Saturday, 27 August 2016

Same place, different angle

It's a bit hot right now, so not the kind of weather for strenuous excercise, or for work of any kind that can be avoided or postponed.  So a brisk but gentle walk with pauses is in order.

Friday, 19 August 2016

New bar

We were in Laval the other day sorting out some business and doing some shopping, and stumbled across a new bar/restaurant by the château.  We had lunch there.

My choice from menu du jour was steak brochettes.  I never ask for rare steak in a restaurant I don't know, since I can't stand bad rare steak, so I asked for medium.   They were a perfect medium; pink all the way through except for a nicely seasoned, browned surround.   No gristle either, so it'll be rare next time.   Anita's choice of fish was also delicious.

The bright yellow thing standing on the floor by the bar area is a meat slicer, the kind where you turn the handle and a cradle holding the meat oscillates back and forth past a rotating circular cutting disc.  It worked too, cos I turned the handle to check.  I'm not sure if it quite works as a decoration, but it certainly is eye-catching.

We were asked, when we went in, if we had booked, which surprised us, Laval not being known as a hive of activity in the mid-August holiday season.  But the place got quite full as we ate, and we decided that a reservation would be a worthwhile precaution for future visits.  It's called Le Bistro Du Palais.  We'll be back.

Oh, and the view from the rear terrace is nice, too.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

How much wood?

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?   Apparently, a woodchuck is a real animal, also known as a groundhog.

My Dutch friend secured a firewood supply deal with an owner of a forest in the next village.   The trees are felled and left in place, and it's then up to us to slice them up and get them home.  We can then let them dry out for a couple of years before burning them.

This pile of oak logs is this year's result - should keep us going for at least three winters, maybe more.   The transportation took some time - we piled it into the trailer you can see in the photo, and also in the body of the Renault Espace (it needs a bit of a clean-out, now).  It took us 7 return trips plus a half-load, to clear the pile.   Now we have to stack it, a job that can wait until the weather is a bit less hot.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

15 août

The 15th August is a bank holiday in France, the feast of the Assumption, I believe.   Our village has a low-key fête during the day; the local bistro is opened and there is a competition for painters who paint street scenes of the village.   It's a chance to swap news, catch up with the neighbours and meet new people.

We strolled down for lunch (sausage inna bun) with chips, and then returned later for the evening barbecue, candle illuminations and concert.   The barbecue is a big social affair, you can usually find people you know to sit with, and in any case, company is convivial.

I got the impression that there were fewer people present during the day than last year, but the evening event was crowded.

The lighting of candles is a simple idea, but it casts a gentle spell on the village after dark as you walk around.  And the undulating relief of the place leads to long-distance views of the candles.   The layout of the displays  changes every year, as people are present or on holiday, or new owners move in.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

How many butterflies?

Vide grenier

The car boot sale at Thorigné was smaller this year: fewer stands, fewer people attending. There was a greater proportion of professionals among the stallholders too, not so much kids' stuff, fewer second-hand bargains.  Our haul?  A 2-person fondue pot and a CD, and some miniatures for Anita's collection.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Le Bigot

Yesterday we went to see a mill (called Le Bigot, strangely enough) for sale.  It was a depressing experience.   The building was abandoned in the 70s, and has been pillaged over the years since.  The wheel has almost completely rotted away.   Worse, the river on which it operates - Le Vicoin- is being stripped of the dams that make the mills operate, so I suspect there is no chance of doing anything useful with the water power, at least in the near future.   Of course, our grandchildren's generation will be rebuilding them as fast as they can, but that's irrelevant today.

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