Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Villefagnan – Boucle 32 – Ride B (23 miles)

The department of the Charente has over 30 well signposted circular bike rides. Usually each circular has 3 rides ranging from very easy to difficult. This doesn’t necessarily mean the ride is easy or difficult, the rating seems to be decided by the distance, but that doesn’t seem to follow either as ride B on one map can be shorter than B on another map. Oh well, the rides are always fun and you get to see things you would miss by car.

The church of Saint Maixent at Empuré is dated from the 12th century. Some parts of the church had collapsed over the years but the church is now being properly cared for and in 1914 it was given Historic Building status. The church also has many paintings from the Middle Ages on its walls.

The bread oven at Ferret hadn't been used for 55 years when it was restored and reopened in September 2011. It was covered in brambles, the roof needed replacing and the walls were re-pointed in lime. It is now in full working order and can bake bread once again for the village.

Boucle 32 Map
Boucle 32

Saint Maixent Church, Empuré

Boucle 32 1

Keen young cyclist

Boucle 32 2

Which one do I ride :)

Boucle 32 4

Old bread oven at Ferret.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Assorted Trips

A weekend of trips for us. Firstly on Friday, we took a trip 2 hours north to the petit village of Le Petit-Pressigny in the south of Touraine to visit blogger friends Gaynor and Tim. They had invited us to lunch plus a walk around their lovely village which is so pretty and steeped in history. We had a great time and was treated to a fantastic lunch. I’m sure we’ll visit the area again soon. Thank you both for your hospitality x

G and T

Sunday was spent closer to home, visiting the Hope Associations book sale which raises money for Cancer Research. Roger found me the perfect book, ha ha very funny!! Afterwards, we took a stroll round the Vide Grenier, which was also taking place in the village and bought 2 lovely pictures for the house for 5€, bargain. From there we travelled to Celles-sur-Belle for an auto jumble, which Roger wanted to take a peek at. It’s all just boxes of nuts and bolts to me, but to the trained eye and if you know what you’re looking for, I’m sure it was all very interesting. There were lots of olds bikes, some makes I’d never heard of, all in immaculate condition.

Curtain Book
Auto 2

On Monday, the annual trip, arranged by Meridien Green took us north again to the historic city of Saumur. Ironically, last year the trip was all based outdoors and the weather was foul, but this year it was beautiful and we spent most of the day in caves! The first part of the trip was a guided tour of Ackerman wines with tasting afterwards. The tour told us which grapes were used to produce their sparkling wines plus info on the maturing and bottling process. Very interesting but very chilly in the caves and of course I was well prepared with my flip-flops on. A short stroll up the road brought us to Les Tables des Fouées for lunch and again it was in a cave, but heated this time. We then travelled to see the riding school of Cadre Noir, one of the best riding schools in France. The name comes from the black military uniforms the riders wear. There are up to 350 horses at any one time, some belong to the school and some are privately owned and are trained for competitions and dressage. If you love horses, its a great place to visit.

Cadre Noir 1
Cadre Noir 2
Cadre Noir 3

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Wood Up, Wood In and Wood Down

Wood Up - We seem to have had a woody week last week. Firstly our gate needed repairing, it was in such a state. Rotten wood and a rusty frame all needed renewing. Rogers done a great job, new wood bought, stained and cut to size and reattached plus the frame was repainted. The channel drain (which diverts rain water, so it doesn’t run down the drive) also needed repairing, so that was redone as well. What a difference, so pleased with the result.

Gates 1
Gates 2
Gates 3

Wood In – More wood was delivered, but this is to burn this year. No popping it over the fence this time, but dumped on the drive, right outside the stable for us to stack. Most was in good sized pieces, but some needed chopping. Roger chopped while I moved the wood into barn. Took us about 3 hours to chop and move it all, but a job well done.

More Wood 1
More Wood 2
More Wood 3

Wood Down – We had a few windy days last week which gave us our first tree casualty. It was totally dead so would have fallen eventually. Not to worry, more wood to burn.

Tree Down

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Sewing Pains

Anyone that knows me well, knows I dislike sewing with a passion, but the hall curtains needed taking up and I’d had my friends sewing machine for long enough. It was time to get the job done and return it to her. The miserable wet and windy weather over the weekend had driven me indoors, so it was time to tackle the deed. An easy, quick and enjoyable job for some but a dreaded one for me. So I took a deep breath, got the pins and scissors out and with each curtain measuring 90" x 108", there was a lot of material to deal with. After I’d cut the first curtain, the air was blue as I realised I hadn’t measured the hem properly. Thankfully I hadn’t cut it too short, but there was lots of faffing trying to get it right. The second went far more smoothly. Confidence restored, I decided to make tie-backs with the waste material. I look very serious in the middle photo, but some things take all of a girls concentration. Glad they are finished and the hall looks lovely and cosy now. Just need some new tiles to finish it off.

Sewing Pains 1
Sewing Pains 2