Monday, September 22

Au revoir Moulins - August 2014


So...it's goodbye to towers...


....and holiday romances...


...back ways...


...castles...


...French locals...


...and back to work.

Montreuil-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais - August 2014


In 1837 Victor Hugo stopped for lunch in Montreuil-sur-Mer. He came away with a bad case of indigestion, and memories of a lovely afternoon, that he called on twenty five years later when he wrote 'Les Misérables'.


We had a lovely morning there, no indigestion, and who knows, in twenty five years I may write a novel.


Like at Rye, there's been a build up of silt, and Montreuil is no longer sur-Mer.


Victor Hugo wasn't the only visitor, Lawrence Sterne visited the town, and saw it through the eyes of his narrator in 'A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy'.


Montreuil was the head quarters of the British Army during the WWI. The war cemetery at nearby Étaples contains 10,771 Commonwealth war graves.


It's a lovely place to wander round...I was taken by this double decker organ...


...a mini-Villandry window box...


...a pig that's all together too happy to be in a pork butcher...


...and a friendly cat.


Vauban built the ramparts in the 17th C, and they're a lovely walk.


It appears that the town is home to some giant rabbits!

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage - August 2014



It maybe because it was the end of our holiday, and I was ready to go home, but I didn't really take to Le Touquet. It might have been because we'd come from rural Burgundy to a town full of people, and an odd mix of glitz and 'Kiss Me Quick'. It does have a beautiful beach...


...some gorgeous dunes...


...with feral cat colony.


Speaking of cats...


... it also has a wonderful chocolate shop.


I'd say this was something for Christopher Stockdale, but he wouldn't eat a cute piggy!


Oh...and there's golf.

Friday, September 19

Burgundy 2014 (Le Retour) - Auxerre


I few year ago we had a lovely day in Auxerre (according to the guidebook you pronounce it 'Aus-air'. This caused incomprehension in locals. Oh, 'OX-air they said). I've had a yearning to go back every since. Sadly, it was a horrid, grey day, and once it started raining we hightailed back home.


We had a look round the Abbey of Staint-Germain...


...which has an amazing organ...


...which looks like it's about to open fire on the congregation.


The XIth C crypt in the cathedral of St. Étienne houses the remains of the former Romanesque cathedral.


The paintings include is scene of Christ-Horseman...


...the rider 'Faithful and True'...


...on a white horse (Apoc. 19:11-16).


Despite rushing through the rain, we had time to notice some little details. A wooden carving above a shop...


...the remains of a statue...


...and a very perplexing piece of signage.

Burgundy 2014 (Le Retour) - Alluy, a tractor for Richard


Alluy is a small, agricultural hamlet. I thought of our nephew Richard, when I saw this tractor parked on someone's drive.

Burgundy 2014 (Le Retour) - Alluy


About ten minutes up the road from Moulins-Englibert is the small hamlet of Alluy. The church has a XIIIth C crypt...


...with amazing wall paintings...


...and baby capitals!


The paintings seemed to have walked off a medieval manuscript.



The paintings were restored in 1979...


...and look very good.


Sadly, I don't think they hold any services crypt. It's tiny...


...but I think it would be wonderful to take part in a mass there.


Next time we're in Burgundy, I'll make sure we take the Boy.

Thursday, September 18

Burgundy 2014 (Le Retour) - Mont-Saint-Vincent


After our inadvertent detour we made it to the hilltop town of Mont-Saint-Vincent.


It's a beautiful, little place...


...and the main attraction is the Cluniac church...


...built in the late 11thC and early 12thC.


...which lost its steeple during the French revolution.


The Cluniac monks left the church in 1506...


...after having a community there for over 500 years.


There were more of my favourite capitals.


It was nice to wander around the village...


...there were lots of lovely little details...


...including door furniture...

...hanging signs...


...chickens...

...and doves.