Arrivé à cette?

Ok, well we actually arrived on Saturday matin and the weather was gorgeous, up until an awful thunderstorm that put the electricity off for 4 hours. Then Sunday morning was cloudy but sunny and warm as I headed off to a vide in Marmande. Missed B as she couldn’t find it and has no mobile, so no way of contacting her. Monday between 8 and 10am we had to wait for the delivery of an armoire from Maison du Monde. Duly arrived about 9.30am and after they refused to take their shoes off to go upstairs, we accepted it being left downstairs. At least they took all the packaging away. Hubby and I then got it upstairs, but only just and taking a small chunk of the landing wall with us. Love it though, it’s just what we needed. Clothes now have a home.Then late Monday morning, met B & L in Duras for tea and coffee at the Duchesses which is community café that opened in October last year, so very pleased to see that it’s still going strong. In the evening had B, L, M & T over for aperitifs, nibbling and chatting till late.  Lots of laughs and discussions re Brexit.So weather wise, this is what we’re faced with. Drizzle, drizzle and more drizzle all week until Saturday which is when we travel back. Lovely. Anyway today the boys are heading to Bordeaux and I’m staying put I think as L will be heading up from Duras to stay with us. L has offered to Bella sit while I go to Bordeaux too but I think I’ll stay and do some painting of shutters.Garden is doing well apart from the 3 Oleanders I bought from Jardin de Beauchamp which have died. Nothing more to report from Petit Coquelicot – over and out, or rather over and in, as it’s drizzling.


La Rentrée – Nous rentrons a l’Angleterre 

Approximately 10 hours to Boulogne Sur Mer yesterday and an overnight stop there and now next morning we’re sitting on the train ready to depart for England. Looking forward to seeing Rose (pussy cat), Tamarind (our UK home) and friends. Leaving behind sunny, blue skies and grape vines. Interesting new places and people. New friends. Le Petit Coquelicot (our French home) and fig trees, full of ripening figs. 

dans le jardin

I’m going to begin this gardening blog with a picture of a gorgeous pooch.  Aaawwwwwgghhh!!!!!!!!!!


And now to the garden and the plants.

This Phormium, I brought from our home in the UK.  We have a large plant at the front of the house in the UK which came originally from a few leaves that appeared in my mother in laws, neighbours garden.  She wanted the large leaves digging out and I asked if I could have them, I hoped it would be a Phormium, and it was and is.  In the UK and now in France.

I’m still buying plants and I have the workers to plant them.  Tee hee, well grandma and Paul.  JOKING.  The garden was such a blank canvas and because we have to leave them before they are established, we’re willing each tree or shrub to survive and grow quickly and so fill the space.  Unfortunately, the soil is clay and close to the house it’s very wet and boggy and then when the rain stops, in the summer, it bakes solid.  So plants have to be very adaptive to these conditions to survive.  Still some plants really thrive.  So this trip we planted a white flowering Viburnum.  The bottom right picture is of a Wisteria that we purchased here in August last year.  So I wasn’t sure it would make the winter, but it has.

The top image is of a series of small box bushes that we have planted at the edge of our pebble garden.  These bushes were purchased from Lidl in Pineuilh for 1.60 Euros each,  I thought this was really good value.  They may not survive though, as it is so boggy in this part of the garden.  Fingers crossed.  I purchased a common Lilac tree from the plant stall at Duras market.  This is very small but has already started to flower.

I also purchased a Yew tree.  Birds love the berries.  The Red Robin was a cutting that I took from somewhere here in France, I can’t remember where exactly.

I want these gates.


And I close with another picture of our lovely Bella.


Our 4th summer

Breath taking

Breath taking

We’re now back at our home in the UK.  Our 4th summer at Le Petit Coquelicot is just a balmy summery (very hot) memory.  Due to poor internet access this year it was a real struggle to blog and now that I’m back home I am so busy with all the demands of work, work and more work that I just don’t have the space in my head to write so this a picture blog of our 4th summer.

I have to start with the Atlantic.  It’s spectacular, it’s breath-taking.  A picture could never do it justice.

The Atlantic Coast

The Atlantic Coast

We invested in a beach tent.  Well it had to be done.  Grandma loved it and in its shade we could really enjoy the beach.  I love the sun but I am definitely not a sun worshiper.  I fry.

IMG_4540There was a trip to Mimizan to meet up with the Mais.  I really like Mimizan we’d been there before when our friends had stayed there 3 years ago.

IMG_4460 IMG_4461The boys hired skate boards for about 5 Euros for the afternoon.

The Mais

The Mais

IMG_4505The grape vines were looking fit to bust when we left.  I always imagine I would love to be in France for the vendange (grape harvest).

IMG_4450There were walks with Bella.  This one was when Cal and I were on our own as Paul had returned to the UK to work.  Arrrrrgh!  It was by the side of the Dordogne.  Bella also had lots of attention.

Cal and Bella

Cal and Bella

She also found time to roll in a dead fish.

IMG_4472Then needed to have several baths.

IMG_4480We had a weekend of very heavy rain and didn’t know what to do with ourselves.

IMG_4468We enjoyed another trip to Bordeaux.  Parking in our fav car park where the old Jag hangs out over the road.

I couldn't park the Jag

I couldn’t park the Jag

I didn’t get to visit as many vide greniers as I would have liked to because the weekends were when we had the wet weather😢 found these lovely scarves at one though😊

IMG_4574 (2)All washing dried in no time.  Love the smell of fresh clean sheets.

IMG_4537Had a trip to the far Dordogne/Lot to visit Julia, John and the boys who were holidaying there.  Cal and Van enjoying the pool.

imageThis years wild life, found just as we were leaving.


imageWe just managed to eat the first of the figs.

imageI managed some yoga.  Here is dog, downward dog and dad😆

imageSo we’re back, having left good friends and neighbours behind.  Jeff will now be back on site to finish our extension.  We plan to fly back at half term to see how things are progressing.  I miss France.  We all miss France.  It is well and truly under our skin.

Bella’s séjour chez le vétérinaire


Yesterday Bella was most definitely not herself.  She wouldn’t eat or go for a walk and was obviously very weak.  So off we went to the local vet here in Duras.  After the initial examination which involved her temperature being taken and the vet probing up her bum, a blood test was taken.  Then she was taken into a separate room to be ex-rayed to see if there were any blockages anywhere inside.  The blood results revealed that Bella’s liver marker was really high.  The vet said he had only seen this in 5 other cases.

Bella blood test results

This called for an ultrasound scan.  So the poor dear had to be laid out on her back in a vice with her legs stretched out down the examination table and her tummy shaved.  Grandma and I were acting as veterinary nurses, I was comforting her by stroking her head and grandma was holding her feet down.  After sometime the vet said Bella’s liver and gallbladder appeared to be fine.  Throughout all this she never made a sound or complained at all.  So after two hours the vet concluded that she probably has a virus that has affected her liver.  He said she would have to stay the night because she would need an intravenous drip to support her recovery.  We reluctantly left her and were advised to call back at 10am this morning.  The vet called at 9.15am to say she had improved and eaten and if she didn’t vomit we could pick her up at 4pm.  This is what we did.  It was great to have her back, we’d missed her and she had missed us too.  She has to take three tablets, Silycure, Marbocyl and Amoxival.  We will need to take her back to the vets before we leave France and she will need more blood tests in a months time back in the UK.  She is snoozing in her bed now and we are hoping she is on the mend.


two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse door step

The expression “two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse door step” was one of my Gran’s sayings.  Bella just epitomised that expression for me today.  She is still feeling so sorry for herself.  It’s sad to see her not being her usual bouncy, doggy, greedy self.

two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse doorstep

two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse doorstep

We did manage to get her out on a short walk around the village and saw some  little chèvres and some lovely Wisteria.IMG_3278IMG_3280