Explanation and exploration

First of all an explanation. Those of you who have known our plans and have been following these blogs for some time will remember that we spoke of a vague idea that from March we’d be at Les Courmettes four days a week and back at Taradeau for the rest. Well it hasn’t really worked out like that, although we were up at Les Courmettes for much of last week. Things are evolving fast at Les Courmettes, and in a positive direction; currently there is almost an excess of volunteers. To list them in no particular order: Paul, David, Samia, Sabine, Esther, Michelle and Anne, and we are grateful for all of them. There is also a shortage of staff accommodation because despite having nearly 80 beds the château is increasingly full over the weekend. Anybody got a spare caravan? So, at the moment, we find ourselves going up for a day and then coming back and doing all we have to do from the computer at Taradeau. (Which would be a lot easier if France-Telecom got its act together and improved the broadband but that’s another story.) The general 4:3 proportions are more or less working out as we planned: it’s just that we’re doing quite a bit of it virtually. That may change as the year develops.

One thing Chris has been working on this week has been plans for a big science week in July so if you happen to be an expert in Mediterranean moths, mammals or miscellanea, do take a look at this link, and if you have a contact/friend who fits this description, do pass the information on.

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Dutch girl with windmill (we couldn’t resist putting this one in, even if the windmill is in Provence.

Anyway it hasn’t all been staring at the computer screen. We came back from Courmettes last Friday with a Dutch volunteer, Esther, who stayed with us for the weekend. (Given that Les Courmettes is over twice the height of anywhere in Holland the poor girl probably has had altitude sickness.)

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St Tropez harbour (Esther is taking a photo)


Last Saturday we all took a long-planned trip to St Tropez, which is less than an hour away. (Well it would be if the main St Tropez traffic light hadn’t decided to misbehave and give a two kilometre tailback.) Despite nearly fifty years of over exploitation and commercialisation – thank you Mme Bardot – it still has a great deal of charm, particularly at this time of year when you can look eastwards across the pink rocks of the Esterel Massif to the snowcapped mountains of the Italian border. It was a lot of fun and we all enjoyed ourselves.

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Looking across the bay of St Tropez to the Esterel and the Alps

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh and we have also had four overlarge trees chopped down in our garden by the extraordinarily agile and hard-working Edouard Le Goff who wields a chainsaw with something of the vigour and spirit of the Three Musketeers. If ever tree removal becomes an Olympic sport, France’s gold medal is assured.

Finally, wherever you are, we wish you a very blessed and happy Easter.

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