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Reading in the park

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 17 Nov 2023, 03:49

I  read my french novel 'Destins ' by Francois Mauriac.
I am sitting in the shade in my garden,  where there is a slight cool breeze,  it is not as hot as the heatwave of last week, but still very warm.

All around me, I can hear the sounds of people living their lives. It is fairly quiet at the nursing home behind us. During the pandemic a lot of people caught the Covid19 virus. Occasionally the care staff call out "goodbye"  to each other, as they go off after their shifts. 

On the right hand side, is a small allotment, then the church yard and  the vicarage.

To the left hand side of us lives an elderly gentleman very quietly moving about in his kitchen of his bungalow,  making himself a cup of tea. 

Next to him is a young family with children, who are playing in their paddling pool, so lots of loud splashing and happy laughter coming from their garden!

I decide to go with my young son  to the park because it is usually fairly quiet at this time of day. So I can sit and read my book in peace.  There are only a handful of children in the play area, as many families have already gone to the nearby beach. We have taken a small picnic basket with us to the park with a flask of tea as well as some cold drinks.

We have plenty of sandwiches with us,  cream cheese and salmon,  mushroom pâte and herb pâte,  and some salad sandwiches too. Little cubes of cheese which we eat with slices of apple. For the dessert,  it is a little pot of strawberries with a pot of fresh cream.

Now to find a perfect spot for our picnic. Just beneath a fragrant sweet smelling lime tree would be perfect, there we place a soft blanket on the ground. It is a lovely afternoon, sitting in the shade of the lime  trees, watching the birds flying down to pick up the crumbs, brightly coloured fluttering butterfles and beautiful bumblebees, they are visiting the wild flower area just behind us. 

After eating our picnic I open my book and  read another page,  as I sip my lemonade. Soon we will have to head off back home, but first we will have a long slow stroll around the park. What a great staycation we have had!

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Yellow grass !

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 22 July 2022, 21:46

Yellow grass after the heat wave

After the heat wave the grass is turning yellow in the park. It is a sorry sight for the gardeners.

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Fallen tree- Look what the heat has done!

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 29 July 2022, 11:00

Fallen tree

With the intense heat of the last few days,  and the heaviness of the foliage,  part of this tree has broken off into the cemetery.

Yet another sign of Climate change !


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A Bird Station

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 21 July 2022, 20:47

A bird station in the garden

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Gardening day!

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 21 July 2022, 22:30


Finding all sorts of jobs to do in the garden, like watering flowers in pots,  but the flowers and grass all looking very dry!

Today with the help of my very kind neighbours,  we have managed to put up a bird station,  so that my son and I can sit in the garden and watch the visiting birds.

Hopefully we will be able to see lots of visiting birds passing through!

Bird station with feeders and water

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Une lecture d'été

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 20 July 2022, 20:50

Je prends plaisir à lire mon livre Les 'Destins' de François Mauriac.
je suis au chapitre 5 maintenant.
Pour le moment le temps est un peu plus frais avec une brise fraîche.
Je lis tout les infos du "Monde" en ligne et regarde France24 sur mon portable.
Pendant les vacances, je prévois de regarder des vidéos en français.

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Learning Changes you!

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 12:46

Alice in wonderland quote

(Artist unknown)

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I Passed My English Degree !

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 19 Sept 2022, 14:40


I  have Just looked for my results and found  I have passed my English Degree! Yes!!!  but I will celebrate when the weather is cooler. I still can't  believe it,  I have to pinch myself! 

Next term, my last term is going to be  French! L332

Hope you are all doing well. 

Best wishes

Gill

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Believe in the impossible

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 12:49

Alice in wonderland in blue dress

(Artist unknown)


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Il fait tres chaud dehors

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 13:19

Il fait très chaud dehors. Ce matin J'ai fait un petit tour dans mon  village jusqu'à la poste pour payer ma note.

En ce moment Je lis mon livre et je reste cool à l' ombre. J'ai mangé des fraises avec de la crême pour ma collation. il fait de plus en plus chaud,  la température est maintenant de 37°  Wow!

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Reading François Mauriac- 'Destins'

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 13:00

Sitting in the shade of my garden this afternoon. It is very hot but under the trees it is quite cool.  The french book that I am currently reading is 'Destins' by François Mauriac. I imagine myself to be in France!

It is a moral tale centred around 2 boys Bob and Pierre and Elisabeth as guardien looks after the children, and of the neighbouring bourgeoisie families. Set in the Gironde region on the South West of France.The story follows the life stories of the two boys and what becomes of them. This is the summary in French.

"Jean Gornac et sa belle-fille Élisabeth font prospérer un domaine viticole à Viridis en Gironde. Dans la maison voisine vit Maria Lagave, une femme âgée dont Jean aida naguère le fils Augustin à poursuivre ses études pour devenir un fonctionnaire respectable à Paris. L'action débute alors que le fils de ce dernier, Robert, est envoyé en convalescence auprès de sa grand-mère en Gironde. La vie de bohème que mène Robert Lagave (dit Bob) dans la capitale est mal acceptée par son père. Son passage à Viridis va troubler l'équilibre bourgeois du domaine et provoquer une révélation chez Élisabeth."

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Colourful Moth

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 17 July 2022, 09:45

A pretty moth on curtain

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Holiday in the Park !

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 12 Aug 2022, 18:07

A lovely green empty park

A lovely quiet day today, so we had a lovely picnic in the park, under the trees!

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Speed Reading !

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 13:10

I can't believe it, I finished my latest book off in 2 days!
The book was called 'Les vacances de Maigret.' Par Georges Simenon.

I really enjoyed this story and couldn't put it down. Good thing that I had a fairly free day, as the family had left earlier today., so I had the house to myself.
This is a record for me to have read a book so quickly, especially as it is in another language.

I wonder if I really understood it all in detail? Anyway I certainly got the gist of it all.
I hardly used the dictionary at all because I didn't want to stop my flow of reading so I was just guessing and picking up clues as I went along, a bit like a detective!

I found the characters were very interesting. I didn't suspect the killer who turns out to be the doctor, who then hands himself over in the last chapter,  to his friend the judge.  It all turns out to be a crime of passion in the end.

The descriptions of the seaside town were very good, typical of the french sea side towns of the area where I once visite on holiday, and of the hotels to which Maigret visits.

I noticed that detective Maigret in this particular episode always asked for a glass of white-  un verre de blanc- meaning a glass of white (wine)  but occasionally he took an armagnac, when he was particularly stressed! 
As always he enjoyed his pipe and often wore his hat which was described as a melon shape.

What I might do is to read through my whole list of books, then go back again,  but this time paying much more attention to detail.  I will look up any unfamiliar words in the dictionary, just in case I might be missing something important!

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Holiday reading in French

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 15 July 2022, 16:26

I finished my latest book in french it was very good! "Guingette à deux sous." (The Tavern of the two pennies) by Georges Simenon.

In the end there were three people implicated in the murder. I was a bit suspicious about one of them, but  surprised that three people were involved.
I liked the fact that there were also women in the story, it was not just Male characters only. 

I liked the setting by the river with fishermen, the canoeing, the dancing the party, the bridge game and Maigret who was undercover, to find out who was the suspect,  following a tip off earlier on in the story. There was the occasional moving the scene to the city so this brought in some variety to the story.

My next book is "Les vacances de Maigret " also in french and is set in Les Sables d 'Olonne situated on the west coast of France in the department of Vendee. 

Maigret is supposed to be on vacation but he then becomes involved in a crime scene. I have only began reading the first chapter, but it seems quite engaging. I am so glad I bought all these books from Oxfam bookshop in the city just before the Covid19 pandemic hit !

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Thirsty earth

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 13:29

Scorched earth

While walking this morning I noticed  a small piece of land near the park. This piece of land that has been hit by the sunshine for many days now and It has been a long time since we had rain. Hopefully there will soon be a shower. Today It felt a little bit cooler. We don't have a lot of rain here, but when we do it rains quite a lot!

It made me think that it is so important to have rain as well as sunshine in order for the crops and the grass to grow. Everything is so finely balanced in nature. However global warming hasn't gone away and it will continue to effect the earth!

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Reading in my Hideaway!

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 8 June 2024, 21:50

What a hot day it was today! but fortunately there was a nice cool breeze blowing, so this made it a little more bearable.

After doing my daily tasks, I opted for sitting in my 'Hideaway' which is beneath the trees at the side of my house, because study requires peace and quiet. I am still reading my e- book in french. It is slow plodding through  this book,  I am also still reading La Guinguette à deux sous by Georges Simenon,  I have to use my dictionary whenever I need to.

I have also been watching France24 the french news channel, which is a french speaking news channel on my mobile phone, so I try to watch this at least once every day day, this is very helpful for getting used to listening to the french language on a regular basis as well as beginning learning to speak the french language.
It is a long process learning a language! I can write and read in french now, yet I still struggle to pronouce some of the words correctly in french.

Just been hearing on the news about the fires in France, this has been caused by the heat and the global warming. That's a great pity because there are some very beautiful trees and woodlands in France. Climate change will soon be affecting all of us.

Green lawn with bridge

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Damselfly

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 20 July 2022, 22:25

          

            Dragonfly


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We should be kind to animals

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 10 July 2022, 15:54

We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.

Albert Schweitzer

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Reading another 'Maigret' story

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 15 July 2022, 15:10

I am reading another book by George Simenon, in the 'Maigret series', this one is called " La Guinguette à deux sous." Translated I think it means the Tavern of the two pennies? .It is a story set near a river in beautiful surroundings.The detective is on vaccation but is also undercover because a body has been discovered and he becomes involved in solving the crime. It may be someone from the circle of people he was playing cards with, at the cottage of his friend, or someone he was drinking with at the "Guingette à deux sous"

 I seem to be able to understand the language better, because it is very everyday  common language, but it is also in good french too, so I am learning some new words. I like the fact that there is conversations going on, between the characters and when the detective asks questions. The storyline is quite interesting, so I can follow it and can almost guess what is going to happen next. As always I have my dictionary to hand.

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My hideaway !

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 9 July 2022, 16:37

A wooden fence with shed behind it

Shed behind fence where my hideaway is,  with  bench and paddling pool.

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Sunny staycation!

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 13:35

I cannot really afford a holiday abroad or anywhere else for that matter, so this year I just spend time walking in the countryside, near to where we live. There is a beautiful wood that is a nature reserve, so we visit there sometimes.

At home we have a large paddling pool in the back garden, where I sometimes go in for a dip when it gets too hot !

I placed the pool in a sheltered spot behind the shed and the fence so it is very secluded. It is my hideaway! Behind another fence is a wooded area, with lovely overhanging  trees from the old peoples residential home, so this keeps my garden cool and shaded.

 This is a quiet area behind the home, so is not used by many as they mostly use the front door, this part is partitioned off. This spot in my garden is quiet here so perfect for reading in peace.
With this lovely hot weather I can sit outside in my garden, feet in the paddling pool with a cold drink in my hand, read my book and just make believe I am on holiday in France!

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A Delicate Damselfly

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 5 Aug 2022, 17:42

Blue Dragonfly

Source wikipedia

Today while out walking close to the field near my village, I spotted this lovely blue dragonfly./ damselfly They look so fragile and have a blue iridescent body with transparent wings. It just hovered there in front of me, very beautiful,  it's wings beating really fast, then it darted away. Amazing! Not quite sure which is head or tail on my photo!

Blue Dragonfly in a field


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Sowing and Reaping

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 8 July 2022, 14:25

Quotation with picture of a field

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Volunteer gardening- feel good factor

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 15 Oct 2023, 12:56

Today I had a great day volunteering, weeding a car park!
It was behind the town hall.
It took us (four people) about 1 hour to take away all the weeds, taking it steady,. The car park was full of litter and had a lot of nettles and thorns.  It was quite a big car park too with a border of weeds around, I really enjoyed clearing it up.

It actually felt like a really good work out, where my whole body was exercised with pulling, bending, digging and stretching. Now when the people go there to park their car, it will look so clean and  tidy also when pedestrians pass by they will notice the difference too.

This weekend I will be doing a litter picking with some others, around the woodland in the park area, so that should be good. I feel like I have lost a little bit of weight, also I feel a lot stronger for it. I am happy to help to make my village look clean and tidy.

A group of people gardening

The gardening team!


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