142…Tree surgeons, workawayers and roofers

by frances doherty on June 28, 2015

The last two weeks have been super hectic with the house full of people busy working away. I had at one point 5 workawayers getting on with the garden, 2 tree surgeons dropping some Beeches and my brother insulating and repairing the roof.

The garden had started to get out of hand after being back in England for all of May and some of June…and it was time to take it in hand.

Natalie attacking

Natalie attacking

So we strapped Natalie into the bush cutter and off she went. She seemed to have a particular infinity with this piece of machinery and by the end of the week that she was here, everything was cut back to size. A real trooper.

We’ve had a huge crop of strawberries and as they don’t freeze and I don’t make jam (too much sugar), we decided to make kvass instead.

Lou and Natalie making kvass

Lou and Natalie making kvass

This involves layering fruit with raw honey, then leaving it to ferment. It is delicious. Blackcurrants are next up and they take a lot longer to pick, but I shall make some kvass with them too.

My brother has been over to finish insulating the roof, and had to do a lot of repairs at the same time. He was helped by another workawayer, Tam from Scotland.

Tam and Sean

Tam and Sean

This was a tough old job, but one that has needed doing for years. The chimney has also been releaded, and we can relax a bit about it now….and enjoy a warmer house this winter I hope!

We have a wonderful group of Beeches at the bottom of our garden, but for some reason 2 of them have died off and a third had a dead crown. It was too much for H to get on top of, and one of the Beeches was leaning towards the new houses near us…so we bought in a couple of local tree surgeons.

dead tree

dead tree

The tree in the middle is the dead one, with another to the left hidden behind the trunk of the tree in the photo. They are huge. I thought it would take several days to get them down…..but by 6pm they were all on the ground.

tree gone

tree gone

They came down with a real thump….almost missing the fence. Still, on the bright side, there are at least a couple of tons of wood there which will keep us in firewood for the next 3 winters. Now we just need a workawayer who is handy with a chainsaw…..that’ll be a good job for the autumn.

Last weekend was the annual local art show De l’art en ce jardin. As usual the standard of the work was high and it was a well attended event. The house where this is held is gorgeous, and as the roses have been so amazing this year, it looked great.

Pierre and Bernards house

Pierre and Bernards house

There were a couple of things that caught my eye in the show,

sculpture

sculpture

this sculpture reminded me of someone who has been at Glasto too long.

Sylv

Sylv

but I loved this little drawing by Sylv on a tree.

spooky doll

spooky doll

There was also a lot of strange and spooky things hidden in the woods.

This weekend we went up to Rouen to see the annual Viva Cite festival at Sotteville les Rouen. This is a brilliant 3 days full of performance, art, circus, pyrotechnics and marionettes.

scary clowns

scary clowns

One of the funniest things we saw were these two. Kalash et Mamout. They were disgusting and hilarious. Funny in any language.

I really like this merry go round too,

scarygoround

scarygoround

although I can’t imagine many children getting on it as there was an enormous spider and a huge snake as well as this flying owl.

On our way back into Rouen to see the lumiere at Rouen cathedral, we cycled over one of the bridges just as night was pulling in,

Rouen by night

Rouen by night

such a romantic view.

The light show at the cathedral is a new one this year. This is the third one they have done….and probably the best yet, although they are all breathtaking.

catheral with light projection

cathedral with light projection

This shot is just one moment in the story. If you would like to see some moving pictures, scroll down to my Instagram link below and you’ll see a couple of little videos. Even better if you can get there to see it for yourself. It’s on until september, 2 performances a night when the sun goes down. I can’t wait to go back and see it again.

 

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Phew….the festival has finished, the sculptures have gone to their new homes and my June exhibitions have been set up, so now I can get my head down to some work back in the studio. Before I came back to France I had to deliver a Hydrangea sculpture to London, where it sits looking splendid […]

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