28 September 2009


Lulu enjoying a walk in the cool of the morning.
Before we set off for France we had checked the weather forcast periodically and it looked like we were in for a good couple of weeks. When we arrived I was surprised to see how parched everything was. Our little lawn was quite brown, in spite of the TLC lavished on it by Nicole (in her Chez ANIA Jardinage capacity). In actual fact for the whole two weeks it was really hot and we had mostly brilliant sunshine. By Wednesday of week one we were getting temperatures of 38° C in the mid-afternoon.
Breakfast on the terrace every morning was one of our favourite times.

We had to plan our trips out very carefully. Lulu could not be left in the car for even two minutes at these temperatures. Sometimes we would take her with us if there were likely to be places we could let her have a run around. Mostly we would leave her at home, with access to the garden, and she seemed quite happy with this.

The Abbey at St-Savin-sur-Gartempe.

On one of our days out we stopped at St-Savin-sur-Gartempe. We had passed through the town a few times before but on this day, we stopped, had a drink in the square in the shade and a walk around.

The Gartempe is the river at St-Savin

It is a lovely place. Down by the river it had a very tranquil feel, apart from the enormous lorries that occasionally thundered over the nearest bridge in the picture. So many pretty towns in France have to endure the heavy lorries that rather spoil things. We didn't fancy going into the museum but were content with a stroll along the river under the shady trees. The sun was quite fierce and it was awkward getting good photos in the dazzle of the afternoon.

The old mediaeval bridge over the Gartempe, just by the Abbey.

The whole place was generally very quiet. I found it difficult to grasp the fact that most of France had gone back to work and almost back to school by the time we had arrived for our major summer holiday.

This is our favourite time of year for a holiday. The crowds have usually gone but most places are still in full swing and the weather is often superb. The fabulous blue skies in our photos reminds me of how lucky we were with the weather this year.

We thought we seemed to see fewer British cars than on previous years - the last fortnight at the end of the school holidays is usually such a popular time for the English to take their holiday in France. Maybe the poor exchange rate and the "credit crunch" had put a lot of them off.

The war memorial at St-Savin.

If I remember correctly it is for the soldiers of the Crimean war - but I could be wrong.

We ended most of our trips out with a drink in the village square in Le Grand-Pressigny, usually at the PreHisto but often at the Jean-Bart, depending which had the shade or the empty tables.

"Just another day in Paradise" is what we would say each morning as we awoke to blue skies and sunshine, day after day.


  1. Classy dog, classy name. Not like scruffy old git of a collie called Spot ;-)

    And her tail. Handy for corners, eh?

    Mad x

  2. Did you go inside the church at Saint-Savin? It is amazing. We went in June with S & S. Very nice.

  3. Ken - we didn't go into the church this time but I do remember your post about it and the wonderful photos.
    We're saving it for another trip.

  4. We had a drink at that same sidewalk terrace last June before meeting up with Susan and Simon in Preuilly :). Btw, I hope Lulu has completely recovered from the savage agression she sufffered during your recent holiday? Martine

  5. Mad - classy is not the term we used when she rolled in something extremely unpleasant the day after we had forked out a small fortune for her posh hairdo. !!

    Martine - she's fine now, thank you. And still happy around other dogs - I was concerned that the attack would make her frightened of them.

  6. you are right, it looks like Paradise! calm, cozy, quiet. thanks for nice photos!

  7. I've noticed this year that most of ur bookings have been weekly rather than for fortnights.


  8. We have just found your blog. I sit here in 'the smoke' relishing our return to Touraine to do the autumn leaves and winterise the old house. Any excuse would do. We have purchased all the new bits for the house (light fittings and paint this time) and are ready to push the project forward again. Insulate the HWT in les combles so that it doesn't leak this winter in the frost (-17C last year for a bit - we got off quite lightly!).
    Your blog story is a charmer....

  9. Christian - thank you and welcome.

    GG - there were definitely fewer brits around this year. Good luck with your quest and be careful.

    M. Proust - thanks for the compliment. We are also looking forward to our next visit in mid-October. Autumn is lovely in Touraine. But we have a lot of decorating to do this time.