The Hoopoes at Number 37 are back. These birds are like a cross between an 18th century dandy  and a 20th century punk. And it seems the Hoopoe is the only extant species in the family Upupidae – which sounds terribly learnéd, but is merely the onomatopoeic derivation of its birdcall, oo-poop-eo.


mesnipIn fact, I now have three breeding couples here: they’re not rare, and if they carry on multiplying like this I’ll soon have a housing problem. But it’ll be a nice problem to have, because in flight they’re a joy to watch…the leaping and floating is reminiscent of swallow-tail butterflies.

The really exciting brand new kid on the block is a large reddish-brown burrowing rodent who has taken up residence in the wine cellar. That’s to say, it dug under the door – making a hole big enough to house an eight-centimetre pipe – and was spotted a month ago lolloping around the garden in the manner of a labrador puppy. I have not the faintest idea what it is: too rust-coloured for a coypu, too big for a stoat. This is the nearest I can get to it:


….but nothing I can find has his rusty-red colouring. All suggestions gratefully accepted.

What was, following the installation of Elfen Safety septic tanks 18 months ago, a whopping great lump of earth at the bottom of the west garden is now looking a lot more like something colourful, as opposed to A Thing where people arrive and ask uncertaintly, “And what’s that going to be?”


This is a close up of the east end, and now here comes the slightly more gaudy West End – no change there then:


walkway1I love gardens with naturally constructed walkways, and arches suggesting something else just beyond. This one to the left is sort of work in progress.

Turn left at the end, and you go down a slope towards a seating area; turn right and there’s a long tunnel between the boundary hedge and The Mound I was talking about above. I’m currently in the process of attaching hedge to Mound at a height of about eight feet. There will then be a hidden open part at the far end that can be either a suntrap or a snoozecranny, depending on one’s mood and the time of day.

Hidden from view in this shot is the discreetly located rotating washing hanger thingy. I’ve had several goes at mending it. When I hang the washing, sometimes I look like Jacques Tati trying to open a deckchair: the bloody thing has a mind of its own. I call it Erdogan….then when I hit the thing from time to time, I feel slightly less frustrated.

On the other side of the hedge is the back garden of the Gite; this is the view one gets of the main house:


The trees are huge now, which is why I had to have the satellite dish mounted on the high point of the gite in the end, as every time a leaf moved outside, the picture would go ‘clack!’ and disappear. It seemed crucially important to get this fixed before yesterday’s Cup Final, but it was such a deadly-dull affair – 3 minutes of great excitement in 120 – I began to wonder why I’d bothered. It is one of the bitter ironies of a world being run by anti-Christs like Murdoch that he has turned UK football into overpaid hooligan monkeys cheating in every way possible….and controlled the means of broadcasting it.

We tend more and more to think of field flowers as weeds, but this close-up of a sort of wild geranium show the delicate subtlety that whispers rather than shouts….


and very few cultured flowers can match the colour or scent of pyramid orchids:


However, love in the mist remains my favourite:



Recently at The Slog: Darn the Pub