Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

Spring colours

Posted by celiahukins on 23/04/2013

I thought I posted this in April, but apparently I didn’t – sorry!
You’ve got to hand it to Mother Nature (aka the Gardener). She does go for some good colours. Even if it’s a dull chilly day there is something to cheer you up.
The bank

As ever the weather is changeable. Hot sunny days alternate with cooler ones when the wind blows. For several weeks the market has been in danger of being rained off, and it is good to come back to the warmth of the house and light a fire.

But the colours are still there
small plant
and the vegetables are dong well…
veg patch


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Spring time in Lodeve

Posted by celiahukins on 04/04/2013

Lodeve view
So long without the blog – had you forgotten about me? Since we moved here full time in January our days have been filled with visits to various Lodève establishments, including the Mairie to try to register with the French Sécurite Sociale, and to the insurance company to top up our health insurance. We tried to get our English car taxed in France but in the end found it was easier to take it back to the UK and leave it there. We’ve had to provide a translation of our English birth certificates (you can at least do it on line, but need to have a certified translator at 40 euros a go). When will we get our carte vitale? Who knows?

Yesterday morning we got one step nearer to la vie francaise by registering with a local doctor. We have an appointment next week. The duty was made more pleasant by the fact that it was a bright sunny morning and everywhere trees were coming into bud.
There has been heavy rain over the last few months; the rivers are full.

A coffee in the sun is always a good idea.

Café Azarin

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Nightingales on May Day

Posted by celiahukins on 02/05/2012

I’m back after 10 days away. I opened the shutters this morning to hear a nightingale outside the bedroom window. Later there was another, and a cuckoo competing with them.

The day starts off as you might expect in early May– those spring time clouds, a chill in the air, damp from the rain last night, the rain glistening on the trees. Later it warms up and by mid afternoon I’m sitting outside in the sun.

In Lodève all the shops are shut except for the greengrocers run by the lady from Gignac. There are various stalls by the side of the road selling muguets des bois, traditional for 1 May.

I don’t think many people know what a nightingale sounds like. They are usually here in May, but our renters haven’t always recognised them. “Pour la petite histoire” here is a link to their song.

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It’s still April!

Posted by celiahukins on 17/04/2012

After the highs on the terrace in the shade of 29 degrees at the end of March, I realise that it’s still only mid April. We’re back to 18 degrees today, and in fact it’s the usual weather for this time of year, sunshine and wind with the lilac and wisteria out. However we could still do with more rain, and there is a day time hosepipe ban.

The vines are starting to grow; the new leaves on the trees are bright green. Soon they will hide the view of St Fulcran’s cathedral from the path down into Lodeve.

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Is it summer in the South of France?

Posted by celiahukins on 03/04/2012

Well not really, although for a few days recently you could have thought it was. I took this photo on the last day of March when the temperatures were in the high 20s. After a winter of drought, then bitter cold and then more drought, the trees and bushes have suffered. Ours have got off quite lightly – we have seen many dead palm trees but ours has survived. Some of the olive trees look dead, but just need severe pruning (so we are told) and some other bushes have had to be cut right back.

There is blossom on the quince trees – will they bear much fruit this year? – and the tamarisk is beginning to change colour. The birds develop new songs each day.
As I write this it is just starting to rain, but it is only a light drizzle which will not be much help for the dry ground.

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Spring in Lodeve?

Posted by celiahukins on 12/03/2009



I’m back in France again, after a trip to Birmingham and one to
Assisi with Voyages Jules Verne.

We flew in to Béziers airport over the lagoon on Monday; I could see Sete and other places I had been to, although I wasn’t quite sure which was which. The fields spread out in bright greens and yellows reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting. It’s always good to be back in France. This time some blossom is out and there is mimosa, but most trees are still resolutely bare.
On Tuesday morning I walked down into Lodève; smell of baking bread outside Sanchos, voices of children in the playground of the Maternelle; cafés with tables outside ready for lunch. Blossom here and there. After lunch it was sunny enough to encourage me to get the sunbed out, but on Wednesday it was dull again “Mais c’est l’hiver a Clermont l’Hérault” I hear at the market. Yes – it’s market day again. Today there are small artichokes at 2 euros the kilo, asparagus and strawberries from Spain. There are smells from the food stalls – chicken, paella, bourride. Our friends who live in France went to England recently and complained that it smelt of fast food and frying chips. Not so here – the smells are all fresh and you get hungry thinking about lunch. In the end I bought some brandade de morue for this evening.- maybe I’ll use it in stuffed tomatoes – and a tielle for lunch. I think this fish stall has the best tielles – they have chunky pieces of octopus. So, loaded down with my purchases, – peppers, courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines for ratatouille, oranges, apples, cheese and olives – I drive back to Lodève with the smells of the cheese and brandade in the car.

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