A wild Rabbit (Fr. Lapin de garenne) Oryctolagus cuniculus.
Nowadays both wild and domestic rabbits are widely distributed across Europe and have been introduced to Australia, but originally the wild population was present only in Iberia and southern France.
A domestic Lapin Gris de Touraine (Touraine Grey Rabbit).
The process of domestication does not involve the switching on of a single 'domestication gene', but rather small changes to many genes, resulting in an animal that is more placid, often bigger and less independent. In the case of rabbits many of the changes relate to brain and nerve cell development.
Car News: We've been having a fairly stressful time of it lately. Célestine is still at the Dentist's, partly due to the fact that the suppliers of the spare parts needed to repair her 'forgot' (!!) to send the parts, so the work was delayed by a week. Claudette has been performing better than we expected, but we are having to nurse her somewhat. We took the difficult decision last week to cancel a booking for a wedding at the last minute. I spent a very fraught time ringing around trying to find someone who could replace us and thanks to our friend Fabien, who suggested someone from another car club, we were able to organise a substitute and all turned out well. We felt dreadful at messing people around on an important day, but also that we couldn't risk overloading Claudette with too many kilometres between services and committments to clients who have booked chateaux tours, which is our core business, while we didn't have a back up vehicle.
Then on Friday we got back to our garage in Saint Pierre des Corps after dropping clients off at their hotel after a day's touring, only to discover that the key to the garage had gone missing sometime during the day, along with one of our modern car keys and keys to our house and home garage. The real worry was the Saint Pierre des Corps garage key, as there is only one. Once again, I spent a fraught time ringing the hotel our clients stayed at, the clients, the carwash, the petrol station, several chateaux and town halls, and the restaurant we lunched in. In some instances I had to leave a message and wait for people to get back to me (thank you Yves from the carwash and the guys from Manoir Les Minimes who went above and beyond by searching the carpark multiple times), or I couldn't get through the first time (la Vieille Auberge at Cour Cheverny). Finally, yesterday, I rang the Auberge again and they said,"yes, we have your keys, they were found under your table". I can't tell you how relieved we are, and we can pick them up on Thursday when we are back with clients! (Thank you also to Antoine for phoning to suggest a good locksmith should we need one, after Brigitte passed on our news to him.)
Adding to our woes was coming downstairs on Saturday to see a flood all over the kitchen floor. The washing machine had emptied not down the drain but all over the floor when it did its overnight wash. After mopping up and taking the machine apart, Simon finally diagnosed the problem (grit in the thread of the filter so it wasn't sealing properly) and we have a properly functioning washing machine again. Phew!
We aren't out of the woods yet, but hopefully we've turned a corner and the stress levels are already significantly less.