This week we have spent time getting to know the buildings and grounds at La Godefrere. The top floor of our spare barn is part converted, with a new floor laid ready to develop further. The roof is exposed and when investigating we came upon lots of little black things on the floor. I though they might be bat droppings which I was able to confirm on the internet. In the workshop there was more bat poo, but a bit smaller. So the question is, can you tell the species of bat from their poo? Apparently you can. This would involve measuring the bat poo and checking against a chart available from the net. Much to Kate's relief I decided that measuring bat poo is a step too far!!

We have two cats who came with the property. They live outside (most of the time). Trigger, our tabby cat, is an efficient mouser and most mornings leaves a dead rodent outside the front door. One of my morning tasks is to dispose of the poor creature. First of all of course identifying whether it is a vole or field mouse (no measuring necessary). The corpse is despatched on a shovel by throwing it back over the hedge to the field it came from. Hopefully there won't be a day when the farmer is doing an early morning inspection of his field.

The cats have competition for the mice and voles. In the daytime there are lots of kestrels hunting in the fields. At night the owls come out and we have heard them most nights. This week on Saturday we spotted a barn owl in the field next to ours. We then heard a real commotion of owl calls from a nearby tree and saw three tawny owls flying towards us. They went right over our heads and two of them settled in a tree in our orchard. The remaining owl returned to its original tree, obviously having seen off rival owls. Really amazingly sight.

Final thought on death and destruction. We do our shopping in the nearby town of Gorron. This town has reintroduced the rule of "Prioritie a droit". This means that any vehicle emerging on to the road from the right has right of way!! So even cars joining the main road from a side street have right of way if joining from the right. While driving along you are at risk that a car will suddenly drive straight out from the side. The French drivers recklessly exercise the right. The "prioritie a droit" used to apply all over France but was mostly done away with. We think the mayor of Gorron must be the local garage owner!! It does make the usual boring journey to the supermarket an interesting experience.

Yesterday we went to the nearby village of St Fraimbault, it is famous as a floral village and most of the villagers have flowers growing in gardens, hanging baskets and raised beds. The town spaces are full of flowers and it is a really lovely place. They also have an annual gardening competition for local organisations with display gardens to a particular theme. There were some brilliant ideas and lovely gardens.

Lots to look forward to next week.