Putting the clocks forward.

Passer a l’heure d’été – to put the clocks forward.

Clocks went forward last night, and while the temperatures here in central France are trending upwards, the weather itself has been slightly meh. Overcast, peppered with rain, not forgetting the tornado we had a couple of weeks ago that smashed a local village to bits, and punched golfball sized holes in our guttering thanks to massive hail. You can watch the reel I made here.

So, not feeling entirely Springy if I’m honest. Without the Camelia putting in an early blousy show of bright magenta, and the narcissus (narcissi, narcissussesess – who knows?!), that I’m sure I bought as doubles with an orange centre, and now they are open, quite clearly aren’t, there’s not much happening. The dandelions are just starting to add little pops of burnt yellow to the surrounding fields and not a whisper of blossom on the orchard trees yet. I’d like some sun please, if you don’t mind.

We purchased a scaffolding tower recently, which has allowed me to plaster the outside of the barn right up to the broken guttering, and stain the barn door which was in desperate need. I still have the rest of this to finish, and then, like with all of the distinctly average DIY jobs I do around here, I shall distract from the handiwork with fairy lights and old garden tools. I’m far more about the aesthetics than the overall technique, sometimes things have to be just good enough. The surface of the barn didn’t lend itself to a smooth finish, and I didn’t want one anyway – which was fortuitous. Basically, I’ve frosted the entire barn like a 1980’s Delia Christmas cake. All I need now is one of those little kitsch plastic skiing figures, et voila!

it’s a work in progress….

I do feel like I’m neglecting the rest of the garden though, I should be clearing brambles and giving the grass it’s inaugural cut of the year, but I was busy repainting the outside of next door and staining the shutters, now I’m rendering the barn. It’ll just have to keep won’t it, I’m not a machine.

next door looking like a shiny new pin, if you don’t look at the hail damaged gutter….

What Spring does bring with it every year without fail is the obligatory ant procession across the bathroom windowsill. You plug holes every year, every time convinced your defensive fortifications are strong, and then hiya! All trotting through the window frame to have their little annual convention behind my Angel Wing Begonia. This will not stand! Yet, I know it will be short lived. At the same time next door, they’ll have a little conga line under the washing machine, and then disappear back to their various little high rise condos in the garden. Without them I must remember the Green Woodpecker wouldn’t have picnics in our garden, and for that I am truly grateful.

Window-ledges are groaning under the weight of dahlia tubers that are starting to spring in to life, and the spare room is full of seedlings. Mainly cosmos because I’m obsessed, but also rudbeckia, snapdragons, dill, basil, savoury, chamomile and a tonne of others. Where they’re going to go when they need pricking out is beyond me, but I have the same problem every year, and somehow I find the room….

One other thing that happened recently is we got a new address. The commune decided that we should have proper street names and house numbers, so we dutifully went to the Maires and collected ours. Yes, you’ve guessed it, getting anything sucessfully delivered is now an elaborate game of chance. Thank goodness for our lovely post lady, but if it’s coming via a carrier, your guess is as good as mine. Hopefully systems will be updated and this will resolve itself, but, you know, France….

I do love Spring here though. the 3 peony plants I put in last year and thought had killed are sending their red shoots skywards. I’m hoping I might actually get some flowers when the time comes. You know what they say, an empty vase is a sad vase. Well, that’s what I say anyway.


sun set over the village church
France is spectacular at sunsets….

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