Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Friendship...lifting spirits and trailers!

Our time here in France as 'Europeans' and 'world citizens' has been one of building a new set of friends to add to those still close to us back in Scotland and embracing a different culture to add 'into the mix', Our 'jobs' as hosts to visitors to this beautiful part of the world has exposed us to people from many corners of the globe and has only helped cement our belief that we are all the same, same hopes,dreams and fears. Yes there are a tiny minority out their who see their role here as to test us,sometimes to the extreme but they will fail.

At a time when the UK seeks to get back its sovereignty,which it never actually lost, and to restrict the movement of people we should consider that it is only by allowing ourselves to embrace new people and cultures that we grow as human beings. Of course issues of 'controlling our borders' are important but how they are somehow going to be easier than they have proven elusive in the past by not working with our neighbours is anyone's guess! I am a simple soul yet see the mess we are in (and it is a mess) as having been purely politically and monetarily motivated certainly not with people in mind,we seem to be an afterthought.

Anyway back to the was never meant to get political but it reminded me that sometimes working together has its rewards. A friend noticed recently that while working with my trusty trailer in helping the good folks of Le Grand-Pressigny transport equipment for their recent 'Garden Party' that it did not have a jacking wheel which rendered some aspects of working with it rather more difficult - and surprised me with a present, which I've now gotten around to fitting. His act of friendship lifted my spirits and my trailer!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Helping guests make the most of their Loire Valley holiday.

Latest comment from our guestbook at the 'Old Walnut Mill' 

22nd June 2017

Dear Pauline & Jim, thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality, your invaluable guidance/advice on where to go, what to see, where to eat etc and especially for your invitation to the 'moules frites' night in the village which was an unforgettable experience!!! We have gained a fabulous insight into the beautiful rural France and will take home lots of happy memories.

Many thanks and our very best wishes,
Jennifer & John
Forest of Bowland.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

At work and play in the Loire Valley

Spent yesterday doing a little bit of light (?) gardening work at Le Bourg, not a great idea in 30+ degree heat - exhausting!

Actually who ever controls this type of thing did give us a little respite from the glaring sun in the morning which helped make the task a little easier.

It was easier to enjoy the heat in the evening with friends and hosts whose hospitality knows no bounds, to celebrate Maureen's birthday.

With Pauline being away it was also good to have company.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Visiting Chateau Villandry and its gardens under a hot sun in the Loire Valley

Guests at the Old Walnut Mill had a glorious, if a little warm, day to visit Chateau Villandry and its beautiful gardens on Wednesday. 

Then they crossed our favourite bridge over the Loire at Langeais to pay the town a visit.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Fete de la musique - Le Petit-Pressigny

Here are some pics from last night's event

Something for the weekend - brocantes 24th & 25th June

Last year we went to the brocante at Nouzilly north of Tour which, as it is under the shade of the trees, might be a good choice this year!

Brocantes / vide greniers Saturday 24th June

* Up to 50 stalls ** 50 to 100 stalls *** 100 to 200 stalls ****More than 200 stalls    ? Unknown


PARCAY MESLAY  Vide-greniers **

PONT DE RUAN  Vide-greniers**

Brocantes / vide greniers Sunday 25th June

* Up to 50 stalls ** 50 to 100 stalls *** 100 to 200 stalls ****More than 200 stalls    ? Unknown

BOURNAN  Brocante, Vide-greniers *

CERELLES  Vide-greniers **



ESVRES  Vide-greniers ***

HOMMES Vide Grenier – Brocante **

L'ILE BOUCHARD  Vide-greniers *



LANGEAIS  Vide-greniers ***

LIMERAY  Vide-greniers ****

MONTLOUIS SUR LOIRE  Vide-greniers ***

NEUVY LE ROI  Vide Greniers *

NOUZILLY  Vide-greniers ***

SAINT BAULD  Vide-greniers?

SAINT GENOUPH  Vide-greniers ***

SAINT PIERRE DES CORPS  5ème Vide-greniers Square Gambetta ***

SAVONNIERES  Vide-greniers ****

SEUILLY  Vide-greniers **

TOURS  Vide-greniers***

TOURS  Brocante BD Béranger ***


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Abilly fete de la confiture

There was a new venue for this year's 'Fete de la confiture' in the nearby village of Abilly (Sunday) with everything being moved to the 'l'île de la Claise', which proved to be an ideal location other than there is only one way on to the island, which meant anyone more used to the brocante being spread through the streets had to cross the river Claise (or not,depending on your approach) as there is no access from the village side.


On another very hot day it proved to be an inspired decision with the trees offering some shade from the bright sunshine.

The 'jam' element of the day seems to play less and less of a role as the years go by...or did we miss something? 

We were not tempted by the singing fish but did buy an 'Art Nouveau' brass picture frame from the stallholder.

You should know by now that I am now rarely surprised by the bizarre items that can be found at such events and adding custom stainless steel exhausts to the list, for me,isn't a problem.  

Spotted this stallholder getting a bit ahead of himself!

My other purchase on a blisteringly hot day? an electric panel heater...and why not!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Praise for Le Grand-Pressigny

Our departing guests at Les Balcons were full of praise for Le Grand-Pressigny and the local People. They were returning for the third time.

Comment from the house guestbook:

"Wonderful house. Attention to detail great. This was my third stay here, that should say it all. Town is so relaxed and people so friendly. Thanks Jim & Pauline."


Sunday, 18 June 2017

A bonne soiree

Last night's soiree here in Barrou to celebrate the 'Feu de St.Jean' meant another good get together with friends and neighbours.

Our current guests at the 'Old Walnut Mill' also joined the fun along with a couple we met at the bar on Thursday night!

Willi and Sandra did an excellent job of catering for us and keeping us supplied with the odd glass of wine here and there.

We felt a little let down by the musicians as, when they played here last year the singer was excellent but her substitute gave a good performance and they also allowed me to murder a few songs.

The evening was rounded off by the traditional bonfire and children dancing around it to welcome in summer (tad early)  

Saturday, 17 June 2017

This weeks randonnee club outing...not Abilly!

This Thursday's Le Grand-Pressigny Randonnee club outing started as usual with a rendezvous in the car park where we are told where we are going and organise a bit of car sharing. The British contingent heard we were off to nearby Abilly  but when following the lead car we headed off in the opposite direction.

That, as my French companion explained, was because we were off for a walk in the forest around the L'Abbeye to the east of the town. 

Thankfully it wasn't long until we had the shade of the trees to protect us from the very hot (30+) sun.

The tree to the right actually appears to be floating - it has been felled but has not fallen!

We have probably driven past the sign to ' the Abbey' a hundred times without actually noticing it.

It is now a very attractive private residence

The etang by the property.

This is the home of a sluice that connected the lake to a neighbouring one.

Looking back towards the abbey from the other side of the lake. 

Much as we enjoyed the walk (10km) and the company, it was good to get back to the car!