A Letter From Burgundy

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year from Les Volets Verts

035Happy New Year Everyone! We enjoyed some snow before Christmas and some very heavy frosts over the Christmas and New Year holidays which made Morlet and the rest of Burgundy look like Winter wonderland.


We have now enjoyed two seasons with guests at our own gite here in Morlet as well as managing a couple of other properties in Burgundy. We have welcomed many different people of many different nationalities and we have enjoyed some return visits to Les Volets Verts from guests who loved the peace and quiet and found there was also more to do here and in the surrounding area than they realised so returned to carry on exploring. We have just said good bye to some Paris guests who stayed here for a week over New Year with their young children to let them enjoy the countryside and fresh air after some recent pollution problems in Paris. The children loved the animals, particularly the donkey next door!

Our bees are settled down now in their top bar hive for the winter months and we are really looking forward to seeing them out and about in the garden in early Spring. We will have a second hive this Summer and hope to share some honey with our guests!



September 23, 2016

Lily at Les Volets Verts

Filed under: Animals,Les Volets Verts,Pets,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Lesley @ 12:53

Last Summer, a young male cat arrived in our garden and stayed there for a few days playing with the children who were staying in the gite at that time. To cut a long story short we now have a lovely cat called Mickey.
This Summer, our neighbours got a new kitten who arrived in our garden (and bedroom by climbing through the window) on her first day in Morlet.

First response when meeting Mickey

First response when meeting Mickey

She was only about 8 weeks at this time and seemed desperate to get into our house. Despite the heat we kept the windows and doors shut and took her “home” on numerous occasions. She kept coming back all the time and was sleeping rough in the garden at night because we wouldn’t let her in. This was a great concern to us but she wasn’t ours and needed to go back to her own home.

She¬†visited the guests at the gite whenever she was made welcome and we asked them not to feed her or let her in. Some guests, whose children loved playing in the garden with her called her “Miss Trouble.” She then had a marvellous time with our grandchildren who called her “Missy.” She seemed very flat when Harrison and Lilah went home because she had got used to lots of cuddles and had enjoyed spending time with two people who adored her.

Lots of fuss from the Grandchildren

We continued taking her home to our neighbours and not letting her in our house but she had made up her mind where she wanted to be on day one in Morlet and was not going to give up easily.

She slipped into the outside office whenever she could and slept on an old quilt in a cardboard box that had belonged to one of the dogs.

I can't be the house cat so I'll be the office cat.

I can’t be the house cat so I’ll be the office cat.

Meanwhile, Mickey and Lily were spending more and more time together playing and mock fighting in the garden.

In the Garden


Early September, we decided that we would have to speak to our neighbours – they had hardly seen their kitten and she had made it quite clear that she wanted to adopt us, even if we didn’t seem to want her.

We told the farmer that she had adopted us and could we adopt her? He kindly agreed that we could ¬†and her delight when she was allowed into the house and fed and treated just like Mickey was a delight to see. We decided to give her the name Lily and after two and half weeks she is now responding to it. If I wasn’t sure before I am now a firm believer that when an animal decides where they want to be, or who they want to be with, they can be very persistent indeed.

In the house at last

Peace for how long?

Peace for how long?

April 27, 2013


Filed under: Animals,Pets — Tags: — Lesley @ 16:25




This has been a difficult blog to write as sadly our second Cavalier is gone. To lose both dogs in the space of just over two months was very difficult.

At first he seemed to be coping without his “girl” but his long standing heart condition became worse and he started to eat less and less. After eight weeks he had gone from 15 kilos to only 10 kilos and was so weak he was falling over and we made the difficult decision not to go on.

Thank you Scamp for giving us so much pleasure and love throughout your life.


January 27, 2013

Thanks to Millie

Filed under: Animals,Pets — Tags: , , — Lesley @ 17:26

We ended last year on a sad note – we went to England for Christmas with our two dogs and came back with only one.
On the morning of Christmas Eve we discovered our Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Millie, could no longer use her back legs. We went straight down to our former vets in the UK where it was discovered she had had a stroke in the night. Blood tests followed which revealed she had other problems too and we knew that she had developed a heart murmur on a recent visit to our French vets.


Last picture of Millie

(MVD – mitral valve disease affects nearly all cavaliers by the age of 10 so we did pretty well to get to 12 years 4 months before we were aware of a murmur. In fact it is now recommended that all cavaliers should be screened for heart murmurs annually from the age of one).

We consequently followed the advice of the vet and that was to “faire piquer” / put to sleep. Most of us have made this decision at some time and we know it isn’t easy. We said good bye to her and thanked her for giving us so much pleasure and love throughout her life. She was an amazing dog and she had “a good innings” as our daughter living in Australia said.

On returning to France we were concerned how our other dog Scamp would be as he had only known life with Millie. After a few days where he seemed a little unsettled, a bit lost and concerned that everything else might change (like biscuits as a treat at bed time) he now seems quite content with his new life. He obviously misses her as we all do but enjoys the company of other dogs more and at times seems to enjoy having our exclusive attention.

Life goes on and we look forward to all that 2013 brings our way.

Morlet, December 2012


March 28, 2012

A Letter From Burgundy

Filed under: Animals,Gardening and weather — Tags: , , , — Lesley @ 13:22

We’ve been talking about doing a blog over the winter months and now with the arrival of Spring comes our first blog. We have been living full time in Burgundy for nearly two years now and it really feels like home. We love the changing seasons and as we are in the middle of a farming community we are probably more aware of the seasons than most. This last weekend we were busy in the garden digging a wild life pond in the orchard where we plan to have a bee hive next year and preparing the vegetable patch for the early potatoes to go in. We were also helping to create a new flower border for a friend on Saturday – so by Sunday night we were a little stiff to say the least! The good weather is continuing into this week and despite a French lesson on Tuesday and a bit of work keeping us on the computers we still seem to be managing to spend a lot of time outside – making the most of the weather just in case it isn’t sunny again tomorrow!
The picture here is of one of our dogs, Scamp, who was 10 years old yesterday. He marked his birthday by having a disagreement with a dustcart. He was having a morning potter down a lane when a dustcart appeared (obviously using the lane as a cut through – there are no houses on this lane) he stood his ground and the lorry drove round him, up on the grass verge and down again. I was too far away to see whether the driver was amused or annoyed which was probably just as well as it could well have been the latter!