Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Getting Ready - Part 1

Yesterday was the last bank holiday of the term. We have so many that they don't give us a half term holiday, which seems a shame, but now we are straight through for a month and then it will be the summer holidays! We'd intended to go camping but the dog was having a horrid reaction to an injection, and we couldn't take her anywhere, poor thing (she's OK again now). I used the time at home to do the first batch of baking for my Garden Party. Most supermarkets aren't open in France on bank holidays, so I had to look at my dwindling supply of flour and work out a recipe I could make, in bulk, using the ingredients I had! I settled on these lovely Spicy Pepper Biscuits, which I've made before. They are sweet and dry and airy - they melt in your mouth. I also love the part of the recipe which says: 'roll into balls and place on an UNGREASED baking tray'! My kind of low-maintenance baking.
The plans are going on apace, and this map with lists is now on the fridge, along with the artwork:In the afternoon Ben and I took the boys out to the African Safari (note the non-French name!). It's nearby and it is a very pleasant place to go, with the animals well cared-for and the surroundings shady and beautiful. Some new babies were in evidence...For a few years now they've run a bird show in the summer. This is well worth the wait. In France they let the birds fly down really low, so that their wings and tails almost (or actually) brush the heads of the taller people sitting below.For once, the small Nile Crocodile was looking real. And to end the day, we saw some peaceful flamingos.
Today, in the garden, the grapevine over Ben's pergola has come into bloom. The flowers are tiny, but full of promise. When we moved in we found the vine creeping over the ground, and Ben built up a pergola specifically to support it. We can now sit under it on the rustic stools made out of our poor, fallen acacia tree.The tree came down in January's storms. We managed to prop up the younger tree which was growing beside it, but clearly there had been too much damage to its roots, and after a faint attempt to flower and produce leaves this spring, it too has died.It's in the nature of accacias to plan for the future, though, and our 'lawn' is sprouting baby accacias from the roots of the old ones. We are going to choose one to nurture and mow the rest!

It does mean that the pergola now provides the only shade in the entire back garden, so we are going to have to think about awnings for the garden party, and for eating out throughout the summer. More plans...

12 comments:

Lululiz said...

Those spicy pepper biscuits sound like my kind of biscuits! YUM. Are you getting nervous yet? How many guests are you expecting?

The Whispering Poppies said...

Those biscuits sound delicious! I love low maintenance baking, too! =)

Isn't that amazing the accacia sent off little shoots for you to choose from!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Your biscuits sound good. The Safari sounds like a fun place, especially for the children. I have not signed up for your blog Garden Party, as I haven't come up with something to contribute. I am working on it. :)
Glenda

Kara Ward said...

Looks like a productive day! Those biscuits look yummy. So beautiful!!!

Lace hearts said...

No! How amazing... that's the campsite I think we stayed at. We usually use one deeper in the forest, but wanted to be nearer the coast. It was fab.
Love all the pictures you've posted - I like safari parks, because I love watching my littleuns reactions.

lou said...

I am liking the look of those biscuits, good luck with the garden party!

The safari park looks like a fab day out!

I hope the new bag on the bike is going well…love Lou xxx

juanitatortilla said...

Don't worry about not having enough trees for shade, there are hats! Bet it would be fun to be there -for real- for your garden party, not simply to 'meet and greet', but to taste those spicy pepper cookies that look really good.
Will there be enough to last through to the 20th? :)

Ragged Roses said...

Your garden party sounds like so much fun, I am looking forward to hearing lots more about it. You seem to be very organised, it sounds like its going to be a huge success. Good luck!!!
Kimx

Marie Reed said...

What a surprising animal park Floss! That's an impressive thing to have outside Toulouse! I'm going to have to wiki the area you live in. You're just blowing away my stereotypes. Does this mean that you don't live in the middle of a lavender field after all?

Melanie said...

Yummy, those biccies sound delicious! xxx

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Florence and Mary said...

Your biscuits sound and look yummy!

Victoria x