Posted by: kathandroger | July 8, 2018

Audrey, Villandry, and the one legged chick.

About a year ago we went to a party for a friends’ birthday. It was held in a smallish hall in one of our local villages, and a band performed. The singer was a lady called Audrey. She was not glamorous, she did not have an impressive voice, she was in her mid thirties and was very rotund. And she was wonderful, as were her fellow musicians. Audrey has a special charm about her, and her jazz songs were sung with impressive vocal timing in a manner very different from the usual raucous outpourings we have been used to. After that good evening we forgot about her, until one evening she was on the French TV competition “Ze Voice”, which is a well known national talent show for aspiring artists. Lots of razzmatazz and a big thing here. Audrey got to the semi finals and really made her mark. She now has bookings all over the country, and rather than singing part time, is now in the job she loves. Luckily for us, she is still a friend of our friend, and agreed to perform for us, this time outside in a much larger venue in Grand Pressigny.IMG_1678And this time the audience was packed.IMG_1680
Well done Audrey, we look forward to having known a star!

We were sitting under the stars last night at Villandry, one of the lovely Chateaux on the Loire. It was for the night of a thousand lights, an annual display which we have not seen before, and which half of France seemed to have attended when we finally managed to park the car.IMG_1692 The event allegedly began at about 9pm, but, as is typical in France, eventually started soon after 11pm. Just as well, though, as it was a firework display(which I don’t really care for) with well known classic music(which I love). The setting, around a large ornamental lake, was stunning, and the spectacle hugely impressive. It was ironic, thousands of us sitting on the banks of an ancient hand dug lake, checking I phones for the soccer scores before watching a computer controlled display of the latest incendiaries. What would the labourers of five hundred years ago thought if they had been there?

Back at home, Amber the chicken has finished sitting on her dozen eggs. Final score, several broken, one dead chick and one live chick. A poor show, but it was her first go at it, and sitting doing nothing for three weeks, other than to get off the nest for an impressive bowel evacuation, must be really boring.IMG_4004We only lifted her off the nest this morning and a few moments ago Kath informed me that the new chick has only got one leg. Now one of us can’t count. I reckon it has two, and if it walks rather than hops, I think my diagnosis will be confirmed. Anyway one is enough for us, as there is not enough room in the chicken house for more inhabitants. Amber has been sharing the her private room in the log store with a baby swallow which has clearly fallen from the nest before it could fly. Usually the babies just succumb, but this one has taken to perching on the logs, and is obviously still being fed by the parents. It has now progressed to hanging onto the wall, so flying may commence soon.IMG_4005This is the first time we have had swallows in the wood store, and they seem to be even more plentiful this year; sadly against the general trend.


  1. Every body seems to love Audrey and is so pleased for her success. Apparently her prices have doubled (she was too expensive for les Barroudeurs I hear). It’s been a bumper year for the hirondines (and a lot of insects — ironically, just as the world is starting to take notice that the overall trend is disasterous).

  2. I didn’t know that insect numbres were up …great news

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