Monday, 22 September 2014

Look, Up in the Sky...

This fascinating cloud formation sailed over the Chateau Gaudrelle caves on Friday evening. They looked ominous, and Alexandre Monmousseau, the winemaker, who had been all smiles previously, regarded them with some unease. He's holding off harvesting until 26 September at the earliest, trying to gain as much ripeness as possible with the warm, sunny weather and the north-easterly breeze. The recent few days of storms have had a bit of useful rain, but otherwise been just a lot of sound and light. The big worry is hail, but very few places in the Touraine are reporting any hailstones falling. These clouds are, I think, mammatus, which means they look threatening, but are harmless (although the clouds they form from may not be).

Then the next day, over our house, Simon took a series of photo of lightning. There was lots of rolling thunder, but not much rain out of this. One lighting bolt lasted over 2 seconds which is longer than his camera will take a series of shots - this is the middle second of that one bolt of lightning.
A la cuisine hier: Muesli, made from mixed rolled cereals (4 flocons, in the bio section of Auchan), sultanas, toasted almonds, chopped dried apricots and linseed.

A bin bag full of homegrown chard, blanched and frozen.

A dozen homegrown pears, poached whole in white wine syrup and bottled (because I've run out of freezer containers).

A chicken, pork and mushroom pie which Simon pronounced delicious (and was so filling he nearly couldn't eat dessert!) Served with spicy red cabbage.
Jim's Cancer Fundraising Ride: Jim Budd will be cycling through the Touraine today on his fundraising mission for teenage cancer. Get out there and support him in person on the cycle path if you can, and even better, make a donation to either the Teenage Cancer Trust or the Fondation Gustave Roussy. If everyone who reads this donated just €5 it would add up to something really significant!


  1. We drove through a brief shower of hailstones last Friday just before noon, between Orbigny and Genillé.

  2. Yes, Susan...
    those are mammatus clouds...
    and most often preceed heavy storms.
    Not common in the UK... but seem to occur very frequently here.
    Alexandre must know their portent very well... and at this time of the year a great worry.

    That storm was something else...
    especially the bolt that seemed to keep on going and going... never seen that before...
    gif isn't working on this laptop...
    I'll try on the big one later.

  3. That's a nice .gif file...
    shame you can't attach sound to .gifs...
    that captures the way the long bolt moved..
    just needs the "CRACK" and ensuing wrumbles!

  4. Susan, is there a recipe for that chicken, pork, and mushroom pie, or was it an impromptu delight?

  5. Ken: It was more or less this one (scroll to the bottom of the page to skip the flannel and get the recipe).