Sunday, 31 August 2014

Church on Sunday...Blois Cathedral


 Due to its hilltop location, the 'Cathédrale Saint-Louis de Blois' can be seen from almost anywhere in and around the fine city of Blois. Unlike most great cathedrals it has only one tower, this is probably because it started of life as a church (collegiate church of Saint-Solenne) before being elevated to cathedral status in 1697 and dedicated to Saint Louis.This was after major reconstruction that was needed after a storm had destroyed much of the roof of the nave and many of the windows in 1678.



Inside might be considered rather stark compared to the interiors of Chartres and Tours but it is an impressive structure none the less. 




Loved the vaulted ceilings... 




The windows of the cathedral are as ever a joy to behold.








 The crypt which holds the relics of Saint-Solenne  is the only remaining part of a 12th century church that was on the site.


The church's organ was a gift from LouisXIV, presented just after the restoration work.


The baptismal font/


Where's Joan - rather surprisingly she's not represented within the cathedral itself.Though at first glance you could be fooled into thinking she was!



Saturday, 30 August 2014

Friday, 29 August 2014

Stepping out in Blois...

A recent re-visit to the city of Blois reminded us of a couple of things...


...it has a lot of steps...


and is well worth another (and another) visit.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

On thin ice perhaps...

Ice bucket challenge.

Pouring ice water over your head is not a clever thing to do but it appears doing silly things is one of the ways to draw attention to needy causes...which is sad in many ways. The ice bucket challenge has become a series of videos on social media platforms that on the ‘face’ of it do not seem to have a real purpose, or it is not made clear. Few contain any information about any particular disease, why you should or where you should donate to or anything about how it will be used.  Are the rules such that if you take up the challenge you do not have to make a charitable donation to ALS research or any other (Macmillan now on bandwaggon) worthy cause? If everyone who takes up the challenge does in fact send a donation to a charity then that’s great and they should let their preferred charity be known.

The highlighting of the ALS charity in the USA and MND Scotland is commendable but surely politicians should be looking at ways of more money, perhaps from pharmaceutical companies, being redirected to finding cures for these and similar dissabilitating illnesses rather than showing how ‘cool’ they are to allow themselves to be soaked in public!. Why does the research have to be funded from the charity of others?

I‘took up the challenge’ as I was 'nominated' by a friend but don't wish to nominate anyone else or maybe I should nominate ‘everyone’ if that’s what it takes!


I will be making a donation to Myeloma UK for personal reasons and will be delighted if anyone who watches my video does the same. Having said all that, anyone who wishes to express their ability not to be taken too seriously for the sake of a good cause should just do it anyway without having to be ‘nominated’.



                       

Footnote: The large bucket contained ice-cold water from our well in the garden - unlike Mr Darling's tepid                  offering.

Here is the counter-argument

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Panestakingly good pressie...

...did you see what I did there?


Friends were having windows replaced in their UK home and asked if anyone was interested in their old leaded panes -  I fancied one to use as a feature in the house here in Barrou.They went to all the trouble of transporting it across for me as a late birthday present...how kind!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Am I really talking 'Tupperware'?

It is the classic orange peeler! 


I wanted another one so as our rental house could have one as we pride ourselves in not being caught out by the absence of an important piece of kit! You can't buy them I was told but they can be a 'gift' when you do buy something. I had to ask nicely to get the current model pictured above - snazzy eh! - as I didn't make a purchase. BTW the Tupperware lady didn't seem to know how to use it, thinking you broke the skin with the thin edge...so this is for her.



Or maybe we should get one of these...

                             

Monday, 25 August 2014

Speaking of Tupperware...


...I took this item which is vintage ( 30 years +) Tupperware along to the party does anyone know what it is used for?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Church on Sunday...Reignac-sur-Indre




Today we visit the church of Saint-Étienne (St Stephen) in Reignac-sur-Indre. What you see today would not have you thinking that you were on one of the oldest religious sites in Touraine but you are. A church here first gets mentioned by Gregory of Tours (Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours himself) as being founded by St Eustoche, bishop of Tours in the middle of the 5th century.

The oldest part of the current church is its steeple which dates from the ninth or tenth century.


The nave is from the 16th century but was renovated in the late 19th century




In one of the side aisles there is a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.




There are some good examples of stained glass windows, the one above representing the martyrdom of St. Stephen, patron of the parish, and this ornate window above the front entrance.



Many of the saints are represented in statues around the church...including Joan.


You can see some more good photographs here


                                     

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Party..party





With Pauline away in Scotland my neighbour David said he had organised a party which he hoped I would attend...reluctantly I agreed...very reluctantly. Bizarrely it was a 'Tupperware', yes you are reading this correctly a 'Tupperware' party. I have had some surreal times here in France but this is up there with the best. There was David , me ,Mike & Liz, our neighbour Mme.Bastard (yes that's her name) plus her sister who was giving the demonstration and her 'teacher'. They proceeded to make a lovely pear gateau plus cooked rabbit in their steamer. We got to sample the gateau but never got a whiff of the rabbit! As the afternoon wore on we had visits from the demonstrators children plus another lady who may have been the area manager plus plenty of form filling for the little that was purchased - not by me I might add. After four hours David then hosted a BBQ for me, Mike and Liz plus the very charming 'teacher'. The event was really just a way to allow David to charm the lady (plus have tomorrow's meal cooked) and we were happy to be part of it...we left them alone at a decent hour to seal their friendship!!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Abandoned cuddly toy...Lesigny


 Here is the 'abandoned cuddly toy' from last Sunday's brocante at Lesigny...why would someone think this large fish would appeal to a small child?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hirondelles taking flight...



Last night we said goodbye to two sets of neighbours here in Barrou, Norman & Margaret and Pauline & Denis who return to the UK today after their summer stay here in France.



The only 'plus' is we get the cheese they didn't finish!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The village people...




Le Grand Pressigny's 'Comice Agricole' celebrations were blessed by good weather and a great turnout on Sunday. The people of the village had done a delightful job of dressing it up - the perfect backdrop for their fete and 'Grand Cavalcade'. 

We have an excellent vantage point at 'Les Balcons' for viewing such events as our 'Juliet balcony' hangs over the street - on Sunday it was reserved for the film crew and official photographers however - well actually Mike and I..Mike taking the still shots and me doing the video. Bad choice from me as the parade.impressive as it was, was all stop and start! Had my camera been fully charged I could probably have done both!  


While we made use of our lofty status the ladies had front row seats and along with our neighbours waited in anticipation...




First of all (fashionably late)  came the 'Défilé de Cadilillacs' which was a case of misrepresentation as we had only the one...disappointing start!





Our disappointment melted as the 'Grand Cavalcade' approached with the sound of music - the work the villages of the commune put into their floats is amazing  The theme for this year's event was the 'forests of Touraine' which manifested itself in many different guises...with the addition of any kind of forest/woods reference one can think of.


  
Like the low profile Red Riding Hood above and the very visible Snow White below...



...complete with her buble blowing giant dwarfs.






If I had to pick a winner it would have to be the Paulmy float which was on some kind of hydraulic platform that raised itself up as if to take a bow to the admiring audience before doffing its hat of branches. The doffing was done by a series of ropes and pulleys...or was it smoke and mirrors? The nymphet on the float did a wonderful 'Titanic arms wide open' gesture every time she was elevated which added to the effect...I'm sure Mike caught that!


One of the things I loved about the floats was the fact that many (if not all) were being pulled by tractors driven by the local mayor...great! Mike and I were joined at one stage by Barrou's official photographer to take advantage of the lofty position



 After the climb up Avenue Andre Theuriet (don't you just love our address) the parade toddled off around the one way system to the centre of the village which was packed by spectators, you will have to wait for Mike's pics for that as my battery ran out or check out Colin & Elizabeth's here

The day was all about people...


...like Snow White's proud father


and friends and neighbours.


We finished of a very good  day at a very good BBQ with friends at Cally's where much was discussed about the way the French 'do' these kind of events with the general consensus being 'the only way they can' and none the worse for that.