Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 4 - Time flies and the landscape changes

It's hard to believe, but a week from today we'll be home. God-willing and the creek don't rise, as they say. Chris and Ron left yesterday for their week in Brittany and our last guests, Tom and Terry arrive tonight.

Yesterday was a flurry of activity at home. Chris and Ron bought some groceries to tide them over in Brittany this weekend and Chris made sure the bedroom and bathroom sparkled for Tom and Terry's arrival. The day was grey and misty, so drying the sheets indoors took some time, but by late afternoon all was ready, even a bread pudding made to use up the old, dry left over bread from the past week.

On Friday evening we came home from La Rochelle to a re-vitalized garden with new plantings. Beautiful geraniums had been planted around all the doors.

And over the past week the low bush roses by our table have popped into a profusion of blooms.
The hedge that threatens to overgrow the table is now in its second flowering of wisteria and the bees are loving the beautiful bush next to it that is covered in clumps of small white flowers.

There have been several hikes the past week and we can report that the colza has set beans
Colza plant (brought home from the field)

Colza beanpods
and the grains are turning golden already.
Farmers have had their second cutting of hay. And of course the vines are doing well. François Plumejeau from the Gonordorie winery tells us they have been especially busy. Typically, they take a week to cut off extraneous leaves and branches that haven't set grapes in order to have the plant's efforts go into producing the grapes. Then they come through the vineyards a second time to be sure the vine tendrils are growing along the wires set in place. However, this year, because we had a week of cold weather 2 weeks ago, there was no new growth on the vines, so now they are having to do both tasks at the same time this week now that the weather has turned hot and sunny.

There have been several visits to Brissac château in the past couple of weeks.
Brissac Château
I haven't yet taken the tour, which includes wine-tasting at the end - what am I thinking?
wine tasting in the cellars

oh, what a beautiful arrangement of wine bottles
But I can share photos taken by Dave who has both toured the château and walked the château grounds.

Grounds of Brissac Château

What I can tell you, is that the château is the tallest in France with seven floors, still privately owned, and the tours are only in French.

7 stories tall - yikes

Sunset is getting later and later - it's now light until well past 10. Evening after-dinner walks have become usual for Dave and guests.
I've been wanting a sunset photo with these "puffy" trees since the first day we arrived and Dave took some great sunset photos of them for me yesterday.

It's going to be sad to say good-bye to this wonderful place where we have had such a relaxing spring (if you don't count Dave's propensity to want to see "just one thing more" every day. He's willing to have aperos at 8 and dinner at 10, à la français, but I'm ready to crawl in bed by 10 pm even if it is still light out. Thank goodness we have so many friends and family visiting so I can bow out of some of his over-filled touring days.).

And, it never fails, we're saying we'll never find a place as great as this one and maybe we'll have to just come back here next time. We're surprised how comfortable we were living in the country where even getting bread in the morning involved driving. (You could walk, 20 minutes each way, but that's something only Judy and Janis tried.)

Time will tell.
hard to beat having coffee in this garden

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