There are a lot of green lanes in this part of France. By green lane, I mean a grassy track that goes between fields or through woods and is a public right of way. Sometimes these follow long-disappeared railway lines, as in the case of a lovely walk near St Marien, where Ruadhri goes to school.

We’re lucky enough to have several lanes very close by. In fact, our llama trek route follows one adjacent to our property for a hundred yards or so. These lanes were choked with nettles and brambles when we moved here, back in 2006. But suddenly, in the spring of 2008 the Nouzerines mairie JCB and driver appeared and cut the lanes clear and added large and unnecessary ditches on either side. That was followed by a couple of men with strimmers. The lanes were passable. It was brilliant. We do a lot of walking as a family so now we had a load of new routes to discover, starting from our own back door – or practically! The mairie isn’t great at maintaining the lanes, all down to finances I suppose, so Chris does that with our little tractor now whenever they look like being overwhelmed. The council digger usually reappears whenever the lanes are at their wettest and so leaves a wake of deep ruts behind it which have made the track very difficult to walk along in places. But the intention is good!

We went for a walk along some green lanes yesterday since it was such a sunny morning. On our way we passed a huge clump of fungus on a tree. It’s here in the photo with Ruadhri, to give you an idea of just how large it is. I have no idea whether it’s edible or not. Despite our detailed guide to Frances champignons, we’ve decided to only eat mushrooms that we buy from the supermarket. Too many poisonous ones look too much like the ‘bon comestible’ ones (good to eat)! We’ll carry on enjoying looking at them as we find them on our walks.