I’m giving you plenty of warning so you can psych yourselves up for this. World Naked Gardening Day is in three weeks’ time on Saturday 14 May – the same day as the Eurovision Song Contest. The latter a big event in our house, well, at least for the female contingent. My mum was addicted so I used to watch with her, and groan when she voted for Israel and Malta without fail every time, and now I carry on the tradition with my daughter. The whole thing kind of sucks you in…

But back to naked gardening. The official site is here. Why do it? According to the site: First of all, it’s fun! Secon__d only to swimming, gardening is at the top of the list of family-friendly activities people are most ready to consider doing nude. I wonder who they asked to get that result! And how do you do it? Do so alone, with friends, with family, with your gardening club, or with any other group collected for that purpose. Do it inside your house, in your back yard, on a hiking trail, at a city park, or on the streets. Stay private or go public. Make it a quiet time or make it a public splash. Just get naked and make your part of the botanical world a healthier and more attractive place.

This rather clever poem appears on the site too:


In Winter, when the trees are bare,

We mortals don our winter wear.

In Spring, when trees begin to dress,

We mortals then start wearing less,

Until, for some, with Summer’s heat

The role reversal is complete.

Are you tempted to join in on World Naked Gardening Day? Go on – give it a go. (I’ve mentioned it before in this post about 2010.)

His left ankle shouldn't be that shape

I’ve been getting ready for Easter today, writing up the treasure hunt clues for the children so they can find their Easter treats. In Ireland these were always Easter Eggs, but over here it might be a chicken or a fish or a bell. There’s a lot more variety of Easter goodies in France. We started this tradition when Benjamin was tiny and have done it every year without fail. I write the clues, print them and laminate them, cut them up and then always get myself in a knot putting them in the right order around our farm. Benj gets a reprieve this year as he’s laid up with a sprained ankle. He started a fitness campaign yesterday, went for a training jog with a friend and managed to twist his ankle. Maybe he should have stayed unfit.

Here’s his one clue for 2011:

Dear Benj, we’ll let you off this year. / Your Easter fish is nice and near.

It’s behind the door you rarely ope / Because you are a lazy bloke!!!

(But we still love you! XXX)

Chris got it in one when I showed him – the dishwasher. Eldest Son has immense difficulty in putting anything in this machine.

Ruadhri during a previous, chillier ride

We had another lovely, sunshiney bike ride this morning, doing a circuit round Vijon and other small villages. Ruadhri didn’t stop once. I was mega impressed at this fitness and determination, since it’s a rolling ride with some very steep hills. And especially because he’d been grumbling about having to go for a ride at all. It turns out there was an ulterior motive. Chris had told Rors that the quicker we got the bike ride done, the sooner he could go and play with the three little boys who are staying in our gite this week. Rors has had a wonderful time with Alfie, Charlie and Freddie since they got here and he’s really going to miss them. A few nice long bike rides should distract him …

Daily snippets for 23 April

Today’s Saint: St George of course!

Famous French person born this day: Joan of France, Duchess of Berry in 1464 – Queen of France

Famous French person who died on this day: Baron Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin in 1839, admiral and explorer

Today’s word: la cheville – ankle