Sunday, 31 March 2013

Church on Sunday...Archigny

Built in the twelfth century, the church of Saint-Georges in Archigny, in the department of Vienne, has undergone many changes through the centuries. The once vaulted nave is now covered with panelling. During ' the wars of religion' in the sixteenth century, the church was looted and burned by the Protestants.Part of the church was destroyed but because of the very thick exterior walls the main boy of the church survived'

The church has an interesting alter piece.

The the seventeenth century pulpit came from the nearby 'Abbey of Etoile',

Side chapel.

 There are some pretty examples of stained-glass windows.

Where's Joan?

 No Joan here, it's  Georges who has pride of place.

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Saturday, 30 March 2013

The world is orange...

While making our way up from Poitiers to Angles sur l'Anglin last week we kept seeing fields of orange stubble with no idea as to what they were -anyone any ideas?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Sometimes you have to stop...

After dropping some friends off at Poitiers train station yesterday we had to go over to Angles-surl'Anglin, so we decided to go cross-country and see if we could find some roads we had not been on - this is always interesting without a map or compass and certainly no GPS. We decided to leave the D910 main road a little earlier than we would usually do  through Chasseneuil de Poitou on the D18 and then on to the D4.

A little up the road were pleasantly surprised to see on our left a chateau that was new to us. It was closed but I took these shots over the wall - looks interesting plus there was a lot of work going on - preparing for the new season we supposed.  

It is Chateau de Vayres a private chateau that is available for marriages, conferences, seminars or, as they put it, any 'other gathering'. You can rent the chateau including a tent with a capacity of 700 people and soon after the 2013 work is completed a room with a capacity of 250 people. Do not think we will be needing their services but if you did I'm sure it would make a great venue.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Tours airport update...

The last time I was in Tours airport they were in the middle of their refurbishment ...not pretty!

Went to pick up Pauline last Friday, returning from a short visit to her mum's in Scotland...what a difference!

Smart new look in departures...

and new cafe bar near arrivals.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Church on Sunday...St Pauls, Chambon

 The church of St Paul's in Chambon is another one of  Touraine's 12th century churches that has withstood the ravages of time - with the help of some 19th century restoration - rather well.

As you enter through its unassuming west façade you are reminded of just how old it is!

As I pushed open the heavy doors I wondered were they 12th or 15th century?

Turning around after you enter lets  you see the delightful small round stained-glass windows that  from the outside go almost unnoticed..

It is a small church consisting of the original 112 century nave and square bell tower with the apse,additions to the nave and side chapels added in the 15th. 

Behind the main alter is a stained-glass widow depicting Jesus flanked by St Peter and St Paul.

 The light in the church gave us this view of the church pews.

 Where's Joan?...she's back this week in all her splendour.

 If you choose to do one of the walks around this little village you should make a point of looking in!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Clean cut image...

Following on from my last post I felt that I had to at least give a courteous glance at the literature that the charming ladies had left me.
Not sure I have the definitive answer to the questions but he certainly had a good hairdresser!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Someone's knocking at the door...

Driving back from Le Grand Pressigny yesterday evening to Barrou I was behind a car that was going at a sensible pace,around 70 kmh when, with my French driving hat on, I was soon driving a little too close and thinking about overtaking when another adopted French trait applied itself and I decided to slow down and take my time...I was after all, in no particular hurry. I am reminded of this 'slow mo' idea almost every time I sit in my diesel engine car, after the initial 'switch on' I sit and wait the appropriate minute or less for the ignition lights to go off before starting the car - I normally do this before belting up and then proceed to drive away doing up the belt as I go. I now know that after turning the car on if I take the time to belt up, immediately afterwards lo and behold the lights have expired and I can start the engine.

I digress...I stuck with my pacesetter all the way into Barrou, even allowing a car and trailer (he was obviously in a hurry) to overtake both of us at a blind spot. As we both turned into the village the pacesetter stopped outside my house and I had to stop to allow a car coming in the opposite direction to pass. The occupants - two ladies sat tight though they seemed to be doing quite a bit of looking around. I parked the car in the riverside carpark as I do but instead of going home I walked up the road to say hello to some of our friends on Grand Rue who had just arrived from the UK. On my way up the road I glanced back to see if the ladies had left the car. It wasn't until I arrived at our friends gate that they decided it was in fact our house they were looking for and I saw them walk through the gates. I did an about turn and quickly returned down the road to find the ladies knocking on my door - who could they be? As they turned to see me coming in, their smiling faces and the magazines they were holding gave the game away. Now they were quite charming, inviting us along to a meeting later on in the month in Chatellerault that was aimed at 'their English friends'.  I can only assume that they have access to where 'their English friends' live as they had driven directly to our house to invite us - how kind of them!. I thanked them and explained I was going visiting my neighbours so our meeting was short but charming,

Monday, 18 March 2013

Pull yourself together man...

After a very frustrating day in Tours* last Wednesday looking for curtains for the bedrooms and salon in Les Balcons, we found exactly what we were looking for locally in 'Centrakor' and 'Bricomarche' in Yseures sur Creuse.  'Rogary' at Chambray had the perfect match for the master bedroom but only had 1 pair and no we could not order another pair. We worked our way through all they had on offer but were unable to purchase enough curtains to fit our double aspect windows.We then tried another four stores without success - Jim was by this time, losing the will to live and said he wanted to draw the search to a close. (sorry!)

For anyone not familiar with Centrakor,  it is worth checking out.  They stock curtains, bedlinen, crockery, pots and pans and garden furniture among a myriad of other good value household goods, what is more we were able to order a 4th curtain of a design they had 3off (?) to finish dressing the second bedroom.

*The curtain search here was only because we were visiting a friend in hospital.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Church on Sunday...Descartes, St.George

The 12th century Church of St. George in Descartes is not the town's most redeeming feature but plays, as most churches do, a major part in its history.

 The inside consists of a nave and two side aisles with rather grand pillars. 

The pretty alter sits in a semicircular apse with some attractive stained-glass windows.

There is also a very attractive side alter under a vaulted ceiling.

Philosopher  René Descartes was baptised here in 1596 - there is a plaque confirming this!

 St, George has rather a grand organ which I believe was donated to the church in 1932.

Where's Joan? - couldn't find her here!

This view of the church shows many of the changes it has absorbed over the centuries .The information outside the church states that "It is Norman in style, with a noticeable re-emergant Gothic influence" mmm......

Thursday, 14 March 2013


On a recent visit to Tours to visit a friend in hospital we made a point of using the trip to do a bit of shopping which included a trip to Ikea. It is reported that the store in the city proved to be the most difficult to get approval for in all the company's development plans. The resistance to the store is said to be strong within France but anytime we have visited there certainly has been no lack of cars in the carpark - even their 'meatball lunches' seem very popular!

Our shopping trip meant we also choose to visit the 'BUT' store which has, perhaps not surprisingly, taken on the Ikea format of leading you around the store with arrows on the floor with no means of 'escape' other than going through all of their departments before exiting at the cash desks.

Now Jim has always tried to 'short cut' the system in the Ikea store by starting at the end and going 'backwards' or cutting through displays so as to miss items we don't need to see and we managed a shortcut within the BUT store.

We have had many 'Midnight Express' moments in Ikea, with customers looking at us blankly as if to say 'You are going the wrong way!!'

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Church on Sunday...Azay-le-Ferron

If you visit the small village of Azay-le-Ferron in will probably be to take a look around the chateau that dominates the village square,rather than the Sainte-Nazaire Church opposite but it is worth taking the time out to have a look.

 The church has been a listed 'Historical Monument' since 1927 but its date of origin is more difficult to find -the nave is said to be from the 13th century but other than that I could find little information.

It has a number of interesting wall paintings...

 ...and ancient statues.

This is Saint Barbara with her tower, who? with what? I hear you ask - its all explained  here.

Don't know who this is!

The capitals in the church are said to be reminiscent of those of the cathedral of Angers.

Where's Joan?