Friday, 16 May 2014

Swallows

I feel incredibly sad. I have just come downstairs to find the dog staring at the cat staring at a dead swallow on the kitchen floor. I picked the beautiful creature up and it was still warm. Just yesterday I was so happy to come home in the evening and see them sweeping around the courtyard, flying in and out if the garage with incredible agility and precision, heralding summer and all good things to come. It is heartbreaking. So many thousands of miles flown to end up on my kitchen floor.

I have held it and blessed its incredible little body and taken it out into the wood to bury it under some dry leaves with the sound of birdsong all around. It is the best I can do for its little soul.

I hope tonight I will come home to find the other swallows still here, though I fear they may move on if one of the mates has gone and when I look at them I will feel sad anyway knowing they are missing one of their fellows.

I am not blaming the cat. She's a little old these days to be catching birds. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. She obviously brought it inside to show me but perhaps it hit a window or something and she simply found it on the ground. I will never know the answer, like so many things in life.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Easter Holidays

The holidays began at my parents' house in West Sussex, in lovely soft spring sunshine with small reminders of Easter dotted around.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Their woodland garden was looking so fresh and colourful.
 
 
 
 
 
From the lush, manicured greens of Sussex we were on soon on a plane and re-united with the wilder greens of our own garden in France, left to fend for itself for too much of the time. Yet breakfast outside is always a joy next to the straggling roses, the tumbling vine and the sounds of the spring bubbling away in the background...
 
 
From there to the wild expanses of the Atlantic coast, battered and bruised after a long winter of endless big storms. The worst damage to the beaches for decades and an appalling dumping of human detritus. What are we doing to our planet?
 
 
Half the sand on the beach has been removed by relentless Atlantic breakers...
 
 
On a day trip to St Jean de Luz, nestled on the Bay of Biscay at the foot of the Pyrenees, we found that the coastline had remained undamaged by the winter storms...
 
 
 
So after a lovely fishy beachside lunch...
 
 
...we enjoyed some time on the beach....
 
 
 
 
...and even had a dip....
 
 
 
...before taking a walk around the beautiful town and its port:
 
 


 








 


 

 
  


 


After ice-creams and an aperitivo we headed back up the coast a few kilometres to Biarritz for supper and sunset:



The following day saw friends arriving and more meals outside....





...and frivolities on the beach:

 




And then the friends were gone and we had a final day to ourselves...


 

....before the clouds arrived with perfect timing and sent us on our way back home to an Easter Sunday supper and a table laden with goodies:

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

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