Saturday, 31 May 2008

Down the road, afternoon.

Victor has surrounded his tomato plants with old windows. We did something similar once and found the whole crop succumbed to blight, but Victor probably remembers to use Bordeaux mixture.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Woods above Moncontour, afternoon.

Springs have sprung from nowhere, much of the path has become streambed, for which I'm illshod. It's often a choice between wet feet or nettle-stung arms, but I avoid both.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Trédaniel plan d'eau, morning.

The emerging reed-mace heads are gorgeously grotesque. These are not bulrushes, and Moses wasn't found in them. Neither was he found in bulrushes, but in yellow flags, which are something else again.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Above Arondel, evening; Moos with Mol.

The dogs, stand-offish and disinclined earlier, are eager and bounding in the cool evening, turning to look at me through the long grass with fey white grins in black shaggy faces.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Down the road, afternoon.

The verges have been mown back by about a metre. I miss the luxuriance of grasses and flowers, but it is safer for walking and driving, and it smells good.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon

The sky is lively, full of light and form and movement, the young, pale green barley rippling silkily below is beautiful. And yet the whole seems melancholy.

Must be me.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon

Down the edge of the field with the mirabel hedge, the soil feels soft underfoot like beach sand near a river mouth, slightly treacherous. Tiny maize plants poke through it.

Woods behind Arondel, walking Moos with Mol (Saturday 24th)

The woods are so wet I feel I could pick them up and squeeze out water smelling of elderflower, crushed nettle, pine and wild carrot.

The dogs drink from the gravelly stream.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon (Friday 23rd)

There is late apple blossom still on some of the trees. If apple trees didn't yield useful fruit, there would be a case for having them simply for their blossom.

Down the road, evening (Thursday 22nd)

The sun going down the sky behind us is warm on my back; I saunter, yawning.

The shape of a cumulus cloud to the north reminds me of a brioche.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Down the road, evening

A corner shaved off the maize field is planted with potatoes.

One year, the cows stretched under the fence and chewed the tops off, which, surprisingly, are harmless to them.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon

Johannes, a Dutch visitor, cycles wobblingly alongside us for a time, talking fondly of dogs and children, their emotions and relationships.

A pansy-faced cat watches us from fallow long grass.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Down the road, afternoon.

Not cow parsley here but sorrel softens the verges, shaded saffron and coral and madder red, undergrown with buttercups, and bold accents of hairy, vaulted, white-faced hogweed umbels above.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon; Bel Orient

The little dogs lie in wait,
Tikes and mongrels, chiens bâtards,
Chained or at liberty, some wearing neckerchiefs,
They rush out with volleys of barking,
Bandits with nothing to steal.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Trédaniel plan d'eau, afternoon (Friday)

A small red tractor is mowing the grass around the mairie. The smell has always put me in mind of bananas; I've heard there is some molecular reason for this.

Up the road, afternoon - The garden at Boissy (Thursday)

His garden was a prizewinning, much-visited wonder; when his wife left he laid it waste with glyphosate and went to Tunisia. An absent English couple own it now, I gather.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon

Marcel's hedge of purple rhododendron alternating with philadelphus is beginning to flower. The kindly perfume of the latter, mixed with the bitterness of box hedges, is a memory of childhood.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Down the road, evening; childhood ghoulishness revisited.

You loop the dark-headed, lacey-ruffed plantain flower's tough lower stalk around its tender neck, and oop-la! decapitate it with a flick.

'Mary Queen of Scots had her head chopped off!'

Monday, 12 May 2008

Down the road, evening

Across the sky from the sunset, a long line of mounded cloud, toplit pink, valleys and hills: the Elysian Fields, we would have said, where the little winged horses lived...

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Down the road, evening

Everything glows: bright yellow broom and buttercups, and greenfinch wings which break from a dereliction of forget-me-nots, pale redgold sorrel roadsides, the misty exhalation of spring wheatfield. May is exploding.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Walking elsewhere

We shall be absent until the weekend, walking elsewhere.

Trédaniel plan d'eau, morning.

Ragged robin, a type of wild dianthus, feathery pink beside the water, is one of my favourite late spring flowers, and one I always forget about until it appears again.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon; Bel Orient

Four small horse chestnuts -
Conkers from a couple of autumns back
Gloss gone matt, pushed into earth
In black flower pots
Then half-forgotten,
Open their palms,
Made generous by spring.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Hillion peninsular, out with Gillian and Barley

Black dog and cream, in a cheerful truce, flow down the cliffside steps made from railway sleepers. Three hours walking, salty and smelly, happy as sand-pigs, time to go home.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Up the road, afternoon

Blue: speedwell, bluebell, forget-me-not, alkanet, and the underside of rain clouds on the other side of the sky from the sun, a different blue from the sky between the clouds.