Sunday, May 22, 2011

On Our Own Again - but not for long!

White Admiral on the Spurge
We returned Peter and Jennifer to Rodez last Sunday. We made a day of it and went via Belcastle. The village is medieval in character, with cobbled streets and lauze-roofed (stone tiled) houses. The bulk of the village and the castle (Château de Belcastel) are situated on the steep North bank of the Aveyron river.  It was nominated as one of the most beautiful villages of France.  
Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, is an independent association, created in 1982, which aims to promote assets of small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage. As of 2008, 152 villages in France have been labelled as the "Plus Beaux Villages de France". Belcastle was indeed, very attractive as these photographs - taken by Jim, show:

Communal Bread Oven

A free week in the Gite if you know what this is.

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Interesting detail on a balustrade

View of the Castle from the bridge
Statue outside the Marie

View of the village from the Castle

Monday saw the demise of my laptop. On Tuesday we drove into Figeac hoping to find somewhere to get it repaired. We asked at the shop where we bought a printer and the proprietor groaned when we told him it was a Mac. He doubted we would find anywhere local who could do it. I have decided to send it back to the UK to the place to bought it - AT Computers in Cardiff. 

Somewhere we remember seeing a UPS depot but have forgotten where. No record of it on the Web. We will try other towns next week when we are out shopping or showing Ben the sites. Ah! Who is Ben? 

Some of you may remember that I had considered Woofers for help with work around the domaine. I did nothing much about getting any and one of Peter's sisters recommended So after all our visitors had gone I logged onto the site and registered as a host. Within 12 hours I had heard from a young Canadian called Ben, fresh out of college and newly arrived in Paris. We seemed to suit and on Friday we picked him off the train at Maurs and he is here for 10 days. More news of him next week.

Two more projects started. Jim is making a small herb garden out of these tubs.

and I plan to do something with this:

I have six of them - they come with speciality potatoes in them and are about 14cm x 22cm. Any ideas?

We found one of these in the dustbin. No - it is not a rat - look at the tail.

A Vole - probably Field
This morning (Sunday) we introduced Ben to the French version of a boot-fair - a vide-grenier. This one was in Leynhac and not bad. Ben purchased some French cups and a fistful of foreign money in notes which he said was worth a good bit more that the €3.00 he paid for it. No more stuffed animals, alas. Jim bought a rusty bill-hook blade.


  1. Is the Vole dead? People who steal voles from dustbins in France are known as 'voleurs.' The tails are a great delicacy and Edwardian Englishmen used to make tales out of voles (cf Wind in the Willows). You could use the baskets to fill and store Jim's potatoes or summer fruit. What's a spurge? Or is it that plant?

  2. No, the vole is not dead. Jim set him free to rampage in the compost.
    I hope Jim has more fruit and veg than will fit in the baskets.
    This is a definition of a Spurge: Any of various plants of the genus Euphorbia, characteristically having milky juice and small unisexual flowers that are surrounded by a cuplike structure composed of fused bracts.