Monday, 28 April 2014

A little walk in the French countryside

Yesterday was a busy busy day. The weather was really iffy, very grey and looking like rain, but at 7am in the morning, it was dry and I was becoming more and more optimistic about the brocante being on. We decided to chance it and set off for the 3/4hour drive. It was definitely worth it, the brocante was in full swing when we got there, yay! And most of the stalls were 'particuliers', private sellers, not dealers. I'll have to show you all the stuff I bought in another post though, because today I want to take you on a little walk in the French countryside. 

First, a few pics I took on the way back from the brocante, of a small field full of cornflowers. I do love cornflowers and you don't see them very often these days. What a delight therefore to see a whole field full of them! -

Sunday was also the day for the annual country walk in Cuzy, a tiny little village not far from us. People come from far and wide to take part in these walks. There are always three routes of different lengths, the shortest one was 9.2km this time. And for the first time this year, the routes went right past our little cottage. Also a first, I decided to do part of the walk as well this year. I hadn't in the past because of health reasons but thought I could manage a few hilly kilometres this time. I am so glad I did. We took our doggies along as well. The plan was that I would do half the walk up to where it came past our cottage and then stay put with the doggies, while Andy completed the round. He would then pick up the car in the village and come and get me for the 'repas', the meal which is always such a lovely part of any activity. 

I took photos along the way of course, the scenery was so beautiful and the rain held off for most of the walk. So come and walk with me up and down a few hills in the beautiful Burgundy countryside -

The walk started at the village hall, right next to this lovely little church-

It struck me as quite funny that the church had a post box next to door, I always thought the mail would go to the vicarage. But then, I suppose the village is far too tiny to have a vicarage and a resident priest. I would think a priest visits every other Sunday or so.

I love the old local houses, built with field stones -

and this window in one of the them looked like an eye to me -

Once past the few houses, the walk took us onto little paths and tiny roads. In the Spring, the roadsides look so beautiful with all those lovely wildflowers in full bloom -

Even the smallest village boast a little chateau somewhere close by -

And the dogs were so excited to sniff out so many new smells -

Little brooks gently flowing downhill

and small farms dotted about -

Wildflowers everywhere

And millions of spent dandelions -

Escargots! Snails! We have seen our neighbouring farmer collect these by the bucketload after a nice long rain. The dogs were very interested in them-

The name of this place always makes us chuckle -

A cheese safe, right outside in Mother Nature under a tree. I often see them at brocantes but had never seen one in use outside -

If you look closely, you can just see the little chateau we passed earlier -

Wild orchids -

You can just about see the lake down in Cuzy, the village where we started -

And this is the half way refreshment station, right at the top of our lane and manned by Thierry, our closest neighbour, and friends. My DH Andy is just on the way to complete the second part of the walk after I retired to the cottage with the doggies :-) -

As planned, he picked me up after the walk and we went back to the village hall for the meal. Delicious!!! As I was looking out of the window, I noticed this little feature on the church -

How quirky is that! A door and a few stone steps half way up the side of the church, lol. And a purple ladder leading up to the steps. To the bells, we believe

In between the showers it had been a fair day for walking and I think that it was yet another very successful day for the village. Boy, was I tired out after all that walking at the brocante and the Cuzy walk! 

I hope your weekend was lovely as well, and I wish you all a wonderful week.
Toodlepip xxx

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Catching up

Well, trying to, anyway, but not doing all that well. The last few days we have been in the garden, clearing, digging, weeding, planting up some of the flower pots etc. Today we got some of the potatoes and some tomatoes in the ground. And now it is raining, yuck.

But even in the rain, it is so lovely up here on our little hill top. The view over the valley is always different. Some days in the mornings we are above the clouds and the valley is filled with a layer of cloud 

and some days we are IN the clouds, and the early morning walk takes place in a world made all mysterious 

And then the clouds lift, the sun breaks through, and the view from the kitchen window shows a different world again with just the slightest haze giving everything a pearly shimmer -

A few days ago, whilst taking the dogs out for their morning walk, I came across a mess of feathers on the path. I was so sad to see that the feathers were those of a hoopoe, such a beautiful bird. I don't know what killed it, possibly a bird of prey, but there was nothing left of the bird except a lot of feathers. I picked them all up carefully, cleaned them and dried them as they were wet with the morning dew -

I'd like to make a collage with some of the feathers, kind of to honour the bird whose death gifted me with these beautiful things.

I was so happy when the post lady drove up in her little yellow van and delivered my swap ATCs from Kimberly. The theme for the swap had been, Pink, Black and Bling, and I was over the moon with the ATCs I received in the swap.

I was so lucky to receive one of Kimberly's ATCs -

She is a wonderful swap hostess and her ATCs are always such a delight.

Next, Sylvia's oh so stylish and elegant ATC -

And Jane's absolutely gorgeous ATC -

And Kimberly had sent them so beautifully packaged, personalised and with the cutest yoyo flower brooch -

The weather forecast for the next few days is for rain, rain, rain, which is so disappointing. I was looking forward to a brocante / vide grenier tomorrow, but it might not happen :-(. Ah well, I might actually get round to measuring, packing and listing a few of the things I found at the last one!

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are, and as always, thank you for visiting.

Toodlepip xxx