Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sticky fingers at the piano lesson!

France has far more space than the UK, so abandoned farm buildings and yards are quite common - I think in England they would be built on/over/refurbished, but here there's much less pressure on the land so they just stay there, along with their old pieces of machinery and trees.And the trees are a thing of joy! From our first, rented house, we could walk as a family to a wonderfully complete abandoned farm which still had furniture inside, and had fig, plum, pear and walnut trees waiting to be harvested all around. Many people went and helped themselves - in fact my French teacher had a huge bunch of lilac this year from the same farmyard!
The boys' wonderful piano teacher and his fiancee moved to another part of the same village last year. As one boy had a piano lesson, the other would come for a short walk with me to discover the area.We found a shed at the bottom of their lotissement (estate), with an extremely fruitful cherry tree!Today it was Son 2's turn to go first (scales, solfege, and We all Live in a Yellow Submarine), so Son 1 and I headed back to the cherry tree for the first time in a year, baskets in hand.We were richly rewarded for our good memories!The cherries are much smaller than the ones from our friends' garden - probably an older variety, but they are sweet and extremely juicy. On the other side of the trackway from the shed and the tree is a field of wheat.
Behind the tree are these wonderful, rolling hills, typical of le Gers. Where we live now is more flat, sadly. We sometimes call the plateau-lands near us the 'Sto Plains', if anyone recognises the reference! But David and Marlene get to see this every daySo, Son 1, fortuitously wearing red, started picking. He soon got tired and sat on the trackway, scratching calculations into the baked soil to try to work out the surface area of the earth. BTW, I cut his hair on Sunday - not bad, I think!
He then headed off for his lesson (scales, solfege, Yesterday and the Imperial March from Star Wars), and Son 2 came racing down clutching his book of music. Having picked a few cherries, he got fed up too, and settled down in the trackway to work out and sing all the lyrics of Yellow Submarine in a high, clear voice.Thus, surrounded by this surreal combination of maths and music, I picked most of the cherries!
The first result was: The second result was much more pleasing:Here are a few other photos Son 2 and I snapped in the area, while I tell you a few other good things that happened today.My tiny pupil started writing of her own accord today! Teachers and possibly mothers will appreciate the excitement of seeing a child who has learnt her letters and her phonics and started reading, spontaneously starting to write down her own ideas. She wrote her name (beautifully), my name (astonishingly well) and then added 'rucs', which she told me said 'works'. There we were, working together, and she had written down what we were doing. I was very proud of her. Next year I have twins to teach from the start! That's gonna be fun!
My other pupils were fine too, and I have been given some plants by our next door neighbour which will be a lovely addition to the garden and the house. More on those later. I watered all Ben's plants (he's in Switzerland today, and spent time in an antiques market, although when he phoned me to check prices we agreed they were too high). The boys did homework and spent time in the pool.And of course, we had cherries and ice cream for tea!


marble rose said...

(sigh with projected contentment)

I love your blogs Floss.


marble rose said...

Oh btw - thank you for your comment on my latest post - I've put more pics up - I'm in Durham now!


Kara Ward said...

Oh, those yummy. It looks like a slice of heaven to me...enjoy the journey.

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness, I haven't seen anything that good for ages now!! That is one pleasing sight. I love cherries and I love cherry jam! Will your husband make jam for you I wonder?

Silver said...

Delightful! Oh what fun and heathy treats!

from One Day at a Time with Silver/

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I love cherries. Thanks for sharing your day.

Josie-Mary said...

Can I come & stay???? I think I would soon feel better sat in the sun eating cherries & ice cream, then a dip in the pool to cool off.
The farm & trees look lovely, great photo's :)

Sarah said...

Good old fashioned fun! Those cherries are just to die for - what a lovely day!

Lululiz said...

My mouth started watering when I saw those gorgeous, red, juicy, wonderful cherries! Not fair, lol. We have a few very old cherry trees on our land in France as well, and the cherries are tiny! But they have an incredibly intense taste. Beautiful photographs, as always.

juanitatortilla said...

Wouldn't I like to be you for a day, so I can start picking all these gorgeous -and free- cherries.
Do we also expect to see more cherry jams?

bekimarie said...

Lovely photos!
I'm now craving cherries and I bet the ones I get in the supermarket don't taste as good as yours!
Beki xxx

Florence and Mary said...

Cherries and ice cream sounds delicious!

Victoria x

The Whispering Poppies said...

What a fabulous place you live in! Just imagine having all those orchards to visit and reap its bounty! Figs, pears, cherries... WOW! If we ever did something like that here, we'd be accused of trespassing (and perhaps even worse)! =O

The Curious Cat said...

What will you make with all those cherries? Ah I wish England was like France in this respect...

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

It's beautiful. I love the open spaces. It is that way where I live! The cherries look yummy!

Anonymous said...



Olga said...

These abandoned houses and farms is something unbelievable and romantic in some way - it comes in line with the slightly vintage character of your blog. I can't believe there are houses with furniture in it - those must be real treasures for some antique collectors... Lovely day and the cherries - well, they just look delicious!