A recent trip to a music concert reminded us of the beautiful countryside we have around us.

Originally posted on la petite maison bijoux:


A friend posted some pictures on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, saying that she often forgets what a beautiful place she lives in until she sees it in photos of the area.

I was reminded of how her words, and how we often don’t really ‘see’ our local area, when we concert flyerdrove over to the village of Lavoûte-Chilhac last week, to go to this concert in the church there. It’s only a half hour drive away, and a very scenic drive at that, up and out of the Senouire valley, over the hills, with stunning views of the chain of Puys, and down into the Allier Valley. The centre of Lavoûte-Chilhac is built within a huge loop of the River Allier, so that it is almost an island – you can get an idea from the photo above.

It’s a pretty little village, with a few shops, a bar & restaurant…

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June calendar

Its been a very hot month so far, with storms in between the sunshine. This has saved us from doing a lot of watering and with the bonus of a full water-butt.

Looking north over the tomato plot

Looking north over the tomato plot

Looking south down the garden

Looking south down the garden

Everything for this season is now planted out or sown, just waiting for some beans and fennel to germinate!

So far we have been able to harvest rhubarb, strawberries, peas, salad, and egyptian onions. The new potatoes will soon be ready and the red and black currants are both near ripeness. We have lots of blueberries this year, however they need a few more weeks before ripening ready to eat.


Walk: ” La Serpentine” PR 408 ( Grahy – St Prejet-Armandon – Cougeat – Cubelles – Grahy) 10km 09/06/2014


Abandoned Renault 4, Cougeat

Abandoned Renault 4, Cougeat

We set off early morning to try and avoid the heat, but as we chose one of the hottest days of the year so far, it was a lot harder than the 10km actually travelled.

Elderflower cordial


We have numerous elder trees in the garden and on the adjoining chemin. Last year we made elderberry jam and this year we thought we would try to make cordial. We collected roughly 30 flower heads.


We have followed the recipe used by Sue over at  The Quince Tree blog, that itself being a simplified version from River Cottage.


It was all straightforward and we now have some bottles to use immediately  and others – in  plastic – to freeze.


Oh, and it tastes heavenly!