The church of Saint Hilaire is most beautiful and recently I stopped to photograph it. Apart from being on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella which would no doubt have accounted for some wealth, the town has also been a centre for lead and silver mining and their extraction from their ores. This wealth was no doubt in part responsible for the beauty and complexity of the church. Continue reading
This is not about houses and gites and chateaux owned by English people, although if you added up how much property the English now own in France we are making a good effort at taking back what we lost in the 100 year war.
No, this is about the one hundred year war and the run up to it. Continue reading
The Wallflower or Cherianthus cheiri is so called because it will quite happily grow out of a wall and is often found thus.
Presumably it was around before walls were invented so its natural habitat would be cliff faces and mountain sides. Continue reading
Santiago de Compostella is in Spain, in Galicia and a long way from here. It is said that the remains of St James the Greater are there, and catholic pilgrims make long journeys to visit his grave. Continue reading
What I think is this. It is often said it is good to leave a few nettles down at the bottom of your garden to encourage the butterflies. Well for a start only a few butterflies lay their eggs on nettles. Continue reading
Parthenay is in the north west of Poitou Charentes. According to legend it is another of Melusine’s follies, evidently created all in one hit with just one wave of her wand. She was some girl! Well infact half girl, because the bottom half was fish or serpent or something primitive. Continue reading
Coulon is on the banks of the Sevre Niortaise in an area known as La Venise Vert, because its like Venice only green!. It is a great place for a day out, possibly at its best when it is not the height of the tourist season although if that is when you are here then that is when it has to be. Continue reading
This breed originates from the South of Brittany and Northern Charente areas of Western France. It was established as a breed in 1893 and as such is one of the oldest French breeds. It is now established in Britain, Ireland Canada and America.
Originally it was bred for its high quality milk and thus butter and it was also a good working animal. Now ( since 1970’s) it is managed for its beef quality. If you want to know more about this local breed visit the Parthenaise cattle website
You can see quite a lot of them in the vicinity of Parthenay, where they no doubt feel at home.