Chez Sapin Two and a half years!


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The last time we were at our house in France was two and a half years ago. So what would be in store for us, well we have a chap who keeps the garden under control so it was OK in that respect, some trees and bushes needed to be brought back under control, and of course it was not exactly the right time of year for that so some was done and some remains for another day.

We did the Portsmouth /Caen crossing it was nice to see this iconic landmark on the way down.


Cracks in the walls we always get them but this crack was a two and a half year sized crack, it is now repaired. Our little garden shed or chalet if you want to be posh needed a new sheet of felt on the roof and a coat of preservative but it is OK now.

In the house we found, as always, lots of dead flies and wasps and bees and some mouse droppings and bigger, maybe dormice but this time there was a dead Beech Marten on the floor. It did not smell it was rock hard and I suspect had died probably two years ago. We used to see them in the garden some evenings but that was 25 years ago and I have not seen one for a good twenty years or so. This means they are obviously still about, well unless that was the last one.

Ex Beech Marten

We had a visit from the Marie and he brought us a present and it is a house number which is evidently based on our plot number and it will be of use in the future for the post and internet???? That is what he said. I wonder why the post lady will need a number in the future when she has coped perfectly well for the last 30 years. Hey ho.


More progress we have 4 wind turbines across the way so the view form the end of our plot now includes these and as well as watching the sun go down and enjoying a glass of Pinneau or G and T we will be able to watch the electricity being made. I dont have any great problems with them, better than having a nuclear power plant for a view. Also the French air force are now practicing really hard every weekday and making lots of buzzing noise. They were always a feature but now they are a pain.

I went walk about a couple of times and photographed flowers and birds and I saw some Red deer and some butterflies, all very nice but the lake where I go was very low on water.

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We have a bird box which I put up some years ago and it had some moss near the entrance so I stuck my finger in….as you do and I encountered what felt like a furry head so I withdrew my finger quite quickly. The next day more moss so I repeated the exercise and this time it felt like two fury heads. I  watched several evenings but they always gave me the slip I am guessing it could be dormice.

Bird? Box


We had a day in Fouras on the coast and enjoyed the Fruit de Mer also a couple of other meals out —- not on the same day of course, but on other days and locally..


Eating at home was largely al fresco as the weather was really good however we were bombarded by caterpillar shit and also abseiling caterpillars who presumably descend to earth when fully grown in order to pupate and then hatch into moths or Sawflies. We have a large Oak tree overhead of out patio/eating out area.


So that’s it and jolly good it was too.

What gets hit and what does not.

If you do a wordpress blog then you get to see the stats and see how many hits you have had and what posts got the hits. I always get most hits fod a blog I wrote in 2017 about why the French are sometimes referred to as Frogs. This is by far and away the post that always gets the most hits. 437 hits last week.

At the moment I am getting quite a lot of hits for  Footprints in the snow,   that does not surprise me. 147 hits

French Shutters got  7 hits and so did garden birds and  Tree lined roads so on.

What has prompted me to write this is that I also got 15 hits for snakes in France,  Ha!  What at this time of year?

Writers…….and readers?


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Dear all in the Poitou-Charentes. I am the organiser of “PC Writers”. Our next meeting will be in The Green Man Inn, Charroux. On Thursday 30th July from 7pm to 9pm If you are interested contact Sarah at

Chers tous en Poitou-Charentes. Je suis l’organisateur de “PC Writers”. Juste pour vous faire savoir, notre prochaine réunion aura lieu à The Green Man Inn, Charroux. Le jeudi 30 juillet de 19h à 21h Si vous êtes intéressé contactez Sarah à

Wetlands and why they matter.


This may be a bit off piste but its important and you may find it interesting….

Wetlands matter

My Grandson has a passion for wetland habitats and being well traveled he would no doubt, be thinking of Mangrove swamps, and places like the Nile delta, as well as the London Wetland Centre,  Slimbridge  and Newport Wetlands,which are a few of his favourite UK reserves.

This web site is all about woodland wildflowers and is more or less complete. I am now working on a second site called our coasts and their wildflowers and this of course includes salt marshes, a wetland habitat. In due course I would like to tackle other habitats and I am keen to cover other wetlands like Fens Marshes and Bogs.

It is his contention that these habitats whilst recognised as important are somewhat overlooked compared to say woodlands both British and more tropical examples like the Amazon and in Borneo where he recently spent sometime planting trees to help protect the Orangutans and of course habitats like the iconic African savannas.

He has embarked on a big campaign to increase awareness of these habitats. It is supported by Kamp Kernow  in Cornwall where he visited last year and would have liked to return to this year.

Fred has:
* researched and put together an informative presentation about wetlands available to download from the website here:

*Started a petition calling for wetlands to be recognised in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. You can show your support and sign the petition here:

*created a letter writing campaign to share your favourite wetland with friends. His suggested template letter is available to download at camp’s web address

*made this wonderfully creative promotional video using stop start animation.

*Hopefully inspired you to find out more about wetlands, their importance for the health of the planet and the steps you can take to support their protection. Do have a look at all his work the u tube video is only a couple of minutes long

Also please support Fred and add your name to the petition at  I generally do not sign these things but have done this time, not so much because he is my Grandson but because I support his aims but even more because we need to encourage youngster like him.

He is only 11 years old and the world now needs as much help as it can get and its his generation that will bear the brunt of our failures and his generation who may be able to put it right

Beer deliveries



Hello Poitou Charentes, I usually write stuff on this blog when I am in France. Sadly that does not look like being anytime soon.    I hope everyone is well and staying safe, from what I can gather the Poitou Charentes or Nouvelle Aquitaine region is not fairing as badly as some other regions.

I am prompted to put pen to paper (so to speak) because someone contacted me about beer and deliveries in the Poitier region. I dont know if the person is the supplier but if so then well done for being enterprising.

This is the message I received.

I’ve tasted excellent beers brewed locally next to Poitiers by two nice brothers, Rémi and Pierre. They speak fluent English and during confinement they deliver your beer ordered from their website on Saturdays near Poitiers! De Mysteriis Pictavis has a website and FB. Cheers!


here is a link to their web site brasseriedmp.weezbe.

Well don’t blame me if the beer is rubbish or it does not work out but I thought I would pass it on to all the followers of this site. Cheers.

What’s on in Poitou-Charentes; October 2019


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October 2019;   Still lots going on, perhaps not so many of the BIG events, maybe time to start searching out some interesting Christmas presents… always a chore to shop in the week before the event so why not start now?

Between the two towers Jazz Festival: La Rochelle: 2nd to 5th October 2018 (more)

100 ANS DE CITROËN    CERIZAY  5th October (more)

BROCANTE VIDE-GRENIERS   Pons  6th October…. just one of many best to check web site for all of them. (more)

Concert Festival Vox Musica à Jaunay Clan le 3rd to 6th 11 Octobre 2019 (more)

FESTIVAL CUT BACK, ST DENIS D OLERON, 11th and 12th Oct (more)

Concert Bux’ In Dub #4 – Culture Dub 20 Years à Buxerolles le 12 octobre 2019. Never got my head round Dub.. is it sort of modified Reggae??  (more)



BOURSE DE MODÉLISME Saujon also 13th Oct … so you have to decide more plants or more models???? (more)

Concert Paul Personne à Poitiers le 16 octobre 2019 (more)






Le Festival International des Pertuis et Îles du Monde: Salle des Fêtes 17730 PORT DES BARQUES 17th to 20th Oct (more)

POLAR LE FESTIVAL Cognac  18th to 20th (more)

CRAYONNEZ LE MONDE ! ! 19th to 20th Oct Niort (more) (more)


LE FESTIVAL DES AVENTURIERS Tonnay Charente 6th and 7th October (more)

BACH À 3 MARIMBAS Pranzac 20th Oct (more)

CONCERT – HIPPY’S NOT DEAD – ROCK FOLK Jonzac  25th Oct (more)









What’s on in Poitou-Charentes; September 2019


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September 2019

Remontee de la Seudre; Royan: 31st August and 1st Sept (more)

24th Festival Coup de Chauffe; Cognac: 6th 7th and 8th Sept (more)

Coconut Music Festival Saintes 12th to 15th Sept (more)

 LA NUIT DES ETOILES La Noue 4th, 11th and 18th Sept.(more)

L’Imprevu Festival Montemboeuf; Montemboeuf: 6th to 8th Sept (more)

(Journées du patrimoine Vienne 2019 21st and 22nd Sept (Lots in various locations) check web site (more)

Barrobjectif photographic exhibition;  Barro: 14th to 22nd Sept (more) excellent ….make the effort to visit this, it si the 20th year so probably better than ever.

Le Grand Pavois boat show; La Rochelle: 18thto 23rd Sept to 1st October.  Biggest in Europe? (more)








Circuit des Remparts/International Rallye: Angouleme: 13th 14th and 15th   September……   I love it. (more)

Festi Gartempe, Montmorillion  20th 21st and 22nd September(more)

Rallye International de Charentes ( this is part of the above weekend but occurs on the 15th Sept. The route is not announced until a few days before the event, I will post it on this blog when I can.


Half Marathon; Chasseneuil: 15th Sept (more)

Fete du Coquillage  Port de St Martin 29th Sept (more)


Whats on in Poitou-Charentes August 2019


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August 2019…. probably the month with most going on so do check out the web sites of the individual departments but here are a few that I have selected.

Spectacle Pyromelodique;  Angles sur l’Anglin, First Sunday in August(More)  

Le Rainbow Warrior II ….Greenpeace at La Rochelle… you can become an eco warrior! 3rd and 4th August (more)

Festival of Jazz . La Rochelle 10.11 and 16th to 18th August (more)

BRIC A BRAC at  RUFFEC 4th August (more)

 (Mad Hatters festival; creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute band but also The Jam with two original members  and lots of other stuff Gets better each year. . Caunay  16th 17th and 18th August. (more)

COURSES HIPPIQUES,Hippodrome16330 MONTIGNAC CHARENTE 8th, 22nd and 29th  August 2019 (more)

Championnat de France de supercross; La Tremblade 14th August (more)

 Festival Crescendo; (Progressive Rock) Saint Palais sur mer, 17th August   (more)


De Bouche à Oreille Parthenay,  24th to 27th  August 2019  (more)

62nd Festival de Confolens; Confolens:   This is a big event, if you have never been then try and get there this year. 12th to 18th August 2018 (more)










Les Soirees Lyriques de Sanxay; Sanxay: 10th 12th and 14th  (more)

Jazz en Ré – 24th  August 2019 (more) 

La Couarde en Fête Association organizes a sand castle contest on the beach, in the afternoon 16th August (more)

2018 Tour du Poitou Charentes,  No Tour de France in this region this year so why not have a look at this one… still plenty of Razzamatazz …..Charente, Charente Maritime, Deux sèvres, Vienne 27th to 30th August 2019 (more)

Festival du film Francophone; Angouleme: 20th to 25th  (more)

Festival du livre Angles sur l’Anglin, 15th to 18th August 2019 (More) 



What’s on in Poitou-Charentes, July 2019


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July 2019 a busy month!!!!


Festival International du Film; La Rochelle: 28th June to 7th July (more)

TOUR DE FRANCE 6th to 28th July and it is not coming through Poitou-Charentes this year, its all in the east and south. The nearest point is  is the St Etiene to Toulouse section  and that’s a way to go especially if you cycle. (more)

Cognac Blues Passion: 4th to 8th July. Oonce again this year it is in Coggnac  Various big names…. well bigish like Garbage  Roger Hodgson of Supertramp and Toto they did the one about winds down in Africa, sounded great but heaven knows what it was all about.  (more)

Festival au Village; Brioux sur Boutonne:  5th to 12th July,       (more)

Trofeo Rosso; Circuit du Val de Vienne, Le Vigeant, 20th and 21st July (more)

Medieval Fete de Dignac; Dignac: 4th to 7th July  (more)

Festival de Music et Danse; Airvault: It was 10th to 14th July (more)

Festival Ludique; Parthenay: 10th to 21st July (more)

Terre de Danses; Bressuire,  Neuil les Aubiers: 4th to 9th  July (more)

Les Francofilies; La Rochelle 11th to 15th July(more)

Festival des Enfants du Monde; Saint Maixent L’Ecole:10th to 15th July (more)

Festival International de Guitare de l’Ile de Ré  5th to 12th July…. (more)

Festival de Musique classique; Saintes: 12th to 20th July (more) Great setting for this.

Various events including Lumières Mediévales à Angles sur l’Anglin; Angles sur l’Anglin ; third Sunday of JULY… WHENEVER THAT IS that event is on 21st of July (more)

(Festival Atouts Arts; Thouars: roughly 10th to 13th  (more)

Festival Musique en Re; Le Blois-plage en re:16th July to 1st August, A musical web site….beware. (more)

La Guinguette Buissonniere; Angouleme: 24th 26th and 28th  July  and 10th August (more)

La Roche a Foucauld;  La Rochefoucauld: 20th and 21st July (more)

International Painting Festival; Magne: 20th and 21st July (more)

Fete du Cognac; Cognac: 25th, 26th and 27th  July  (more)

Festival de Bouche a Oreille; Parthenay: 24th July  (more)

L’Ile aux Livres,Le Bois-plage -en-Re, August this year. (more)

Un Violin sur le Sable; Royan: 20th 23rd and 26th July (more)    With fireworks!  

Les Estivales d’Artenetra Celles-sur-Belles and surrounds, 21st July to 7th August (more)


August 2019

L’Ile aux Livres,Le Bois-plage -en-Re, 9th 10th and 11th August, (more)

Painters in the street Charroux 4th and 5th August (more)

Whats on in Poitou Charentes June 2019


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JUNE 2019.  First of all apologies for the late appearance of this. My excuse is that I was in France at the end of May and beginning of June but we had no internet connection.  I will not go into all the shenanigans with SFR because it would almost fill a book but suffice to say they are a nightmare and we still have no internet.

On to June….finally, this is just a small selection, do have a look at the web sites for the individual departments, there is so much going on Deux-Sevres, Vienne . Charente et Charente Maritime,

500 Ferraris contre le cancer: Val de Vienne, Le Vigeant:  30th and 31st May 1st, 2nd   June  (more)Festival Musiques Metisses, Angouleme 31st May 1st 2nd  June  (more)

Concert Festival la voix du Rock à Couhe le 31st May and 1st June (more)

Visite guidée de l’église Notre-Dame Niort  9th June but also other dates (more)

Fête des plantes et du Jardin DOMAINE DE PÉRÉ 79360 PRISSÉ-LA-CHARRIÈRE       8th and 9th June (more)

Spectacles nocturnes Coeurs en Bataille; Nouaille-Maupetuis: 7th,8th and 9th June (more) 

Notes en Vert at Perigny 7th 8th 9th June (more)

VIDE GRENIER DES PACHATS DU BASTIONLE CHATEAU D OLERON 9th June (more) and lots of other stuff throughout the month on Isle D’Oleron.


Highland Games; Bressuire: June 15th and 16th June (more)

Exposition Céramique à Poitiers du 14 au 15 juin 2019 This one would certainly interes me. (more)

Concert Musique Chant Et Danse à Charroux le 21 juin 2019 Have to give this one a plug, it is my local patch. (more)


Polychromies de Notre Dame le Grand; Poitiers: starts 1st July this year then every night till 31st Sept. (More)

L’escargouille (snail farm) open day; Blanzay: (around the 15th June ) (more) This site is always well out of date…..Rather like the occupants, the owners are rather slow in updating their web site! They also sell products in local markets check site for dates.

Maraisthon; Coulon: 15th and 16th  June (more)


Fête de la musique 2018 Poitiers 21st June (more)

JOURNEE PECHE  Ecole de voile17230 MARANS 22nd June (more) 

Be careful with this one it says it is in June but then in the text it says Samedi 22 Mai ?



I expect they taste a lot better than they look!! I assume they are for eating??



JOURNÉE DES MOULINS des Pierres Blanches 16240 VILLEFAGNAN 23rd June (more)

FÊTE DE LA SAINT JEAN,Plage de La Palmyre,17570 – LES MATHES 24th June (more)

Vintage Cars Grand Prix ; Bressuire: 29th and 30th  June  (more)

Le festival de les Sarabandes, Rouillac    28th June to 30th July (more)

Free Music festival; Montendre: 21st to 23rd  June (more)


Exposition de Daniel et Danielle Perrin  CHÂTEAU DE JAVARZAY JAVARZAY 79110 CHEF-BOUTONNE also a good excuse to have a look round the Chateau which looks quite good!. (more)

Jazz à Vienne & Saison Jazz  (loads of stuff all over check web site); Vienne 28th June – 13th July (more)