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Cathy Winsor

17th May

Visible to anyone in the world

The weather in this part of France is so unpredictable. It was so warm on Monday we could see the snow level receding as we walked up Soum de l'Escalette, it had moved several metres just in the time it took us to reach the summit and descend again. We had the summit to ourselves, with views across Spain and through the binoculars we could see a group of ski tourers coming down Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees, it looked like a lot of fun. The weather changed the following day, back to sweaters and now today thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon. The newly planted seedlings are constantly thirsty, so it will give me a break from watering.

When we bought our house in France we inherited a large sculpture known as the Black Knight. It was a present to the previous owner from a fellow German who lived up the road. As a retirement hobby Manfred had created dozens of wonderful sculptures from scrap metal. The Black Knight is constructed from pipes and tubes, an inverted toilet brush on his head and his shield a bin lid. Yesterday I decided he needed freshening up, so bought some black spray paint from the local hardware store and so propped him up against the garage with a tarpaulin behind him, I even stencilled a new cross on his shield. It provided much amusement to everyone driving by. An hour’s work and he looks wonderful, I no longer need feel anxious about impending visits from Manfred who in the past has diplomatically feigned not to notice how neglected his prize sculpture appeared. In his heyday he was nominated for Saatchi’s online art gallery, http://www.saatchionline.com/mannicurly so I am sure we should be taking more care.

It is always a dilemma when to cut the grass under the trees. I planted hundreds of English blue bells two years ago and this year, thanks to a wet spring there was quite a showing, but they were hugely outnumbered by weeds, so I decided to be brutal and cut everything down, then strimmed the difficult bits. TOH has pruned the hedges so for a couple of days the garden looks will look as if it is under control, woodland in a sea of green bordered by a manicured dark laurel hedge. 

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I love the description of manfred's sculpture! Could you send me a photo?