Monday, 31 October 2016

Sunday's brocante at Martizay...

We got a blue sky and sun yesterday for Martizay's popular annual brocante.

It is a large affair which and took two hours to get around so you also get the benefit of a good walk.

It had its own 'pound shop' well euro actually but they are just about the same now anyway !

We didn't enquire after the price of these as we knew they would be dear! (sorry)

The rear of one of the stalls...

as Tom would say ''you can leave your hat on''

My favourite item bar none.

Liked this 'assemble your own doll stall'

Chrysanthemums on sale -check out this older post for their significance

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Church on Sunday...chapel at Chateau Beauregard

This week I'm taking you to the ruins of a small chapel that sits in the grounds of Chateau Beauregard in Loir-et-Cher. It sits rather delightfully under a canopy of mature trees.

There is little information to be found,even from the chateau's site,on this charming little building other than it was built prior to the 15th century and was tied to the original manor house on the site.

There is a carving above the door displaying the mark (shells) of the pilgrims of Saint Jacques de Compostela indicating it served as a stop on the route for the pilgrims.

I understand the chapel does still get used occasionally as the backdrop for local wedding ceremonies.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Progress at the 'project'...

Now that we have come to the end of our holiday rental season are at last making some progress on our La Guerche 'project', scary that it's been a year since I posted that! What did I do last winter?...oh I forgot I had another little project at the Old Walnut Mill So,update on La Guerche...after clearing out both the grenier above the house and the 'shop' (left) of what seemed like hundreds of wooden crates and boxes plus the usual 'treasures' an old French loft reveals we found that we had another potential ensuite bedroom.

Not in the main loft but above the shop, only problem was access currently is via a loft door in the courtyard.

So it was necessary to cut a new access doorway through from upstair...

It is a 600mm thick wall and took a bit of doing...

it's amazing how much stone you end up with!

The access is now on your right as you come up the stairs to what will be our lounge.

According to friends I have saved myself a few thousand (?) euros by doing it myself...that makes the hard work worth it!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Cormorant & Egrets feeding together on the river Creuse.

Over the last week or so we've noticed two groups of Egrets hanging out on the Creuse here in Barrou.

I have found it difficult to get any decent shots because as soon as I start any sort of descent towards the river they're off! Tried to catch them in flight - this is them (you'll just have to take my word for it) behind 'Le Bourg' where I tried to sneak up on them from behind the trees - will never make a wild-life photographer!

Lately they have been joined by a Cormorant - the black blob to the right of the three white ones below.

Now if only I could take pics like Tim's!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Something for the weekend...brocantes Sunday 30th October


AZAY LE RIDEAU  Brocante de l'ile **

AZAY LE RIDEAU  Foire au Pommes Vide Grenier ***

BEAUMONT  Vide-greniers ***

MARTIZAY  Brocante Vide-greniers ***

POCE SUR CISSE  Brocante de Livres, Vide-bibliothèque *

REUGNY  Foire à la Bernache et Brocante ****


VERETZ  Vide-poussettes *

Clandestine cake open secret

The last time Pauline hosted the Loire Valley's 'Clandestine Cake Club' in our little house it was a bit of a squeeze but as it was July we were able to have the participants spill out into the garden. 

Agreeing to host in October may have been a bit of challenge but after a good number of people had confirmed their attendance we checked with Miki the owner of 'Le Bourg' if we could use the house for the afternoon and she generously agreed...

and it proved a good decision.

The theme for the event was 'If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake' 

As ever there was a very good selection of tasty gateaux .

Each baker had to say a few words as to why they had baked their particular cake as their 'signature bake'.Above is Jean , who started it all here in the Loire Valley, giving the history of her 'Guinness cake'.

As it happened we had a beautiful October afternoon for hosting,

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Stihl haven't found what I'm looking for...

This is what took us on a road trip to up to Blois a couple of weeks ago.

My brother Richard went on to an auction site where the pompiers at Blois were selling off some redundant equipment. He was interested in a Land Rover but bidding got out of hand. So rather than come away empty handed he bid on a chain saw, though not actualy the one above. Now he did this from his house in Provence  where he could make use of it - the problem was it was in the fire station at Blois! So we live in the same region, could we nip up and collect it? It's actually a 250km round trip for us but we agreed to do it, against our better judgement - he is my brother after all. The problem was that we would then have to get it to him.

I decided that we could make a road trip out of it and take in one of the few Loire Valley Chateaux we hadn't visited,Chateau Beauregard - that will be another post, first we had to find the pompiers! We don't have sat-nav but it looked straightforward enough on googlemaps. Of course didn't know there was a bit of a one-way system going on which meant  we got a wee bit lost. I knew it was in an industrial area in the north of the city so just followed my nose. Unfortunately it didn't seem to know the way! After some mis-guidance from a local resident, some cross words between driver and co-pilot and the help of a young man's smartphone we arrived at 11-55...oh oh!

This could have been disastrous,how do you kill two hours on an industrial estate? but no they couldn't have been nicer. Unfortunately the said chainsaw,which had not been used for six months (and looked a bit rough),it had a ticket marked OK on a date that long ago, failed to kick into life even after quite a few hefty tugs from a large fireman plus a new spark plug being fitted! We let him know we were not happy,although our body language when we arrived had probably already made him arrive at that conclusion. The solution after a bit of frowning and huffing and puffing was to go into the storeroom and bring us the one photographed above which started first time and looked a lot better than the one he had won in the how do we get it to Richard in his other house in Paris?