Posted on August 31, 2020
Posted on July 12, 2020
This week, the challenge is to post a picture that conveys ‘your culture’.
Which begs the question, what is my culture? As an English (although I prefer to be Scouse, which is most definitely not the same thing) expatriate living very happily in rural France, the answer is by no means clear-cut.
However, I think this image of a brightly painted old-fashioned cart on display outside the Mairie gives a decent idea of my current cultural circumstances.
52 Week Smartphone Challenge: 28 Your Culture
Posted on November 15, 2018
This week we have what are, to the best of my knowledge, the last few photogenic doors in the local village of Mézières-sur-Issoire
Last week’s post ended with the door at 1 Rue du Lavoir. Here are some more doors from the same little street:
In rather better condition is this shed door, to be found on the main road:
And finally, just to prove that we’re all out of doors, an impressively weatherbeaten pair of shutters (big enough to be a door)
Thursday Doors 15 November 2018
Posted on November 8, 2018
A couple of weeks ago saw the annual ‘Expo’ of arts and ‘passions’ in our local village. As in previous years, Madame dispalyed some of her quilts, to widespread approbation, while I stuck up a few photographs for people to walk past without noticing.
Once again, I took the opportunity after lunch to go for a wander around parts of the village that are off the beaten track and managed to find a few doors (enough for this week and next, at any rate) that I had somehow missed in previous years.
This first one is actually on the main road, but down at ground level I’d not noticed it before.
The next few doors were along a road that leads out of town into the countryside.
This one is particularly interesting – if you like that kind of thing – as it’s clear from the surrounding stonework that it’s been repurposed at least twice in its history:
Back in the centre of the village is a little lane, Rue du Lavoir (Laundry Street), that few would venture along without a specific purpose – or the need to feed the insatiable Doors monster:
Thursday Doors 8 November 2018
Posted on July 6, 2018
The French equivalent of the Fire Brigade is the Sapeurs Pompiers. At last October’s Expo in Mézières-sur-Issoire, the local Pompiers put on a display of some of their ‘veteran’ equipment, including this mobile water pump that dates from 1949.
Posted on April 20, 2018
This well-weathered wooden bench is just outside the Cabinet Médicale, on the main road through our local village of Mézières-sur-Issoire. It’s been there for quite a while.
Posted on February 8, 2018
WordPress’ Photo Challenge for this week asks for an image of where we live.
The eponymous village at the centre of the commune where we live is called Mézières-sur-Issoire. With the best will in the world, you couldn’t describe it as a tourist destination. There are no buildings of particular historical interest (although it does have its fair share of interesting doors). In the summer, tourists are more likely to pass through than to stop, unless it’s to use the parking facilities for mobile homes.
However, it can boast a touch of whimsy, in the form of the concrete sheep that are dotted around along the main road. This is sheep country after all.
I well remember the first time we saw them, as we drove into the village that has now become our home. They are – at least if you’re in a moving car – quite realistic, and are positioned so that they appear to be about to cross the road. They’re at least as effective as a speed bump – the first time, at any rate.
Posted on November 23, 2017
Some more doors from my latest local doorscursion.
This one is opposite the door with the shadows on it that I featured last week. Back in the day, there would have been a pig behind the lower door and some chickens above. We’ve got one of these outbuildings, although it’s been renovated (and contains garden furniture rather than livestock).
Next to the church is this rather grand edifice, possibly the priest’s house once upon a time:
Although the church steeple can be seen here, it’s actually the back door of the bar/restaurant:
And a couple of doors from just along the road:
And finally, appropriately enough, this door is on the way out of town. Far more interesting than its modern neighbour, I think:
Thursday Doors 23 November 2017
Posted on November 16, 2017
About a year ago, I put up a couple of posts featuring doors to be found in our local village of Mézières-sur-Issoire. Those photographs were taken on the day of the annual ‘Expo’ of hobbies and ‘Passions’ (steady on) organised by a local cultural society. Madame was wowing everyone with her quilts in the salle de polyvalente so I went walkabout for a doorscursion.
The 2017 edition of the Expo was held last month. Madame did her wowing again and although I did exhibit some of my photographs they didn’t attract so much interest as to keep me detained
– so I took off for some further door-based exploration, with the results that will appear here over the next few weeks.
Even its most ardent advocates would not argue that Mézières is an ancient or particularly scenic place, so while its doors may lack the antique charm of some that have been posted here, they’re modest and unassuming and nothing if not honest.
I’ve often wondered what lay along the road called Chemin des Vignes that runs off from the square in front of the church. Well now we know:
Take another road less-travelled that runs from the opposite corner of the same square and there’s this:
Back in what you could call the town centre, there’s another example of a closed down commercial premises, to go with the ones I featured in the post ‘A Vendre’. This one was trying to flog electric heating – an uphill task when wood-burning systems are still the norm:
Finally for this week, a well-worn set of garden/garage doors:
Thursday Doors 16 November 2017
Posted on March 30, 2017
Something a little different this week…À vendre: For Sale.
Here in rural France there are innumerable properties, both residential and commercial, for sale. Many of these – perhaps even the majority – have been up for sale for many years. And they are, frankly, unsaleable.
When it comes to commercial properties – shops – the economic consequences of improved transport links and the spread of car ownership have left many rural communities with little more than the bare essentials available locally. In our village, for example, there is a boulangerie, a pharmacy, a ‘superette’ and – bizarrely – two hairdressers.
There are also plenty of empty shops optimistically displaying ‘À Vendre’ signs – as they have been for many years, to judge from the distinctly dated style of the shopfronts. Here are a couple of examples:
Of rather more architectural interest is this failed enterprise – hairdresser, parfumerie and purveyor of fishing supplies. Obviously, nothing worked:
Even large towns are proving incapable of supporting smaller local shops, as these two examples from Confolens illustrate:
Normal service will be resumed next week, with some reassuringly knackered doors from the cathedral city of Chartres.
Thursday Doors 29 March 2017