Posted by: kathandroger | August 28, 2011

Perfect weekend!

On Friday we finished off the extremely tricky bit of plasterboarding over the mezzanine and sanded the beam above the large barn doors…

…so were feeling quite pleased with ourselves. After a week of hard work what we needed was a weekend doing something completely different…and that’s exactly what we’ve had. Yesterday afternoon our friend, the multi-talented Jim McNeill of the blog fame (and fellow Boro fan to boot), organised a fabulous little walk from Paulmy to Le Chatelier, visiting the chateaux of each place on route. Now Jim is a mine of information, not just on history, so we had various stops along the way for him to show and talk to us about points of interest in the local environment. Here we all are gathered by an enormous old oak tree, in the process of aging it and measuring its height…

It turned out to be about 600 years old and 25 m high! I was there as official translator for the afternoon, but since we only had one French person in our midst, and she was a resident of Le Chatelier, so knew everything Jim was saying anyway, the task wasn’t too onerous! For me the most impressive part of our walk was the visit to the château of Le Chatelier itself. It is steeped in history as it was at the very heart of the Catholic/Protestant struggles of the 16th and 17th centuries. Here is the old part of the château – the keep (nicknamed ‘the beak’) – and the recently renovated lodge dating back to the early 17th century…

The walk was only 2km, but we took our time (about 2 hours!), so were ready for a cool glass of rose, some  nibbles and fabulous music back at Jim and Sandra’s. What a fine day out!

So to today. We have a small lake over the road from our house which is owned by a couple from Chinon who visit from time to time to escape the hustle and bustle of the town. We’d only been here a couple of weeks when they invited us over for drinks…which was to be Roger’s first encounter with homemade aperitifs. Guy, the owner, is what is known around here as a bon viveur and enjoys supping a glass or eight – and prefers not to do it alone! The day in question, two years ago, we all went on to the local village do, where Roger drank yet more of Guy’s homemade brews to the point where his legs seemed no longer capable of coordinating with his body – and he was totally incapable of getting on his bike – which was a pity as that was our transport home! Anyway, since then, Roger is always careful about what he drinks at Guy’s!

We did our usual trip to Descartes market this morning (with Guy and his wife Danny), then returned with lots of local produce to an afternoon of eating and drinking chez les voisins. The flower of acacia apero was drunk in relative moderation, but was very good and preceded several excellent wines from Chinon and the Loire. We, of course, contributed a tomato salad (as we have a surplus of toms and eat tom salad at every occasion!), before tucking in to some fabulous steak grilled on Guy’s wood barbie. Delicieux! By about 6pm the food was done, the eau de vie and some very dodgy cognac appeared, and we retired to the petanque pitch for a bit of evening sport to work off the excesses of the afternoon!

Back to work tomorrow morning, but we are refueled, refreshed and raring to go!


  1. Perfect weekend for a perfect couple.

  2. […] with translations). There are great descriptions and photos from the walk on two blogs, here and here , plus a video of yours truly singing […]

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