I have had a couple of outings this last fortnight, motocross at the Sunday before last where some impressive riding produced some interesting photos.
A visit to Chateau Coussac Bonneval, where as well as having a guide with a lovely Irish brogue we were greeted by the Marquis and his Brazilian Marquise. Apart from a slip from childless Marquis to cousin in 1700 or so, this chateau had been in the same family since 12th century. We couldn’t take photos inside, so I have limited photos.
One sunny morning this week I walked out on one of the several routes I take for Siena’s morning walks. Down our little side road to the “main” road – where I might see one car during the 10 minutes I walk along it. The road winds along, flanked by shady chestnut groves. To my left I can catch a glimpse of the trees reflected in the lake and to my right and behind, the fields through which I will walk at the end of my circuit.
Continuing, I come to, what we refer to as, the muddy track (because in winter it takes only a little rain to turn it into a welly-boot-only-walk). The field on the left of the track here is now devoted to sweetcorn, but only this spring it had been fallow and a place Siena where as well as disturbubg clouds of crickets on warmer days, she would love to chase the occasional deer that she never even go close to catching. Sometimes they hardly bothered to run. All the land around here is farmed one way or another, to my right had been a dense copse of trees but is now being cleared and harvested for firewood. I wonder what crop will replace it.
Up a steepish bit at the end of the track I come to a T in the path. In the winter would turn left into the woods and eventually over a stream past a small usually overflowing pond and out of the woods to then cut across through a grove of chestnut saplings. But in summer the saplings are surrounded by shoulder high bracken; so it’s a right turn, pausing to enjoy the view across the pasture to a young oak and the hills in the distance beyond.
Following along the edge of the woods and to my left is another pasture (I am using pasture where I have not seen the field in any other use but I am sure it can change). Anyway at the moment are young bullocks or steers, I guess. They often line up and face Siena who is a bit daunted by them, neither they nor Siena know how neither could harm the other (though I suppose Siena could get trampled).
With dense trees to my right and left I arrive at a sharp turn in the track. Here I duck under a sometimes electrified fence to look out across pasture to a lake beyond and the first of two houses (this we call upper Garenne, since the other is calle La Garenne – which means rabbit warren). Siena often races around the other side of the house to see if there’s some unsuspecting workman she can greet effusively. Its not often occupied, though being a holiday house, I will put Siena back on lead if I see a car. Not everybody is as forgiving of a jumping dog as the workmen here who usually know her. As I duck under another fence to return to a metalled track, I get a little shock through my shirt. I used to unhook this but once, when the wire was slack Siena got tangled up in it. She took months to forget that. Anyway, on down the track and to the second house, La Garenne. Here someone is continuing the renovation and we exchange greetings as I retrieve Siena from their kitchen – perhaps on lead tomorrow? As I continue down the track, to my left is a wheat field and to my right fallow (last year it was wheat and before that sweetcorn). For now that field is a haven for Siena to chase the swallows that swoop and tease her in her total inability to catch them. In the distance is Beaulieu and I head home.
It’s Saturday and Delia’s recovering from a hangover (and me waking at 5am) after her “vernissage”. Not her, being varnished that is, it’s a term to describe the opening of an art exhibition. Delia’s teacher puts on annual exhibitions of her students’ work – all very impressive work.
For those who have been following our sagas, my foot is now mostly better. The car claim continues as a catalogue of non-returned calls and ignored emails, unanswered and wrongly answered questions! As to the living room, the beams are now being used for the process of sub-floor laying. This Monday Delia goes into hospital for her thyroid op on Tuesday, I will try to contact people directly but I will post an “extraordinary” update here on Wednesday.