, Stenay accompanied by family and friends.

Roger, Arlette, Jacky, Emilie, Ron and Linda

Peter, Ida, Roger, Jacky, Ron and Linda

Emilie and Roger

Ida, Ron and Arlette

Thanks to Peter and Linda for spending a few days with us.
A beautiful cake made by Linda

Back home after lunch for coffee and cake. Pretty flowers from Arlette

It was a lovely celebration of our special date - a day filled with love and friendship.