The first of the wee Peas I planted about 10 days ago have begun to raise their heads, pushing through the soil surface in a delightfully, Spring-like shade of green. The Beans on the other hand appear to be taking it a bit slower - no doubt being laid-back, like the locals they are.
The Aubergines don't look too healthy - it looks like a touch of frost damage on a few of the leaves; strange, cos we've had no recent frosts that I know of. I'm keeping an eye on things, though - which is generally in gardening matters akin to the kiss of death!
Charlie has suddenly - and unexpectedly - become rather homely in his habits. Most evenings he shows up shortly after sunset and chases Jack around the house a bit before deciding that it must be bedtime and disappearing off on his ownio upstairs. He does slip out in the night, I know, and he brings back regular night feasts. Yesterday, he broke with that habit.
Charlie as a youngster:
Where's mine, then?
I was out getting a few bits and pieces down South a way. On my return, it was evident that Charlie had been tucking into a mouse on the bedroom floor in my absence - the usual internal bits he always leaves behind were neatly piled together; it was almost as if he had swept them together into a satisfyingly tidy heap before departing, on the prowl, no doubt, for more.
I may have found some Hens on my travels yesterday afternoon/evening. A couple of Brits who are selling up and moving into a mobile-home and taking to the road for a year or two told me I can have their three hens - two Warrens and a Rhode Island Red - when they leave later in the summer. I'm not sure I can wait that long, that's the only problem. Still, it is progress of sorts, I suppose.
I potted on the rest of our plants - four Toms, a cucumber and a pepper. They all look relieved. Their roots were just beginning to show through the bases of their original pots, so it was needed. I'm off to get a few Courgette plants (can't cope with more, otherwise you tend to be over-run by galloping Marrows that nobody else really wants) on Saturday morning at a local market, so I might buy another few Aubergines as a back-up plan.
I found a lizard this morning wandering around by the front-door, inside the house. I don't think Charlie brought him, cos he still had his limbs and tail. They invariably dump the tails when under attack, which then twitch wildly on the floor, usually successfully fooling and distracting Charlie while the little creatures make their get-aways:
Not the best pix - as usual - but he seemed to blend well with the old tiled floors here.
Early yesterday afternoon there was a splendid specimen on the garden wall, visible from the kitchen window, basking in the sun. Needless to say, when I went to grab a camera, it booggered off. It was a beautiful, lime-green Gecko. About 10 inches long, it was a perfect match for the new, young Spring grass surrounding it. Easy to see how difficult it would be to spot normally and how effective its camouflage colouring is. When we lived in Andalusia, in the Sierra Nevada, Alpujarra hills, we had a resident Gecko that lived on the kitchen ceiling. Gordon was a big specimen and coloured perfectly to blend with the traditional polished slate and chestnut-beamed Alpujarranian ceiling. Given the bloody flies down there in summer, he was a most welcome guest.
I met an odd couple a few days ago in the village. A Canadian and a Finn. It was their Finish registered car, parked alongside our Swedish registered one, that first caught my attention. They are here for a few weeks holiday, breaking their journey from Spain to Finland, just South of Helsinki. They were equally surprised to meet a Scot with a Swedish car in a backwater French village. They have advised me of a half-decent restaurant nearby which I will definitely try out when J returns from London for Easter.
She is returning with our daughter from West Wales and grandsprog, for whom I was instructed to buy a chocolate Easter bunny from our local boulangerie. There are actually three boulangeries in the village, all of them seemingly thriving, which can't be bad. The one we use is also, however, one of those mouth-watering patissier types, with a marvellous selection of cakes and tartlets. He is also something of a chocolatier, too. There is always a tempting range of hand-made chocolates on display, and his Easter collection of Bunnies, Chickens, Frogs (appropriately, perhaps) and Eggs are made from a mix of dark, milk and white chocolate:
Here it is - expensive, but the quality/craftsmanship shows - even in the OTT wrapping!
I've been struggling with my, already rusting, Swedish today. There are countless forms to complete for the estate agent who we hope will sell our house for us. All are in Swedish. All require a dictionary and a lot of thought. Tiring, in their way. The Germans have been buying into Sweden recently. Indeed, even in our somewhat remote region in the North, there are a few families and two houses in our hamlet/village are Kraut-owned. This is not too popular with some of the locals, and our nearest neighbour is afraid that another German will purchase our house. Indeed, so concerned is he that he has offered to buy our place - but at a silly price, which we have no intention of accepting. We have been most generous with him, trying to reach a compromise with him in which we keep our Bagarstuga:
And he has the main house:
So far, he has failed to shift. So we are going ahead with an agent. I secretly hope a German offers to buy it. It might teach him a lesson. Swedes can be so greedy!
The one thing that we both miss down here in the balmy South is the sunsets. The night skies are pretty good, impressive, but not as much as Swedish night skies, that's for sure:
And that Midnight sun. It really does exist:
Midnight in Långvattnet - a typical end to a pleasant summer day.