It's the end of our third week here and we are beginning to warm to this french life. Of course the wine is a great bonus, both the quality and the price and the range of wines in the supermarkets. The vast majority are French of course, with a minor concession to some German hocks. The French don't really recognise new world wines, just as they don't recognise cheese that doesn't come from France (edam does sneak in) Although interestingly alot of supermarkets now have an English section, reflecting the number of english people who now live in France.  There are old English favourites like marmite, baked beans, tomato sauce and even some cheddar cheese. Have to admit that this is a source of decent tea bags, unless you like your tea black, French tea bags are rubbish. So the French win on wine and the English win on tea, hmm seems a fair deal!

My musing this week is on the subject of voles and how they can possibly survive given the number of species which seem to catch them. We have loads of kestrels who hunt during the day and are often to be seen in the field next to our gite. There are also buzzards about as well. Our cat Trigger regularly brings home a vole from this field. At night the barn owls come out and 2 of them patrol this field regularly dropping down to devour a catch. There are also 2 foxes that come past this field most nights and then later in the night we have tawny owls hunting. It's a wonder there are any left.

If only all these predator species could catch moles!! Our orchard field has an increasing number of molehills but nothing seems to catch them. Talking of predators, Kate is becoming lethal with the fly swatter. Its been so hot since we got here, have forgotten what rain looks like. But this does bring out a number of small annoying flies. Kate leaps about the house with a demented look, hunting them down one by one, it's fascinating to watch. Pity she can't swot moles. Any advice on mole destruction would be appreciated!!

It has long been my unfortunate (and some would say annoying) habit to adopt a Peter Sellers Inspector Clouseau accent when in France. No more, I have adopted my new country whole heartedly and have signed up for french lessons. I become a new school starter on Wednesday!!
On the house front we have started to clear the stable under our gite. This where I have plans for my wine cellar. This is actually an old stable and the floor of the stable end has had many layers of horse manure dropped on it. So armed with face masks and wire brushes we ventured in to start the process. The plus side is that Kate got a hige dustbin full of excellent compost. The down side was a couple of very hot, dirty Parishes looking less than their usual chic selves. Nothing a cold beer in the sun couldn't fix. 

Most evenings we have taken our after dinner coffee out into the orchard to sit and watch, first the fantastic sunsets we have been having here, then just before 9pm French time (8pm in UK) the bats come out and hunt moths around the orchard. At about 9.10 as it starts to get dark we have been able to see on or two foxes patrolling the fileds around us and at the same time we have seen one or two barn owls hunting in the fields next to our orchard. Once it gets really dark we have been able to see the night sky fantastically clearly as there is very little light pollution round here. The stars are spectacular and we have even managed to frequently see the space station crossing the sky. Much better than watching the tele!!  

A bientot