January/February/March 2014

January/February/March 2014
January/February/March 2014
January/February/March 2014

During the winter months we make a few improvements to the gite, installing a second shower even if space is rather cramped, and hiring a plumber to check the plumbing installation, fit water filters, new water pumps and – finally – solar hot water panels. Given reasonable sun we now have 300 litres of hot (60 degree) water which is enough to provide for groups if people are careful about what they use. After three days without sun we will need to top up using the generator. David also starts the process of consultations towards having a hip replacement operation, initially programmed for March but then delayed until June.

By February the storks are on the move (with two groups of 50+ on 17th and 23rd March) as the Spring approaches. Raptors are also in evidence, with booted and short toed eagles, peregrine, sparrowhawk, kestrel and black kite. We see giant orchid (barlia robertiana) next to the road, and on the 22 march a spectacular fire salamander in splendid black and yellow livery behind the house. Sadly our cat, Mollie, goes missing in bad weather in late January, and then suddenly reappears (rather skinny) in March after an absence of six weeks just as we were giving up hope of her return.