Half Term Plans

It's half term, and there's a whole lotta work to get done round here. Unlike in the UK where half terms are a week long, here in France they last for two. Two whole weeks where we are setting ourselves the challenge of creating the veg patch, rehousing the animals, clearing the barn, shifting chopped wood, and getting brutal with the overgrowth in the woods round the back of the house. I'm not one for cold weather but I'm breathing a sigh of relief knowing that there's a cold snap forecast next week. It holds off Spring growth for just a little while longer giving us time to chop back before everything madly sprouts back to life.



The kids are at club for three days each week. Unlike school days where they seem to come back with more energy at the end of the day, kids club wipes them out completely. They're off to the cinema this morning and even Jacob announced that it was going to be a 'looong day'! I've been reading this post from Enchanted Pixie and getting ideas for when they're at home. We've been baking weekly recently and have bought some new paints. We're also really getting into board games, Labyrinth is the favourite right now.


Evenings are for chilling out by the fire. I bought this pattern recently from Amuru Toys on Etsy and have been hand sewing just the cutest little bears. In fact...I like making them so much I have decided that all the children that come and camp here at Wild Oak Wood over the Summer will receive one in the welcome basket! I've also been catching up on magazines my mum brought over from the UK. Do any of you read Living France magazine? If you pick up a copy this month you'll find a lovely page all about this blog! Let me know what you think if you have a read.


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Chasse En Cours

Ok...I'm a little bit upset. We lost three of our baby chickens last week and this time not to Mr Fox. It was Saturday morning and whilst lazing around in our pyjamas (as you do) we heard the chickens outside making a bit of a fuss. When they start making that amount of noise it means there's a predator around and for us that means a quick dash to get wellies on to chase whatever it is away. I've done this a couple of times now with Mr Fox. This time however, whatever was upsetting them had a bell ringing away as it ran, and soon enough it came into sight...it was a hunting dog.

Hunting is a massive sport here in rural France. From September to February, every weekend, men (I have yet to see a lady hunter though I'm sure they're out there) armed with their orange caps and rifles, take over the wilderness with their crazy dogs to hunt out their prey. Round here that could be deer, wild boar, rabbits, pheasants...

The thing is...we live on the edge of that wilderness, that untouched woodland which is prime territory for the chasse. We've actually seen them crossing our land (is that allowed??) The nearer they are the more likely their dogs will find our chickens and we fear for our safety. I've heard too many stories about people being accidentally shot having been mistaken for a wild boar or deer in the bushes. So what can we do? We've spoken to members of our local chasse and let them know that our house is now occupied as before we moved in last year it was empty for a long time. They've ensured us that they will warn us when they will be close to our land (although they have yet to do so.) We've also taken the decision to fence in our chickens for their own safety and we may be down the garden centre to buy our own orange caps for when we're working in the garden at the weekends!

If you've got any tips for how best to approach the local chasse please do pass them on. There's a good article here with information about them if you're interested.
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