Posted on May 18, 2017
We live in a very rural part of France, where agriculture remains a crucial element of the local economy.
As most farms remain family businesses, they are typically much smaller than the vast agri-industrial enterprises to be found elsewhere. Modern methods are used, of course (nobody uses a pair of horses for tilling any more, apart from at the annual ploughing competition), but there is still plenty of heritage, in the sense of evidence of the way things used to be done.
In particular, there is the open-air museum of rural life at nearby Montrol-Sénard, which includes this barn, still containing old cattle byres. There were some just like these in our own barn when we bought it, but they were too far gone and disappeared during the restoration process.
Posted on November 17, 2016
Everywhere in France is part of one commune or another (and every commune belongs to a canton, and every canton belongs to a département, which in turn is part of a region and so on). Our little hamlet is about four miles from the eponymous village in the commune of Mézières-sur-Issoire.
Although we’ve now lived here for over four years, there are still parts of the village that I’ve never explored or looked at in any detail, but a recent Sunday afternoon provided an opportunity to redress that shortcoming and discover that there is no shortage of previously unseen – or at least unnoticed – interesting doors (not to mention gates, although that’s for next week).
For example, this charming wooden outbuilding, set back from the main road:
as is this barn:
Along a little lane which I’d never previously ventured down was this door in the corner of the garden wall of one of the village’s larger houses:
Much more familiar is the very grand house right in the centre of the village that’s lain empty for years. Somebody’d just bought it for a knock-down price, but now faces the mother of all renovation projects. Good luck with that (he said from personal experience).
This imposing edifice, also on the main road used to be a commercial premises of some sort, but the sign has faded to illegibility:
On a smaller scale and down a side road is another former commercial outlet, to judge by the door on the left, but again I’ve no idea what sort of business used to operate out of there:
Next week’s post will be devoted to gates rather than doors. On my wanderings around the village, I came across some highly photogenic ones.
Thursday Doors 17 November 2016
Posted on November 11, 2016
Nothing much to add in explanation of this image of our local village’s electronic information sign. Except perhaps that those clouds really were as dark and threatening as they look: about five minutes later we had a brief but heavy hailstorm.
Posted on October 15, 2016
It really can’t get much more local for me than this, because I took this photograph through my own front window.
That’s my neighbour Albert, keeping a watchful eye on one of his last few ewes as she takes her lamb from the barn over to the pasture, which is on the other side of the road that you can see at the top of the picture.
Sad to say, Albert died earlier this year. You can just see his faithful dog, Arielle, behind him. That’s about as far apart as they ever were: Arielle pined away and died about two weeks after Albert.
Posted on October 11, 2016
These rusting chains and hoops hang over the disused well in the centre of the nearby village of Bonnefont. At a guess, the hoops once held together wooden buckets, which were lowered on the chains to collect water.
Posted on August 18, 2016
Mortemart, about a twenty-minute drive from here at Tranquility Base, is listed as being among the most beautiful villages in France, according to the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. It’s all a matter of individual taste, of course, and personally I don’t think it’s a patch on Montrol-Sénard, which is another five minutes up the road and has made many appearances on this blog, and not just on the theme of doors.
However, it does have a few interesting doors, including this one, my particular favourite. Who can resist a ‘two-tone’ example that also boasts a ‘door within a door’?
or a long disused one like this:
Or even this more prosaic example:
Thursday Doors 18 August 2016
Posted on May 12, 2016
Chez Philippe is what’s known in France as a ‘Lieu-dit‘ (literally, ‘a place called..’). This appelation is usually given to a group of buildings not big enough to constitute a village, or even a hamlet. This one is in the neighbouring commune of Nouic and consists mainly of an alpaca farm run by an English couple. It also has many interesting doors, including the only one I’ve ever seen with a window-box:
Thursday Doors 12 May 2016