Bonhomme de Neige – Saturday – 17 January 2015

One of the joys of cleaning out childhood things is what you come across. One of the things I found in the bottom of the box at my mums, was a childhood soft toy, he was my first toy that I could cuddle at night. I loved him dearly and for a very long time. He had a red Christmas hat (like santa) and a red ribbon around his waist. He was white (not a great colour for a child, but hey) and big black felt buttons down his front. I remember being told that his name was Bon Om and that he came from Quebec. Roll on to 2015, I’m sitting in a local café attending my French conversation class. We were given a cross word of sorts – basically I had the across answers and had to give a description of what the word was – in French – to the rest of the class and vice versa. On to the description of a Bonhomme de Neige  or in English a snow man! It all became clear, Bon Om was in fact a Bonhomme (the French do not pronounce their h). What I have since discovered (thanks to the wonderful world of the internet) is that Bonhomme is the mascot of the Québec Winter Carnival and has been since 1954. It was so amazing for me to finally realise that Bon Om was a snowman….

Coypu / Rangondin - photo from Wikki

Coypu / Rangondin – photo from Wikki

One of the other interesting things to happen this week occurred as Pat and I were driving to do our food shopping, we came over a little hump in the road and we both went “what the hell is that!” I slowed down and went around this rather large creature that was on the side of the road (alive) that reminded me of a beaver but has a tail more like a mouse (or rat). It was about the size of a beaver (having never seen a beaver except in film or photo this is a wild guess). Later that day Pat decided that it may have been a Coypu – a South American creature that was used for its fur and imported into the UK. They apparently caused havoc in the Norfolk broads after escaping (or being released) from captivity. We looked up Coypu and yep that is what it was. The French call them Ragondin and since it was heading towards our neighbours lake (yes he has a lake) we will have to let him know, as they can be very destructive to the environment.

painting after week 1

painting after week 1

One of my fun events this week was my first water colour art class. I have decided to take a break from my usually art class and attend the water colour class as I know so little about water colour and after doing a little bit of it in December I decided that I wanted to know more. So I’ve signed up for a six week course and I’m already hard at work learning how to paint in water colours (which is very different to the other type of work I have previously done). I’ve added a photo so that you can see how it is going, I’ll update this each week.

Yesterday we had someone come to quote for buying and installing a wood burner in the lounge, unfortunately we need quite a lot of chimney so the cost came in quite high (approx.. €4,000) the money back from the government for using a sustainable form of fuel for heating would only be around €1,200. As the wood burner is not to heat the entire house, just for the living room, we have decided that it is perhaps a little too expensive to do at this point.

We have also discovered that Siena has grown somewhat, after she removed a couple of items from our kitchen table. Unfortunately for Pat, it was his note book from his French classes.

So today I to get out into the garden and move a couple of plants. Unfortunately I do also want to move my lavenders, but it’s the wrong time of year for them, so they will have to wait. All this so I can create myself a herb patch near the house 🙂

Until next week…

The dog ate my homework...

The dog ate my homework…

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