Monday 3rd October 2016
This morning we are still in Lathus and Allan went off for the bread again as usual but he found that the Boulangerie that he had used before was closed. Allan remembered from last week that the sign on the door had said that they were open all weekdays until 7 pm but closed Sunday afternoon and Monday, so this is Monday morning and they should be open until the afternoon, when they close the same as Sunday afternoon? No, this is France and apparently what they mean is closed Sunday afternoon and all through the day Monday, not just the afternoon. Dorothy says I should have known that!
Luckily just down the road is another Boulangerie and they have bread at the same price as the other one, except that when Allan returned to the motorhome and the first slice is cut from this new loaf it is quite apparent that it is not the same quality of bread as the other shop. It had large holes and a much thicker crust and even tasted different.
The day is spent doing the laundry (with the fantastic washing line!!) and then just being idle watching the world go by. Working on our suntans, reading and doing some more of Dorothy's rug.
Back to the first bread shop this morning, or Boulangerie as they say here. Allan told the lady that we missed her bread yesterday because it is so much nicer than the bread from the other Boulangerie.
Outside the Boulangerie Allan spied a British motorhome, an Autotrail Scout. The driver said Bonjour and Allan replied with a smile "no, I think that we are supposed to say Good Morning". After a bit of banter we were both on our separate ways and Allan thought to himself that as they had a Welsh Flag perhaps Good Morning was not correct and he should have said "bore da" or even "prynhawn da".
This morning we rang James to see how they all were and Frankie organised OUR VERY FIRST VIDEO CALL WITH SCARLETT. This was lovely and it was so nice to see Scarlett moving around, chattering to herself and now walking a few steps on her own. This was so special and meant a lot to us.
After a late lunch we both had showers and after refilling the water and other "housework" (seems to be a much nicer term than saying emptying waste water and the toilet cassette) we were on the road again, this time to Montmorillon about eight miles north west.
When we arrived at Montmorillon we
easily found our parking space before going for a stroll into the city at about
6.30 pm. The town shops were closing but it looked as if there would be plenty
to see tomorrow. These are the first photos we took, on our short stroll in
the early evening.
Looks like tomorrow is going to be
another beautiful day.
An early start, well early for us
which is about 9.30 and we were off to see the sights. Today was market day
and the market was quite large and spread around the small town.
Allan was quite impressed that there was a big meeting planned for next week to debate the topic of "France and its place in Europe" and many people were distributing leaflets. One man with leaflets that Allan spoke to was quite upset about Britain's Brexit and was quite horrified when Allan suggested FRexit, realising that what is meant is France Leaving the European Union. Later another leaflet distributor, this time a woman, wiggled her hand from side to side signifying that she was unsure and then she seemed to find her total honesty and said"out". Not wanting to become a political blog but we are becoming aware that there are strong feelings, both ways, here in France.
From the market we visited the Tourist
Office and then decided to do the walk around the old city, famous for it's
bookshops, calligraphers and printing presses.
One of the interesting window displays full of books and writing implements.
We carried on up through the narrow
streets and reached the Church. We know we said "no more church photos!"
but this one was beautifully painted inside an in fairly good condition so we
have made an exception here.
Coming back outside we took the steps
leading to the side of the Church and to a wonderful view point looking out
over the rest of the town.
Then we walked even further up and
the streets started getting a little bigger. As did the transport!
Here we found a quaint but very interesting
little museum of Typewriters and Adding machines.
Some were typing music scores. Some were for Braille. And of course, many different alphabets.
Allan found it highly amusing to say that this last photo was of Dorothy in her old office.
All around this walk and throughout the day, we were becoming more and more aware that this town and its surrounding villages was full of English people. At least two of the stallholders on the market were English. Several of the shops and souvenir or curio shops were English owned and many of the people passing by were English. The main Town Square was full of Estate Agents displaying signs saying English Spoken here. We found out from an English man who was opening a new Estate Agency in another part of the town that 9 percent of the local people here are actually English.
After a short sit down we climbed
up to the Church on the top of the hill.
Needless to say we made this climb because there was a geocache there! We found the geocache without too much trouble but sadly the Church was closed. This was a shame because the board outside said that there were beautiful paintings inside.
We made our way down the hill which led directly to our motorhome by the river. Here we had lunch and a well earned rest.
In the afternoon, feeling suitably
refreshed, we went back into the lower part of the town as it was such a lovely
day. As we crossed the river the reflections were stunning.
Allan wants to know what the purple flowers were in the floral arrangements on the bridge.
These are the various views as we
strolled around the lower part of the town again.
In the last photo, the turrets either side of this house with mock windows are actually chimneys!
We stopped in the main square again for a rest and got talking to an English couple who were house hunting. They were waiting for a call from an Estate Agent who was arranging a viewing for them. On our way back to the motorhome they passed us in their car. They tooted and both waved excitedly and had cheery smiles. We will probably never know if this was a successful viewing and they are now Ex Pat's living in France.
What a busy and interesting day we
Yesterday and this morning we noticed
that some people were walking around and every so often stooping down to pick
something up. Wondering what was happening, after they had all left Allan went
to find out. Looking down it was quite easy to see what is was that they all
were interested in.
These Walnuts did not have many air-miles when we ate them. In fact, only about ten feet from where they had fallen from the tree.
During the morning we went to do some shopping in E. Leclerc. However, we found the store was being refurbished and the doors were kept open all of the time. Although the carpark outside was quite warm in the Autumn sunshine, inside the store the wind was blowing in from somewhere blooming cold. It is always cold near the freezer section but in this store it was cold everywhere. The hostesses of the caches and the ladies at customer services were all wearing coats and scarves! They have obviously been working in these conditions for a few days but as customers we were not prepared for it. Also it is always difficult to find what you need in each different store and Dorothy's method of not forgetting anything is to do every isle in every part of the store, after all you never know what bargains you might discover. Allan just thinks this is Dorothy's way and if she says that she that just wants a loaf of bread and some milk then that's it. Bread counter, fresh milk and leave!! On the other hand Dorothy's shopping can take three hours or more. Dorothy has insisted that she does not now go down every isle! However, in this instance if she had not visited the household isle we would never have found the photograph frame that we had been looking for since last New Year's Eve!!!
After the shopping Allan then had wasted visit to Mr Bricolage (a handyman's, furnishing, garden, building and decorators store) searching for a piece of plumbing pipe and some disinfectant.
Then we were on our way again south.
We arrived at Bussière Poitevine at about 6 pm and were pleased to find
an aire beside a large green area, looking across to a little lake.
The lake was not large and has a little bridge over it.
On a first look around the village
of 980 people we were pleased to find two small supermarkets, two boulangeries
and many other shops. This place is looking like we could stay for a while.
When we visited the Church we met the organist leaving with his electric organ after his practising. They have no church organ here but he said that the electric organ gives a beautiful sound in this Church. Not forgetting that 9% of the people here in The Limousin are British we are not surprised that the Organist is of course Welsh. In fact roughly 88 people here could be British Ex-Pats.
We woke up to 0.5 degrees outside and there was frost on top of the motorhome. Gradually it thawed out and by the time the sun was higher in the midmorning sky the temperature was getting better. By the early afternoon it was 9 degrees and in fact in the sunshine it was quite nice. Cloud kept drifting across the October sky and each time you could feel the chill in the air.
Dorothy's back is seizing up today, perhaps it was the cold inside the ELeclerc supermarket yesterday or perhaps it is because we did too much walking around Montmorillon after having a few weeks of doing nothing except relaxing in the sunshine. To see if it would ease a little, Dorothy went with Allan to buy the bread this morning. However, when she cut into the bread for breakfast we found it was raw dough inside! This is the first time we have had inedible bread in France. It was only due to the dough not being mixed thoroughly but Allan took it back and had it exchanged. The new bread was not much better, very "holey" and very light. They didn't knead it and we didn't need it either!
So, this means today, we are back
to doing nothing except a gentle walk around the pretty little lake and picnic
areas but that is not so bad in a pretty location.
Looking back across the lake we could see our motorhome. Today, this is our garden. Allan is so pleased he doesn't have to mow it!
Dorothy is up bright and early this morning feeling a little better than her discomfort of yesterday. After another cold start to the day it turned out warm and sunny so we took a walk around the village. Other than that we kept the day quiet as Dorothy needed her back to be much better for tomorrow's events.
This morning we started out very early, driving through the thick mist in the valleys, back to Lathus to fill up with water and to do "the emptying".
Then we were on our way again, heading
slightly north into the Vienne region to Adriers for their Autumn Festival.
We were lucky to find that the motorhome aire was by the side of the plan d'eau (park with lake) where the fete was being held.
With a competition of Pumpkins, model boats, cider and bread, veteran cars and tractors it was going to be a big day. So we did a special page for it. Click Here.
Everywhere there seemed to be English spoken and one couple that we chatted to said that in the nearby village where they live, 28 percent of the population are British. It is our guess that even some of the people here today speaking French are actually British Expats.