Thursday, 29 March 2012

The old railtrack, Gare de Moncontour

Two roe deer step across the shadow-striped, celandine-stippled track ahead.  They swivel hare-ears towards us, but don't hurry to scamper away up the path.  I've never seen them here before.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Up the road, afternoon

Old Marcel sits framed by the hedge in his favourite sun trap by the woodpile, in blue work trousers, green pullover and a wide-brimmed straw hat shading his sleeping face.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Up the road, afternoon.

The primroses seem too wan and delicate, washed out by the bright, hot day.  Suns and moons of dandelion flowers and seed heads shine robustly from the vivid green fields.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Beach at Morieux, afternoon.

We walk to the rocks and see Val André and its islet bright in the sun, but the advancing sea is lapping at our toes, we can go no further.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Down the road, afternoon.

Tom chases after us, so we do the full circuit after all.  The wind is southerly, but chilly, and though I have gloves,  he doesn't, so I don't wear mine.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The old railtrack, Gare de Moncontour

A large tortoiseshell, the first butterfly I've really seen this year, stretches its wings in the sun on the concrete base of a telegraph pole, next to tiny, near-black pansies.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Up the road, afternoon; gained in translation.

Man, accusingly: 'Was your dog peeing on my wall?'

Me, indignantly: 'No, it was on the verge, but not peeing.  It's a bitch, she doesn't do that.'

Grunt and shrug.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Up the road, afternoon

What a joy  to share the skylarks with Tom, he can hear them again.  There seems to be one in every field; looking up to spot them makes me sneeze.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Tredaniel plan d'eau, afternoon.

The water is almost noisy with fish.  There are primroses and a few daffodils, and a beer bottle at the water's edge to mark the start of the fishing season.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Old railtrack, Gare de Moncontour

I've forgotten gloves again, so I gather the luscious, fuzzy green pleated nettle tops with two plastic bags.  Somehow they sting me through the plastic; my fingers prickle for ages.

Approach to Bogard, afternoon.

As I drive up, I see a flock of curlews in a ploughed field beside the road.  Gull-like, they fly low across the chocolatey  earth, patterned mottled brown and white.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The old railtrack, gare de Moncontour, morning.

Never too late to discover a new path; this one, unnoticed before under weeds and leafmould, scrambles precipitously to a pretty cascade on the Evron river we've not visited before.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Tredaniel plan d'eau, afternoon.

The soft wool of Tom's coat sleeve is warm and dry under my hand.  We walk slowly, with many pauses, over the rain soaked grass and broken, powdering leaf mould.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Up the road, afternoon.

A flock of gulls swirls chaotically over the fields; behind them grimy streaks from the clouds, which come down as hail. We have no hats, and want to be home.

Up the road, afternoon.

This time last week the mirabelle trees were bare, today they are powdered in places with white.  A fire's smoke makes a changing white background for the shapes of branches.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Tredaniel plan d'eau afternoon

The mist which has surrounded us everywhere all day leaves a greyish film of condensation on the grass.  Two mallards fly up and away over the water and the trees.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Watermill, Guette-es-Lievres, afternoon

Shoots of bluebell and daffodil spike through the leaf mould.  Where the river forks by the big house, a man is wading thigh-deep, apparently  to encourage his golden retriever to swim.

Approach to Bogard, afternoon.

Leap-day, a day out of time, brilliant precocious spring with daisies and shining suns of celandines.  I stop here on my way to the airport; everything is on the move.