Midi Canal Peek

tarn-et-garonne_et_provinces-svgSo after a weekend avec une visitor, that we dropped at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on a whim, we or maybe it was I made the decision to make the most of being so far west from home proche Pamplonne that we needed to head a bit more west and north to Montauban. SO we got out the Michelin Map ( ooo I do love a map) and plotted to travel on past to Valence d’Agen where as always everything was closed Monday morning but we did find an agent that was open  she was called Sophie Bizard , Bourse de l’immoblier, and she taught us how to pronounce Bordeaux correctly amongst other things ( I guess local accent  changes here too! Martin being Martin took the opportunity to say it as many times as possible until Sophie asked him if he was moque her… of course he was but luckily she was laughing with us, any way she rang around her colleagues in neighbouring towns and registered our interest so that SHE is our agent within that company so if the right property comes up she gets the commission, very Dynamic and pleased us that she seemed on the ball. We then went on to Moissac and Castelsarrasin where all in all we registered with another half a dozen agents.

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During our 400km day trip we crossed the Tarn the Garonne back and forth over the Canal du Midi a place Martin has always wanted to be, on his yacht crossing from one Ocean to the other…

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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

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Halloween

These are not for Halloween lanterns but some of them look just as scary.

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Is this scary enough… sat next to me on the step sadly it was dying.

DSCF7100.JPGOr this sun set sky from the spare room fenêtre

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M. Raferin is a scaredy cat couchon when he gets hand fed by the lovely Michelle notre gentile voisine.DSCF7055.JPG

Or this giant topiary chicken running away along the horizon

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or the natural spooky mist rising from the river either that or someone has the dry ice out again!

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Drifting, Dams, Drops…

No trick photography here but to see with your own eye what a treat!

HA HA HA ( Deep Voice scary Laughing)

Happy Halloween!!!

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!

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!

 

 

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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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