A berry good summer

Blueberries are usually associated with the USA, but they are a very important crop in France, where they are called myrtilles. And as well as being a rich source of antioxidants, they’re a source of income in this household. Eldest son Benj picks, but this year mainly packs, blueberries during the summer. The farm of the Myrtilles de Tremoulet is just outside Boussac, our nearest town. It’s a twenty-five minute scooter ride for Benj (scooters aren’t allowed to go over 45 km per hour!). Continue reading “A berry good summer”

Le Tour

The Tour de France finished yesterday and we’re bereft! Every night we’ve been watching an hour-long highlights programme on ITV4. It wasn’t the most fantastic coverage, as it tends to focus in on the last ten kilometres or so which it showed in one go, rather than show snippets of action during the day. But it was interesting and the commentary was good. Continue reading “Le Tour”

All hail

Twice in the last few weeks we’ve had a ferocious hailstorm. The most recent one was the worst. I was convinced the skylights were going to break. The noise was incredible. Once the worst was over, we went outside to check the llamas, and found ourselves crunching over walnut sized hailstones. This means the hailstorm had an intensity of H2 to H5, according to a hailstone classification chart I came across on the web. Worryingly, the range goes up to H10. Now that means coconut sized hailstones, and those I do not want to see. The hail we had did enough damage. Both the cars are dimpled all over, our pumpkin patch – Chris’s pride and joy – has been reduced to a mess of ragged leaves and scarred pumpkins, and one of our two surviving sunflowers has been beheaded. All the other plants look very bashed and battered, and our tomato crop has taken another blow. Continue reading “All hail”