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Archive for August, 2011

Recycling ~ a passion?

At Coat Amour we try to do our bit for the environment and follow the normal route of recycling.  Bottles, plastics, cardboard are recycled.  We have large dustbins for all of these things near the house and near to each of our two gites.  Vegetable peelings and of course grass weeds and other vegetable material goes into our compost mountain.

We have now gone one stage further and used wood from a sequoia tree, some reclaimed oak panelling, parts of the old swimming pool roller mechanism and some salvaged pulleys and have started to build two climbing frames.  We cut down the sequoia about four years ago because it was threatening to topple over across the main road.  We had the trunk cut up into large lengths, then planked and left to dry.

After three days work the first of two identical climbing frames for my grandchildren was finished.  Planks from the sequoia form the frame and the floor, the oak paneling the side walls, the alumimium tube from the roller mechanism forms the fireman’s post, and the old roller handle has been adapted to make a winch to hoist supplies into the camp!  I even donated the Jolly Roger from ‘Silent Flight’.  The grand children want a slide, however I may have to buy a plastic one.

The next job will be to make another one, then take them to pieces, flat pack fashion, and take them to the UK for final erection.  Jenny is not sure who is most excited about all of this ~ the grandchildren or me!

Recycled ~ a climbing frame for our grandchildren

Jam, Jam, and more Jam ~ Confiture, Confiture, et encore plus de la Confiture!!

Many of our guests comment on the home made jams we serve at breakfast. This, they tell me,  is one of the joys of a B&B or guest house.  I try to have a varried supply of jams and conserves but supplies have been dwindling.  But all is not lost as…

Just one picking of Figs!!

the preserving season has started… yes, the fruit garden is cropping like mad !

More great Pears

Blackberries ~ mures

Just when we are at our busiest with guests, everything  is  cropping at once and far earlier this year than before.  Any free time at present – and there is not a lot of that here –  is spent picking and preserving.The fruit garden is very old – and well establised  and we are very lucky to have such a resource.

It is so satisfying to be able to serve our guests with fresh fruit from the garden for their breakfast.  Each day we pick several bowls of ripe figs from our 3 fig trees. We have just finished  picking all the  plums, so the jam supplies are starting to be replenished.  Also cropping at present are mulberries from our single mulberry tree.

I planted two cultivated blackberries 3 years ago and they are covered in fruit.  The strawberry bed is still producing  and the autumn raspberries have started.

I am amazed at the size and quality of the pears this year. We ate the first one today !

I have been tending the rhubarb more carefully  – feeding it with garden compost and watering it – so I hope rhubarb jam will be on the cards soon.  I stew  rhubarb and orange together to serve for breakfast.  Yum !

The cutting garden  where I grow flowers to use in the house, is producing lovely blooms– gladioli, roses, dahlias, crocosmia, all look delightful with the many colours of hydrangeas.


Nos hôtes adorent les confitures maison. Ils me disent que c’est un des plaisirs  chez les chambres d’hôtes. Alors, c’est la saison de sortir la bassine  de confiture ! Le verger à Coat Amour commence à donner son fruit.

C’est très agréable de présenter les fruits du jardin pour le  petit déjeuner.

Notre jardin fruitier est ancien et grand. En ce moment, nous cueillons pleins de figues, murs, prunes, fraises et framboises et le murier a produit une grande  quantité de fruit. Je viens de préparer la confiture de figue et de prune. Les poires sont énormes et en belles formes.  J’ai bien soignée la rhubarbe cette année et je vais préparer de la confiture.  Je prépare une compote de rhubarbe et orange pour le petit déjeuner.

Les fleurs – les roses, les glaïeuls, les hortensias, les dahlias  sont suberbs et me donnent des fleurs  pour les bouquets pour  les chambres.

Found ~ My old MG TF

Jenny told me that it would take two weeks for the whereabouts of my old MG to turn up.  Amazingly it only took a week!

I received an e-mail from the current owner, together with some photos.  Jabberwocky as I used to call her looks in fantastic condition, far better than when I owned her as an impecunious student and recently married chap.  So hurrah.  The car now lives in Cumbria and is well looked after.  I thought that readers would like to see some recent pictures.

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