dimanche 24 février 2019

Birthday walk

The glorious February weather continues and for Susie's birthday a Champagne picnic under Cap de Bouriex. We wondered whether we could drive to the Col de la Core but eventually snow blocked the route so we slogged straight up through the woods - not the easiest or most pleasant of climbs as there was no path, deep snow in places and it was hot but eventually we cleared the tree line and found a lovely spot for lunch in the sun.

A spare afternoon and the last 130 heddles for the weaving project are made, so now threading the loom can finally be completed.

The hot dry weather has lead to quite a few fires in the mountains, the biggest of which is between Pont de la Taule and Ustou and has been burning for the last 3 or 4 days, last night another above Soulan.

The chickens who don't much enjoy the snow and cold are loving the sun and sunbathe outside the back door often all together.

A longer term project to make a 1/5000 map of the commune is slowly taking shape but requires a lot of leg work to check out the state and positions of paths and trails. This afternoon I was near Coste d'Asprex, where more "marginaux" seem to have set up a camp last year and now departed leaving tonnes of rubbish, two old caravans, furniture, gas cyclinders, etc all for someone else to clear up. I hope a special place in hell awaits them!

Porcherie at Asprex

mercredi 20 février 2019

dimanche 17 février 2019


Glorious high pressure has settled over the Pyrenees and we have clear sunny skies with temperatures in the sun of 29° and cold nights with just a hint of frost. Perfect ski-touring weather but as ever I m struggling to find others motivated / available to go.

The fine weather is good for outdoors work and Susie and I have been filling the raised beds in and outside of the poly-tunnel with manure from our new neighbour at La Coste Christian, who has bought the farm from Manu. I've also cleared the band of woodland between two of our fields of all the fallen trees (mostly from the May snow of 2010) and brambles. The sheep love the new terrain to explore and I've been able to remove the fence which was always being engulfed by the brambles.

The fish which we feared had died in the cold weather are slowly emerging from the murky depths and we've now seen most of the bigger ones at least once, though some of the smaller casualties occasionally float to the surface.

The symbiotic garden has had a good tidy up and looks ready for business - just need to keep the chickens out!

dimanche 10 février 2019

After the snow

Another quick ski up and down Joubac in rapidly warming conditions on Monday and then down came the rain. The sun has blessed us with its heat and suddenly nearly all the snow at Quélébu has gone. A couple of gloriously warm days have allowed us to carry out the fence repairs to the fields (50 new posts) as well as a few realignments. The vegetable plot terraces have been repaired and Susie has moved her Goji berry bush (hopefully without killing it).

I also made a new ratchet for the tractor handbrake (the old one was worn through) and the readjusted brakes. On our land working brakes are pretty essential!

dimanche 3 février 2019

Ski tour from the front door

More snow yesterday, so another trip out, this time on skis for me and raquettes for Susie and Sandrine.