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vegetable garden potager ls guis virlet combrailles puy de dome auvergne france april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

My vegetable plot is advancing in leaps and bounds and it's looking quite impressive. It looks even better from above and so a photograph was called for.

It's not an aerial photo or an image from an American spy satellite - I simply stuck my head out of the side window at the top of the stairs in the attic and took the pic. All of the beds are covered so as to prevent weeds from taking a hold and I've now started to put the footpaths in. The paths are "old bedroom wall covered with old house roof slate"

local history group la cellette pionsat combrailles puy de dome auvergne france april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Marianne, the local historian, is someone well-worth getting to know because she knows all of the events that are taking place around here. One that she told me about was a talk on the area of Pionsat from pre-history up until modern times.

An event not to be missed if you ask me and so I toddled off to see what I could learn - and the answer was "quite a lot". I'm a big fan of these type of events and I really ought to find out more about the area in which I'm living.

The local newspaper, La Montagne, published this photo of mine when they reported on the event.

air corridor flight path parsi africa south america frankfurt april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Regular listeners to cricket matches on the BBC will recall the commentators waxing lyrical about red buses passing by The Oval in South London when nothing much seems to be happening on the pitch. Here in the Combrailles we are much more fortunate as never mind any crossroads, we have crossaviationcorridors.

We're right underneath the main southern corridor for aircraft leaving Paris for Africa and South America, and also underneath both the east-west and west-east corridors for aircraft flying to Frankfurt in Germany. Here on the right-hand edge of the image is an aeroplane flying in to Frankfurt from the west while flying diagonally across the image is southbound aeroplane out of Paris.

four engined jet boeing 747 combrailles puy de dome auvergne france april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

It gets even better a few minutes later. A huge old four-engined jet, maybe a first-generation Boeing 747, lumbers its way overhead on its way southwards to wherever. Even at 35000 feet it was making a racket.

But that's not all the aircraft we have flying over. Military jets practise their low-flying exercises overhead on a regular basis, much to the annoyance of the local inhabitants. And back when NATO was bombing Belgrade we had the Stealth Bombers and B52s going by overhead. That was because Switzerland and Austria banned had them flying over their territory and NATO didn't want to send them down the Rhine corridor where everyone might notice them. No point in having a Stealth Bomber if everyone can see it. I used to go out at night and count them all out and count them all in again afterwards. 12 out; 12 in; as regular as clockwork. Until one night it was 12 out; ... errrr ... 11 in. So I rang up work
"Have the Septics had a bomber shot down last night?"

But I digress.
"and not for the first time either"...ed

megacloche vegetable garden potager april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Further additions to the garden now include yet another raised bed and a magacloche.

Clearing out a few more brambles and trees created a nice little space up to the beginning of the fruit trees and so a raised bed 3mx1m, just right for a load of spuds, fitted nicely into the space. As for the cloche, it's a load of old boards and another caravan window. I'll put some tomatoes, peppers and the like in there. They will catch the sunshine and be protected from the wind.

vegetable garden potager april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

And here is the vegetable garden, or potager, all finished for 2010. Another view from upstairs at the top of the stairs in the attic. All of the pathways are laid as far as I am going to go with them

If you look closely you will note that there are some lettuce planted in the bed where the sheet of corrugated iron has been moved, and in the bed behind the British Salt Cortina you might note that it is full of onions and garlic. The gardening needs to get a move on.

fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire neuf eglise april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Football photos are two-a-penny around here and the Pionsat football club has its own web page for those of you who want to find out more about the club.

This photo needs to be featured however because it marks a turnaround in the 3rd XI's fortunes. They aren't all that good and for quite a while were stuck at the bottom of the table. But here against Neuf-Eglise they played tremendously and eventually won 3-1. Here is Jerome scoring a goal while Eric looks on ready to pounce on any fumble or rebound.

They won a couple more games later on and finally finished fourth from bottom. And what would have been the odds on that just before Christmas?

birdwatching point site orntihologique st gervais combrailles puy de sancy puy de dome auvergne france april avril 2010 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Every photographer has his favourite spot for pictures and this is mine - the site ornithologique or bird-watching centre looking right over to the mountains and volcanoes of the Massif Centrale.

Normally you don't notice changes in the atmosphere but the view over there is about 80kms - 50 miles - and so you have much more of an opportunity to see what's going on. This photo was taken towards the end of April and the volcanic eruption in Iceland is playing havoc with everything, and you can see the amount of dust in the sky.

That's the Puy de Sancy, 1800-odd metres high and if you look carefully you'll notice that there is still snow up there.



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