13 July 2010


We are coming to an end of the Cassagnes series. We had a lovely time there with Pete and Cyn and it is so different from where we live in the Loire.

After our day exploring, while the men took a well-earned nap I went out and about with my camera. Cyn took me on a guided tour of the village.

There was hardly a soul about, at 5pm. This little girl was fascinated by Lulu and kept turning up on every other street corner on her bicycle. Her name was Sophie.

This cat was keeping a careful eye on Lulu, too.

The flowers around the village were at their best at this time of year. Later on it is difficult to keep plants going because it is so hot.

There were very pretty trees, too.

This chap was out by himself and not used to visitors like Lulu in the village. He came to say hello after a while but then ran off when she started jumping all over him, in typical silly young poodle fashion.

I spent almost a whole hour walking around the village and it was very quiet. It was warm and sunny with that beautiful golden evening light that we never get at home in England. But there were hardly any other people about. The tremontane was still blowing so maybe that keeps people indoors. Apart from Sophie we exchanged pleasantries with one person on foot and heard voices from the occasional window and from the boulangerie. A couple of cars passed by.

Cyn tells me that there are lots of feral cats in the village. Every so often a cull is organised to control the population. Cats without collars are shot or poisoned. It seemed so cruel and sad, looking at these cute little creatures, but no doubt a necessary solution to a big problem.

We also saw four of these, all obviously still in use although some in much better condition than others. Two beige, one red and one royal blue. I still have a hankering for one.

One day, perhaps.

(I wonder if they ever made them in lime green.)


  1. I'm sure you could have an R4 painted any color you want, Jean! I saw a beige one like the one in your picture but in mint condition. It had obviously just been repainted and generally refurbished. It was headed into Saint-Aignan, and I was tempted to follow it to see if it might be for sale.

  2. Ken - I would be torn between keeping it an original and authentic colour, so that the purists in the field of restoration of R4's would approve, or painting it something really funky, such as lime or purple, the rebel's approach. Both ideas appeal to me.
    I would definitely call it Maude. I think.

  3. Shooting and poisoning isn't the solution to a feral cat problem. All that will happen is new ferals will move in. And I wonder what protection a collar gives against poison, or being shot from a distance? They need a proper programme of trap, neuter and release so everyone wins - cat population stays healthy and stable, people don't have to be inhumane.

  4. I agree with Susan! Especially with our two cats arriving here very soon.
    As for the Renault 4 and colour.... get one and get it re-sprayed any colour you like. There was one in the Citroën garage at the Descartes end of Abilly that was being prepared for the 4L rally to Dakar that was bright purple... lime green would look really good. We 'deuchists' go in for really good, funky colour schemes. For the purists one only needs to look after the original finish on 'historic' models.

  5. Thank you for the delightful tour. Always so delightful, and informative — both pictures and commentary.

    One thing you've never mentioned, so I'll ask. How does Lulu take to riding on a Harley?

  6. Your pics are gorgeous and I can see why the girl was infatuated with Lulu! She's a doll!

    I agree with Susan also. That sounds very cruel and is not the way to solve the problem. Here they are trapped and neutered. We got our 2 black cats from the shelter and I'm so glad they were put up for adoption!

  7. Thanks for the tour, I have really enjoyed it.
    I also agree about the cats, wearing a collar is not going to save them from poison and probably not from shooting either.

  8. I enjoyed the walk - nice village but most of them.
    We also have walked thru villages and thought that they must be deserted, especially between 12 and 2.
    As for the R4, I'm keeping my eye on one here in Melbourne and have put in a offer of interest. Just waiting now.

  9. R4. My first car memory. Our parents drove it in Austria.
    The gearstick, the vent, everything was so different.