20 April 2014

Silent Sunday

In a whisper, I'll say that these photos of yesterday's sunset are ones I took out of a loft window.

19 April 2014

Vert vert vert...

They had promised us rain for the weekend, and we may get some this afternoon, but this morning the sky is perfectly clear. It's almost time for the sun to rise. It's cold outside.

Above, sunrise on Thursday. Today, Saturday, it's the same scene. Okay, the Télématin weather report is coming on right now: As usual, Saint-Aignan is right on the line, with rain and showers to the north (Normandy, Paris) and east (Burgundy, Champagne, Picardy, Alsace, and so on) and sun but cool weather to the south and west. We'll find out what our weather is going to do when it does it...

The vines are now covered in little leaves like the ones above. All the vegetation is much greener now than it was two or three weeks ago when I left for my American trip. I've planted some vine canes in pots and most of them have leaves on them now. All you have to do is take a clipping at pruning time and stick the bottom end of it into dirt. It grows. Not this year, but in 2015, I"ll have to pick places around the yard where I can plant my vines.

The back yard is very green. Our mole colony seems to have moved on, mostly. The ground's too dry for moles, since we are at the top of a hill. I hope it stays dry enough to keep the moles on lower ground, out in the woods, where there's more moisture. I may regret their absence, though, if a lot of beetle larvae — mole prey — start eating the roots of our garden plants. We didn't have enough freezing weather this past winter to kill such pests.

18 April 2014

Not the first time

So at least three of you have said you've been caught up in the same kind of bomb scare that I was caught up in Sunday morning at Roissy/CDG airport. It must happen a lot.

It happened to me once before. Years ago. Walt and I were checking in for a flight over in Terminal 2. The woman examining our passports and registering our luggage was just finishing up when an announcement was made over the intercom. I couldn't quite hear what it was all about.

But the Air France clerk suddenly tossed us our boarding passes and yelled: "We have to run! Follow me!" And we literally went running out of the terminal. We fully expected to hear and feel an explosion behind us. We didn't. It was pretty exciting, all the same.

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Saint-Aignan. I went out and walked around the vineyard with the dog in the morning. The rest of the day, I was sort of in a daze. My body wanted to sleep, but I did my best to stay awake. I dozed off in front of the TV several times in the afternoon. It was probably a mistake to try to watch the latest recorded episodes of The Good Wife at that particular time.

Today is gray and rain threatens. I slept for the second night in a row. I'm optimistic about my jet-lag ending quickly, but I also know that just when you think it's over it hits you again. By Monday, I should be in good shape. I will probably have a groggy Easter weekend.

We will be cooking a rabbit. That's what we do on Easter. It's a 30+-year-old tradition in this household. This time, I think we might grill the rabbit — if it doesn't rain on Sunday — and baste it with a mustard sauce as it cooks. In the past, we've made rabbit French-style (en gibelotte), Thai-style (in a coconut-milk curry), and other ways. Grilling it will be a first.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of purple flowers of various kinds that I've taken recently around the yard and vineyard.