Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

There’s a bit of a story behind this particular image, posted in response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge ‘Awakening’.

In October 2004 we came to France with the express purpose of finding a house to buy. We stayed in a gîte – I can’t remember the exact location, but it was somewhere in the Vienne département – and I brought with me my first digital camera, a 3MP Olympus compact (really good lens, by the way).

One morning – upon awakening, you could say – I looked out of the bedroom window and saw the dawn mist in the shallow dip between the hamlet where we were staying and the local village.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

Portrait of a sheep about to be shorn

This sheep was patiently waiting its turn to be sheared when I spotted it at last year’s ‘Wool Fair’ in nearby Saint-Martial-sur-Isop.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Facial Features

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favourite Place

Echoing the theme of ‘Place’ set by Frank at Dutch Goes The Photo! on Tuesday, WordPress’ theme for their latest Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘Favourite Place’.

For the sake of consistency – and because where I am now really is my favourite place – what can I do but post another image of home?

For Frank’s challenge, I showed an image of some trees that form part of the boundary between my two fields. Here, though, is one of those fields, as it was when we first saw it back in 2004.

The wooden fencing has been replaced by the wall seen in the other image, and the sheep – which belonged to our neighbour – have gone. Overall, it looks a little better groomed now than it did back then, although that’s probably only because the growing season hasn’t kicked in properly yet.

Restful (or, as they say round here, ‘tranquille’) isn’t it?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favourite Place

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beware Of The ‘Sheep’

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tour Guide

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Progress

Out here in the French countryside, many things are still done as they have been for generations – working off the lunar calendar, for example. However, the local farmers are by no means averse to using technology to make their life a bit easier.

So the horses have been put out to grass and the heavy work is now done with tractors. And that’s progress.

Just ask the horse.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Progress

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Broken

Still away from base, so for Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge this week it’s another dig into the archives to match his theme of ‘Broken’.

I must say, this is one of my favourite photos – a broken cartwheel seen through the window of the blacksmith’s shop in the nearby ‘living museum’ village of Montrol-Sénard. The blurring of the ancient glass and the spiders’ webs gives the image an other-worldly atmosphere.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Broken

Pastoral

Living, as we do, in the depths of the French countryside, it was never going to be a problem to find an image to respond to Cee’s theme for this week of ‘All Things Farm-Related’.

However, there’s only so much interest you can wring out of yet another picture of a tractor, so instead here is a landscape from just up the road. The item in the foreground is a hay feeder, used in the winter months when the sheep don’t have freshly growing grass to chew on. This photograph was taken in early summer this year, so no need for the winter silage.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: All Things Farm Related