Posted by: kathandroger | July 22, 2018

The pigs playground and my French wife.

We have lots of dense woods around our house. The whole area is a bit of a mystery to me, because I am convinced that our grounds were once a fortress, perhaps of the same time as the fort in nearby St Remy sur Creuse which was built by Richard Lionheart. Only one tower remains of that great building, and our grounds certainly contain walls built of the same, non local, stone. The land opposite ours was once cultivated parcels of land which have now become overgrown into woods. The dug out edges of the plots can still be seen, and there are several small ponds which I guess were used for irrigation. Polly and I love to make our way through the dense undergrowth-there are no paths, and she loves to chase any of the small animals she finds there. One small pond, now a mud hole, has been used by some of the local wild boar.IMG_0080 Their footprints and rolling area are easy to see, and I hope our scent hasn’t put them off visiting their beauty centre.

I now have a French wife. She is the same one as before, but after the long and laborious process of application, she has been accepted as a French citizen. Her English learning students put on a reception for her a couple of weeks ago, and she was presented with the traditional French offerings of cheese, wine, a bagette and beret, and a strange certificate.IMG_1666
I am not sure what effect it will have on our lives, but she will probably get though the queues at airports in Europe quicker than me! Nationalism is a concept I have yet to appreciate, to me we are all the same whatever country we are born in, but I do recognise her desire to vote in the country in which we live.

One of the lovely things about France is the money and energy spent in making the local towns look good. In our local town of Chatellerault, huge amounts of money has been spent on the approaches to the town, with new avenues lined with flowers and newly planted trees. And in the village centre this huge creature made entirely of flowers on a frame has been constructed.IMG_1652
This photo was taken a month or so ago, and now it looks even more magnificent. The only problem with it is the number of motorists hanging out of the windows of their cars to gawp or to take pictures! There is some austerity in France, as in UK, but money always seems to be available to make our environment a more pleasurable place to be in. Adornments in a little town like Chatellerault add a smile to our lives.
And as for the garden at the moment, we have never had so much fruit. The larger apple tree has split in two with the weight of pommes, and the plums are arriving by the ton. I shall have to buy a fruit press.


  1. Congratulations on getting your French Nationality. Love the national outfit. We were so relieved to also receive ours late last year. Just now waiting for the ceremony date. Do you live in Dept 86? If so we may meet at the ceremony.

    • Yes, we are in 86! Kath will see you soon. I remain English….too many hoops for me!

  2. Or,with regard to the fruit… you could come and use ours initially… it is a biggun [about 16th scale to your yard’s centrepiece]… and leave room to freeze your grated/smashed/blitzed fruit… you end up with more juice!
    We discovered this entirely by accident… I had blitzed a whole load… but needed to keep some overnight as I couldn’t leave it.
    On thawing it out and pressing it I ended up with an almost dry cheese… and 50% plus juice near enough. Needless to say… the first cheese that was destined for the chickens go broken up and frozen.

    The chooks liked the bit of the first attempt they got… but the dry cheese had to be soaked before they would touch it… fussy lot!!

    We made cider [still] which is quite malic to start with, then the apple hits. This year, it looks as if perry is on the cards…. brandy and Babycham, Kath, to celebrate you efforts in becoming a French Citizen… I doff my beret in your direction…

    • Thanks Tim, all that crushing and sorting is lots of work, but all those apples and pears can’t be wasted.

  3. The roundabouts at Chatellerault are something to be seen and admired, too!

  4. Congratulations on the French nationality. We’re in the much simpler process of applying for a Titre de Sejour – we’re hoping that will be sufficient when the dreaded Brexit happens.

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