Thursday, 23 March 2017

Designing through rose coloured glasses?




We bought (and drank) this bottle of rose recently mainly because Pauline liked the bottle. It is called  'Cote des roses' and is from Gerard Bertrand in the Languedoc region and very nice it was too!


What appealed to her was the bottle design it has a rose cut bottom plus a glass stopper...a design step too far...what do you think?

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Two little abandoned houses in the Loire Valley...





Took this pic of  a 'cabanon de vigne' during our walk around Betz-le-Chateaux at the end of January the surrounding fields are now given over to crops of a different kind. These little houses were used by workers on the vines...



with their own fireplace...



not sure if this led to their sleeping arangements.



This was another (rather grand) abandoned home we spotted.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Hyper linking...


We recently had our new 'Linky' electric meter installed...lovely!

The rollout of 35 million Linky meters across France is costing a total of €4.5/€5 billion. The main costs break down into 80% on procurement and installation of meters, 10% on data concentrators and 10% on an IT system.The costs to ERDF  will apparently be offset by the savings they will make on not employing (in France?) the 2,000 technicians manual meter readers.


After our experience of the 'Link vans' I can understand the high cost of installation. We had received notification of our installation by post  to say our area was just about to be fitted out with the new meters and were awaiting confirmation of a date. However, on discussing this with our neighbour (over aperos) we were advised that we actually had to book an appointment.This actually suited us as we had our houses plus neighbours (part-timers) houses to attend to. Pauline did an excellent job of tying in appointments by phone (which is never easy here) for 6 houses. 

On the appointed day the 'Linky man' arrived in Barrou at 8.30am and Pauline led him around the village (she is now invited to their next social event)  dealing with five of the six properties. He was very efficient,it has to be said. The house in Le Grand Pressigny was booked in for the next day but it would be some other 'Linky man'.

As it happened we had to go over to the house in the afternoon and when we arrived a 'Linky man' was parked across the street attending to our neighbour. As we had a a window of between 10.00 and 12.00 for the next day we asked him if he had time slot for us. He checked his log only to tell us that he wouldn't be doing ours that would be another 'Linky man'. 

The next morning we headed over early so we would not miss him. On arrival we saw the Linky van parked up the road and approached the 'Linky man' to let him know we were at the house and could be done anytime, but he informed us that he was not in fact our 'Linky man', That would be someone else.  Our man did turn up during the alloted time and again did a tidy job of installing our new meter.

Since then, however, we must have seen a dozen  'Linky men' crossing both villages in every direction and they have reappeared opposte our houses on different days attending to different neighbours, now I know that it cannot be easy tying in whole communities but perhaps because of their huge budget the need for efficiency has gone out the window! BTW  the 'Linky men' we were exposed to were very capable and pleasant.

Friday, 17 March 2017

When work can be a pleasure...when in the Loire Valley

Started to prepare the houses for first guests arriving at the beginning of April...but the beautiful day here in Southern Touraine made it less onerous.

Early morning on the river Creuse

Later

Fom the balcony at Les Balcons

Chateau at La Guerche


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Birthplace of William the Conqueror



Sunday's church came courtesy of a visit to the town of Faliase in Normandy. We had decided to check it out after having seen the signs mentioning the castel of William the Conqueror,glad we did.


This is actually where the all-conquering William was born although the fortress you see today probably bears little resemblance to the original castle,some of it actually looks more like a power station!


Sadly time restraints meant we couldn't explore behind the walls...may have to return!




Sunday, 12 March 2017

A church for Sunday...Saint Gervais Saint Protais in Falaise,Normandy.



Travelling back down to the Loire Valley recently from Normandy we stopped of in the town Faliase,mainly to explore its William the Conqueror connection. The church here,dedicated to Saint Gervais Saint Protais. was started by him in the 11th century and finished by his son Henry. The church you see today is in a mixture of styles with 'Gothic' being most prominent. It is a wonder the church is here at all as it has had a very turbulent past.Much of it has had to be rebuilt due to extensive damage sustained during religious and world wars.


As you can see from the image above the WWII damage was extensive, It took a very long time to bring it back to its former glory, worked continued until 1980 but they have done a wonderful job.


Model inside the church showing the extent of the damage

I have, in the past, questioned whether the crafstmen of today could recreate these wonders of a bygone age but the answer lies here...inside is wounderous!















Where.s Joan? She's here head and shoulders above others.












Saturday, 11 March 2017

Randonnee club...a walk around Oyré


On Thursday afternoon we joined fellow members of the Le Grand Pressigny randonnee club for a walk around Oyré just over the border in La Vienne.


Our leader Joel is well acquainted with the options we have in and around Southern Touraine and always finds interesting walks...


which invariably include a few uphill streches.



The recent high winds brought a few additional obstacles in play.



A little oasis along the route.



With spring almost having arrived the farmers are becoming even more active.




The group stop to admire a tree with blossom...



and nearby small chateau.




Looks as if it was quite a grand place in the past.




We passed by this property which could have been an agricultural museum with all the old farm equipment there was lying around.

After a good 12km is was  good to catch site of the church again.


If you haven't visited the church ,Saint-Sulpice in Oyré ,you should...you can check out my visit here