Monday, 5 August 2013

Latest ramblings!

I want to share with you a comparison of my life here with my life in the UK.  I think most of you know how clear our roads are, here in rural France.  It was particularly brought home to me as I drove over to my hairdresser the other day.  She's about 18 kilometres away from where we live - that's about 12 miles.   I allow about 25 minutes for the journey and am always early!  My hairdresser in the UK was less than 4 miles from where we lived and yes! I allowed the same amount of time to get there even though I should have been able to get there within 10 minutes!

And as I was driving over to have my hair done, I did what I've been meaning to do for months.  I stopped and took a couple of photos because there are such  breath-taking views along the way.  From where I stopped, this was the view on one side of the road....

....and this is the view on the other .....

To continue with the theme from my previous post, this last weekend we went to a 'vide greniers' in a small village called Arçais in the Marais Poitevan area.  I had heard about this village from my friend Donna who went there coincidentally last weekend and her pictures of it looked so good I decided we should visit it too.  So when I discovered there was a vide greniers on there, it seemed the perfect opportunity to go.  Our wonderful Satnav took us a very long winded way there and it took us well over an hour but I sometimes think it's no bad thing because you get to see even more of the area that way.  Anyway, we got there, parked up and had a wander round.  Here's a picture of the main street, as we arrived...
There was little to interest us but I did succumb to a nice bracelet for €3!
After a while, we decided to have some lunch in what looked like a very nice restaurant.  It was packed which was a good sign too!  They were rushed off their feet so we had a bit of a wait but it was worth it.  Here's Danny tucking into his "Entrecote frites"
and me, looking very serious for some reason as I tuck into my "Moules frites"...!!!

In case you're wondering why we are eating indoors - which is most unusual for us! - it's because there were no seats outside that were à l'ombre - or 'in the shade' and I couldn't eat with the sun beating down on me!

Suddenly, while we were finishing off our meal, there was the sound of trumpets being played outside.  It turned out to be a procession of people dressed in historical costume; they walked up and down the road then congregated on a makeshift stage.  Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea what it was about though!!

Here are pictures of it....

The sign at the front of the stage includes the words "Les Grelets" which seems to be a type of medieval musical bell instrument.  The "Xanton Chassenon" on the sign is the name of a village in the Vendée region which I assume is where the troupe came from.  Fascinating though and if any of my readers can throw more light on it, I'd be very interested to know!!!
Now just a few titbits before I sign off.  Back in the spring when I was optimistic about how my garden was going to develop, I bought some fruit bushes that were to go into my potager (kitchen garden).  Of course that hasn't happened yet but I planted the bushes in large pots in the meantime and was thrilled to discover that I actually had some raspberries!  These are the very first three of my raspberries!!

Of course, there's been more since then but it was so exciting to find these first ones that I just had to rush out and take a photo!  Can you imagine what I'll be like when I start growing things properly in my potager?!  (Note the optimism!)

I don't want to go on about the garden - there'll be plenty of time to tell you about it when things progress.  But in the meantime, Finn and Liam keep losing their ball in the hole!  Well, I say 'losing' - we actually think that Finn drops it in there to upset Liam and amuse himself.  So this has been a very common sight for the last few weeks.....

However.... in the last couple of days, both Finn and Liam have worked out how they can go in and out of the hole themselves.  On the one hand it's very naughty of them and we should be reprimanding them..... but on the other hand, it does save Danny having to lie prostrate at the edge of the hole on an almost daily basis!!

Now... an amusing little something to finish on......about what Danny and I have called the "gravillon fairy"!!  The French word "gravillon" means gravel or loose chippings and they are used for repairing potholes in the roads.    All around us, we keep coming across lanes which have been repaired recently.  But when do they do the repairs?  These are lanes quite close to the house but we don't see or hear any lorries that might be involved in doing the repairs during the day nor do we hear them at night.  So it's a mystery and Danny and I have decided that there simply must be a "gravillon fairy" at work!
À bientôt mes amis


  1. Originaire d’une petite commune du Sud-Vendée : Xanton-Chassenon, qui se situe à 10 km de Fontenay le Comte, les Grelets de Santun vous présentent des danses et des chants traditionnels de Vendée et du Poitou.
    Pourquoi ce nom ?

    En patois, les grelets signifient : « petits grillons », ceux que l’on trouve l’été dans les champs, et surnom donné aux enfants qui sont à l’origine du groupe.
    Et Santun qui est le nom de la commune en patois !

    Petits grillons = crickets
    A local traditional dance group which performs at local festivals and events. Dances from Vendée and Poitou.

  2. and this is their website!

    you could ask them to perform at the opening of your pool!