Finepix to the left, Nikon to the right

Expect more photos on this blog from now on. Why? I have a new baby. No, not a real baby – been there, done that three times which is quite enough! This baby is my new Nikon Coolpix L23 camera. It’s awesome, and so small. Here’s a picture of it next to the Finepix I’ve been using up to now. The Nikon will be coming everywhere with me now. The Finepix was rather cumbersome so got left behind a lot. No excuses now.

We had an afternoon and evening of thunderstorms yesterday which brought some very welcome rain – but still not enough. I’ve already started using the bath water to water the flowers. Rors doesn’t like deep baths, but there was still around 50 litres in the bathtub for me to reuse. Makes you think. A lot of areas in France already have water restrictions in place. Not the Creuse, at least not yet. So we thought we’d better the pool filled up in case a hosepipe ban comes in. So we opened it up yesterday. The water level had dropped a lot – definitely a small leak somewhere but despite a good search, Chris couldn’t spot anything. He repatched the old hole and put some new patches over where the steps brace against the lining, possibly a weak spot. And he scooped out four live frogs, umpteen dead worms, one dead lizard and a tree’s worth of leaves. And this is with the cover being on all winter!

My blogging colleague Vanessa Couchman wrote a very good post about swimming pools recently, outlining their many drawbacks and summing up what pool ownership entails. In a nutshell they’re expensive, a lot of work to maintain and you don’t get to use them very much. But – I wouldn’t be without ours. I can’t wait to get swimming again.


The school outing season is upon us. Caiti went on a geology field trip yesterday and got very sunburnt, silly girl. They went to a quarry somewhere near Clermont Ferrand. We pre-armed her with the geological hammer I gave Chris as a wedding present. (I wonder how many wives give their husbands a potential murder weapon on their wedding day? That was a show of trust!) She came back with stromatolites. These fossils are the most ancient records of life on Earth.

Ruadhri heads off to a dam on Tuesday and then to a zoo on Friday. The dam trip is part of the school’s project on energy, and Friday is the fun yearly outing. Rors hasn’t been on many school trips. In the last three years, two different but equally over-enthusiastic teachers have insisted on doing a two-day trip and then a three-day trip respectively, totally ridiculous for such young pupils. Ruadhri and a few others didn’t go on them. They weren’t ready to stay away from home overnight, and why should they? There were ulterior motives for both these over the top jaunts – to boost a CV in one case, and to use up the school funds in another. But common sense has prevailed this year so it should be a great outing, despite the 7am start!