10 April 2011


As we drive around the villages of the Touraine, a common site is the village lavoir.  In Le Grand-Pressigny we have found two; one by the river and a long way from the main road, and a smaller one on the road to Le Petit-Pressigny. 

This one in St-Rémy-sur-Creuse is right by the road through the village.

st remy 1

Usually it is decorated with flowers in hanging baskets suspended from the beams.  Obviously when I took these photos the flowers had given up.  Perhaps the task of watering them was just too much by the end of the summer.

st remy 2

Lavoirs were used for the public washing of laundry before dwellings had their own water supply and are usually sited by a river or spring.  Here in St-Rémy you can see the pump so presumably there is a well or spring nearby.  The river is quite a distance away.

Our little cottage in LGP has its own well in the back garden.  There is a right of access along the passage between our house and the neighbours and three dwellings share the use of the well.  It’s completely dry now.

The lavoirs in Le Grand-Pressigny are a fair distance from the house and the walk back from either of them is up a steep hill.  I often find myself wondering what life was like in previous centuries – pretty hard, I think, and especially on wash-day.  Mme André told me that she moved into her cottage the year after piped water arrived, which was in 1955.

7 April 2011


st remy 5

No, this is not my motorcycle parked precariously pointing slightly downhill. The owner was probably in the bar having a drink.

On the day I took this photo, lunch was being served.  There were a number of cars parked nearby and couples and workers were piling in.  It was a Friday lunchtime and I caught a whiff or two of something tasty as I walked by.

st remy 13

I had just dropped Nick off for a few hours’ fishing down by the bridge at Descartes.  He likes it there by the fishing café – all the facilities a fisherman could need are on hand.

I was therefore off the lead and tempted to indulge in lunch myself.  But then I thought I would save the experience for us to enjoy together another day.

st remy 3

In any case, I was enjoying my walk around the village, taking photos and seeing the sights.  Green is one of the colours approved for doors and windows in the region.  The greens used vary enormously from a very pale pastel green, which I like, to this dark green, which I am not so fond of.

st remy 4

That day, I broke one of my own personal rules – “strike whilst the iron is hot”.  We passed by the auberge many times after that and it never seemed to be open for lunch.  Then last year scaffolding appeared and subsequently the whole building has been gutted.  The front has been completely done up and the interior stripped.

I couldn’t tell if the auberge was going to be turned into a house or a new restaurant.  It seems that we may have missed our chance to try it.

5 April 2011


We do quite a bit of our shopping at Descartes which is about 15 minutes from Le Grand-Pressigny along the main road.  Instead of going the quickest way, through Abilly (pronounced “Abee-yee”), we often go “the back way” which takes us across to the other side of the Creuse river and through some pretty villages.

One of them is called St-Rémy-sur-Creuse.  Late in August last year (or possibly the year before), instead of just driving through, I stopped for a look around and took some photos.

st remy 6

st remy 7

I wandered up the hill away from the main road and discovered a charming church, perched on the hillside with a lovely view over the valley below.

As you can see, it was one of those sultry late summer days.  The sky was heavy with a storm threatening and it was very warm.  It didn’t rain in the end, I seem to remember.

st remy 8

st remy 12st remy 9

A wedding had recently taken place at the church, just a few days before judging by the freshness of the confetti scattered in the doorway.  What a lovely and romantic setting for a wedding.

st remy 10

At the back of the church is the old well, in its own little house.

st remy 11

There is so much to discover in our little corner of France.  Each time we visit we see things we have driven past so many times but not really noticed before.  It is a delight to get out of the car and have a proper nosey round.