Jardin fleuri

I have a very small garden which is mainly occupied by a swimming pool. Nevertheless I have a fair amount of plants to add some colours. Not to forget the flagrances.

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And also some producing plants and trees

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Figue tree which I expect to produce fruits late summer

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No garden is complete without a grapevine. Thee will be plenty of grapes this year.

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The new melon plants are doing well so far

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Living in the south, an olive tree is a must. Mine is over 110 years old and produces plenty of olives. This year will be the same.

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The Béret club de Carcassonne

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 11.10.10Yesterday lunchtime at one of our local restaurants, 4 of us were enjoying a good meal and a couple of bottles of wine.

I cannot honestly recall how it all started but we created the Béret Club de Carcassonne. The sole purpose of this club is to get together on a regular basis and enjoy some lunch / dinner.

We have never needed an excuse before. Anyway, I am all set up with my golf béret which I have not worn in public yet.

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We have also decided that our head quarters will be at the Restaurant “Au Lard et au Cochon” where we in fact came up with the idea. I am sure the owners Chloe & Laurent will not mind.

 

 

A few days later at the weekly apéritif time at Café Saillan.

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Les Mottes

Good day out in La Grande Motte earlier today. After voting this morning it was decided to try and find the sun. So off to the seaside we went: Goal “La Grande Motte” which is 1h40 away from Carcassonne via the motorways.

La Grande-Motte is in the Hérault département in Occitanie. It is a popular seaside resort and port, built in the 1960s and 1970s. La Grande-Motte is characterized by homogeneous architecture; many of the prominent buildings are pyramidal in form. With 2 million tourists per year it is one of the favorite resorts of the French.

Quite a lively place. Plenty of restaurants. Must go back and spend more time but not during the peak summer season.

Blooming flowers

I have never spent so much time and money on plants, shrubs or flowers in my entire life. Now that I live in south of France with the smallest backyard I ever had, it feels like I am in one of the many nurseries every other day.

Just came back from one actually. However I have to say that the result is quite pleasing.

I still need to plant my melon plants also purchased earlier on.

They turned out quite nicely last year.

My friendly owl

Being kind of plagued by the number of pigeons landing and messing up my courtyard, I was advised that a good deterrent are owls. Pigeons simply hate them apparently.

Found one this afternoon as a deco item. Apparently it is solar powered and the eyes will glow in the dark. Will check that out this evening.

I have a feeling it is too cute to scare anything away though.

Magic

The pool boys arrived, as planned, early this afternoon.

Within minutes they are ready with their tools

and the major cleaning exercise can start.

The water was much worse last year. In fact it was a delicious brown.

A pinch of salt

Just need to add the missing water and wait for a couple of days for everything to clear up.

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The pool people are back on Wednesday and then will start the harrowing task of warming it up. It is only at 12°c at the moment.

However I have a plan and will build a prototype in the coming days.

Summer can come

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A wee dram or two

It was decided a few weeks ago and yesterday was the day. In an effort to educated one of our friends who is more or less ignorant in the art of whisky appreciation, we decided to organise a whisky tasting evening.

First we  had to go out for a dinner to line up the stomach. Then we retired to my my home where everything was ready and waiting.

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I had prepared score sheets, some cheese and in particular goat cheese as well as blue cheese. We ended up with 14 bottles all from Scotland. One blended, 1 blended malt and the rest single malts from different regions.

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This pic is when the 1st bottle was being sampled.

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Many different tastes. We discovered that blue cheese is an excellent match with the very peaty whiskies which were of course tried near the end.

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Conclusions

Peat or no peat: I personally quite like the whiskies from the Isle of Islay but on a day to day basis I would keep to more traditional single malts.

Water or no water: Some whiskies proved to be enhanced from a taste point of view with  a few drops of water.

Price: You certainly do not have to pay a lot to enjoy a good whisky. We all agreed that a home should never be without a bottle of Ben Bracken. And guess what … the price is under 20€ for a bottle which you will find exclusively in the Lidl discounter.

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Cheers