PHOTOS JANUARY 2010
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E si vous voulez commander une image en plein dimensions et á haute qualité
Please if you would like to add anything to the text of each image or to correct an error.
Si vous avez des choses á ajouter, ou vous voudriez corriger quelque chose que j'ai écrit,
First photo of the year!
I was on my way down to Liz and Terry's today in the ice and snow and just as I crested the brow of the hill down the road the sunlight (or what passes for sunlight around here in early January) caught Pionsat quite nicely.
The effects of snow and ice produced some kind of stark greyscale image just for a fleeting moment and so I grabbed hold of the old Fuji compact that I always keep in Caliburn and took a quick shot of the village. It would have been better with the Pentax K100D of course but I can do that again if I get the right light conditions.
I stopped off at my usual spot by the birdwatching point to see what I could see, and there was this absolutely magnificent view of this tree on the skyline with a couple of puys, including the Puy-de-Dome, in the background.
I'm well-impressed with this image. The little cold front "everywhere today was a cold front" - ed at the foot of the puys gives some kind of a surreal atmosphere to the photograph. That's why I like this spot for my photos - every one always turns out differently.
I'm not short of work around here. I have work that I can do inside when the weather is bad and work that I can do outside when the weather is better.
At the moment with the weather well-below freezing point I'm working inside and I've recommenced work on the 1st floor of the house. My house consist of three rooms, each about 5m² on top of each other with no partitions, and so I'm partitioning the first floor into a bedroom, a stairwell, a bathroom and a little cupboard.
The outside work involves making a potager or vegetable plot somewhere on my premises. The existing one is at the front of the house but that's what I'm planning to use in the long-term as a car park for Caliburn so I need to look elsewhere.
Between the house and the orchard (or what used to be the orchard before I was ill) is a patch about 40 metres long. At the moment it's home to an old Mercedes, a Ford Cortina, a Transit van and a huge amount of brush. That looks optimistic.
But first you need to wait for some good weather and that's not likely to be for a while. We are in the grip of an icy winter right now and we are taking a right pounding from the snow.
It's just as well that there is plenty of work to do inside the house. There are times when you can't even manage to open the door to go outside with the amount of snow that we are having.
Pionsat has slowly been dragged into the 21st Century with today's opening of a decent supermarket
I went for a wander around and I was quite impressed. The owners seem to have undertaken a great deal of research into their potential clientele. Mindful of the large Alternative community that exists round here, they have tons of pulses, dried herbs, infusions, all that kind of thing and a really good "bio" selection.
They are also equally mindful of the large British community living round here. Heinz Baked Beans and Typhoo tea bags were just two of the dozens of traditional British products on sale. They even had Hartley's Jelly, something that I have never ever seen anywhere this side of the Channel.
With all of the poor weather that we have been having lately my solar energy system has been under some pressure. The panels covered with 10cms of snow hasn't helped much.
But today for the first time since October the system is in FLOAT mode. This means that the batteries are fully charged and the solar charge will only tick in to replace any current that might be drawn by whatever appliances it is that I am using. And there was so much solar energy available that I even ran the fridge for a few hours - not that I needed to but it would give the batteries some exercise.
With the improvement in the weather I made it outside and went to survey where the vegetable garden will be. It's hard to believe that in 2002 I had cleared out all of this area.
There aren't just shrubs and brambles that have grown here - there are even trees. One tree is 5 metres high and 50cms in diameter and has grown around the old Transit. I am going to have my work cut out here to deal with all of this.
On the opening day of the new Intermarché they had a prize draw of which the major prize was a ride in a helicopter. I didn't win it but my friends from Luxembourg did and as they had no intention of taking more than one foot off the ground at any one time they very kindly gave the ticket to me.
So one damp Sunday in January some guy got his chopper out and we all took to the air for a little cruise around Pionsat. I was deafened by the noise but it really was a good photo opportunity.
As you know if you've been following my outpourings for a while, I have enormous difficulty getting a fire to burn when I really try. When I don't try, like while I'm welding up a car sr something, I can summon up a raging inferno in no time at all. So I was most impressed by the first fire of the year that seemed to burn quite nicely.
But fires need careful watching in order to keep them burning and so it was no surprise at all that the phone rang immediately after this shot. And of course by the time the phonecall finished, the fire had gone out.