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Saturday, 20 April 2013

late wet spring garden

We had a LOT of rain in the winter. It wasn't a bad winter but it seems to have held most things back. And then, in a week, everything seemed to come into leaf and flower. One day this week everyone's wisterias came into blossom on the same day.
And the lawn. I have mowed it 3 times in a week. I mowed it the last time on Thursday. I think it will need doing again on Monday. 

Pax - no sorry pactes - no sorry pacse

On 8th. April AD2013 we were PACSed. The PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité) is the French Civil Partnership - a marriage in virtually all but name. We had decided some time ago that we should have to have some form of legal arrangement between us as French law is very specific in terms of inheritance rules and we wanted to protect our children's positions, besides putting our responsibilities to each other on record.

The Partnership agreement itself is quite simple, the handwritten document which Ruth is holding in the picture is it. But the difficult stuff is obtaining all the documents - birth certificates, certified translations, proofs of good conduct, certificates proving that we are not married or partnershipped to anyone else in UK or France - which takes the time.

This photo shows us as photographed by the Greffier who PACSed us. To my left is a small part of the piles of paperwork she moved to let us sit down.

This is us in the restaurant afterwards.

And at home.

And our post-prandial champagne. Note (lumpfish) caviar and olives.


Last Wednesday I went for my last ski of the season. I don't normally go on a Wednesday, since this is the day the schools are on holiday and that makes for crowds. I reckoned that so late in the year, it wouldn't make any difference. It didn't.

So, here's a few photos of that last day, 10th. April.

The first shows the mountains taken about a mile from home.

A few miles closer:-

Le Pic de Jer, near Lourdes. My route lies to the right of the Pic.

I have done most of my skiing this year at Luz-Ardiden, but that station closed on 7th. April. Cauterets was open for a further week but, a couple of months ago one of the pylons on the main lift there was moved by an avalanche, leaving that lift closed for the rest of the season. This is the pylon. However, there is a smaller lift, which you can drive to, further up the valley.

These next 3 pictures are a bit white, but they show that there was plenty of snow still up there.

And this is the small lift, going down.

A roadside cascade, at the left of the road visible in the distance on the picture above.

The mountains seen from the supermarket car park on the way home.

Ruth busy in the garden when I got home.

So that's probably the last of the snowy photos for this year. Everywhere is closed now, except Piau which has opened this weekend (20/21st. April) to take advantage of the abundant snow which remains. They are talking of being able to ski in Ariege, along the Pyrenees towards the Mediterranean, in July.