Sunday, 19 February 2017

My brief tenure as President...

Yesterday was our annual 'Fete de la Saint Blaise' and I had the honour of being its President for the day. It starts off with a church service followed by a march behind the brass band around the village square to the schoolyard for the 'Vin d'honneur' before settling in for the main event.

As ever the 'traiteur' did a great job of setting up and providing us with an excellent repas and our 'Comite des Fetes' contribution was, as ever, excellent.

One of the good things about the day is how our 'master of ceremonies' Dominique keeps it going...he does a great job of encouraging the local singers to do their bit and generally keeps things moving along rather nicely.

This year he also had a table of our English friends, who came out to support us to 'banter' with and his good humor was, I think, appreciated.

Cally's contributions were well received and even Mike's risky 'Swing low sweet chariot' (with animations) went down well!. I think I managed to carry off my presidency without having offended anyone or having to resort to fake news, so that was something. I even managed to give my speech in French,short as it was!

PS We managed a brief stint at the 'bal' (after a nap) in the evening.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

La Guerche taking shape and warming up...

After a rather cold snap when temperature got to -3 deg inside the house, it is getting a little easier to work on our project in La Guerche as the temperature is on the rise both inside and out.

Things are beginning to take shape,literally!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Adding a chateau...Chateau de Beauregard in the Loire Valley

Living here in Southern Touraine it has been a joy and a relatively painless exercise visiting almost all the major chateaux of this beautiful region, that is the Loire Valley but for whatever reason, perhaps the mixed reviews on the site that 'advises you about trips' we had not made it to Chateau de Beauregard in Loir-et-Cher.

Back in October while on a trip up to Blois we decided to put that right, I am only now writing about it as I have added the chateau to my list of chateaux featured on my Loire Valley guide.

The main attraction of the chateau is its portrait gallery (over 300 of them!) and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

You even get the chance to be king for the day...well you have to - don't you?

                                                         The young (?) pretender

Actually for us the highlight was the grounds which were worth a walk around. In an effort to add more interest for any visitors they have created an external gallery within the garden which is a virtual history trail.

Should you add this to you itinerary of Loire Valley chateaux? It will not be on many peoples list but if you want to escape any crowds or are visiting Chambord,Cheverny or Blois then you could add it... if your budget allows.

You can see more on Beauregard here

Monday, 13 February 2017

French lessons 'on the hoof'...

Second outing with the Le Grand Pressigny randonnee club on Thursday  afternoon in the countryside around Chaumussay. We have now paid our fees and handed in our medical certificate to say we are fit enough! The walk criss-crossed a number of routes courtesy of our group leader who does all the pre-planning...

...although  he wasn't always leading the pack

One of the interesting aspects of these walks,for me, is that you sometimes wander through small hamlets that you would otherwise never see, catching glimpses of real French rural life.

This house still had its xmas decorations up...but then it is only February!

As I said last week it is also a good opportunity to practice my poor French and learn new words.

Today's word was 'mare'  - a small pond as opposed to an 'etang'

- like 'L'etang de la Forge' which we just skirted past (I had to deviate from the route slightly to get theses pics). I have featured this in the past as you pass it when yo do the formal walk from Chambon

It was a bit of a grey day weatherwise but it did not detract any pleasure from the walk.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Church on Sunday - Saint-Gervais Saint-Protais - Noyant-de-Touraine

This Sunday we are visiting the neo-Gothic church of Saint-Gervais Saint-Protais in Noyant-de-Touraine.      the site has had a church since the twelfth century.

The church has a standard layout of central nave leading to the central apse and side chapels.

Where's Joan?

She's here, looking very saintly...

unlike this fellow who appears to be trying to hitch a lift for him and his dog!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Non perdu à Villeperdue...

We went along to our first Vide Greniers on Sunday at Villeperdu, it was held in the sportshall undercover for obvious reasons. As we were there and it didn't take us long to check out what was on offer, we decided to seek out a walk for the day.There was no route plan in the centre of town but we spotted some yellow markings as we were heading out. They led us to the charming private Chateau Boisbonnard on the outskirts of town where they went off in a couple off directions. It was a good spot to pick up the trail as we knew  we would end up back where we started!

The route was well marked which was encouraging.

It took us left past the sportshall we had visited earlier but almost immediately were told by the markings to turn right but they were only sending us over the zebra crossing...such detail.

It was then a little climb over the railway line...

which is the main Paris to Bordeaux TGV line which actually splits the town in two.

We were taken down the road that runs parallel to the track on the other side of the bridge and were just saying that we wouldn't enjoy living here as it's a busy line when we were overtaken by this chap.

A view of the church (which I have featured her) from the other side of the track.

Another reason it's not a great place to live...this is one of your neighbours.

Although who knows how it may look in the future? This is just around the corner.

Its neighbour hasn't quite had the same sympathetic conversion applied!

Back out into the countryside I spotted what looked like two dogs in the distance.

They turned out to be part of a large family of deer which all raced away as we approached.

We were soon heading back over the railway line on our way back to the car... was no surprise to see another train hurtling by.

It was soon back to Chateau Boisbonnard and the car.