I’m aware I’ve been quiet for this first half of February, but that hasn’t been much to blog about. The weather continues to be cold and wintry, and Brexit and Covid continue to be depressingly there in the foreground, dampening spirits.

But it’s not been all bad. We had a fascinating day’s geocaching around Hyds in Allier, where we saw some very impressive megaliths dating back to Celtic times. These are situated on what used to be a Roman road, and the name Hyds derives from ‘Ids’, itself derived from ‘Isidis’ meaning the cult of Isis. And yes, Isis was an Egyptian goddess but her worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Her devotees were very much in the minority, often from the lower classes and included many women.

Hydsdolmen stonepile

The star of the show is the Pierres-Fougères: a massive boulder 7 metres tall with a diameter of 8 metres rests on a couple of very large rocks.


At times along the trail we had to fight our way through debris left by strong winds a few days earlier. But nothing stops a determined geocacher getting through!

That’s been our only day of February gallivanting. Precious is back at the mothership in Montluçon, having her leaky sunroof and a couple of other problems fixed. In fact, our campervan has been very attention-seeking this month. She was at the Fiat garage in Guéret for a morning at the beginning of the month, having her wheel mountings checked as the result of a recall, and she’s got to go back in to have various parts replaced within the next week or so. We’ve been assured nothing is going to drop off in the meantime, so let’s hope they’re right!

There’s a new occupant in my big aviary. Whilst Precious was getting the once-over at Fiat, Chris and I did some shopping and then just happened to call into Jardiland where there just happened to be some half-price budgies on offer. Poor Victoria has been without a budgie buddy since last summer when we lost Woolloomaloo, so I invested a tenner in Curfew, a budget green cloud budgie. The two birds seem very pleased with each other and Curfew has settled in very well.


The garden is starting to struggle back to life. The snowdrops and crocuses are out, but the daffodils are refusing to be rushed. We even saw some grey cranes migrating south today, a sure sign that spring is on its way. I do hope it won’t be long as it’s felt like a very long, cold winter this year.