Friday, 31 May 2013

A waste of a good walk...

Played golf on Monday at a very damp and 'tight' (trees) La Roche Posay. First time in 3 years...was as bad as I expected...reminded me of a little ditty I composed for a golf outing many years ago.
(To the tune of Oasis's 'Wonderwall')


Today was going to be the day
That I would learn to follow through,
By now, I should have realised
That that was the thing to do.

I don’t suppose that anybody
Plays the game of golf the way I do.
And all the shots I hit today went winding
And none of them could be described as ‘blinding’

There are many swings
That I would like to show to you.
But I don’t know how.
But maybe, it’s gonna be the putts that save me
‘cause after all, there my blunderballs

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Lang May Yer Lum Reek...

Yesterday we attended an international gathering at Jean and Nick's home under the shadow of the chateau at Le Grand Pressigny. We were there to celebrate the start of the rest of Jean's life with a group of people who have all arrived in this part of the world for different reasons but all of whom are embracing its culture with gusto.We are sure Jean will make the most of her new found 'freedom' and would encourage anyone who is swithering about whether or not to make a life changing decision to simply do, the older we get the more abundantly clear becomes the reality of just how short our time here is! 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Church on Sunday...Artannes-sur-Indre

Today we visit the church of Saint-Maurice in Artannes-sur-Indre, which is actually annexed to the former summer home of the archbishop of Tours.*  Although the church has 11th century origins today we see a mix of styles that modification over the centuries have applied, giving its exterior a rather clumsy look, I feel. 

The nave is 11th century, the tower from the 12th... 

...the vaulted bays of the choir from the 13th century

and the chapel from the15th century.

The church has some fine stained glass windows.

Where's Joan?...

she's given pride of place with a very fine life-size statue 

The spruced up entrance to the church is one of the church's more redeeming features.

*The former 'summer' home of the Archbishop of Tours behind,and joined to the church...

...apparently now owned by an Englishman.

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Friday, 24 May 2013

French for entrepreneur...

George W. Bush (that pearl of wisdom) is reportedly credited with the the classic 'the problem with the French is they have no word for entrepreneur' Well it's their word and the spirit of entrepreneurship (is that a word?) is alive and well in Villandry.

What at first seemed like a series of mail boxes or secure lockers at the entrance to the car park turned out to be an annex of the nearby grocer's (800 mtrs according to the sign) who'd obviously become frustrated at missing the huge 'passing trade' that is the visitors to the ever popular Chateau and Gardens 

So he has brought his fruit and veg. to them!

 On offer is a selection of different 'combos' of vegetables or fruit and even Fresh eggs (well I'm sure they will be when put in) - very enterprising.

Somehow don't think it would work in UK where it would be seen as a food source and cash dispenser!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

One of our bridges is missing...

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Anyone looking at the map of Tours on '' might think that the 'Wilson Bridge' had collapsed again (4arches collapsed in 1978) and the view now might be similar now to that of the bridge at Avignon below.

Le Pont d'Avignon

I can reassure you that as recently as the 22nd of last month it was still there in all its glory!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Redeeming feature...

Or should that be revealing feature?. Sitting to the left of the square (Place de l'Eglise) in front of Sunday's church was this open-plan toilet block. No longer in use but just what you may have wanted to expose the ladies leaving Sunday service to in the past!

Its not the first time we have featured a church toilet and most probably not the last!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Can you guess what it is yet?

Did you notice this odd item in the church yesterday? It might not look out of place in an episode of Dr. Who! 

This is them undressed - they are gas heaters with their cylinders suitably dressed for service! 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Church on Sunday...Saint Romain in Trogues

I had just tried the doors of Saint Romain in Trogues and found yet another locked church. Disappointed I returned to the car to drive away. Just before I did, a car drew up and a man got out and opened the door.
He was here to repair one of the locks and was happy to let me in as he fiddled with whatever he was doing.So just like in Descartes a few weeks ago I had arrived at an opportune moment.

The church is faorly modern by Touraine standards, it was built,in a neo-Gothic style, as recently as 1880 to replace the old 15th century church that once stood here.It is made up of a nave with two bays. The three stained glass windows in the choir behind the altar are again by the Lobin 'factory' of Tours.

The windows along the nave are of a more recent, I'm sure, with a simple design. Perhaps replacing much older windows. When I view modern examples of stained glassed windows that have replaced original work I sometimes wonder if their style relects a lost art / skill or it's more to do with economics.

The church has a rather unusual round window within the bell tower.

Where's Joan?

No Joan...unless this is a representation of her before she was 'called up'

Apparently the new Church is oriented North-South while the former was East-West.

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Tight squeeze..

Caught this truck and its equally long trailer trying to negotiate the narrow streets of Le Grand Pressigny - the driver managed this manoeuvre with only inches to spare.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wistful wisteria...

The wisteria at 'Les Balcons'  is probably looking better than it ever has...

providing us with a pretty route down to the lower garden.

But it pales into insignificance when you see this

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Another one for my collection, bicycle used by one of my neighbours to get to his allotment. Love the addition of the wooden carrier box, adding to the list of materials used in its construction.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Old red eyes is back...

Two H&S issues. Yesterday while strimming some weeds, without a visor (forgot to put it in car) I was splattered by a weed (tall thing with yellow flower,cure for warts?). Bit uncomfortable but after a little rinsing got the job finished. At home Pauline brought out the eye wash capsules - that should have made a difference - it did, unfortunately she gave me 'Mercurochrome' an antiseptic,clear and in a little capsule like the eye wash. This isn't a great cure! More rinsing and a painful red eye. Two things to remember:always,always wear eye protection while strimming and mark your first aid items clearly!

Wouldn't have minded if had been from a heavy drinking session.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Hope it isn't contagious...

Spotted this company car from 'Centre des Monuments nationaux',you can have it in every colour you want!  

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Church on Sunday,Cravant-les-Côteaux

This is actually the former parish church of the old village of Cravant-les-Côteaux  (Vieux-Bourg), more detail here... 


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Friday, 10 May 2013

Wisteria...and a lane

This little house is on Grand Rue here in Barrou. Its wisteria always puts on a great show after being cut hard back mysteriously (never seen it being worked on) every year. The house and I can only presume,the wisteria, have been up for sale for a while now. It is only the downstairs section as the steps lead to a separate small apartment. I have actually had the 'tour' of the house as a prospective purchaser,although not by choice!

I was coming back from the boulangerie one morning when an old gent ushered me in, thinking he was looking for assistance,I followed. Once in the 'house' which is actually tiny he explained to me he had only kept it as a place to use when he was in the area for 'La Chasse' (hunting) but he was now of an age where this was no longer possible.He also let me know,I'm sure there was a tear in his eye,that he had also lost his favourite hunting dog, whose large framed photo hung above the mantelpiece. Interestingly he, the dog, seemed to be staring out the Boar's head mounted on the opposite wall!

 He was an interesting and charming character and had obviously heard the story of us buying up the village (we are not) and probably thought it would be a valuable asset to our (non)expanding portfolio .

If you are interested he let me know you also get 'part of the lane' to the side of the house,though not sure which part!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

More 'klutz' problems - 'Gaston Lagaffe' rides again...

The things I do to our little car, its been scraped and bashed rescued by a tractor and generally abused.The latest abuse was on Wednesday when I was at a friends property just up behind us here in Barrou.

 I had originally parked on the grass to the right of the above photo as instructed but as I tried to pull away the wheels simply spun on the grass - no problem I thought, just let it roll back wards down onto the gravel path and then drive up the hill - but no - it was literally all down hill from there!! I'm sure your wondering how I ended up sideways took a few manoeuvres I can assure you! As soon as I was on the path I tried to make my ascent  but this time the front wheels simply spun on the gravel. My manoeuvres were in an effort to try and find some hardcore but no joy!

As you can see from this shot I was well and truly entrenched - plus my front spoiler was now scraping the only piece of solid ground around - happy days! I had to walk back the 2km down to the village in the search for some assistance. First call to my good friend and neighbour David, sadly not at home, then to our ex-garage proprietor, again not in. Then around to the local farmer who had helped me out previously but again no response. I went back (2km) to the car to try again. A little later Pauline and David arrived - after attaching a tow rope and a lot of stone filling and positioning by David we eventually got it out and up the slope.I backed-filled the holes with the stones we used to reduce the chances of it happening again.

Then covered it with the gravel/sand that had caused the problem.