Sunday 21 August 2011

Cyclamen & Peaches

ripening peaches
It is a slightly odd time of year right now. We're on the cusp between two seasons. The temperatures have soared since the tail-end of last week and our thermometer has been registering temps well above 30C--exactly what you'd expect in summer. Cats are splayed out in the shadiest places and don't even have the inclination to chase the lizards. The cricket is on BBC radio 4 long wave. Yes, we may be living in France but some things are simply non-negotiable. I look at our little peach tree and see the ripening fruits which will be ready to pick soon and all feels 'right and in it's proper place', as it were, for summer.

By contrast when I look at the foot of our red maple the ground is beginning to get its carpet of pale pink and white cyclamen--definitely an autumnal flower.
pale pink cyclamen
The 'Rentrée' - as the French term the return to school has also reared it's head; and not just in the supermarkets, where any and everything to do with school has been in evidence for some time. Far too soon now summer will officially be over when school starts in early September. This means I'm also going to have to settle down behind my desk and do some work! I have done some prep in gentle intervals for the new school year but that doesn't mean there still isn't a fair bit to do.

Outside the grass continues to grow in summer fashion and the hollyhock and hibiscus are still in good flower. At the same time the walnuts have started dropping. Just the odd one but nevertheless a little 'head's up' for autumn. 

just some of the wood needing sorting!
Soon Niall will be tackling the woodshed, tidying it up ready for storing logs. It is a spider-y business best left to him! Then there's the salvaging of useful wood from the inherited woopile for us to chainsaw into the right size for the woodburner. There was a shed, but it had all but disintegrated leaving a dangerously unstable corrugated iron roof which we had removed. The thought of it taking off in a wind was a scary one. In taking it down the wood which had still been partly protected fell into an even more untidy heap than it had been before. Still we are pleasantly surprised at how much is still usable. There's also the delivery of 10 stere [10 cubic meters] of logs to look forward to and the job of turning it into a properly tarped woodpile.

It is definitely tipping towards autumn.....but not quite.... yet!


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
Like you, we too are enjoying some wonderful summer weather with temperatures in the mid 30C and set to remain so at least for the coming week. Something of a contrast to Brighton where on a couple of evenings we switched on the central heating.

August is, as you write here, a strange in-between month with thoughts already turning to the close of the year, made more so with the autumnal cyclamen in your garden and the wood pile to be sorted in readiness for winter.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - enjoy your summer weather :-) It looks to last for while yet here too.

We love autumn but in the meantime are still very much enjoying summer.

GaynorB said...

Ten stere will be a big pile of logs. Several tonnes ..... not to be attempted in the high temperatures we are currently experiencing!

Today we had to go for our daily walk at 7.30 to escape the heat.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - Oh yes it will be a HUGE pile! Last year we had 6 stere and it took us 2 1/2 hrs to stack it all. This time we'll have the wood far earlier and we'll stack it in stages.

Just the thought of stacking in hot weather makes me wilt!

Tim said...

But.... the crickit is getting in the way of....


Now.... I know that we are trashing the No1 Cricket team.... but who wants to hear Geof Boycott rambling on after the last ball has been bowled! Give us the Archers as well!!!!

Craig said...

That's strange, I wouldn't associate cyclamen with summer heat. Good luck with the fire wood... drink plenty of fluids. The cricket has been great this summer... here's hoping for a whitewash today!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim - LOL!! You'll have to get your tale of everyday farming folk via internet radio

@Craig - as far as I can recall they popped up a bit later last year.
Wood arriving [theoretically] next week so hot weather may have gone by then. But yes water will be the order of the day.
Oh yes lovely thought a whitewash! The in-house expert reckons India will do well in the ODI however.