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Savigne is between Civray and Charroux, it is almost a continuation of Civray and many people will associate it with Intermarche which is located threre along with other ‘out of town shops’

However it is also a beautiful little village on the banks of the Charente river…if you care to wander off the main road. Which I did and I took a set of photos as I do to illustrate its charms.

The village is dominated by a large church, nice but not the most stunning you are going to come across in this region. It is l’Eglise de St Hilaire. Evidently it dates back to two centuries, part of it is older than another part. According to Brouillet, the church is from two distinct periods:

  • “The nave, the primitive door, some windows, a portion of the choir and the bell tower are from the 12th century”   ;
  • “The current door and the part of the nave where it is open, several windows, the vault of the choir and the apse are of the XVth century” ;

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OK lets move on from the church to the river, it is the Charente, there are some lovely scenes along this stretch, there is a narrow and old iron bridge but also several little roads which just lead down to the river and then stop. One of these is called the Chemin de Pecheurs and when you get to the river there is a sign saying ‘Peche interdite’. I saw a Kingfisher there, presumably disobeying the notice.There is also a lavoir which I always like to photograph. This one has to be the worst one I have ever seen…. neglected, no roof and in need of renovation.

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As I am wandering around if anything querky, odd or photogenic catches my eye then they all add to the picture of the village so here to end off are a few photos in that vein.

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To check out my photos of other towns and villages in this region click Villages and towns of Poitou-Charentes



Occelated Lizard



This is my second post about an Occelated Lizard (Timon lepidus ). I saw this one at the European Zoo in France.

They do have some there which are captive. This one though was a wild, free living one. It was in the Marmoset enclosure. Why? well also in the Marmoset enclosure are a population of little mice. These were scurrying from one little hole to another. There were no Marmosets to be seen.

The Lizard, quite a large one, probably about 80 cm long was sitting on top of a mound and as one small mouse dashed past him it ran after it and seemed to try and catch it. The mouse made it down a hole and the Lizard sat looking down the hole.

These Lizards live in the Poitou-Charente region of France, I have never seen one near our house in Vienne but they were always around my Parents in law’s house near Brossac in Charente-Maritime. I also have seen them in other parts of the region.

They are capable of taking quite large prey including big insects, small birds, birds eggs and I have read that they can even take a baby rabbit. So little mice would certainly be a possibility.

I have written a post about all the different lizards that you could see in Poitou-Charentes and it gets quite a few hits, not as many as Snakes in Poitou-Charentes which is the second most read post on my blog. The most viewed is a post about why the English refer to the French as frogs ???

Cognac Blues Passion; Santana


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It was brilliant and it did rain, not just rain but massive thunder storm, winds and torrential does not even start to describe it.

However I have a confession to make. I am a totally incompetent photographer. I took my Panasonic Bridge camera with me complete with two spare batteries. Took loads of photos in the afternoon and of the rain storm, also messed about with a few short videos.

Then in the evening I took a few more of the stage before Santana came on and then the battery died, not to worry, two spares. When did I last charge them??? Hmm some time ago, I wonder if they have any charge. First one nothing, oh dear, second one nothing. What a prat!!!

So we enjoyed the concert and I thought I could write something and use the photos I took in the afternoon.

This morning I looked for the battery charger and it is not in my bag of tricks, I presumably left it at home. So double prat. ( slight excuse we did pack in 15 minutes flatt as Brittany ferries had rung us to reschedule our ferry ).

OK briefly and without photos, great venue, only saw a tail end of one artist then rain started, we sat under a tree, security said move on, as trees get lightning, So we sat under a big marquee selling Cognac, security then came along and said move on, closing early due to orrage. We walked through heavy rain and sheltered in entrance to museum, security said move on, completely leave site and re entry for Santana may happen at 7pm.  ( I think they normally clear the site around 5pm as afternoon stuff is free and evening stuff is paid for)

So we sat in car for an hour or so, watched rain and lightning and around 7pm it cleared and we went down to entrance. Massive crowds, gates closed, few nervous looking Gendarmes about. Eventually about 8pm gates open and we gradually shuffled in. All other acts had been cancelled and Santana was still happening at scheduled time of 10.30pm which it did.

The little venue was stuffed, all open air, if it had rained/storm as in the afternoon it would have been chaos and very dangerous. It did not, Santana were brilliant, not just Carlos but all the musicians, played lots of old favourites, also very political (on the side of the good guys.. my side), and it finished not on time but half an hour late at 12.30pm  Then a 50 mile drive home through tiny Charente villages and bed.



F Boggs….Honfleur


Stopped off in Honfleur (for my birthday treat) on our way down to Poitou-Charente.  A very arty place and with good reason. We saw this painting in one of the up market galleries.

F Boggs…. well not quite Fred Bloggs, but almost. I looked him up and it is Frank  Myers Boggs born in America but settled in France and became a French citizen.

This is an artists impression of him, looking like an artist.

Here is a link to more about him if you wish. Frank Myers Boggs

And this is a photo of me enjoying Honfleur, also looking like an artist??? of sorts..


New speed limit in France



Be aware new speed limits start on 1st July 2018 in France. The 90 km/hour limit on minor roads without a central barrier or reservation will be reduced to 80  Km/hour.

However unlike the photo above do not expect to see signs warning you, in fact the old 90 Km/hour will remain for some time.

If you want more info have a look at the RAC web site, which is where I got the photo from… thanks.

You might like to share this or pass it on to your friends???


What’s on in Poitou-Charentes; July 2018


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Watching the Football world cup could be ‘on in Poitou-Charentes’ this month but that will depend on this afternoons match against Argentina. Neither France nor Argentina strike me as being at their best but it is all on the day, we will see.

Respire Jazz festival; Aignes et Puyperoux: 28th 29th and 30th June also 1st July (more)

Festival International du Film; La Rochelle: 29th June to 8th July (more)

TOUR DE FRANCE 7th to 29th July and it is not coming through Poitou-Charentes this year, the nearest point is  is the Vendee and Pay de Loire  on 7th July (more)

Cognac Blues Passion: Guess where …its in Cognac!  3rd to 7th July  and one act is  Santana  and I have got my tickets….hooray (more)

Festival au Village; Brioux sur Boutonne:  7th to 13th July, last years site with this years dates!      (more)

Ducati Club Circuit du Val de Vienne, Le Vigeant, 7th and 8th July  (more)

Medieval Fete de Dignac; Dignac: 8th July  (more)

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

Festival Ludique; Parthenay: 11th to 22nd July (more)

Terre de Danses; Bressuire,  Neuil les Aubiers: 6th to 10th  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 Mid July…. still have 2017 site!!!(more)

Festival de Musique classique; Saintes: 13th to 23rd July (more) Great setting for this.

Various events including Lumières Mediévales à Angles sur l’Anglin; Angles sur l’Anglin ; that event is on 21st of July (more)

Festival Atouts Arts; Thouars: roughly 11th to 14th  (more)

Festival Musique en Re; Le Blois-plage en re:17th July to 2nd August, A musical web site….beware. (more)

La Guinguette Buissonniere; Angouleme: last year it was 27th July to 12h August , and the link is to 2017 site (more)

La Roche a Foucauld;  La Rochefoucauld: 21st and 22nd July (more)

International Painting Festival; Magne: 21st and 22nd July (more)

Fete du Cognac; Cognac:26th 27th and 28th July  (more)

Festival de Bouche a Oreille; Parthenay: 26th to 29th July  (more)

L’Ile aux Livres,Le Bois-plage -en-Re, 20th, 21st, and 22nd  July, (more)

Un Violin sur le Sable; Royan: 21st to 28th July (more)With fireworks.  

Les Estivales d’Artenetra Celles-sur-Belles and surrounds, around July 23rd to 11th August (more)

Woodland wildflowers.


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I do have a section on this blog about wildflowers in Poitou-Charentes, but it is not complete and I do have another blog called Woodland wildflowers which I have been spending quite a bit of time on recently.

There is a main identification section ( woodland wildflower identification)  and from there links will take you through to pages on each species of wildflower. I have now covered over half of the flowers which I have selected as ‘woodland’wildflowers’ By the end of this year I aim to have covered about 90% of them which will just leave me with the rarities to mop up next year.

All the photos are my own, so some are good and some are OK and may be replaced in due course. More important is that the narrative is written from personal experience, and with a touch of humor so I think you will find it interesting and informative, not the normal dry formulaic stuff you get in a flora.

Finally there is lots of other stuff about flowers and woodland so do have a browse through. Here is a link to the home page and above was a link to the wild  flower identification page.

What’s on in Poitou-Charentes June 2018


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JUNE. Hope you all survived the storms ????

500 Ferraris contre le cancer: Val de Vienne, Le Vigeant:  31st May 1st, 2nd 3rd  June  (more)

Festival Musiques Metisses, Angouleme 1st 2nd and 3rd June  (more)

EXPOSITION DE PEINTURES DE CARLOS DA SILVA Fouras 1st to 7th June, The Argentine painter not the footballer! (more)

Concert Festival la voix du Rock à Couhe le 2 juin 2018 (more)

Regate le Grand Largue St Denis D Oleron 2nd June (more)

Visite guidée de l’église Notre-Dame Niort 3rd June but also other dates (more)

Les Visiteur de L’Autre Monde; Chateau-Larcher 1st and 2nd June also 8th and 9th June (more)

Spectacles nocturnes Coeurs en Bataille; Nouaille-Maupetuis: 2nd 3rd and 4th June (more) ; Not sure if link is to 2018 web site or last years… they only put dates not years on their site!!!

Festival Musiques et Gastronomiques du Monde, Mathes  3rd and 4th June (more)

Notes en Vert at Perigny 8th 9th and 10th (more)

Festival Plein Sud; Cozes : 9th May to 14th May (more)

Terre d’images : exposition de photo Thouars 9th June (more)

Portes ouvertes Rock School Diff’Art + Puces Culturelles Parthenay 9th June,  You could find some rare vinyl worth a fortune…probably not.(more)

Festival de Melle 18th June (more)

Half Marathon; Niort: 10th June (more) 

Arthur de Richemont et la guerre de Cent Ans Parthenay 15th June  For a bit of background reading have a look at my blog about ‘English possessions in France’   (more)

Highland Games; Bressuire: June sometime so far nothing about 2018 here is a link to a site about previous events!! (more)

(Polychromies de Notre Dame le Grand; Poitiers: starts 22nd June then every night till 21st 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: 16th and 17th June (more)

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

Fete de la Saint Jean, Les Mathes 24th  June (more)

Vintage Cars Grand Prix ; Bressuire: 23rd 24th  June  (more)

Le festival de les Sarabandes, Rouillac    29th June to 1st July (more)

Free Music festival; Montendre: 22nd and 23rd June (more)

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

Respire Jazz festival; Aignes et Puyperoux: 28th 29th and 30th June also 1st July (more)


What’s on in Poitou-Charentes May 2018


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 Nearly May and the weather here in the UK is still awful. Today (27th of April ) it has rained all day so far and the temperature when I went to the gym this morning was 5.5 Centigrade. I did have a brief trip to France earlier in the month and fortunately that coincided with the mini heat wave… very mini but quite warm.

TROC PLANTES;  Tonnay Charente 1st May 9am to 12am (more)

EXPOSITION DE TRAVAUX D’AIGUILLES – COMITÉ DE JUMELAGE La Tremblade, Its all about Crochet and not eels as I first thought. From 30th April to 6thMay (more) 

Vienne en Fleurs; 30 Avenue du General Leclerc 38200 Vienne, 6th May (more) 

EXPOSITION FERNAND BRAUN – MEDIATHEQUE; Its Photographs, La Tremblade, 7th to 26th May (more)

FESTIVAL DU VENT Talmont sur Gironde  from 10/05/ to 13/05/ (more)

FAITES DU NAUTISME La Tremblade, 10 th May (more) 

FESTIVAL 3 JOURS EN MAI – LOIX  10th to 12th May at  20H30. (more)

COURSE DE TROT PREMIUM – MEETING DE PRINTEMPS Chatelaillon Plage 14th May (more)

14ème Festival “Musique au Pays de Pierre Loti” Saint-Pierre d’Oléron 19th to 26th May (more)

Rallye du Printemps; (motor sport) Bords, Charente Maritime: 19th and 20th May (more)

FÊTE DE LA NATURE. Dolus D’Oleron  23/05/2018 DE 10H00 À 18H00 (MERCREDI) (more)

Vide Grenier; La Couarde sur Mer  20th May (more)

Spectacle; Le Tour du Monde en 80 minute. Aulnay de Saintonge 27th May (more)

Festival International de Music de Chambre en Charente; Chalais  5th May to 3rd June (more)

Half Marathon; Aytre-La Rochelle 27th May  and Futuroscope in May (more)

Spectacles nocturnes Coeurs en Bataille; Nouaille-Maupertuis:  Various dates but  groups of 10 people! (more)