Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A French chateau and a sign which makes my heart beat faster

Over at the Our Beautiful World blog, the prompt this week is SIGNAGE. Aaaah, there is one sign which always makes my heart beat faster. Want to know what that could possibly be? LOL, if you know me and have been following for some time, then you can probably guess -

Of course you got it right, it is a brocante sign! Whether it is a sign to a brick and mortar shop or a handwritten note pointing the way to a brocante held in the street or a field, doesn't matter, it makes my heart beat faster.

And that brings me quite neatly to the next subject. We went to a brocante in Vandenesse on Sunday, and as we entered the town, I spotted this oh so pretty little chateau -

Couldn't stop to photograph it then, had to get to the brocante, lol, but we did stop on the way back. There was this huge long drive leading up to it, didn't seem private as lots of brocante visitors had parked there, so I took a little womble up to the chateau. This archway seemed to lead to the main part of the chateau, as it had a Propriete Privee notice on it -

In front of the archway, however, was a huge circular drive and to the left this enormous building which looked much more like the proper part of the chateau -

I just love the iron bands around the tower. Do you think there were really needed to hold the tower in shape :-) ?

How I love round towers! They are just fairy tale stuff -

Back to the archway to the private part of the property -

The studded doors are magnificent -

Of course I had to respect the privacy of the owners and couldn't just go through the archway, but I did have to take a quick pic, because I spotted a fabulous old zinc slipper bath by their door! -

Sometimes I wish I was a little braver and would dare to knock on the owners' doors and ask whether I could take photographs. Sigh. I am too timid.

Have a wonderful week wherever you are, toodlepip xxx

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A very French party - Neighbours Party 2014

Warning - photo heavy! Might bore those of you who were not at the party, to sleep as well, lol, as it is a record of our neighbours party and of course you don't know the people. Still, you might enjoy a few of the photos ;) !

The day had finally arrived. Andy had spent days emptying out the barn. Not the easiest task, lol, dealing with 11 years of accumulated bits and pieces, machinery, old wood, you name it, it was in there. But Wednesday saw it empty and cleaned up, and ready to be smartened up a bit. It would have been lovely to hold the party outside in the garden, but....... firstly, the weather forecast was pretty bad, and secondly, our garden is very slopey, there isn't a flat bit big enough to get enough table and chairs on. So, barn it had to be :-).

For those of you who haven't been longtime followers, I had better explain the background to the party - We bought our cottage, called La Croix Rozian, 11 years ago. One day, we were told that there had always been a cross on our land ( hence the name of the cottage ), but that the last cross had got struck by lightning and burned down many years ago. My DH decided to build a new cross and in 2007, we had a huge party to celebrate the raising of the cross. Approx. 70 local guests attended the blessing of the cross and of course the celebrations afterwards. Much food and wine was consumed, lol, and the party lasted from 1030 in the morning to 1030 at night! It was such a wonderful occasion, the neighbours here on the top of the hill decided to hold a neighbours party every year, and so it has been done ever since. Every year the getogether is at a different home, we all bring food and wine and have a jolly good time.

Anyhoo, this year, we hosted the party. Table and chairs were borrowed from the village. I kept the decorations fairly plain and simple, befitting the location, ie the barn, lol -

I took the above two photos through the open barn doors during a brief spell of dry weather. But shortly afterwards it started pouring down again, so the next pics were taken inside the barn with artificial lighting -

The long table was simply decorated with overgrown white round courgettes from the veggie garden, vintage jam jars with the sweetest pink roses and hawthorn berries from our hedges, gently scented candles in vintage jam jars and plates and cutlery from recent brocantes -

Well, that was the barn, almost ready for the party.

We also borrowed a marquee from one of our neighbours so that we could at least have the apero ( drinks and snackies before the meal ) in the garden. The weather was supposed to be a little better in the evening. Hmm. Well, the festivities started at 7pm-ish, and the rain did hold off for a while -

We have a very old swing set in the garden, left by the previous owners, and the children seemed to have great fun on it. By now the light was fading, it was 8.30pm-ish, so the 'action pics' are somewhat blurry, lol -

The French eat late, so it was probably around 8.45/9pm by the time we went inside to get stuck into the wonderful food everybody had brought along -

And look at the beautiful flowers I was given as well -

I was amazed that we got all 29 people and the food and drinks tables etc into the barn -

And to finish off, something rather rare, pics of my wonderful husband and myself together -

We finally closed the barn doors behind us just before 1am in the morning.

We had the most wonderful evening with the loveliest neighbours you could ever find. What a great little community!

Well, blimey, this is probably the longest post I have ever done, lol, and if any of you who were not at the party have lasted this long, then you all deserve a huge gold star!

Hugs to you all, toodlepip xxx