So, our visitors arrived last evening and we had a great evening using our new barbecue as it was lovely and sunny. Of course we also had a suitable amount of wine and sat outside until late when the owls were out and calling and our resident bats were out feeding and flying around. They are amazing as they fly straight towards you but their echo locations system means they change direction at the last minute and never hit you in the head. Most people duck nevertheless.

This unfortunately meant no time for a full report on the exciting times here at La Godefrere. I was going to report on the attack of the blight last week but the owl incident took precedence. The Blight is any of various plant diseases whose symptoms include sudden and severe yellowing, browning, spotting, withering, or dying of leaves, flowers, fruit, stems, or the entire plant. Most blights are caused by bacterial or fungal infestations, which usually attack the shoots and other young, rapidly growing tissues of a plant. Fungal and bacterial blights are most apt to occur under cool moist conditions, and most economically important plants are susceptible to one or more blights, including tomatoes, potatoes, and apples, as well as many ornamental species.

Mrs. Parish reported that she had an attack of the blight and naturally I sympathised, not having much clue what she was talking about. But this year we have had a long wet period when the weather also turned cold. In her allotment Mrs. Parish has planted lots of potatoes and tomatoes. Last year we had a bumper crop but this year due to the weather the growth has been affected and signs of blight appeared. Mrs.Parish as you will have gathered is not one to take such problems lightly and immediately set about tackling the problem by cutting off damaged leaves and harvesting all the new potatoes. She also produced some sort of stuff to put on the plants and managed to halt the attack. Fortunately the weather changed and we have had sunny and hot weather for the past few weeks. It seems that the dreaded blight has been put into retreat!!

Of course because it has been hot this is obviously a good time to order a whole load of logs for the winter to use on our wood burner. We need to order in the summer to make sure we get the wood and have it all stored away ready for the winter. This meant a great big lorry arrived during the week and dumped a huge load of rather large logs onto the courtyard. This then meant we had to transport all the logs from the courtyard into the woodshed. This was a rather hot and back breaking job and coincided with the hottest time of the year so far.

The woodman cometh

Fortunately we had lots of ice cream in the freezer and that assisted in at least keeping us cool. The job has now been done and we have a full woodshed ready for anything winter can throw at us. Minou helped and took over as queen of the woodpile supervising the work from a strategic position.

Minou queen of the woodpile

With the hot weather has come a whole load of flies, midges and mosquitoes to make our lives more difficult. There seem to be a whole range of flies. Some fly around for a bit and then land making them game for an attack by the fly swatter. There are then those that make a lot of buzzing noise and fly around the house but never seem to land and fly so that you can’t see them. If you get out the fly spray then they immediately stop making a noise! There are also some quiet flies that just suddenly land on your leg or toes and tickle which is really annoying. The worse thing of course is the mosquito and usually these find their way into the bedroom and wait until you are just going off to sleep and then you hear the high pitch noise that gets louder as it get closer to you. As most of you is under the bedclothes the mozzie targets either an arm outside or your head. This causes an attempt to bat of the mosquito before it can land and bite.

Fortunately mosquitoes seem to prefer Mrs. Parish so as long as I keep her close the chances are she will get bitten and not me. I read that bats eat around 3,000 mosquitoes or flies every night. We have loads of bats but obviously not enough to stop some getting through.

Anyway, there is some good news as the cows are back in the next field. This time there is a new bull who seems to be a young bull and is about half the size of Eric or Felix who was there before. Mind you the new bull has that small person chip on the shoulder and makes a lot of noise bellowing a lot. He has that bull knack of looking you in the eye to make clear he could have you if he wanted. So, it is good to have some cows to chat to once again. Most of the cows seem to be pregnant so obviously size doesn’t matter in the bull world.

We had our first sighting of a jigglypuff in the garden last evening. This is a strange pink creature that only arrived with the visit of my daughter in law and her family. They all seem to have phones with the latest pokemon game which produces these strange animals against a screen showing the immediate ground via the phones camera. The idea apparently is to somehow destroy these creatures. I am still struggling to come to terms with my phone and I think I will steer clear of any of these jigglypuff things. It is a step too far, I think.

Mrs Parish discovers a Jigglypuff!!

One of the nice things about our current visitors is that Emma’s brother Sam is a chef and he is cooking tonight. He is making a bouillabaisse (a French fish soup). The smell of the cooking is wafting over me as I type and I have been promised an aperitif so I may have to finish the blog for this week as I clearly have to give my whole attention to the drink and the prospect of a wonderful meal.

Bon appétit