Saturday, 30 June 2012

Stone Polishing Part Two

A while ago I wrote a post about an unsuccessful attempt at polishing pebbles

Having collected more pebbles from a visit to the coast in May, I tried again and I was reasonably optimistic when I wrote about the first stage of the polishing here.

The process is now complete and I am pleased to say I'm happy with the results!

This shows the end of the first stage of polishing with an 80 grit.

Two grades of carbide grit (220 and 400) later and a week polishing with cerium oxide and the pebbles are ready to be taken out of the tumbler for the final time.

The small nylon pellets you can see in the bowl act as a buffer to prevent damage to the ground pebbles during the polishing process.

Washed and dried and the full beauty of the pebbles shines through..

Each and every one is a real gem! It was certainly worth taking that extra care in the preparation.

Now all that remains is for me to find the best way to display the results!

Friday, 29 June 2012

More bird behaviour...

"You have a bath dear while I stand guard..."

"Don't you wander off now, I haven't finished!"

"Stop nagging woman! I'm off, you've taken long enough..."


Unfortunately for her and me some people walked passed and she had to finish!!!

Isn't nature great!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Roses of Rivau

Colin's posted the other day about the humming bird hawk moths we had seen at the chateau at Rivau.

Whilst he was photographing those, I was off taking photos of the many and beautiful roses which were in bloom in the gardens at Rivau.

The chateau gardens contain a collection of over 300 of the old scented roses from famous growers such as David Austin and Andre Eve. At this time of year they make the most stunning display which is only surpassed by the wonderful fragrance of so many blooms.

Here are a few of my favourites.

And in the following pictures you can see the impact of the roses against the lovely natural stone wall...

I only wish you had smell-vision!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Strange behaviour

I have been working in the grenier today and this morning, not long after starting the job I could hear a tapping noise. On investigation it was a bird pecking one of the two windows.

It went on for hours and then the sparrow decided it had had enough and went to sleep... Me, being me, I disturbed it by tapping back on the window and it flew off only to return to the other window and finish its nap!!!

Twice I opened the window to see what it would do... It did not return to the window or offer to come in... BUT as soon as the window was closed it was back...

At the time of writing it is still on the window so it has been there for over eight hours.

I feel like I am being stalked OR is it Elizabeth's spy making sure I am working. Who knows...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

My Newt!

It's back to the old joke...
"what do you call your pet?"
 "Why do you call him Tiny?"
                                                             "Because he's my newt!!"

That's the painful bit over with folks!!

When I came back to England I thought it was time I did a bit of pond tidying. The pond is not very large  because it's one I dug out myself a few years ago, but it attracts an amazing range of wildlife.

In the course of my labours I found there were several newts living there.

These, I think, are Common or Smooth Newt, and more can be read about them here.

As you can see, these two were swimming around happily (or they will be when I get them back into the pond) with the tadpoles..

Here's a close up through the glass tank...

Handsome fellow isn't he... or she?!

Monday, 25 June 2012

And now there are two!

Last week, when we picked Elizabeth 2 up from Tours airport, we called in 'Ikea' as you do when passing... Ikea is most definitely a 'Do not want anything specific but usually end up with something' place 

I have been looking for a small something or other on which to fit a 4" metal vice I bought when back in the UK in May.  With that in mind we trundled around and I spotted ----

at €37 I thought it was just the job, so duly noting where to collect it from we bought one... However when it arrived á la maison and I had assembled it....  Elizabeth 1 decided it looked very nice in the kitchen and would be ideal for storing our large pans....

So not to be defeated, on returning with the two Elizabeths to Tours airport, I called in on my way back and bought another....  Put together with a quick coat of varnish and the vice bolted down, a good mobile workbench I say...

I think when I go back to Tours to pick up Elizabeth 1 up, I will call in and buy another one!!!! I am sure it will come in for something!!!!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Chomp Chomp Chomp...

A two pronged potager blog today folks...

Firstly this will be me on the first of our courgettes I picked this morning... I will be cooking them, (not all of them!), to eat with the salmon I am preparing for my evening meal...

Secondly is the Colorado beetle youngsters that I have crushed this morning between two rocks!!! 

We have been checking our potatoes regularly and when the adult beetles have been found they to have been crushed and any visible eggs removed... However some must have survived and hatched and they don't half chomp... This is what is left of one potato plant. I only checked them a couple of days ago!!! 

I think what we need is one of these devices which collects Colorado beetles and larvae.

I suppose its a bit big for four rows of spuds!!!

And finally one for Elizabeth...

Don't forget you need to do your flutterby survey when you get back. This one was on our drive this morning prodding into the dust and sunning itself...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Olympic History comes to Town

My visit back to the UK coincides with the arrival of the Olympic Torch in  my home county, Lancashire and  today to Preston, my home town. 

Here are some shots of its progress, courtesy of my friends, Liz, Sam, Lyndsay and Sandra. Thanks to all of them for getting up earlier than I did and for braving the weather, which, whilst it wasn't exactly mid summer weather, was significantly better than yesterday in Blackpool!! Because of the torrential rain and strong winds the torch was taken indoors to the Tower Ballroom.

Today's Olympic Torch route can be seen here and below are the "borrowed" shots!


I'm glad for the sake of all those who waited to get a glimpse of the torch that it was not obscured by umbrellas but looking at the UK forecast, I don't think it's the last it will see of the rain.

I suppose you're going to tell me the sun's shining in Braye, Colin??!