La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Lawn


Slowly emerging from the depths of building rubble and hardcore, we can finally say we have something resembling a 'manicured' lawn.
There is nothing there that hasn't popped up by itself, mainly wild grasses and 'weeds' and we are okay with that.


What I love about a manicured lawn is the contrast it gives to the wild and rugged landscape beyond.
We can now use a regular lawn mower for the first time instead of a strimmer.

Obviously in a few areas around the land we (the royal 'we) still use the latter.

Simon, our English volunteer, who helped us out for 2 weeks made short shrift of the long grass around the chicken and duck runs and also near the poly tunnel and around the soft fruit shrubs.

It always gives me a nervous breakdown if anyone else but Bert does the strimming, because you can be sure one or more plants or trees will be cut by accident.



At the moment we have Marcus, from Canada, here and I think if he wasn't getting hungry at the time,  he would have gone on well into the night, he enjoyed it that much.

When I was looking through some photos yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised with what we have done in the four years we've lived here. Obviously, with the help of volunteers and paid labour. 



Just to show you the difference from just moving in in April 2013 (that's my mum, btw) and now.
Third photo is from July 2013 and then yesterday.

It sometimes helps to look back and see the difference one has made, instead of always looking at what still needs to be done. 

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and the coming week.
Patricia xxx...x

Thursday, May 18, 2017

On the Farm



Over the winter months our hens and roosters have been picked off one by one by a fox, until we had only 2 chickens left. We only have one of our first chooks still here, but she's not in these pictures as she's sitting on a nest. Good girl.



This big boy is Sigi and he's our fourth cockerel in the period of a year.  Around this time last year we had a visit from the mink and that beast killed  the boy of that time and four girls.
Our feathered friends are not allowed to extreme free-range in the garden anymore. They now stay in their run with 4 ultrasonic fox deterrents and electric fence, the latter is in the process of being installed.


Ah, the ducks !  We had 3 female and one male. Now we have only 2 girls and himself, Cyril.
One of the girls flew off, came back, flew off, came back..... flew off and never came back.  I think Cyril then went looking for her, because he also flew off and didn't come back either.  Luckily he was spotted at his old home at our friends/neighbours.  It was a full 2 weeks before he could be caught and was delivered back to his girls. Not before we clipped one of his wings though. We managed to do the same with the ducks just after he left for his holiday.

We still have 2 pigs, they've been with us for a year now, but soon it'll be time for them to go. 😩

I'll leave you with a picture of the cutest kitten


Okay, one more then...


Thanks for visiting.
Patricia xxx...x

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Absence

I know. I've been absent for a few months.
My apologies for not notifying you about this break, but I wasn't planning on having one. It sometimes just happens. I opened the "new post" tab a few times, but it wasn't meant to be. I didn't know what to write about that might be of interest to anyone.

At this moment, I'm sitting here at the table, tapping away at the keyboard, with a cat curled up between me and the laptop.
A scrawny little thing, this kitten, which was sitting in the kitchen on Tuesday while I was pottering about. It had been spotted the day before in the chicken coop of all places, but ran away when I arrived with too much noise.


We fed her and checked her over, yes, it's a girl, with a snotty nose and some discharge from her eyes.
Afraid she is not and very friendly toward people and the dogs. She hisses at our other cats though.

Definitely not afraid of dogs

This photo was taken by our current volunteer, Simon.



On Wednesday, Bert took her to the vet to give her a once over and she has cat flu. Medication, food, water, rest and extra vitamin C seems to be doing the trick. She is 4 months old, or thereabouts. 


She is constantly hungry and even steals the biscuits from the dog's bowl. She gets food often but little  at a time.


She seems to be more lively today and started playing with fluff bunnies and whatnot. Took an interest in a stranded bee. 
She ain't planning to go anywhere. She's here to stay. (*)

Her name is Gypsy.

Hope you are all well.
Have a good weekend.
Patricia xxx...x

(*) Unless someone has lost this kitten which they love very, very much. But if you love this kitten so very much, why is it skin over bone and why is there no lost sign up anywhere in the village ?
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