Thursday, June 13, 2013

First signs of summer and summer visitors

This week officially marked the start of our summer guest season when Toffee the Terrier and his pet chicken Mrs Beeton arrived for a ten day holiday. Toffee visits a couple of times during the year and fits in very well to our daily life. He has his favourite spot by the front door where he has easy access to the cat flap - so he can poke his head out to check what is going on and he and Mini get along fine, by playing the 'I'm ignoring you' game. This is, however, the first time he has bought his chicken along too. Mrs Beeton has been a naughty chicken, a bossy boots who has been picking on the other chickens and young ducks she lives with. Fearing for their flock during their absence, our friends thought it wise to remove her and so she arrived with Toffee for the duration of their holiday. I am guessing that poor Mrs Beeton has already regretted her actions, for despite being the big boss of her flock she is most definitely the smallest bird here, so has been put in her place. She does seem to quite enjoy wandering in the cherry orchard though which makes her reluctant to come in over night and gives me the opportunity to play chase the chicken through the nettles every evening.

french village diaries dogs France summer visitors
Toffee

french village diaries chickens France summer visitors
Mrs Beeton


We will have a few days between Toffee and Mrs Beeton leaving before another one of Mini's doggy boyfriends, Dexter, arrives for a long weekend. We will barely have had time to say goodbye to Dexter before leaving to collect Mum and Dad for their ten day visit in early July, which also marks the start of Ed's two month school holiday. Ed will travel back to UK with Mum and Dad, giving him three weeks without his nagging parents and us some time to be a couple! We have lots of cycling plans for our summer, including a couple of days away from the animals and out with the bikes. Thankfully we have a reciprocal animal sitting arrangement with our local friends.

Other signs that summer is here is the return of the strikes. This week has seen some major delays on air traffic to, from and travelling through French air space and today some of the rail unions are on strike. As I write this I have no idea whether Ade will make it home this evening from Brussels but I'm keeping all my fingers crossed as he has been away since Sunday and leaves again this Sunday, so it would be nice to see him soon! Although I don't think he would have been too happy with the weather today as it was not very summery at all. I think I got wetter out cherry picking in the rain than I did in the shower this morning. While the chickens, including Mrs Beeton, sheltered under the trees the rain dripped off the leaves, ran down my arms and neck and splashed in my eyes. Not sure I have ever picked cherries wearing wellies and a rain coat before, and I hope I don't have to again.

Please note, during the summer months my normal blogging routine may become slightly erratic as life takes over, thank you.