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Sunday, 20 December 2009

France again

Ian and I took several drives out to visit different places, several small attractive towns with interesting names, narrow streets, the houses close together or touching, with their main doors opening onto the street, window boxes and plant pots – looking sad and sorry after the  energy the plants put into summer flowering - still sitting on sills or pavement by the doors.  Now there were  Christmas lights, decorationsjarnac christmas

 christmas firand branches of fir





tied to down-pipes at intervals along the streets and adorned with huge shiny paper bows or fans, maybe even hung with faux parcels of the same shiny paper. france sat'day 004 They weren’t sophisticated, but in their way rather attractive.   I gather that the local council  put up the branches and the local residents do the ornamenting.  Nice touch!



In most of the villages there were avenues of trees, pollarded each year, looking like lumpy gnarled fists reaching from solid tree trunks.

france monday tuesday 038

They too looked pretty strung with coloured lights.  Oops, these aren’t pollarded!  Still pretty though!





montmorillon2 We saw churches,often at the highest point of the town overlooking their parishioners,


at Montmorillon


france sunday 032


and Verteuil




 verteuil  and chateaux, large like this one, also at Verteuil,





france thursday 056and smaller but nonetheless imposing ones like Villevert near Confolens ,




cognac hotel de ville impressive town halls as in Cognac…….



and talking of Cognac



we explored the centre of that town and neighbouring Jarnac (twinned with Dalkeith, a town not terribly far from where I live here in Scotland).jarnac courvoisier dalkeith

Here were the famous names of the brandy giants: Courvoisier, 




cognac hennessy and Hennessy, for example.





jarnac fave house I liked Jarnac, and have chosen the wee house I would like, tucked right in beside Courvoisier’s walls with a boat to access the river that runs alongside, and a covered terrasse for sunny days…..

jarnac patissier


the cake shop and chocolatier nearby….


a perfect spot!


france friday 045In fact Ian and I couldn’t believe that we  could actually sit outside a Jarnac cafe bar drinking hot chocolate on  12 December, but it was a beautiful and unusually mild day so we made the most of it..

We weren’t to know it then but temperatures were to plummet a few days later and  scarf, gloves and hat would have been welcome additions to the accessories wardrobe.

In my next post I will show you more photos, but that’s all for today.

Talk again soon.

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