Saturday 4th April

It has been some time since I last mumbled about anything but I am now back from
a month in Guernsey and ready to mumble!
After spending time with my daughters and grandsons on the beautiful island
of Guernsey where Spring has blossomed forth and the countryside is full of
wild flowers I returned to Les Angles to be greeted by a blizzard and a foot
of snow. What a shock!
It was raining heavily in Girona and Ryanair in their wisdom parked the
plane on the farthest spot away from the arrivals hall. Holiday folks in
their new sandals waded through the inch or two of water that had spread
itself across the tarmac and were thoroughly soaked by the time they got to
the building. What a way to start a holiday in the Costa del whatever
Now I may be slightly old fashioned in a lot of ways but I have always tried
to help people who are having a problem, carry a bag, help with a pushchair
etc You know the sort of thing people used to do before we were all made to
“look the other way” I returned back here with my arm in a sling because I
had fallen over a Hoover and put my shoulder out.
(Don’t all rush forward…..I don’t want sympathy that is not my thing at
all. It was my own fault I didn’t put the light on etc etc.)
If I say that during two flights,one from Guernsey and one from Gatwick not
one person asked me if I could manage or if I needed help. Not staff on the
airline or staff on the ground, no fellow passenger asked if I could manage
to put my bag in the overhead locker.
Don’t get me wrong I am not a little pathetic old lady but it is always nice
to be asked. What has happened to us all. Are we no longer a caring
society? Will people always look the other way.?
For me personally I will look at someone struggling in a different way and
yes I will step forward. I may be told to mind my own business but at least
I will have asked.
My return to the mountains has brought me back to a place I didn’t realise I
had become so fond of. My rather sad looking garden and the snow on the
mountains, the air, the sun and my home.Over the years I have always looked
back at Guernsey and wondered what am I missing,what is happening, has
anything changed? And no I am not missing anything, it is still the same as
it ever was. And yes I do miss it but not as much as I missed being here. There is a peace here that I missed and was very pleased to be back. The resort has been lucky, as we had early snow and now has been freshened up
for Easter with a load of lovely fresh stuff for the holidays. I need to be here for a little bit longer before I can fill you in on any
gossip, but will let you know when the wild flowers start blooming.
This a
wonderful place to be when Spring does actually arrive. There are carpets of
flowers only dreamed of in the UK as pesticides have nearly killed them all
off.I will be out with my camera to look for Orchids and Gentians. I’ll keep
a look out for you all in the undergrowth.
Hope you are all well and looking forward to the Spring and Summer.
Regards
Mountain Mumbler

Sunday 12th April
As this is the last week for the skiers amongst you with the lifts open I
thought that you would like to know that the snow conditions are very good in
Les Angles. Some friends skied today and said it was fantastic.The
visibility is not so good today but the weather is supposed to pick up
tomorrow. The slopes are very quiet and you would virtually have the place
to yourself.
It really is worth coming up if the cloud lifts and you can see where you
are going…..keep an eye on the webcams or give us a ring. Tel:0468043728. It is also fairly cold so make sure you have the warmer stuff with you as it
not quite Spring yet.
Regards
Mountain Mumbler

Monday 20th April
I remember Spring as being a time for blossom, birds, daffodils etc but how
different it is up here in the mountains. It is still beautiful but it snowed
last night and the few daffs that did manage to push themselves through got
bent down again. I am really fed up with the snow now and I want the sun to
shine and to be able to go out and plants some bits and pieces. My allotment
can’t be touched because of the standing water from the melting snow. I walked the dogs across the field a couple of days ago and in places the
water must have been four inches deep [ sorry I’m still imperial] but it’s
amazing how quickly it will go and the flowers will shoot up at the first
sign of some real sunshine.
The mountains are still covered and even the runs on the slopes still look
skiable but of course the resort closed on Saturday so it’s only snowshoeing
and ski mountaineering over the backs that are available now.
It is quite sad to see the village so quiet in one way but ever so nice to
have it back to ourselves for a while.
Now is the time for the restaurant and
shop owners to either go on holiday or work on improvements to their
properties.
I have just spent the past week driving to Perpignan and back to visit my
son who was rushed into hospital last week. He is fine now and returned home
yesterday but that road is enough to wear you to a frazzle. You are either
tailgated or people come past you when the signs clearly say “no overtaking”
Yesterday I saw two separate accidents and I am surprised that I haven’t
seen more.
The road works are going on and the workers have tried their best to put
enough signs up for people to have a safe journey but they are ignored. What
more can they do?
Anyway, if you are coming up this way just be prepared for a safe but slower
journey.
Well, to all you Spring like people down in the flatlands, enjoy your warm
and sunny weather and rest assured. I’m not really jealous because I’ll have
snowdrops in June.
Regards to all
The Mumbler

Thursday 24th April

The sun is finally out and so is my washing.The breeze is warm and I can’t
think of anywhere better to be than up here in the mountains.
I have just read an article on Anglophone direct about a young man
called Xavier Girette who is a garden expert. I am delighted to find his
contact details because I can now ask about what to put in my garden and
which plants survive the frosts and will also grow at altitude.
Years ago when we first bought our holiday home in Escouloubre someone was
very kind and loaned me a plot of land on which to grow Veg. So armed with
books [from England] I went forth to plant and multiply. Bought plants,
planted seeds,watered and nurtured my plot with that lovely warm feeling
that you get when you think that all is well with the world. And everything
in the garden is rosy……
The local people were very interested in my efforts; much leaning on
walking sticks ,shaking of heads and that wonderful sucking noise you get
when you suck air through your front teeth. I plodded on regardless. What
were these things I was growing, tall and supported, with lovely
flowers……Runner beans. Nobody had ever heard of them. Haricot yes but
runner beans they did not understand. In the end we all agreed on athletic
haricot and all was well
My learning curve was fast. the Mayors Mother was and still is a wonderful
gardener and was keen to give me advice. My French was pretty awful and her
English was just as bad but we had wonderful discussions on what grew at
altitude.
Melons I had thought would be easy [we were in the South of France and I set
out to prove her wrong that they would survive and we would be eating melons
in August. Yup you’ve got it. I failed miserably and they turned out the size
of a golf ball and just as hard..
Here in Les Angles it is quite a bit higher and only two years ago did the
Marie offer land to rent to The Allotment Group of which I am a very proud
member. Everyone dug and planted and watered and waited but the water supply
was very hit and miss and eventually at the close of summer when all the veg
were ready we had early fall of snow and the animals came down from the
mountains and ate the lot.
Did they not realise that “Cut and come again salad “was not an invitation? We all are learning together and have all made mistakes. Not enough
protection from the wind is one of our main problems. But my knowledge gained
from my friend in Escouloubre will always be with me and melons will once
again will go unplanted.
So in short it will be lovely to be able to take Xavier up on his offer of
advise and learn from him.
Regards
Mountain Mumbler


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