Friday, 21 August 2015

Harvest with Musical Accompaniment!

Harvest time in the potager, and today we picked the first of the apples..

Next came the daily tomato pick..

And a comparison of sizes from the smallest cherry tomatoes to the big coeur de boeuf..

The coeur de boeuf weighed in at just under 400 grams!

And now they are all stewed/roasted/frozen/bottled/wrapped in newspaper and all the other things you do with nature's bounty.

Colin picked the crook neck courgettes, cucumbers and the first of the pears whilst I went out for a bike ride round the village.

The telephone wires were like musical staves; so full of swallows. But just as I was about to take a photo the first car to drive through the village all week (probably!!) came along and the birds took flight.

I managed just a few lines of music...

and then it was back to pick some beans!

Monday, 17 August 2015


We have started to sort out the mess left by our cowboy Poplar tree cutters. At least the first side they did will give us a supply of logs in the future.

There is still plenty left to sort.

The improvised  'sack truck'  trailer makes life easier.

But the hole is filling up fast...
Roll on bonfire night...

Saturday, 15 August 2015

A Day of Two Halves...

It was 'two for the price of one' today at Le Grand Pressigny..

First on our agenda was a look round the Autobourse: "Retro Mecanique Sud Touraine"

It was a chance to line up our 2CV along with other Voitures Anciennes (sounds so much better than "old cars"!)

A chance, also, for a look at what was on offer, a gasp at some of the prices, a chat with friends and to compare different vehicles...

Who needs a sat nav when you have one of these, it was attached to an old BSA with several oil leaks!

Then came part two.. A visit to the Chateau grounds for tea and cakes and a look at "L'Art et la Matière"

Oh yes, this handsome beast was spotted, too!

(Colin was wondering about getting one for the front lawn..!!)

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Drone Flights.

My latest toy, and it is a toy, is a Syma X8C drone... I am getting better at controlling it BUT I have found that it does not like even the slightest wind. Last night with very little wind in the garden, at about 70 metres the wind started to push it away and even with the control fully back it only just returned.

It has a range of about 300 metres and if it gets out of range it will just fall from the sky, there is no return to base GPS on this one. If that happens from any height it is likely to be fatal as it is quite a heavy beast especially if it has the HD action camera attached.
Syma X8C with HD camera strapped on
The camera that comes with the drone is not very good but you can take pictures remotely with it. The HD is mainly for video but you can take snapshots from the video that are acceptable.
HD Video snapshot.
Enhanced photo taken with the drone camera
Here are a couple of my YouTube videos taken with the Drone with the HD camera attached. The first one is new but some of our readers may have seen the second one via my facebook page.

I just love flying it both with and without the camera attached and it is quite easy once you get the hang of it. I still have the occasional crash landing but to date nothing that has done any damage. It has also been stuck up our trees on more than one occasion.

I learnt most of how to handle the controls with a very small drone (of which I have two and a broken one) Costing less than £10 delivered free from China. They are great fun to fly and crash really well... The small ones have a range of about 50 metres.

You can get spare parts for both drones from China and I am currently awaiting a replacement motor for the tiny one, cost £1.25 delivered free.

If you have any interest in flying I can thoroughly recommend a drone. My next problem is do I buy a bigger and better one !!! 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Artistes (were) en Village (yesterday)....

Regular readers will know that I had foolishly agreed to paint at the Artistes en Village event at Faye la Vineuse..

I was able to work from the home of friends Brit and Herman Horemans. Their courtyard, with shelter and ample shade,formed an ideal backdrop.

I had been apprehensive as, although I've exhibited before, this was the first time I've painted at an event. However I really enjoyed it!

The artist behind me was another friend, Marian. She and her husband Peter were full of encouragement throughout. Marian is usually fully occupied running their gites, so she relished the opportunity to spend a whole day painting! Her work was magnificent!

I was surprised at the amount of interest people showed in watercolour as a medium. The children, in particular, were keen to watch and ask questions.

One little girl, who couldn't have been more than three, stood entranced, watching every move and in the end I gave her a painting. She asked if she could keep it in her bedroom, and seeing her eyes light up when her mum agreed, made all the preparation worthwhile!

I left at the end of the day feeling glad that I'd done it and as a bonus I had made a reasonable profit; I'd never get rich off it but I do enjoy making things and this was the perfect outlet.

Thanks to Brit and Herman for suggesting the location and thanks to Marian and Peter for their help and encouragement!

For more about Brit and Herman, see here

For information on Marian and Peter's Gites see here

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Colour Matching!

If in doubt, go for matching accessories.

This spider did and the results are rather fetching...

Not sure about that colour on me, though!

Friday, 7 August 2015

A New Hobby!

Don't worry; it's only the groans from Colin you can hear...

This one, flower bashing, is thanks to Susan and for the time being, it will have to go on the back burner. But it's still fun to do!

What I need to concentrate on is the mound of "stuff" I've got ready to take to "Les artistes au village" at Faye la Vineuse on Sunday 9th August ...

This represents some of my stock.... See the problem?

I shall be in the courtyard of 11 Rue du Chapeau Rouge:

(GPS co-ordinates to the back of the building and the courtyard :
rue de la Corderie 8
37120 Faye-la-Vineuse, France)

The observant among you will have noticed two subtle "plugs" in the above text. No prizes for finding them but a generous reward for reducing my stock! 

I really don't want to take ALL of it home afterwards!