Sunday, July 3, 2011

Anyone for Boules?

Peacock on Buddleia  (Black Knight)
On Sunday, in our efforts to show Yan the delights of living in rural France we identified a couple of Foires in villages we hadn't previously visited.  First we set off for Noailhac in the Averyron. The afternoon was very hot - it reached 40' before we got back home, and the route was winding and laborious, as usual. On the way we passed a ruined chateau being restored. The Chateau de Pagax.

Rather splendid - or will be when it is finished.
At Noailhac we found folk sitting around a tented area where line dancing was in progress in a desultary fashion. We sat and had a beer apeice and waited for something more exciting to happen. This turned out to be an egg-and-spoon relay race.
After taking a picture or two of the village we left to try our luck at St Jean Mirabel. We seemed to have missed all the action here too so we returned home. All we had for the afternoons driving was a few photos, although we did see some lovely scenery. 

The highlight of the day was the second instalment of Our Mutual Friend. I think Yan is quite enjoying it. We have seen it before but we can't remember how it ends. Memory loss with age does serve some purpose as you can watch old films, and re-read books with the same delight and surprise as the first time.

Monday morning saw work started on the boules piste. Yan spent the day trimming the trees and bushes along the river bank which were overhanging the proposed pitch. Jim got the tractor out and removed the turf.
Now all it needs is levelling, some gravel added and a border of some kind. Railway sleepers would be ideal but I expect it will be split logs.

I realise that I haven't elaborated on my Shakespeare idea. It arose out of the evening we spent in the village recently listening to a dramatic reading about the Chinese poet. I thought we could reciprocate by having some performed excerpts of Shakespeare on our 'lawn' in front of the treehouse (which would serve as scenery, especially in the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.) It would have to be when Peter and Jennifer are next here and involve anyone else that we could rope in. I mentioned it to Dennis and Caro when they were here last week and they seemed keen to be involved and I have now heard that Barbara and Lloyd might be persuaded to join us.
Romeo, Romeo - wherefore art thou?
I think an afternoon would be the best time and perhaps followed by refreshments like an English tea with cucumber sandwiches, cake and Pimms. I have started to sort some possible passages - but all in English or some French as well? Well we will see. 

As well as boules there is space for garden badminton so I have ordered the required net and accessories.
Badminton 'court'
Just need to remove pony poo, tractor and dog and to cut the hay.
After the conclusion of Our Mutual Friend (Yan's opinion was that there were too many people in it which made it confusing for him) we watched Amelie - enchanting.

During continuing work on the boules piste I went into Aurillac to get groceries for Thursday's supper with Dennis and Caro.

I cooked Gigot of Mutton (yes, mutton) with Jim's potatoes and a mixed salad. Boodles Orange Fool to follow. A very convivial evening. During the day's preparations who should turn up to fix the chimney but Axel and his brother. Fortunately, I had done the main cooking and had yet to finish cleaning the kitchen which was just as well as a mess was made. They didn't finish so will return 'demaine, apres-midi.'
Saturday - Still work to be done on this but they are returning Mardi prochaine, apres midi.

Friday evening - what a night! We had 3 tickets for 'Nuit du Jazz New Orleans' in the Salle Le Laminoir, Decazaville. Salle Le Laminoir translates as 'Rolling-Mill Hall', which gives you a clue to it's industrial past.
The concert was scheduled to start at 20h45. Ha, ha! 21h30 actually, although there was a group playing outside from eight o'clock which we sat and listened to.
Baiser Vole Quintet Jazz
The best act was the last - 'Swing For Two' featuring Jean-Pierre Bertrand and Frank Muschalle, both on the piano, playing Boogie Woogie. The were accompanied by a group of dancers. I was entranced - nothing for it but for me to learn to play the piano and master the Boogie. It must be easier than trying to learn French. To this end I have ordered a midi player to attach to the computer so that I can practice my five finger exercises.

As we didn't get home after the Jazz until 2.45am Saturday was a quiet day - catching up on sleep, writing my blog and strimming the grass. Yan goes back to Bremen tomorrow (Sunday) via Porto so we will be driving to Rodez. We plan to go via Belcastle so that we can show him the castle.

So, what on the project front?
No patchwork done this week. But a bit of progress on the covered baskets.

Several of the pumpkins now have flowers although they have also suffered from slug attack. Jim has had to make a night patrol.

The grapes are plumping up - 

- as indeed so am I. Back on my diet next week and no more teatime cakes.

Yan and Jim have rebuilt the stone wall beside the seat at Peter's place and the boules piste has had a top dressing of gravel. Nearly there.

The caterpillar I pictured a week or two back is the Mullein Moth, Cucillia verbasci. 

Sometime this week I investigated a picture that I had bought at a vide grenier a while back. The picture which is in postcard format shows two soldiers. 

On the reverse is written:

Kriegsgefangen - Sendung
Louis Guibert 40 ? de ligne
In Soltau zur ziet
Lager Grossenwedermoor
Post Schneverdingen

                                     and addressed to:

Madam Guibert

With some help from Peter and a German lady I have learned that Louis Guibert was a prisoner of war in a camp in Schneverdingen. The card would have been sent to his wife (or mother) informing her of his address. Fascinating.

Next week all about the castle at Belcastle and more . . .

Dragonfly on Jim's gardening gauntlet

1 comment:

  1. My you have all been busy. What a lot has been going on!