Posted by: kathandroger | July 14, 2019

The Black Prince….and Harvest Time.

Life is pretty easy here. The days are long, we are not constrained by the hackles of employment, and  there is a temptation to do little and fall into a rut of routine. So when several months ago a friend was looking for someone who could speak a little French to take part in a local play, it was time to get out of the comfort zone and do something different. The event was a “Visite Nocturne” at Preuilly sur Claise, a dusk presentation in the little town half an hour away, and consisted of several scenes depicting life there at differing times over the past several hundred years. I was to play the Black Prince during the Hundred Years War in France.

I hated history at school, but now find it fascinating. Especially concerning the relationship between our adopted country and the land of our birth. The Hundred Years War lasted longer than that, and was very intermittent, but at one stage there was a conflict between the King of England’s son and the leader of the French Army, the “Connetable de France”. His name was Bertrand de Guesclin, and he and I , the Black Prince, have a contretemps about the probabilities of our forthcoming combats. All this with me in full costume, including crown and big sword, standing high above the audience on the ramparts of an old castle in the town, and shouting at my adversary below. I stood there before the performance thinking how the hell did I end up doing this in a foreign country, not really knowing what I was saying, with a crowd of several hundred below me. Anyway all went well apart from some microphone malfunction, and although our performance did not start until about 11.30pm, the audience remained, perhaps transfixed by the strange Englishman shouting his accented threats from above them!

Ours was only a one of several performance we had been rehearsing over some weeks. There were also some very good Medieval musicians,IMG_0867 and the locations included the magnificent church in the town,IMG_0869 the entrance guarded by make believe ancient gendarmes; and they were fairly ancient! IMG_0866All in all a lot of fun, and I look forward to the next performance in August.

Sadly, this event contrasted badly with out little production in the local grottoes in St Remy. Our play here had been rehearsed, and was due to open a couple of days ago. It was cancelled due to lack of an audience! A lesson in the fact that any play needs to be well publicised beforehand.

Back to real life, and the Harvest here is in full swing.IMG_0870 It always amazes me at how quickly the fields are cleared of the crops, and the long hours the farmers spend in their labours. The air is full of the scent of harvested wheat and barely, and the combine harvesters throwing out clouds of dust behind them. The Maize remains, of course,  being irrigated by these great big reels of hose which seem to be everywhere.IMG_0871 Water is in short supply here, and it annoys me when most of it seems to be sprayed onto the roads between the crops, especially when I am in my open top car and have to wait for the storm to pass!

Wimbledon tennis is almost done, but we are still in the throes of the Tour de France. Today a Frenchman is in the lead, a rare event, but I would love to see him win. It still means a lot to the French, and will do wonders for morale if he can hold on. Time will tell.

Posted by: kathandroger | July 7, 2019

Canicule continues!

It was only supposed to last for about a week, but afternoon temperatures have not fallen below 30 degrees for at least a fortnight now. The pool is a welcome relief, but some of our guests from Ireland, with lovely white sensitive skin, have been too wary to expose themselves until the shade of the evenings! Storms have been forecast for several evenings over the last week, but, having taken all outside cushions and hammocks inside, none had appeared.

Until last night that was! No storms were forecast, and we were enjoying a lovely evening at a musical event alongside the local river. Many villages have these events, and in fact last night there were two, within a few kilometres of each other. Anyway, these events take a huge effort to set up; not only the tents and catering facilities, but the electrical supplies for all the musicians and their amplification kit. And this event was to be followed by fireworks! All went well, with a variety of performers, sometimes on the stage and sometimes in the crowd, and we had even managed to get some chips and burger to go with the rose wine. But then the heavens opened, forewarned by some spectacular lightening which we initially thought was part of the firework display! We managed to get to a friends’ house close by, and were welcomed into his new covered “drinking area” that he had just completed. How lucky were we! The storm lasted at least a couple of hours, with torrential rain and hailstones the size of cherries. Heaven knows what happened to the tents and equipment next to the river, but we had to stay in the dry and drinks Davids’ nice Bordeaux and then sample some very old Highland Whisky. The roof of his shelter is laminated plastic, and at times it really was impossible to speak because of the clatter of the hailstones. After midnight the storm ceased, and I was worried that my car would be lost in the rainwashed  parking field, but managed to slither out without any problems. Here there had been some rain, but nothing compared to the deluge only a few miles away. Such is nature, but it was really bad luck on the village of Barrou.

The previous night had also been musical, at another local village in Le Grand Pressigny. An Irish night, with two bands, one local and one visiting, and a big event with almost a thousand attending. Having been a part of the labour force for erecting the stage and viewing areas, I was looking forward to the heavily advertised Fish and Chip supper as well as enjoying the music. We had been assured that the firm could cope with the numbers attending, but we were sorely disappointed! One fryer for that number of people was a slight error. After more than two hours in the long queue, most of us gave up! But the music was good, and I had forgotten how lovely an instrument the harp is. I guess it helps when it is played by a long limbed lissom lady!

And back at the ranch, we have had some new arrivals this week. Our young Light Sussex chicken, named “Flappy Wings” by a young guest a couple of weeks ago, has hatched six fine looking chicks.IMG_0861 (2) All seems well at the moment, with none falling the water and drowning, as has happened in the past, and we shall soon be looking for new homes for them. Another chicken has gone broody and she will inherit the maternity ward left by Flappy Wings, so we may soon be over run with chicks!

Posted by: kathandroger | June 30, 2019

Canicule!!

It has been hot here this week. And I mean hot. Over 40 degrees centigrade which is more than 100 degrees in old money! Anything over 30 is too much for me usually, but we were well warned about this heatwave, and really it hasn’t been too bad. We are about midway up France, and in the south it has been even worse, with records being set, schools being closed and workers being sent home. I work at home, so have continued cutting the grass and trying to prevent the weeds taking over the vegetable patch. Why can’t the heat just kill off the weeds, rather than encouraging them and making my beetroot flop? Watering is needed every night, but the flowers don’t seem at all grateful. The roads have been meltingIMG_0856and instead of having to avoid the crop sprinklers on my bike ride today, I had to avoid the seas of molten tar! Actually, today is much better, and it was a pleasure to be out before 8am in the cool of 25 degrees! Life is tricky, but after much experimentation, I have found the best way to stay cool is to lay in the shallow end of the swimming pool, with a nice gin and tonic to hand and to think nice thoughts in between sips. After lots of practice is becoming not too difficult.

The dog hates the hot weather, and spends all her time in the house trying to find a cool position. It is usually where she blocks a door, or she can be fallen over, and the only time she ventures outside during the day is when I am trying to have a little siesta in my hammock. Polly likes to join me!IMG_0848It is not really conducive to a nice little snooze!

But there are some people who are not put off by the hot weather. The Triathlon of Nouatre was held yesterday, again in temperatures of around 40 degrees. Swimming in the river was not a problem, in fact it was probably a relief, but the competitors then had to cycle for varying distances, and them run for the third leg. Kath and her intrepid friends competed as a relay team, one doing each discipline, and were the overall winners of the ladies team event. Inquiries as to how many ladies teams there were was met with some evasiveness, but well done anyway girls. It really is a lovely event, in a small local village which transforms itself into an international athletics centre on one day every year. Hats off to all the competitors.

Now it really was a lovely ride I had this morning, seeing hares and rabbits in the road, noticing unusual trees for the first timeIMG_0857and, as usual, very few cars on the road. But I really was not prepared for the animals I encountered just outside a local village. First there was a Llama, then several donkeys, and then this chap.IMG_0858 (2)The signs on the accompanying vans revealed a local circus, presumably making a short stop before the next show. The camel was the only one not complaining about the weather!

Posted by: kathandroger | June 23, 2019

Music Weekend!…and shearing again.

Our grass seems to grow more quickly each year. It needs cutting at least twice a week at the moment, and each cut takes about three hours. I used to love it, but it has become a bit of a bore, although at present the cherry trees are in full production, and each pass under them means stopping for a handful of the lovely fruit. Things weren’t helped yesterday when I stupidly mowed a hanging Globe Artichoke bush and completely buggered my mower! A bit of metal glue on the works and fingers crossed it may mow again. But at least the sheep don’t grow their fleeces at the same rate. The two ewes, and Hercules the ram, have good thick fleeces, and with the coming heat wave it was time to get the old sheep mower out and try and catch them for the annual haircut. Unlike some of our neighbours, I don’t shear the lambs, who seem quite content, even in the hot weather. Catching sheep is a bit of a game. I find it much better to do it quietly by myself, rather than several cussing runners trying to round up several excited sheep. I built a sheep trap a few years ago, and it seems to work, by putting some food inside and then quickly shutting the wire gate when they all enter. Hercules the ram is never any problem, being the last in and the last to try and escape. Rosemary, on the other hand, the mother of sixteen lambs, is always very suspicious and the first to escape. So it was on the first mornings attempt; only Hercules was caught. Now he is a great big heavy old chap, who has not attacked me for a couple of years, and I like to think we have an understanding. It appears I am right. The old ram just stands still and lets me shear him standing up.IMG_0834This is only halfway through, and it is a bit of rope on the grass, not Hercules eating a snake! The cans  contain a wonderful aluminium spray to be used on any cuts I make in the skin with the very aggressive electric clippers; they were hardly used this year! He didn’t thank me, but I reckon he must have felt better to be rid of that mangy old overcoat. He certainly looks better.IMG_0838And to my astonishment, the two ewes were easily caught and sheared the next day. I see that the World Sheep Shearing Championship is to be held in France this year, not far from us, and the top chaps shear a sheep in about a minute. That is about half an hour quicker than me!

One nice event each year in France is the Fete de la Musique. This was started here by Jack Lang, the then minister of Culture, in 1982, and has now spread worldwide. It is held on the longest day, June 21st, with some latitude for events on two days. Locally the villages have some sort of celebration, and I was involved in Le Grand Pressigny, a few miles from us.IMG_0846Those empty seats were not empty for long; various groups, both young and old performed in two locations in the village, food and drink was widely available on the streets, and the weather was perfect for a great evening. It was typically French, in that temporary traffic lights were installed, by villagers, not the Police, and the centre of the village was completely closed to traffic for the event. I was chatting to a retired Policeman from the UK, and comparing the ease with which a village can be closed here and there!

So here we are at the longest day, and the evenings will soon be drawing in! The Barley is ripe for harvest,IMG_0830 and my favourite time of the year has gone. But I still heard the cuckoo this morning, so all is not lost.

Posted by: kathandroger | June 16, 2019

New Potatoes.

The first of our new spuds have been  dug. Another landmark date in the relentless progression of mother natures’ world.IMG_0825 The cuckoo is still cuckooing, and the chiffchaff is chiffchaffing and the longest day is rapidly approaching. The winter wheat is now ready for harvest and the crest of the new year is upon us. I don’t like it. To me the awakening of spring and the first flush of flowers is the highlight of the year, and after next week we will be rolling downhill into winter again. And it all happens so quickly!

But it is time to be positive, and the fishing permit will soon be purchased, and the relentless pursuit of the local whoppers will be in full swing. I only wish I could catch some of them. Wily buggers, these French fish, and I reckon they know when a useless Englishman is on the bank, and all just shoal together and giggle. To make it worse, one of my friends in the village has been regaling me with reports of the monsters being taken out of the river at the bottom of his garden. Today is the 16th of June, the start of the fishing season in the UK, and millions of like minded idiots like me will be making their way to the waters edge. But how things have changed; I was in our local Decathlon store yesterday, and happened to find myself in the angling department. Now when I was a lad, all that was needed was an old rod and reel, some hooks and line, a bit of bread and maybe some worms. Not nowadays! There were rows and rows of all sorts of essential kit, like bite detectors and catapaults for firing out the stack of groundbait. I often see chaps making their way to fish carrying what looks like their whole worldly possessions with them, often pulling them on trolleys. Problem is, they probably catch fish, and I don’t.

The twin grandsons have made their way back to the UK, with the aid of mum. It was a real pleasure having them here, and although the weather was not good, the pool was well used. Strange how little ones can deny feeling cold when they are shivering and their lips are blue! The cherries on one of our trees are in full ripeness now and all within reach have been eaten. By the end of the trip I had even got used to the noise that young boys make, and it all seems very quiet here now. We had several nice walks in the surrounding woods, and although not identical, it was interesting how the call of nature seemed to affect both at the same time.IMG_0812I hope they will come again soon.

The new chickens have settled in well, and one has gone broody. No amount of dissuasion would convince her that the eggs are not fertile, so she has been put in a cage and is sitting on some fertile eggs we swapped with neighbour Claude. He is an interesting chap, who lives mainly in his caravan, and has countless little goats. His fowl are an interesting bunch and, if they hatch, it will be fun to see what sort of mixture we have.

After the cold and rain of the past weeks, hot sun is forecast, so maybe with some new chicks, and the garden producing nice fresh vegetables, life is not really too bad!

Posted by: kathandroger | June 9, 2019

French News.

I always listen to the news in French. Not only is it good for my paltry language skills, but it does give some insight into how the nation here differs from our own in the UK.

The most insignificant things often feature as the most important in French life. A couple of days ago was a good example. The worldwide conflicts, latest political decisions, and notable deaths were all secondary to the fact that some bad tasting beef had been imported from Poland! It was in no way dangerous, but was apparently made from the skin of the animals rather than the flesh, and did not have the flavour so important to the population. Quelle Horreur! The product was in tins and had been widely distributed, mainly to local needy. I have little doubt that anyone desperate for a good meal would eat anything, but here it has to taste correctly! And last year the death of the singer Johnny Halliday was a national catastrophe. Endless boring details day after day to the detriment of all other news items. OK he was like the king of France, but not so much for so long please! The national team won the footy World Cup last year, a great achievement, but surely not enough to suppress all other news items for a week. But there we have it; each nation is different, and it is fascinating to learn how the French tick.

To be fair, there was a good and complete coverage of the 75th anniversary of the D day landings. What a salutary experience to remember those thousands of young men being mown down on the beaches of Normandy. My generation have no idea of the suffering it must have caused to the countless families at home. I was thinking about it on my second rehabilitation bike ride when I came across this field not far from home.IMG_0777The poppies are in full bloom now, and what a lovely sight they are. It is just so sad that they will forever be associated, at least in my mind, with those beaches and all those deaths.

But on to brighter thoughts. The swallows in all the outbuildings have raised their first broods and in the evenings the sky is full of the lovely birds swooping and chattering. They are very protective of each other and when Dennis shows himselfIMG_0770they make high velocity attacks in his direction. He used to duck, but is now wise to the events, and just looks at them. He taunts the poor little birds just as he taunts the dog.

The twin grandsons have arrived from the UK. It was an interesting journey to pick them up from Limoges Airport, given that we were in the midst of the worst wind of the year. The storm had brought down some trees, but with the paucity of traffic it was easy to avoid them and our journey home was uneventful. Naturally the pool has become the centre of attraction.IMG_0783Polly the dog loves to play but thankfully will not jump in herself. The weather has not been all that hot, but Miller has found the joys of warm sun on the buttocks something to revel in.IMG_0787 (2)Wouldn’t it be lovely to be that age again?

Posted by: kathandroger | June 2, 2019

One week, two countries.

We live in an era of cheap and easily available travel. I worry about all the pollution we cause, especially travelling by air, but have to admit it has not made much difference to my own plans.  I went back to the UK last week to attend a friends’ funeral. Sad occasion, but beautifully done and a pleasure to see some very old chums. This time I drove to the ferry at Caen, left the car, and traversed as a foot passenger. Very much cheaper than taking the vehicle, and a mate picked me up from the terminal to spend the night at his nearby house. I love the ferry. Six hours of doing nothing, except watching the sea, reading, eating and generally people watching. Lots of schoolchildren on trips, and lots of jollity.

Rejoining the country of my birth is strange nowadays. I know it was my home for many happy years, but it now feels a bit alien and so totally different to France. My friends in Hampshire have a wonderful house and gardens, and I was awoken by the dawn chorus of birds, something which happens rarely here. We traveled to London for the ceremony, taking a succession of trains then Uber taxis. Nowhere did we have to wait for more than ten minutes in what was a very complicated journey; oh the wonders of the smartphone! All around was the familiar bustle of London which I knew so well, as well as the looks of frustration and annoyance of passengers having to stand on the trains. But we made it on time, the ceremony was dignified with some beautiful professional singers, and my lovely lady friend was laid to rest with her friends and family all around her. IMG_0749The reception was held just outside London, and the photo reminds me of how I feel about my home town now; murky and very much in the distance.

It was good to get home: the ferry was full of American visitors to the Northern Beaches for the war anniversary, but again there were lots of youngsters behaving like youngsters do. I drove back without a stop, and was pleased to find the car covered in squashed insects the next day. We hear so much about the fall in the insect population, another worry, but the remnants of the species seemed to have made Kamikaze attacks on the vehicle. Sorry about the killing, but it reassured me that all is not lost yet.

 

Yesterday was another new experience. A “semi nocturnal ramble”. Apparently they are quite common here, the local walking clubs organising a route of varying distances, with a stop just before the end to eat a meal. It began at dusk, on what was a very hot evening, and at about 11 km we stopped at a renovated farm for a typical French “snack”.IMG_0753There were about a hundred walkers for the very pretty route around Chaumussay, a local village. The pace was leisurely, the company good, and I even had time to remind myself of the power of nature, this tree, tangled in the fence, had obviously been too much for extraction.IMG_0755And then the meal! As always in France, eating is both important and not to be rushed. We started with the apero at about half past nine, and left after coffee not long before midnight, and it was just a simple affair in an outside marquee. That is the France that I have come to know and love!

Posted by: kathandroger | May 26, 2019

Early Morning Meadows.

One of the great joys of living here is that nice walks, off road, can be taken in all directions, straight from the house. And having a dog means there is a disciplined routine of exercise that needs to be followed to prevent the animal becoming frustrated and naughty. The same goes for the dog walker.

Early mornings recently have been delightful, fresh enough to need some good clothing to start, but soon warming up in the morning sun. The uncut grass on some of the tracks is now up to waist height, and jeans become soaked through with the morning dew when ploughing through them. IMG_0737Polly the dog absolutely loves it, although in most places she can only see a few inches in front of her. It must be like being in a dense forest of grass and brambles. The first orchids are waning now, but the spring flowers are all around, and this year there seems to be more nightingales than ever, singing their melodious songs all around us. We rarely see anyone else, but if we do it will be a well known neighbour we can stop and chat to. Yesterday seemed to be the annual outing for hares. Polly can scent a hare, and immediately takes off on a wild hare chase. IMG_0745I could see nothing in this wheat field, but the dog hared off after her hare. I could see the blades of wheat bending wherever she went, and could hear the rustle of activity. At last the rustling seemed to come back my way, and I was just about to congratulate the returning hunter when a big hare came out at my feet! I don’t know who was more surprised. It didn’t stop to say hello, but took off up the track where another hare was waiting for it. The dog came back, exhausted, a few minutes later. Happy times.

Another feature this week was rehearing a play to be performed in a nearby village. Lines are still not properly learned, but some progress is being made. I am playing the Black Prince, during the Hundred Years War, and for the first time had to appear in costume, something that just made me laugh. We were performing in the back garden of the producers’ house, which has lovely views of the church and local chateau.IMG_0727The chap with sunglasses is not in costume, but the tinpot on the right is the Constable of France, who I oppose in the play and have aggressive dialogues with. It really is very difficult to keep a straight face, especially when holding a big plastic sword and wearing a cardboard crown! And as the only Englishman in the cast, my amusement is not always understood. It will be all right on the night…I hope!

The club walk this week was around a local village that I know not at all. One or two new walkers were with us, and I always try to say hello to everyone. This particular lady spoke with an American accent, and I politely inquired, in English, what part of the States she was from. “Berlin” was the answer I was not expecting! She was German, but had lived in the States, and also in France, married to a Frenchman, and was fluent in all three languages. Makes my stumbling efforts seem a bit frail. But we did come across a lovely natural spring, something I can’t remember seeing before.IMG_0743It was a source of the local river Esves, and the crystal clear water that could be seen coming from the iron stained stones below was a complete contrast to the more murky waters of the river itself. Polly loved it as well, and bathed enthusiastically. The walkers were less enthusiastic when she shook herself dry all over them!

Posted by: kathandroger | May 19, 2019

The Musical Dog.

My shoulder still gives me pain at night. For that reason I have been taking an assortment of medications with varying results, sometimes slumber, sometimes altertness, and frequently dissatisfaction. But one night last week there was another sensation. At about 3am I became aware of distant classical music. Just loud enough to recognise the tunes, but not loud enough to identify the origin. We live far away from any organised music center, and our few neighbours, to my knowledge, are not classical music fans. It was pleasant and soothing, taking my mind off the nagging pain, but not knowing the source of the melodies was a frustration. To get out of the nice warm bed or not. Torn between relaxation and the thirst for knowledge, I levered myself up to open the nearest window and identify the culprit. Nothing, no noise, only the inrush of cold spring air. And then the realisation that the melodies, now Bachs’ Air on a G string, were coming from within the house. Surely a burglar would not have put on some classics to help in his endeavours? With one floppy arm at my side I crept downstairs, not putting on any lights. Sure enough, the music was coming from the kitchen, but there were no other noises, and all was in darkness. The useless dog was not in her bed, but not showing any sign of activity either. And there it was. The bloody animal had crept up onto the sofa, something she is forbidden to do, and must have bashed the start button on the music centre on doing so. She did manage to open one eye when accused of the crime, but showed no remorse. I crept back to bed with a mixture of amusement and displeasure, but slept!

It is still cold and nasty here. We have had a few nice bright days, but with a cold wind.IMG_0699A walk around our local resevoir was unremarkable except for a load of carp playing on the surface. This photo is pretty useless, as they did not wait for me, and stopped jumping around with each other before I could get the camera out. I am not sure if it was some sort of mating ritual, but they seemed to be having a good time. Perhaps it was a carp dance.

I was reminded of what France is all about in our local supermarket a few days ago. The lady cashier likes to try her English with me, and I knew she was a football fan. With the European Football competitions being dominated by English teams, I goaded her into a tirade about the failures of the French teams. She was not able to express her dissatisfaction in my native tongue, but was very good in her own. The reaction went on for several minutes, players and their attitudes to the game were discussed, and she made herself very clear about her views. But what is typical is that behind me the queue was becoming very long and not happy. No matter, chatting is important in France, and business must wait. Lovely.

We had a beautiful walk with the club around a local historical site on Thursday.IMG_0717 (2)I have never seen so many different species of orchid, and our local expert was able to enlighten and educate me. We even saw a slow-worm which cause much excitement, IMG_0721 (2)especially trying to explain that it was not a snake but a lizard which had lost its legs! They looked around for ages, but could not find any.

Posted by: kathandroger | May 12, 2019

Bits and Pieces.

It is  a funny old time of the year. It should be hot and socks off time, but my shorts are still in the wardrobe, and the heating in the house is still being used intermittently. Because of the broken arm the garden has been delayed and the tomatoes are still being confined to the greenhouse, with bulging roots that are trying to break their way out of the pots. But Kath has planted lots of roots, and I managed one arm onion and shallot insertion a few days ago. Loads of pretty flowers have been purchased and our courtyard is looking pretty again after the ravages of the wind and rain.

We have a large garden to look after, which is not always fun. But there are always bigger and more impressive sites around us.IMG_0666 (2)This magnificent gate is at the entrance to one of the minor chateaux locally. We have walked by it several times over the past weeks, and it seems to be nearing completion. All the ironwork is hand made, and it will be an impressive way to enter the building which can just be seen in the background. God knows how much it costs, and he’s not telling. I must be getting a bit more left wing in my old age, but I reckon the amount paid for this extravagance would go a long way to buying a house for a hard up young couple.

The walks with the two clubs have been lovely the last few weeks. It means we can see in detail some of the other villages around, and walking means frequent stops to admire the scenery, which certainly does not happen with the bike rides. St Sauveur is a local village we visited last week.IMG_0672 (2)Lots of lovely old buildings and a local commune which obviously likes to look after its flower beds. Well done. I have no idea where we walked around the village, but the local wild flowers are at their peak now, and thanks to our local botanist, Susan, my frail knowledge was regularly refreshed.IMG_0674 (2)We noticed several clumps of this Solomon’s Seal, which I have not seen locally before. An interesting plant which we used to have in Dorset in the UK, and which was known as “sows tits” because the flowers on opening look like the underside of a lady pig. I love pigs and this plant will now be one of my local favourites!

But another great difference between the UK and here is the lack of fencing around the fields. I guess the pressure on agriculture is not so great, and there are less animals to be confined. But it also means that there are less hedges than at home with all the contained wildlife. IMG_0678Having said that it has been a pleasure to hear several nightingales warbling away locally; they are apparently now rare in Britain.

Back to village life. Yesterday was spent erecting tents for todays flower festival in Le Grand Pressigny. Lots of people with no experience trying to fit together frames and covers and usually doing it wrong the first time, but getting it right in the end. The village has a large English speaking population, and the mixture of anglo and French cussing was a joy to behold. But before we could start our efforts, a local car group had to finish their lunch before driving off.IMG_0680 (2)And all the cars were English! It took me back to my prime, when I owned a few MG’s over the years, and wished I had kept them. Though on reflection they were all noisy, thirsty and slow by modern standards, and it is better to see other people making expensive efforts to keep them in good shape. I prefer by little rust resistant kit car!

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