Tuesday Photo Challenge: Steps

Answering the theme of ‘steps’ this week is this dramatic-looking staircase to be found in the twelfth-century church in the nearby village of Saint-Martial-sur-Isop.

Although the ceiling has obviously been renovated,  this steep and winding set of stairs leading up to the roof looks, if not original then pretty old. Not surprisingly, it isn’t open to the public.

More responses to Frank’s latest challenge can be found here: Tuesday Photo Challenge: Steps

Tuesdays of Texture: Sheep-shearing

At last month’s Fête de la Laine, a local farmer gave a demonstration of the art of tonte – sheep-shearing. As the temeperature was over 30°C, I don’t suppose this ewe minded too much.

Tuesdays of Texture 20 June 2017

Tuesdays of Texture: Staircase

I think there could be some Health & Safety issues about this ancient staircase in the nearby village of Saint-Martial-sur-Isop. All very well to admire the textures, but you wouldn’t get me up there.

Tuesdays of Texture 30 May 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

WordPress is marking Earth Day this coming Saturday by taking ‘Earth’ as the subject for this week’s Photo Challenge.

In the same spirit, I’m recycling – in this case, an image from a previous post. Admittedly, though, this also has a lot to do with the fact that I’m travelling this week and so don’t have access to my full photo collection.

This field is no more than a few hundred yards from my house in rural France. It rained quite heavily after the crop was harvested, highlighting the lines drawn by the farmer’s plough.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

Thursday Doors: A Vendre

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:

a-vendre-3

a-vendre-2

Of rather more architectural interest is this failed enterprise – hairdresser, parfumerie and purveyor of fishing supplies. Obviously, nothing worked:

Optimistic

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

H is for Horse

This striking white horse is one of a group of about half a dozen or so that belongs to one of our neighbours.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: G or H