20 April 2012

Dazed and confused, sort of

Blogger, the tool we use to create these blogs by writing and formatting text and placing photos in a post, has a completely new interface this morning. I'm having a hard time — half-awake, waiting for the coffee to kick in — figuring out new ways to do things that had become so familiar. It's going to take some time to get used to.

Sunrise in the vineyard yesterday morning. We're in a rainy
period now, and the moisture is really needed.

Another reason I'm off to a slow start is that we had a little party last night and got to bed a bit later than usual. I got some good sleep, but I still feel slightly groggy. We had Linda, Jack, and their daughter Laura over for an apéritif dînatoire, as they call it — a light dinner and a few glasses of the local wine. It was good to get to know them better.

You can see that the vineyard plot in the background is being protected
from the damage hungry deer can do at this time of year by the strips of
white tape on each side — the deer are supposedly afraid to cross them.

One thing I hope the Blogger software engineers and interface designers haven't changed is the way the system handles spam. I turned off word verification on this blog weeks ago, making it a lot easier for you readers to leave comments. Since then, I've had no trouble at all. Blogger's spam filter seems to catch all the objectionable comments and lets the legitimate comments get published. I'm pretty happy with it.

The vines on April 19 — these have more leaves on them than most.

These days, we're still eating "escaped" green asparagus that we find growing out in the vineyard. We hope, however, to get some nice locally grown white asparagus tomorrow at the Saint-Aignan market. I hear that prices have come down now and the supply is fairly plentiful despite the very dry weather we had in March and earlier in April. This month is when the aparagus and strawberries start to appear on market stalls, and we're looking forward to both.

Looking west at sunrise yesterday morning

Bertie the black cat is sitting on my lap as I type this post. He likes the warmth of human contact right now, I think. He's spending more and more time in the house with us, even though we have to keep Bert and Callie separated. Callie the border collie still won't leave Bert alone when she's in the same room with him. She tries to bite is back legs, and she drools on him. The cat doesn't like it, though now he just hunkers down and endures it, no longer fleeing as if in danger. Maybe that's progress.


  1. Thats a great 'sunrise' photo. It's stuff like that, that just gets me out to walk, or sometimes just look. Kerry

  2. Asaparagus and strawberries have both been fantastic so far this year, and not too outrageously priced on some stalls. Our kitchen is full of strawberry scent, just from the hulls of last night's dessert in the compost bin!

  3. I switched to the new interface last week when it was still optional ... and immediately regretted it. But there was no way back. So now I'm used to it: well, almost ;) I agree that the new spam system is very effective. Martine

  4. i am so glad Bertie can be inside more......sounds like there is some progress there

  5. I just took a peek and didn't notice anything new, so I must've switched before, but then again, maybe when I'm actually looking for something and can't find it, I realize that it did indeed change.

  6. I'm glad to hear progress is being made on the Bertie-Callie front. Your four lives will be so much better when there's cat-dog harmony.

  7. If Bertie is just hunkering down instead of attacking or running, that's definite progress. It says he wants to be with you more than he wants to avoid Callie.

  8. I am tearing my hair out... Blogger has stolen my blog...Colour choices etc... have been changed on my blog without my request...oh dear! Another wine required!


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