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Thursday, 25 March 2010


It is lovely in the garden - not beautiful you understand - but full of new growth and shoots. It is also warm at the moment so it is really pleasant to be outdoors - there has been just enough rain to make it easy to pull up weeds and to dig. The ugly but capacious waterbutt is filling up and there's a tale.
I went to England 2 weeks ago in a blizzard of snow - the plane was delayed 2 hours waiting to be de-iced and take off and the ensuing snow melt is what has mostly filled the water butt. It has been very dry but as yet the garden is green and damp. What a contrast the last 2 weeks have been with early March!
(And here's an example. When I dropped Ruth at Toulouse Airport I was having to chip ice off the wipers and clear the windscreen of ice and snow. When I picked her up a week later, I had the air-conditioning on.)  

I had a very good time in England seeing family and friends and talking!!

It is also good to be back at Labatut with John.

John has made me a work space all for myself in the study by putting up the IKEA bookshelves and decamping with his computer and files to the grenier/attic. I feel human again - my own space for thinking, a wall to work on - and it is an attractive and convenient room, too. The books are accessible and both John and I have been enjoying reading again.

I will get photos up for you but we are stilll here and blogging!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

It's/was Carnival Time!

For those of you who may have been wondering what we have been doing since the village New Year bash (featuring the golden voices and red noses of your bloghosts), here are a couple of photos of us dressed for and participating in Labatut's own Carnival celebration. This consisted of a long-drawn out meal - none the worse for that - accompanied by a mystery guest wine, as usual. The main course, which appeared many times, was "demoiselles". No, we didn't know what that was either, but now we know it to be duck carcasses unencumbered by legs, wings etc. flattened out and barbecued. Very messy to eat - especially in costume and more especially while wearing a mask - but delicious even to me who doesn't normally like poultry. 128 people attended and, by my reckoning, about 300 ducks post mortem.

Our costumes, in case you were wondering, were modelled on Carmen Miranda (without the fruit) - that was Ruth's costume, you'll be relieved to hear -and I was dressed as near as we could easily make it to a generic Morris dancer - a complete mystery, even more mysterious than the wine, to which we are becoming (ab)used, to the French. The picture above shows us, a mixed team of British and French, performing one of our thunderously received musical numbers.

(Advance Notice: The village website threatens a gallery of photos taken at the event. If it appears, some of the photos may also be added here.)