Grand Old Duke of York at Cordes Sur Ciel

Today (Saturday) we collected our first visitor and drove straight to Cordes bit of a mad dash from Toulouse, as the flight was slightly delayed and so we only just made it to lunch in time ( more on that on a separate post) through the constant rain. The photos speak for themselves although lashing down and donned with rain coats and a chill, in the rain it was still beautiful to walk carefully, even if out of breath and heart in aerobic beating fashion from the restaurant at the bottom through the winding cobbled & artisanal filled streets to the top and as soon as we reached the summit with ‘The Duke’ whose idea it had been to visit despite the weather marched us, back down again, as he was cold and wet and his shoes were letting in water… not even a pause for coffee at the top.

 

Just one of the Artisinal boutiques… amazing hand painted fabric…amonsgt many other treasures.

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Strange girl behaviour from Essex

for the cat lovers

 

 

 

 

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La Toussaint -All Saints day

Many Christians remember the lives of their mort relatives and all the saints on this day 1st November (Fixed). They visit special church services, place Fleurs on family graves. Here in France, it is also a popular period for a short autumn vacances to visit or be close to famille members.

The streets have been lined with flowers for sale at the florists. Chrysanthemums are an important symbol of grief and funerals and can be seen in abundance. Hence, they are often laid on graves, turns out they are for this day NOT to for giving as gifts.

I walked along with the dog ‘Fidget’ this evening to the local church and its tiny cemetery to see for myself, they are well-kept places although I did have a bit of a chuckle at the small collection of empty laundry liquid bouteilles et other plastic bottles disregarded but for communal use to top up the flowers and plants with eau.  Wish I’d taken that photo now! However, I was being discreet incase it was disrespectful.  I’m told, inside this dull appearance church, its beautiful, and a surprise. Peut-Etre I’ll be brave and venture in some day when the doors are open.

 

Sauveterre de Rouergue meets Kentwell Hall’s great unwashed!

Ici nous avons acheté et mangé a newspaper cone of 2€50 of handroasted chestnuts, in the smaller photos (click on them to enlarge) vous can see le feux being prepared for the Association La Fête de la Châtaigne et du Cidre Doux Sauveterre de Rouergue more mass-produced roasted Châtaigne. In the bingo style roasting cages you can see the rest stacked up waiting for the crowds with cinq plus feu, served in a cardboard pop up chip cup sadly I didn’t ask le prix.

As we were leaving we saw this barrel arrive on the trailer (the French do love a trailer) the Guy hammering in the tap, So I said to Martin shall we buy a bottle (as I was driving) and test it tonight and if its good we can by some more tomorrow, he said no, lets just buy un verre, in case we don’t like it… so he bought one for himself…turns out it was jus de pomme ( and very nice it was too) disappointingly for Martin not cidre (pomme doux) as the name of the fête suggested so I drank the plastic cup as Martin does not like apple or apple juice but he likes apple pie/tarte/crumble and cidre… funny that dont you think? Lets hope the pommes doux has arrived by the time the real fête on Dimanche 30 octobre gets under way.

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The artisans were all flogging their wares, handcrafted clothes, soaps, jewelry, hair braids, chimes made from empty glass bottles with the bottoms chopped off.

Drummers drumming, extremely relaxed men :-s and women, banging their own portable drums in an echo fashion, coming and going in the tents, passers-by having a petit danse, under the table of the crowded alfresco diners of the great unwashed, was an Albino Dog sleeping as I left so I couldn’t get a photo.

http://www.softr2rootsergue.com/ is the music festival that was on the built stage Friday & Saturday.

On a separate note but as I took the photo in the square floating in the air above the buildings which are about 5 levels but not quite into the beautiful blue ciel, see below a mass of cobwebs, also the hedgerows had them blowing into the road like ribbons. Amazing amounts of web confirming the dense population of spiders one sort or the other and that you are always within 3 feet of a spider!

Daily Prompt: Ancient

via Daily Prompt: Ancient

How old does something have to be to be labelled Ancient?

As a youngster the word ancient came into my slang vocabulary to describe anything more than a few weeks if it wasnt current it was ancient. Here we are in antiquated France asking to voir avec l’agence immobliere old stone houses using the french equivalent word ancienne pierre maison out in the countryside. Yet instead of 200 year old buildings like this house we viewed at Monesties, we have called it the ‘Yellow House’ for some unknown reason.

but for some unknown and bizarre reason they take us to see a village house like this nouvelle sous-sol.

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HabiTarn – Language knowledge

So we got up early on 21 Octobre (remember we are an hour in front here and less daylight I think) to travel down to Albi Expo Parc SSW of Albi centre for an exhibition which was a cross between a Place in the Sun Exhibition, the French House Exhibition & The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show not quite the ideal home exhibition. We decided to go to ‘hit’ the ‘immoblieres‘ in one place in one day without having to trawl the towns cities and arrondissements seeking out the shop fronts, that hide in the strangest of places, some of which only do city and modern houses.

The exhibition boasts neuf agents immobiers,  in two halls spread out in 180 other vendors.

Anyway we walked the halls looking at roofing, air con, sofa extending tables, piscines, insulation, heating systems, solar everything,  gates, ride on lawn mowers, tools, ferriers windows & wood burning fires and stoves amongst other things. We went on the Friday the first day to avoid the rush that may have been on the Sat & Sun and miss any ‘ideal’ houses for sale. atone of the stalls we meet and agent who we had already exchanged details with in her office in Albi. I spotted her as she turned around to pick up a pamphlet for the couple she was serving as we had started talking to her colleague,  she remembered who we were and what exactly were our requirements which both shocked and impressed us. The reason for this surprise of ours is that we never seem to get any follow-up with marketing touches like you do in england with the British agents, so we tried in our Fraglish to stop and explain to her collegue that we had already registered…. NO they don’t put you on a central database or pass on your details to other agents in other areas as they are all independent and if they dont sell they dont get paid that’s how come they get such a commission.

Language – we have learned so many words to do with houses buildings and their features its great but it’s also embarrassing as we can real them off with the correct pronunciation trouble is you sound like you know  the language and they reply back at you with full speed and local accents thrown in for good measure and we look back at them like we don’t even recognise the language… which sometimes we just dont!

I’ve just done a quick count of business cards – vingt quatre and that just the ones I organised. They  claim they are all so busy we have to wait a week for an appointment viewing yet they say the market is quiet… hmm closed on Sundays all day and Monday mornings, some of them all day and some halfday Wednesday and Saturday and every working day has the two-hour lunch… you got to love it!

 

 

Who lives in a house like this?

Virac 81640, Tarn. Pres d’Albi.

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La Crouzille, a short drive to Cordes sur Ciel (a fortified town built in 1222 by Raimon VII the count of Toulouse), we were accompanied by Pierre Albouze dans la chemise géniale.

Mais nous avons besoin que le terrain… he is asking the inheritors …

A whole day of viewings a demain with Loopy Laura our Anglais agent

Sauveterre-de-Rouergue

Une Plus Beaux village en France en Aveyron – the largest arcaded square in the Rouergue, a gem in architectureimg_1123

Timber framed and corbelled houses

Ornamental Carved Stone  – Gargoyles – Gargouilles img_1142img_1124

  Wrought Portes

Remains of historique merchants of various trades in commerce- knife makers, hat makers, forge and boutiques

Entrance gateways invite you in and draw you back to times of Kings, wars and plagues.

Gorges du Tarn

Today we drove to Tanus, Treban, Lédergues, Requista, Brousse-le-Château, crossing the rive Tarn, famous for its brutal floodings. In the floods of March 1930 it rose over 17 meters(56ft) in 24 hours, the low districts of Montauban and almost all of Moissac destroyed along with thousands of homes sadly killing around 300 people.

Driving alongside it crossing back and forth as the roads dictated via Montclar, Trébas where we stopped and registered out details with Emmanuelle at l’agence immobiliere, through tunnels, one in Ambialet passing by Église Notre Dame de l’Audery. Rising up to Saint Cirgue, Valence d’Albigeois and back home past the Viaduc du Viaur.

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Is this our new home…?

img_2383This is the 2ème viewed house but the 1er we liked in a hamlet called Montmeyrac, 12800 Naucelle. Unfortunateley the N88 ran through the back garden 50 meter à partir de la fenêtre de la chambre à l’arrière. We boohoo’d for a bit and moved on to number three. In a place named St Just that had farmer’s rights of way with his tractor 3 meter from the Facade de masion, this had a small river at the end of the garden.the first was in a place called Albagnac too quirky.  More to come keep checking back here (like the rest of the posts I will add to the end of the same subjects.)

Naucelle – Port des Anglais

Aujourd’hui  (Samedi) nous drove to the commune de Naucelle, 15 mins 17km away crossing over the Tarn/Aveyron border seulment 200m as the crow flies. Predomenantly we were going to find the only immobilier in the village named Noelle ( recommended by our cake-baking, translating voisine Mandy) which we did and as she parlait n’Anglais her ami Maurice tried to help with our compréhension aussi to seek out any Notaires(of which we found one!) and view any properties AV( á vendre) in their window. Noelle has trois peut-être quatre properties for us to voir on Jeudi. Deux corps de ferme, une Maison de Maître et un autre… could we be this lucky even this soon?

As we walk through this ‘English Gate’ which is all that remains of 15eme century fortifications, which was erected by the inhabitants of Naucelle during the 100 years war to protect themselves against the roving bands of brigands who were pillaging the area.(We could smell the delicious Boeuf Bourguignon cooking in a restaurant aptly called l’Aromatique to the right) To the immediate left is a memorial called Place Marcellin Cazals. A square created in 2000 on the site of a house in which a jewish family took refuge. they were rounded up one morning in August 1942 and sent to death camps. And so the square pays homage to Marcellin Cazels, a native of Quins (6km nord), named as “Righteous among the Nations” for having saved the lives of many Jews.

There stood a slightly older than us lady (we didnt get her name) reading the names on the wall of a family of six the were killed, tuns out she was English from Chichester. Her husband Nigel who wandered around the corner to join us mid conversation had come on a school trip some 55+ years ago, having stayed in the hotel there which he said had not changed much! They have been on a 3.5 week holiday down in the more southern area fo France and had stopped off en-route to the Loire She told us that they had not seen any English in those past three and a half weeks, till now that is… made me feel a little sad having spoiled that for them by responding when she said out loud “Oh where has he gone now?” looking for her Nigel, however it reminded me of the Monty Python movie “The Life of Brian” where Brian falls in the pit and stands on the old guys foot making him speak, having took an 18 year vow of silence. We exchanged our reason for being there, with them at their enquiring requests, they were so positive for us and envious wishing they had done the same many many moons ago.

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Hôtel de Ville – Town hall. this building dates from the 17eme siécle and has sucessfully been home to some dix familles. At the end of the 20th century it underwent extensive renovation work, both inside and out to become the picuresque building it is. the municipality moved in, in 1970.