Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Not milking it for what it's worth...

On the way home from Sunday's brocante at Chedigny we decided to pop in on the 'Fête du Lait' at Ligueil.

It was all very quiet with little or no reference to 'lait' and the brocante thinly spread around the town.I have since discovered that they are taking a year off as the the festival's President François Boirel pointed out in the 'La Nouvelle Rrepublique': "Organizing such an event, takes a lot of work and at least six months of preparation, "continuing "I noticed that there were fewer people to help set up the different stands, and disassembly. I noticed some shortness of breath " Hence the decision of the association to give a year off. (?) In the past we have not seen much evidence of much of a 'milk' theme, certainly not six month of preparation. Although in 2012 we did have a cow and its calf.

This year we only had a bear!

It was (not) nice to see the men of the village actually used their outside loo on the church wall.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Beautiful village brocante...

Yesterday we chose to visit the brocante in the beautiful village of Chedigny with friends and neighbours Norman and Margaret. We decided to go as it was a lovely day and as they had never actually visited here it was a chance to show them what they were missing.

They didn't obviously see it at its best as its pretty streets were filled with vendors selling every thing from livestock (the shade making sure roast duck wasn't on the menu)...

 ...to the kitchen sink

but there were still opportunities to catch glimpses of just how pretty it was.

It would appear from items on display that the village's rowing club has been disbanded (if it ever had one) or its fitness regime had come to an end.

There was also the inevitable abandoned cuddly toy.

In the afternoon we decided to stop in on the 'Fête du Lait' in Ligueil...more tomorrow.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Church on Sunday...St.Martin's, Angles-sur-l'Anglin

When we visited Angles-sur-l'Anglin as part of our 'Patrimoine' outings last Sunday, I was hoping that the normally-locked parish church of Saint Martin would be open - and it proved to be the case! During our many visits to this beautiful village we have often tried the door as we strolled past.So it was a pleasure to finally walk through its side entrance to see what lay in store.

Like most of the parish churches of this department (Vienne) it is built in a Romanesque style and again like many, has survived the ravages of the 'War of religion' the 'Revolution' and in this particular case a lighting strike (17th century). The first mention of a church on the site is in the 11th century but what we see today is mainly 12th century work with a lot of 19th century renovation.. 

The interior of the church is fairly simple in design relying on statues of various saints and the large carved wooden altarpiece to give it some depth of character.

In the centre of the altarpiece is a rather washed out representation of the 'adoration of the Magi' topped by St.Martin and his cloak.

The nave and apse of the church are complimented with two chapels forming the arms of the traditional 'cross' design.

There are some good examples of 19th century stained glass windows

The church has a panelled vaulted ceiling

Where's Joan?...there is a fine example with a missing sword blade.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Something for the weekend...

Langeais gastronomy festival

With this event and its morning market Langeais could be the place to be this Sunday.

For those treasure hunters among us there are also a brocante at Ligeuil and Chedigny.

You can read more about France's gastronomic weekend here:

Friday market at Vouvray...

...I wouldn't bother! We visit Vouvray quite often as the 'Cave de Producteurs' is good for taking friends to when they visit plus we tend to take it in when we restock on our favourite tipple at nearby Montlouis-sur-Loire - but we had never visited on market day (Friday).

Last Friday we decided to try it but there were very few vendors and little or no atmosphere...or cheese!

Perhaps it is better during the summer.

 Other than the 'Cave de Producteurs' and the church we find Vouvray rather disappointing for a place that is a major tourist attraction here in the Loire Valley. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Bride and groom...

Before going over to Angles sur l'Anglin for our second day of 'Patrimoining' we went up to have a walk around the brocante at Saint Flovier. We had left Barrou under a misty sky but by the time we arrived here the weather had taken a turn for the better.

Not what do you think the chances are of finding a bride and groom to fit both these outfits?

How could someone bear to part with today's cuddly toy.

These people were obviously quitting the habit.

After Saint Flovier and lunch we headed over to visit the 'Roc Aux Sorciers' at Angles-sur-l'Anglin and to our surprise  found that they too were holding a brocante. So after our cultural visit we had a walk around it under another bluesky.

 Every home should have one - Every home should have one.

Never tire of the views in this beautiful village - or taking pictures. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Patrimoine 2014...part III

Our third 'Patrimoine' visit of the weekend was to the 'Roc Aux Sorciers' at Angles-sur-l'Anglin. A place we'd often thought we should visit so as we could advise guests whether to go or not. In fact I have a free entry ticket that I won in a raffle but never used.It was free to all at the weekend.

It has been open since 2008 so we have had ample opportunities to check it out. This is the site of prehistoric carvings dating from 15 000 years ago, a kind of 'Lascaux of sculpture'. Well actually it's not - as you can see from the top photograph the actual site is at the other side of the village. so what you have here is an 'interpretation

You enter the building you see from the road which is really just a reception hall. I understand that normally you can now only view the exhibition with a guide but on Sunday it was 'open house', although we did eventually catch up with a 'guided' group who seemed to be enjoying the experience with the help of an enthusiastic young guide - all in French of course.As you start your tour you are given information on boards about the original dig and about Suzanne Cassou de Saint-Mathurin who first discovered the carvings in 1950. She had been inspired by an article written in 1933 by archaeologist Lucirn Rousseu  who had originally identified the site as one that had supported prehistoric life. She was hoping to discover a cave similar to the one in Lascaux but instead discovered a 'rock shelter' that had been hidden by the collapse of the earth above it that contained a 20 metre sculptured frieze.

There are no English translations but we were given an informative leaflet in English which meant we did not really need to view the placards (though Pauline did) here or along the concrete (shame) route to the visual display.

The auditorium takes on the challenge of trying to recreate the frieze in an interesting way and they have done a reasonable job of this but I still would have felt a little cheated had I paid the entrance fee.

Outside there is a resin cast version of the frieze which gives a good representation of the original - but might it not have been better as a wall of stone?...maybe this would have been too difficult.

There is also a representation of how a family may have lived - st up outside the multimedia building.I found it interesting that prehistoric man (and woman) were such attractive people... well at least here they are!

The carvings are said to be the most important of their type in Europe - it's such a shame that you don't actually get a chance to catch a glimpse of them. Madam de Saint Mathurin on bequeathing the site to the state stipulated that it must remain closed to the public. I understand the need to preserve such sites but for who? Who actually gets to see them? My personal feeling was that the 'interpretation' could really be anywhere (even Disneyland) as it somehow lacked 'connection' but don't let me put you off visiting and judging for yourself. 


There are guided tours in English every day at 11.00am during July and August.

You can find rates and practical information here