Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

Another walk – this time around St Just

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

It was a gorgeous day yesterday so after vegging out in front of the Coronation Street omnibus (I’m really bemused by John Stapes, who is so desperate to get back into teaching (after an unfortunate incident where he became obsessed by a pupil and kidnapped her…)(as you do.) that he is stealing someone’s identity so that he can become an English teacher. Teaching? I can perhaps understand someone being mad keen to get back into some other professions – and even that might be stretching it a bit far –  but teaching? When so many are leaving, stressed out, or are constantly abused by pupils…Why would you break the law to become a teacher again!!?! Oh well, you just know it’s all going to end in tears…Anyhoo, back to the plot:)

It was a gorgeous day yesterday so after vegging out in front of the Coronation Street omnibus I went out for a walk. I’d planned to do the short version, but feeling as though I needed to push myself a bit, I did the longer version. Here are the photos:

I started along the old railway line...

then up a path that was so wet there were marsh loving plants growing - marsh marigolds?

A herd of cows came to investigate me...
Photos of the house/barn we thought about buying

These are photos of the house/barn we thought about buying – in the end it was too impractical & would have been too expensive to do the conversions necessary. I did rather like the idea of my study (not Mr D’s!) being in the room with the round window, which I’ve always thought looks a bit chapel-like. It’s in a little hamlet not far from St Just.

The war memorial for the hamlet A view of St Justand finally…

Spring lambs.

No news on the Kitten front yet – thanks for the name suggestions. We’ll bear them in mind.

Wagamama-based meal was very tasty.

The Real Asterix the Gaul

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

This Thursday’s walk was on the plateau of Gergovie to the south of Clermont Ferrand. It is, as the name suggests, a plateau 744m high, above Clermont. Very flat. Here is the web page showing the plateau from the air. It is where, in 52 BC, Vercingétorix led the Gauls to a famous victory against the Romans

Five days later Caesar reached Gergovia and, realising its mountainous location made a frontal assault risky, relied on his superior siege tactics. He ordered a double trench, 12 feet wide, to be constructed between a captured hill and his main camp. Intending to completely encircle Gergovia and starve the Gauls inside, Caesar was interrupted by betrayal from his Gallic allies the Aedui, led by Litaviccus whom he fought and defeated after a desperate struggle.

Caesar then went back to Gergovia and realised that his siege would fail. His only chance now of victory was to get Vercingetorix off the high ground. He used a legion as a decoy and moved onto better ground, capturing three Gallic camps in the process. He then ordered a general retreat to fool Vercingetorix and pull him off the high ground. However, the retreat was not heard by most of Caesar’s force. Instead, spurred on by the ease with which they captured the camps, they pressed on toward the town and mounted a direct assault on it. The noise of the assault drew Vercingetorix back into the town. 46 centurions and 700 legionaries died in the resulting engagement, and over 6,000 were wounded on the Roman side, compared to the several hundred Gauls killed and wounded. In the wake of the battle, Caesar lifted his siege and advanced instead into Aedui territory.

Thanks to Wikipedia for this. I hope I don’t get done for copyright…

I believe that Vercingetorix was the inspiration for Asterix, although I may just be making this up…

Anyway, the walk was lovely. I started off walking in the woods which were obviously used for mountain biking and off roading, as there were several tracks. I followed them, fairly randomly, leaving boy scout twiggy arrows in case I had to retrace my steps. I didn’t though, and fortuitously (as my sense of direction is rubbish) emerged from the trees very close to the car. I ate my lunch, perched on a log, in the midst of the trees, surrounded by birds singing. The only ones I recognised were cuckoos and wood pigeons, but there were lots of others too.

Then I went on to the end of the plateau where Vercingetorix and his crew hung out. There are views all round – including, bien sur, the obligatory view of Puy de DomePuy de Dome.

I followed a path which took me along the edge of the plateau, and seemed to be somehow part of the route to Santiago de Compostella, judging by the little placards on some of the trees.

Sorry it's another lie-on-your-side photo!

I’m not quite sure why the route would take you onto the plateau – it seems to me that there’s one way on and the same way off, but maybe the path climbs the rather steep sides of the plateau and then heads off towards le Puy en Velay and thence on to Santiago.

Some of the other photos I took didn’t come out too well. I will take them again when I go up for another walk some other time. memorialThis one isn’t good, but I wanted to include it. I wonder why there was a Groupe Gergovie from the University of Strasbourg (nowhere near Clermont Ferrand) during the war. I’m guessing it was a Resistance group, although the website I linked to mentions “fouilles” which translates as “excavations” – but would students still be doing archaeological excavations during the war? And also the names carved on the stone, some of which you can see, all mention how the students died.

It appears, as far as I can understand from scanning sites in French, that  Vercingetorix, with his heroic stand against the Romans, became a bit of a symbol during the War, and there was indeed an incident/battle/call it what you will that occurred around Gergovie. As archaeology students from Strasbourg had been working there before the war, maybe they felt some kinship to the place – or maybe it was the fact that it was here that Vercingetorix made his stand that was the attraction. Maybe I’ll visit the Museum of the Resistance in Clermont one day and see if I can find anything more out.

At the risk of sounding I’m-not-sure-what (patronising?) I find that I want to explore more about the history of every day people during the invasion of France by the Nazis . I think because it really makes me wonder what I would have done, how I would have behaved. Here in St Just there is a direct link to my musings. Scroll down to 20th Century on this page (site created by Mr D) to see why. Maybe one day I’ll use it all in a novel… 😉

Another walk

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Yesterday I had another enjoyable walk – this was through the woods above Clermont Ferrand. I didn’t see quite so many signs of spring as on Monday, but I did hear a cuckoo. There were lots of other birds too, but I didn’t recognise their calls. On Monday I heard a woodpecker drilling, as well as disturbing a flock of bluetits, who chattered in alarm and flitted from bush to bush.

Here are the photos from yesterday’s walk:

Here's a view of the city. Oooh, I'm high up!

And here's Puy de Dome again - and yes, there has been snow since Monday's photo was taken.

Here’s Puy de Dome again – and yes, there has been snow since Monday’s photo was taken.

Now I must go and get myself organised for tonight’s Good Friday service – collecting Stuff, making a crown of thorns (but it will probably be made of broom), and printing off the little leaflets for the service. But before I go, here are one or two of the things for meditation that are in the booklet:

Think how easily you can tear bread: think how easily a person’s body can be hurt and broken.

Think how easily wine can be spilled: think how easily a person can be made to bleed.

Think how hard it is to undo the damage.


So many accusing fingers…denouncing, destroying our fellow men… How ready we are to blame others for our own calamities, our failures, our sin… How easily we point the fingers at those who cannot defend themselves…And yet, as we make others suffer, we diminish ourselves. Our threatening hands bind us with new chains…

I really should be working…

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I’ve got lots to prepare – this week’s Collège lessons (several will be on work experience, so I’m doing some more “fun” stuff with the remainders), tomorrow’s lesson with the children, and with my Estate Agent, as well as doing my French homework. I’ve bought a new scheme for the children: called Bingo! the main characters include the Loch Ness Monster. I’ve come to the end of the scheme I was using (” Methode d’Anglais – Decouvre l’anglais en voyageant avec Alice et Jeremy”) which was good, apart from the annoyingly patronising voice of the lady giving instructions on the CD. The next level up on this scheme is too advanced for Clèment, so I’m taking a sideways step with Bingo! We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, I’m not working because I want to show some pictures of the walk I did yesterday. It was great – I took my lunch with me, ate it overlooking the plain, and then had a walk around a hilltop. Serendipidously I managed to find a way to make the there-and-back walk that I’d planned be a circular walk, which is much more preferable! I shall enjoy doing it again later in the year to see how things have changed.

So, this is the view from where I had lunch. This is across the Plain de Limagne – the hills you can see in the distance are the Monts de la Madeleine, which are “our” hills. The town just below is Riom, or possibly Menetron, which is a suburb of Riom.

This is a Llama – which, of course, you expect to see on your walk in the French countryside.

Signs of spring:

Sorry, for that last one you need to lie on your side again. (I will work it out one day!)

Then a view of Puy de Dome – the mountain that dominates Clermont Ferrand – and a view of the city from the same place.

There! I hope you liked them.

Now: au boulot! (Tr: Get off your a*se and do some work!)

ETA: When I published this all the descriptions went a bit haywire and ended up in the wrong place. If it does it again you’ll have to work it out for yourself – I’ve already spent longer than I meant to doing this!!)


Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Mr D found a cable that worked and so I have downloaded my photos from the camera to the pooter.

So here’s a quick whiz through some of the Events of the past 6 months or so…

This was the chateau that Mr D and I went to to celebrate our 50th birthdays. Friends bought us a voucher for a meal there and we used some birthday money to stay overnight. It was a delicious meal (I don’t think I’ve quoted the menu. Apologies if I have):

  • Radis Noir en chutney de pomme verte, tranche de Saumon à la plancha, vinaigrette épicée en gelée, petit bonbon de poisson cru.
  • Pavé de cabaillaud au sel fumé et snacké, étuvée de lentilles aux joues de porc confites raz-el-hanout, lard virtuel.
  • Magret de canard cuit sur sa peau et taillé en aiguillette, Coing tout en contraste, pastilla de cuisse au genièvre, jus vinaigré
  • Le fromage
  • Biscuit spéculoos, compote tremblotante de cassis, pomme caramélisée comme une crème brulée, sorbet déstructuré.
  • Nuage de Moka ou infusion, sucreries pour les gourmandes et les gourmands.

It was fab.

Lie on your side, Folks!

This was from our trip to Lyon for la Fete de la Lumière – the weekend of 8th December. It is an amazing day out – there are light installations all over the city, plus a Christmas Market. This year there were fireworks as well. We had a good day, though not as satisfactory as other years. Here’s a view of the city from Fourviéres, where there is a splendidly OTT (in my Protestant opinion!) basilica to the Virgin.  Plus another light installation

OK, what’s next?This was a walk around the village in the snow. Here’s a view of our chateau – this is where there’s the little craft shop where my cards are on display. The clouds were getting a bit ominous by now! And this is the caravan for the Municipal Goats! The Council have denied that it cost the reported 5,000€. But it looks very cosy with it’s verandah and window! And here is a not-very-good photo of said Municipal Goats (or maybe these are Municipal Sheep) having a tasty snack:Next, we have cold cows, on another snowy walk. I remember this walk – I was the first along the forest track, apart from deer/rabbits/wild boar and I could see their tracks. It was splendid (even when I lost my keys when they fell out of the bib pocket of my saloppettes when I went for an al-fresco pee! I found them after 10 minutes frantic searching!)

The pictures keep not being next to their explanations. I’ve tried editing twice. If it doesn’t work this time, tant pis, you’ll have to work it out for yourselves!

And here are the Poor Cats tucking into their dinners:

This is Tiny Lil looking a little pathetic, poor love.

I’m not sure who this is – either Tiny Lil, or maybe Baby. It could be Will (named after a friend of ours. )

And here’s Pomme, our cat, sniffing my knees after I’d been to the Poor Cats. She always checks up to see which cat(s) I smell of today. In the background you can see our sitting room. Not very tidy, comme d’habitude!)

And finally, a couple of pictures of our hens:

Here you can see Raoul, the cockerel, Cou-Nou (French for “Naked Neck”) and I think it’s Tikka (She’s the black one. And yes, we have another black hen called Masala.)

This is Pinkie (or is she Rosie? I think her name is Pinkie, but for some reason I get her mixed up with the other chicken we used to have. Which was called Rosie. Or was it Pinkie? Anyhoo, I always thought this hen looked like a Rosie.) Sadly Pinkie/Rosie died on Wednesday. It was a natural death, which saved her from Death By Shovel which would have happened if she’d not died before G’s neighbour got home. None of us (the four who share the chickens) can bring ourselves to kill the hens, so we have to bring in an executioner when they’re on the way out. We don’t know what she died of, but she was very unhappy at the end…So, as they say, “It was a Happy Release”.

So there you go. Lots of piccies. Now another 6 month wait before the next lot!!!