A beautiful walk with the dog at dusk; the spinneys lit with fire against a gunmetal and blue sky;but Vendéen winters can be harsh.Beautiful mornings from autumn to spring, a frost carpet stretching for miles across open fields giving way to a softer microclimate in woodland.We have snow sometimes; but heavy rain and high drying winds are no strangers.
We arrived here last year just as Hurricane Xynthia struck;we were soon stocking up on wood and candles; gateful indeed that our cooking was done by gas bottle.
Wood is the obsession; buying in; felling trees,cutting logs;creating and gathering kindling for we are not yet fully heated or insulated.We supplement our stock with parafin and gas heaters.
A recent mild spell afforded me a visit to England to meet our first grandchild; another little force of nature; but my husband kept up production whilst I was away and will continue to do so untill spring.
Twenty years ago our garden was a barren field with a line of fruit trees and a small quince tree by the house. These days the garden is an abundant meadow; with shade provided by clusterd of 'blow in ' oak saplings and small trees.
This year the vast quince provided thirty jars of quince jelly; my husband using his strength to extract the richly pectined jiuce through the muslin.Believe it or not;apart from gifts to friends; it has all been eaten; as an accompaniement to fromage frais; or as an adjunct to apple crumble.