Wednesday, 4 May 2016

For a quiet period where we try to stay in out of the cold and not do much – quite a lot has happened.

Rachel came to visit! We weren’t able to do a lot but we did have a very nice afternoon tea in the café attached to the Lamy Chocolate shop in Brive. Just feel those calories. 

Sadly she could only stay a few days but it was great to see her.

Our washing machine decided to finally pack up – tripping the circuit breaker each time we (we? – Judy) started it. Our local electrical shop took it away twice to try and fix it, loaning us a machine each time. It finally packed up, and the shop offered us a new one with all we had paid for the repairs deducted. Shop Local!

This year I was asked again to go to the village of Grun Bordas in the Dordogne to lay a wreath at their war memorial to honour a Stirling crew shot down over the village in 1944. Judy and I are always touched how the locals still remember and honour these young men.

 Judy had the operation on the cataract in her right eye on Thursday 21st April. In for 1230, all done and out just after 2. Jude will still need some assistance with her left eye, but now she spends most of her time with no glasses at all. Brilliant!

A trip into Brive to the latest Coen brother’s film, Hail Caesar, with George Clooney. In VO (Version Originale – i.e. English) of course. We both really enjoyed it.

I found a couple from the Dordogne who do floorplans and property photography, so as I have officially retired I offered them all my elevated photography gear. It cost a fortune, but as the market for it in rural France is somewhat limited I was glad to give it to a good home.

Talking of photography I am continuing with my “post card project”, where I find an old postcard and then try to take a photo of the same scene. Sometimes I can actually overlap them, but they also look great in a slideshow fading from one to another.

I had my 18 month cancer check-up – no change, all very OK. When the doctor asked me my weight I muttered it embarrassedly, but she said that with such things it is always better to be over than underweight. Result!

Managed one of our picnic days out while it was still a little wintery. Went to the village of Gimel les Cascades, then on to the village of Correze. Had lunch on the Suc au May, the highest point in the Correze. Still quite a lot of snow about – in mid March. Strangely nobody else about.

In our village we have an organisation called “A.S.V.S”, which both makes a record of the history of the village and the surrounding area, but also ensures that the older parts are properly looked after and even restored. I bought a copy of their history of Voutezac, and translated it for my own use and that of friends. I sent a copy to the Society and so we were invited to their meeting a couple of months ago. There was a video of the village in the 1990s, and information on their work – for example this used to be a wine growing area and they are saving the small stone huts which the vineyard workers used. I have also translated a walking guide to the village, to keep visitors busy.


            (A C
hâtellenie (the property of the lord of the chateau) – a Parish – a Commune)

(Third edition, revised and supplemented)
Translated by David Clifton

This booklet has been prepared based on the following works:
• A Dictionary of Parishes, by Father Jean Baptiste POULBRIERE
• A History of the Parish of Voutezac, by Father Marius ECHAMEL
• A History of Limousin and the Marche, by Joseph NOUAILLAC
• Corrèze as the crow flies and in a zigzag by L. Dautremen
• The Corrèze, by Abel HUGO
• Name places of the Corrèze, by Marcel Villoutreix
• The Lemouzi review
• Original documents from the archives of VOUTEZAC

Deliberately written without too much scholarship, it has been drawn up by the ASVS (Association for the Protection of Voutezac and its sites) with the sole intention of preserving the history of the inhabitants of the commune.

Invited by friends from our neighbouring village of Vignols to a “Repas des Ouefs”, or a meal of eggs. The organisers go door to door in Vignols and everyone donates fresh eggs. The first course was devilled eggs. The second a nice plain omelette. Third a potato omelette. Followed by a mushroom omelette, then a herb omelette…..Then some cheese with no apparent egg connections, finishing with a crème caramel. Phew!

For our 43rd wedding anniversary we treated ourselves to a meal at Brive’s only Michelin starred restaurant – Le Table D’Olivier. As you would expect a memorable meal!

 One Sunday a couple of weeks ago as we went to Objat for our visit to the market, we came across the annual agricultural show. Here that means cattle, and more specifically Limousin cattle. All very well behaved they were too!

Also a couple of weeks ago was the SSAFA AGM and training day. Great to meet other people from all over France working or the charity. Learned a few things, and was updated on what they are doing at HQ in London! Went to dinner with everyone in the evening, but had to get home and miss the second training day as Jude had her op that day.

Summoned a few days ago by David and Rhonda Lush to take photos of a baby tawny owl on their balcony. Used time lapse facility on camera and obtained some 250 shots of what appears to be an old sock. Forbidden to tap on the window or throw anything at it...Eventually it deigned to stand up and look at the camera, before going back to sleep.

Off on our hols tomorrow!