Thursday, 29 November 2012

Keeping you posted...

For those of you out there who look in on my posts,thought I should let you know that leading up to festive season they will be less frequent than they have been, though I will try and continue to bring you a 'church on Sunday'

Thanks for looking in!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My little project...part V

The finishing touches...

I had a window I was recycling and was lucky enough to find it fitted with little or no adjustment which meant that I could turn one of the two doors into a window.

The inside needed re-pointing  and I had to build up under under the new window...

...which I did and I added a new door and that was that, project finished.

The nice thing was I got the nod of approval from my French neighbours which meant a lot.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My little project...part IV

It's all in the detail...

I did a bit of head scratching as to how to finish of the roof fascia before coming up with the idea of screwing flat tiles onto a wooden fascia board.  I got these in exchange for some of my time on a job at a friends property. I then had to come up with a ridge to cover the joint. Above is my 'Heath Robinson' approach to supporting the mortar required to do the job. 

The end result was, I think, fairly successful.

Monday, 26 November 2012

My little project...part III

On with the new!

I enjoyed this stage of the build - as progress was seen quickly...

Notice the 'attention to detail' with the zinc facing on the beam ends for protection.

I ended up with enough old tile to reuse from here and some I had kept back from the main roof.

I did have to buy the edging tiles - but it was worth it.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Church on Sunday...Cormery

Today's visit is to the 12th century church of 'Notre Dame du Fougeray' in Cormery which has withstood the ravages of religions wars and revolution, coming through relatively unscathed.*
 It was built by the monks from the nearby Abbey of St.Paul who, although they had a church within their own abbey complex, had this built to serve the non-clergy part of the community. The abbey itself which dates back to 791 was not so lucky with only parts of it remaining standing today.

Inside 'Notre Dame du Fougeray' has a 'solid feel' and it does not take long before you begin to appreciate its sense of history.

The alter is made from the local tufa stone and sits under an impressive collection of stained glass windows and statues.

These statues and capitals within the apse are very impressive, you can see them in more detail here

The plan of the church is the simple Latin cross without aisles with two side alters.

Its simplicity is one of its most redeeming features.

There is a cedar carving of St.Christopher by Raymond Dubois (1940)

Where's Joan...

She's here, probably in the best form I have seen her here in the Loire Valley.

The Romanesque features of the church are most predominant on the outside with the windows and apse.

The wall of the apse of the church has some interesting graffiti which appears to date from the 17th century.

The elaborate wooden canopy covering the entrance to the church seems to belong to a different era but this makes it none the less interesting.

If you go to Cormery to visit the remnants of its abbey community you should make a point of walking a little further out of town to seek out this very interesting church,

* The bell from the church was meant to be seized by soldiers of the Revolution to be smelted down but legend has it that the women of the town got them drunk while the men spirited the bell to safety. Apparently  it is now used within the cathedral in Tours.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

'Razing' the roof...

My little project...part III

Next thing was to remove the old tiles for re-use and to take away the old timbers.

Then  I had to fit a new central purlin- which the previous owner had kindly left me - not for this job but it proved ideal.I then had to use my new found wall-building skills to secure it in position.

I took the opportunity to re-point the walls on my  neighbours side at the same time.

More on Monday...

Friday, 23 November 2012

The anti - carpenter ?...

My little project part II...
The ant above is called the 'carpenter ant' and it is this I discovered living behind the fascia of the lintel of my outhouse.

 I find this name rather contradictory as a 'carpenter' is 'a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects'. (from wikipedia), whereas these little fellows could help bring down a building with their cutting of tunnels and galleries.

I suppose it could be argued that they are building a home for themselves albeit to the detriment of the wood, though again they do only 'attack' wood that is damp and decaying, so the damage is already done.

Close up 

When I disturbed them initially they dropped of the wooden fascia on to my arms - there were hundreds of them - can still feel them crawling as I type! Sadly I had to 'Dalek' them - I read somewhere that most ant colonies, if disturbed (think I've seen a few disturbed ants in my day) will not return to that location.

Did you know that most 'experts' reckon there are a million ants for each of us on the planet - I can believe this - as they are everywhere! Fortunately we have never had a problem inside any of our houses but we have heard some horror stories from people who have! Imagine if they were even half the size we are...we wouldn't stand a chance!

PS After they had gone I was able to remove the damaged part of the lintel.
Good item from Auntie Beep here

Thursday, 22 November 2012

My little project...part I

With not having the funds to do much on our barn conversion at the moment I've had to look at what I can do without spending too much - jobs that mainly require time for example and use existing materials. Like the job to create what will be the litlle 'sitooterie'**. This new little project was to replace the roof on our little outhouse.

Neighbours have told us it was originally used as two animal sheds , thus the dividing wall down the middle, when most of the houses here would have been small farm houses with their small pieces of land somewhere outside the village.

As you can see time and neglect had taken its toll

The first job was to remove the dividing wall and repair the lintel over one of the openings which had been covered over by a fascia board to hide the damage behind it.

To be continued...
** 'Sitooterie' -  a place for alfresco dining.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A man for all seasons...

Following Colin & Elizabeth's post earlier in the month I thought I'd share this pic which is of a Santa who has been hanging around No3  Rue de Commerce in Abilly since last Christmas. We have noticed quite a few decorations still up from last season's celebrations during our travels around the area. Many are of the light variety as they are less noticeable when not in use.I suppose it is the French 'effective use of time' thing.

One of our favourite lunchtime venues 'Auberge du Vieux Port' in Maire keeps their Christmas and Easter decorations up all year making it the areas most seasonal restaurant.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Something else to crow about...

Spotted on a windowsill during a walk near Angles sur l'Anglin...less entertaining than its Barrou counterpart!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Church on Sunday...Vouvray

This Sunday we are visiting the Church of Our Lady and St John the Baptist in the popular wine sampling town of Vouvray. The current church, enlarged and restored at the end of the 19th century, sits on the site of a smaller 11th century Romanesque church, of which only a small part remains, cut into the hillside at the base of  the tower. 

The tower itself is topped with a 19th century slate cupola.

You are encouraged to use the side entrance to the church beside which is a monument to the musician Charles Bordes, a native of Vouvray, who is said to be responsible for reviving interest in the music of Gregorian chants.It depicts three children singing or perhaps chanting.

It is a pretty and welcoming church with three naves with a main alter and two side chapels. 

There is also the nave dating from the 11th century dug into the hillside.

 There is a fine set of stone carved 'stations of the cross' in the church.

 Where's Joan?

To the left of the main entrance you can see how the church is actually built onto the hillside.