Trans-plant Surgery

I have spent most of the afternoon on my hands and knees on the far bank of Le Jaudy.

This is where I was working pictured on Christmas eve.

Thanks to the flooding there is a whole host of different wildflowers growing.

This is what it looked like just now.

There were wild blue belles which are now in front of the living room.

There are lots of Ajuga flowers, transplanted to the central section.

And a bright purple honeysuckle, set to grace the repaired fence.

I did the cull the bamboo task. If we don’t keep an eye on it we will have our very own bamboo grove.

It was rather lovely surrounded my bees, smelling the wildflowers and to the soundtrack of a gurgling river.


French Trout Fishing Dream 21-03-21

I’ll preface this with some real-world information. Fishing in Le Jaudy has been banned for a number of years because of an environmental “disaster” in which pig sewerage leaked into the river. Last year I noted at least four trout living in “our” section of the river. The levels of the river have been dropping so I have begun looking to see if the trout are still living chez nous. The fishing season has started, and we have begun to see a number of people just the other side of our fence fishing with lures for trout. This morning there was a man and what were, I assume, his boys, fishing in the wild section just downstream of our property.

This morning’s dream was entirely in French, which is a bit odd given my level of proficiency. I have “translated” it.

I am down by the river, on the bridge over Le Jaudy. I see a man with blonde hair walking downstream, in the river, towards our property. He sees me and is a little hesitant. I greet him with a welcoming Bonjour which he returns. He walks down the river onto our patch, and he starts asking me about the trout in the river. I say to him that about where he is standing, we had two trout last summer, one big and one small. Downstream of the bridge I saw two others. He asks if it is ok to fish in “our” section of the river. To which I say, sure. He asks about fishing in the pond. I explain to him that there are only small gardons {roach} and perhaps a few small tench so it is not worthwhile.

He climbs out of the river using the steps by the bridge. He then gives me a very warm hug as if I was his long-lost brother. He is beaming with happiness.

Dream ends…

Coypu or Otter?

Up early this morning to welcome the kitchen fitter. I went down to the pond in the pre-dawn, the light levels were low. Yesterday I noticed what looked like the skin of an eviscerated toad. So, I am wondering if the otter(s) are back for their springtime toad banquet. As I got close to the pond behind our greenhouse, the three wild ducks took off. I stood close to the wall of the greenhouse and there in the pond about ten metres away something started swimming. It was heading off to “plug hole corner” and to the well-worn track back into Le Jaudy. I saw a small dark object get out of the pond and head down into the river. It could have been either the coypu or an otter. It was too dark to differentiate. We had a pair of otters last year and the coypu is a regular visitor.

I have just been down to check, no fresh coypu poo.

Looks like I am going to set an alarm for tomorrow and research how much an infrared triggered camera trap costs.

In the Shadow of Dinas Emrys

I have been thinking today that it is so typical of the English to claim things which are not theirs. We have the legend of Arthur who is reported to have been at Glastonbury, Tintagel etc.. The Bretons have this story too which could easily have been brought here by the Welsh. The founding saints of Brittany are mostly Welsh.  If you have ever climbed Snowdon and seen Glaslyn (blue lake) in the cwm, you would agree that it is a possible candidate for the home of The Lady in the Lake.  It is spectacular.

My family way back literally worked and lived in the shadow of Dinas Emrys. The men worked down the Sygun copper mine, the woman as washerwomen. We looked at buying the hotel which sits close by, but as a business prospect it would have needed a lot of work to turn a sensible profit.

I first came here to Brittany in 1980. I was 15 and reluctantly came on holiday with my parents and sister (three extroverts). We stayed at a camp site near Perros Guirec, named after Saint Guirec a sixth century Welsh monk. {A rough contempory of Cadwaladr} We went home on my birthday and there on the mat were my O level results, 4As and 4Bs. I had the choice of French, Latin and English or Chemistry Physics and Maths.  My school did not allow a mix and match. The date of my birthday is mentioned in one of the posts about dragons (late August).

And now 41 years later I live next to a river, just as my ancestors did. It is not the river Glaslyn, it is Le Jaudy. In a few days’ time the snow will melt on Menez Bre and it will flow past our bridge.  The Cotes D’Armor is not as mountainous as Snowdonia. But the hill Bre (Mynydd Bre) does stand out over all the surrounding countryside.

I have been to Glastonbury a few times. It is an energised site, but it is not where Arthur was.

And now Stonhenge is “wedi’i wneud â llaw yng nghymru”.


Poltergeist in the Cellar?

Something weird happened this afternoon. We found a half-empty, or half full, bottle of homebrew wine lying on the floor of the cellar, without a cork. I did not open it, so how come it was there? The wife claims it was not her.  Do we have an alcoholic poltergeist in our cellar?

On Saturday we were all hands to the pump. Le Jaudy broke its banks thanks to all the rain, the vide sanitaire had filled with run off water, to the extent that it started to wet the floor of my office. French buildings often leave an empty space underneath and this one is connected to our cellar. What to do? Luckily, we have an industrial grade Kawasaki, petrol driven water pump, which pumps water at a tremendous rate. So, we spent most of Saturday evacuating the vide sanitaire. When the pump kicks in it is like a mini torrent, difficult to control, and the noise in an enclosed space is deafening.

By late evening we had got the water situation under control.

When we moved in, the previous occupants had left herbs, meant to ward off, in various locations around the house. Spooky!! Last year when I was doing some smudging to cleanse, the smouldering sage, burst into flame, in the vide sanitaire. Something supernatural or a build-up of methane?

Anyway, when I walked into the cellar this afternoon there it was on the floor, a partially filled bottle of homebrew blackcurrant wine. From our harvest, we have peach, plum and apple all on the go. I have been using high alcohol tolerance yeast, so the cassis is strong. Whatever drunk that would have had a nice buzz. If it was a korrigan, it would have been quite pissed.

Somehow the bottle got off the wine rack and onto the concrete floor without breaking!!

My rational mind says that the cork blew out of the bottle and because of conservation of momentum, it ejected the bottle off the wine rack. The remaining wine in the bottle was quite fizzy!

So, do we have an alcoholic poltergeist, a wayward cassis seeking korrigan looking for refuge from a swollen river, or does rationality explain it all?

If it happens again… what might we find spaced out in the cellar?

I’ll keep you posted..