A busy old time all in all

I have not been blogging for a while it has been a hectic time, a trip to England where our feet didn’t seem to hit the ground, driving a thousand miles without really going anywhere,  however we achieved what we went for with a slightly different outcome than we expected. We were glad to be back home and relaxing again when it became clear we would have to drive to Portugal to collect Karen’s grandchildren and their father. We drove there and back around 3000 km in 36 hours something I never want to do again, then yesterday we drove 6 hours to Carassonne and back to take them to the airport for their flight back to England. We are looking forward to a normal few weeks before we go off again back to Seville in Spain for Karen’s 50th birthday.

Spring is here, the first swallow flew into the barn today it does not seem that long since they flew south with their chicks, it quite took me by suprise. It is hovering between warm and chilly during the day I can never decide whether to put my coat on when I take the dogs for a walk but usually opt to do so, it feels good to get the winter over with.

Snow no more

My blogging has been sadly neglected recently, but I have been taking photographs we have had two trips up to the mountains for a little walk, (very little as far as Karen is concerned). the snow this year is very sparse, the ski season is  ruins I fear, the snow at this spot, the Col d’Aspin is normally several feet deep with the road closed until April/May. Last week at the same spot there was a few inches now it is almost completely gone. The weather has been fantastic 15-20c every day,  the bulbs are coming up in the garden and everything is very springlike, sadly rain is forecast for the next few days but we can’t complain.

We are off to England again next Sunday, Karen has to sort out some things for her Mum, her daughter is also leaving Portugal and moving back to Staffordshire so we are picking her and daughter up at the airport, partner and sons are following on later when she has found somewhere to live.   Initially I would have rather have stopped here but I have been convinced that a trip to England would be good for me. We are stopping at a rental cottage  for a few days belonging to a guy I know from  the walking holidays he used to run in his beautiful part of Staffordshire. There is a great pub nearby brimming with antiques/ quirky objects where the paint and wallpaper peels from the walls defying gravity, with probably the worst toilets outside India. They serve great beer and pies and little else, if you ask for anything exotic like ‘wine’ or ‘coke’ the landlord just rolls his eyes and shakes his head as if you had asked  him to mix you a Harvey Wallbanger. I do hope it is still there and unchanged I know Karen will hate it as much as I love it. The rest of the week we are in Manchester so it will be good to see my daughters and friends again.

 

Bees no more

All our bees have died, we only have one hive and Karen was showing it to two prospective beekeepers yesterday, when she opened it they were all dead, they were fine a week ago but she thinks the have succumbed to the sub zero weather possibly last Sunday night when it was -10 C, It’s a shame this week has been a lot warmer. I know they are only bees but we are both very sad, Karen is already sourcing a new supply and it is hopeful we will get some soon, alas there will be no Lafitole honey this year.

After the frost it felt a bit like spring yesterday, some of the bulbs are coming up and I was in the garden tidying the hedges burning branches and brambles.  It rained overnight and it’s cold again today so it feels like winter again.

Finally got out of Lafitole

I have been taking photos but I could not bear to post any more photos of Lafitole, so after dropping Karen of at Tarbes/Lourdes international airport.  I stopped at site at the side of the Adour river just north of the town and let the dogs run around. It was a delightful spot but marred by the piles of litter strewn around. It has been delightful weather the last few days warm and sunny I don’t think it will last. Today another trip to a different airport at Toulouse to drop off the daughter of a friend, two hours there 5 mins at the airport then two hours back.

A lazy old week

I am using the excuse of still recovering from a virus to having had a real lazy week, it has been cold outside and once I have taken the dogs out, had breakfast then lunch, watched some daytime TV in front of the fire it has been suddenly dark again and well another day over really. The mountain views have been outstanding this week, dark clouds overhead but brilliant sunshine over the peaks lighting up the snow with an orange glow. Next week I will try to get up there, with a bit of luck the weather will hold out.

I have just been reading about the shooting of a congresswoman in Arizona and the pointless deaths of some of those present. I don’t know much about this guy but Billy Bragg has just posted a link on his FB to a video clip, he seems to be talking a lot of sense to me. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40981503/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/

Christmas eve

A day for slouching around if you can get away with it,  I have hung up some pictures we have bought back from Manchester and not much else. I had better at some point wrap up Karen’s presents. She knows what they are as she bought them, I did however make the effort of being with her when she bought some of them, at least she has got what she wanted.

It has been a dull day (ideal for slouching),  but might make an effort and go for a walk before dark, we have oysters for dinner it’s a french tradition on new years eve. I bought 24 thinking there was only twelve in the box, Karen’s not that keen so I am wondering if the dogs will like some.

The image is of Lafitole by the way, our house is just behind the houses on the ridge.