Unconsidered trifles

We went to Foix today: county town of the Ariège, twinned with Ripon, not that anyone takes any notice of that.

It has a castle- a fairy tale castle if you’re that way out, or the scene of medieval jousting and chivalrous knights if you prefer.  It’s a Proper Castle, anyway.

We always enjoy pottering down the city’s narrow little streets, and today these are what we found there…..

…and later, in the mediaeval abbey church of Saint Volusien…….

The church of Saint Volusien.

……these jolly creatures were marching above us, near the high altar.

Click on any image to see full size.

Crepuscule Mark Two

My last post showed a sunrise over Corrèze. This is the sunset from our friends’ house in Laroque d’Olmes. You can’t see the Pyrenees from here, but the foothills, the Plantaurel.

Here’s the view from town.

Lovely as it is to see our friends (five hour lunch, eating, drinking, talking and laughing on a shaded terrace anyone?), Laroque has been a horrible disappointment.

 

Since we left, quelques petits commerces have closed. InterMarché has come to town. And McDonald’s. They’re building a Lidl, so I took a picture of the town through the webbing and netting of the building site. It’s not a small town any more. It’s one of those out-of-town roads lined with out-of-town stores. I’m just glad we no longer live here.

Ragtag Tuesday: Crepuscule in Corrèze

As we say goodbye to Corrèze for now, it seems fitting that the Ragtag word for today is ‘crepuscule.  It means twilight, and I always thought of it as an evening word.  But it can mean dawn as well.  So was this photo, taken from Sharon and Andrew’s house, and home to us for a week, taken in the morning or the evening?  What’s your guess?

 

A scrapbook from the Corrèze

I was going to write a final post from the town, the region where we have been so happy this week, just taking life s-l-o-w-l-y.  I’ve decided though to let a few pictures do the talking.  Landcapes, townscapes, doors…. whatever took my eye, in no particular order.  Best come and visit for yourselves, I think.

 

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The cat that has eight lives

We were just getting back from our evening walk with Mortimer.  We’d already had a run in with Jacques the donkey.  Well, Mortimer had – he doesn’t seem to like him.  And now Jacques doesn’t like Mortimer.  As you can see.

On the home stretch, I glanced up.  Look at this cat.  Yes, the horizontal band running between the ground and first floors of this building is as narrow as you think it is.

The cat picked its way delicately forward until it came to the corner.  Now what?  It peered cautiously forward – the next building along was too far away.  It peered even more cautiously backwards, and nearly tumbled.  It thought hard.

Finally, and with infinite care, it walked, step by anxious step, backwards to the balcony where it had started its unwise adventure.  Another cat was hovering there.  Cheering?  Admonishing?  Getting a stiff whisky ready?  Who knows.

I don’t think this feline road show will be repeated tomorrow.

And Mortimer?  He hadn’t a clue why his evening walk had ground to an abrupt halt for ten minutes or so.  Just further evidence that his dog sitters, though amiable enough he supposes, are barking mad.

It takes a village to raise a loaf

A poster like this is irresistible:

A spot of history, a spot of lunch, a new village to explore …. had to be done.

Orliac-de-Bar is only a few miles from here.  Like so many others in the area, it has a little building, the village oven, built once upon a time to bake the loaves of those villagers who had no oven of their own.  These days, when everybody uses the boulangerie or a bread-making machine, they’re generally dusted down and used only on high days and holidays

We arrived as the oven was getting going.  As visitors from afar, the organisers seized on us, anxious to show off their little bit of village history.  A couple of men  thrust bundle after bundle of brushwood into the glowing maw of the oven.  When the oven was judged to be hot enough, the woody embers were swept out, and the oven allowed to cool – just a little.

Our new friends popped an ear of wheat into a wooden clasp and introduce it into the heat.  It singed.  Nope.  The oven was still too hot.  The wheat should be burnished gold, not burnt.  Try again soon…..

 

Eventually the oven was pronounced to be not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  A small team of villagers  jammed pizzas (that well known French country delicacy?) and apple tarts  into the oven to be baked.

An oven filled with good things.

Twenty minutes later we were sitting down at long refectory tables arranged in the village square, doing what the French do best: sharing food, wine and conversation.  No photos.  I was too busy enjoying myself, and never gave it a thought.

Pizz and apple tart.

The village also had an exhibition of aspects of its history.  Here are some photos of a not-so-long-departed way of life.  I think they need no explanation.

 

And here are our new-found friends, waving us off after a day well spent.

Goodbye, Orliac-de-Bar!

Back at home, we had a fine solid Orliac-baked loaf to accompany our cheese and salad.

Click on any photo to view full size, and see the captions.