One of our favourite meals to have on Sunday is oysters and champagne. Bob gets up early to go to the village where the local producer sets up her stall and he buys 18 size 2 oysters. We can trust in their freshness as they are grown on the coast only a few kilometres from here in the river Jaudy where we used to sail when we had our boat.
It's a very simple meal, we have the oysters followed by some delicious French cheeses and a green salad washed down with a red wine from the Rhone villages. We buy our champagne from the producer who comes to Perros every year at a very reasonable price, in fact we are off to the annual wine fair later this morning to get stuck into some serious tasting.
I have a Japonica bush just in front of the dining room window and I love the way the orange flowers bloom all along the stems, right into the centre of the shrub.
The branches have lethal spines which attack my fingers when I try to cut a few stems to draw so I have taken some photos as well because I think this would make an interesting subject for a needlepainting. I can picture the layers building up and getting stronger in colour as they come nearer to the front.
I have an American friend called Starr who lives in a wonderful forest who posts beautiful photos of her environment which have inspired my drawings in the past. The latest batch have also been interpreted in brush pen and diluted inks.
She has a lovely collection of silver birches with interesting barks which she has also painted in watercolours.
The name of Starr's blog is wonderland woods and I'm sure you'll be delighted with her photos too.
Continuing with the woody theme, we have a few tree stumps in our garden where I noticed some interesting growths appearing. On closer inspection I discovered these colourful fungi so I photographed them straight away as I thought they might get damaged when Bob set out to mow the lawn. As this blue-green one was about 5 centimetres across I enlarged the photo so I could see the detail more clearly.
This orange-mauve one had been growing slowly through the winter and fortunately I caught it at it's peak as it's now dried up since the weather warmed up for spring.
Spring is warming up and there are lots more beautiful plants to draw in and around my garden so keep an eye out for the next instalment of Sketchbook no 41!