Monday, 12 January 2009

Into Rural France - Pt 1

Do come and join me on this journey into the heart of rural France over the next few posts. Having left home at 6.30 am we took the shuttle train under the channel (see last post) arriving in Calais at 11.0 am and drove through France arriving at our destination at 7.45 pm. The temperature was in the mid 80's and we were so glad to be driving our newly acquired car which had air conditioning, a first for us. It is July 2002 and the journey has been good apart from 2 wrong turnings while negotiating our way around Paris and then missing the by-pass around Poitiers and driving through the town centre in the rush hour.


We are staying with English friends who now live in France some 45 kilometers South East of Pottiers. Tony and Ruth bought a small farm and dilapidated farm house and have spent 10 years converting it to the lovely place we see here today. Initially Tony moved to France with one of his sons doing the work himself while Ruth, who is a doctor,stayed in the UK to earn the money with which to do it. At the time the only way up to the top floor of the house was via. and outside step ladder. Once the house was in order they then worked on turning part of their barn into a Gite for rental. This small Hamlet of just five dwellings is about 5 kilometers from the main road.

http://www.summerwineholidays.com/

We will be out touring the area but for today I will take you around the grounds.

The Farmhouse



The Barn and Gite


Scenes from the back of the house and garden. Gardening is a hobby of Ruth's and I found it interesting to see how she managed to tame large areas of farmland into some beautiful rural gardens, especially in an alien climate.










Looking back towards the house from one of the fields


Milk sheep just sheared. If one does not use the land in France then high taxes have to be paid on it. I am not a milk lover so I visited the local supermarket (13 miles away) to buy my skimmed milk


Walking down to the lake that Tony had made in order to stock with fish for the fishermen that came to stay at the gite.


If you double click you will see that man who even manages to get into French pictures on the far bank.


An evening sunset
I think one of the main memories of this garden was lying listening to the enormous frogs that croaked all night

27 comments:

Lorrie said...

I love reading about your travels. This is indeed a beautiful place - with a different feel than England.

Lorrie

Winifred said...

This is a beautiful place.The gardens are amazing, a lot of hard work there I'm sure.

bennie and patsy said...

What a lovely place to stay and explore.
patsy

Penless Thoughts said...

Very interesting!!!
Susan

Needled Mom said...

What a beautiful place! I, too, would love falling asleep to the croaking of frogs. It is amazing how much gardening must be required to make it look so peaceful.

Michelle said...

That was a very lovely tour with you today. Thanks for inviting me along.

a woman who is said...

I love that we are now touring France!

Linda said...

What a great evening sky. We have either a couple of frogs or toads that do a little duet each night.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Your friends are living "the life" as they say. Beautiful photos of a charming home...makes me want to peek inside.

Britt-Arnhild said...

I've just made myself a French inspired supper, and then I come here. Tempting. I want to go to France :-)

Thanks for commenting on Marta's blogpost.

Tea Time With Melody said...

Oh my goodness, you friends have a lovely piece of land. What a labor of love I am sure. The lake stocked with fish. Every mans dream lol.

Hillside Garden said...

Hi Barbara, I'm sory, that you don't understand what I wrote. My husband yesterday said: You must write more in English for the english speaking readers.
I had no fish and ships, people eat fish and ships at the grave yard. Wish you a good time!

Sigrun

Kate said...

How lovely! and how brave of your friends to take on a project like this in a different country.
I have some friends doing just that in rural Spain - they have bought an old olive mill in a small village.
I'm with you on the milk thing - i take my uht skimmed when I go away!!!

Merisi said...

Oh, that first farmhouse,
I am ready to move in at any time!
Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories! :-)

Elizabeth said...

You can see why the French countryside is so popular with English people!

Linda said...

Oh my! You are giving your readers a lovely tour.

Sara said...

What fun, Barbara....and I wonder have your friends thought of writing a book about their experiences. I know there are plenty such stories out there already, but people love to read about that!

Of course I enlarged the picture of the late in order to see the mystery man who keeps popping up in your photos!

Gwendolyn said...

Barbara, I love your testimony! Thank you for sharing with us so clearly your love for the Savior! It is such a delight to see these pictures of France, which many of us can only dream of visiting! How blessed you are!

Charm and Grace said...

What wonderful pictures from France. Getting to travel vicariously through your photos is just wonderful. I also enjoyed seeing all those books you are reading (previous post), and that last series (Rebecca Shaw?) looks very enticing. I will have to see if my library carries those. Hope your new year is going smoothly... it's getting challenging here across the pond as one of our church members just lost his job. Not great news for such a tiny congregation, but the Lord has never failed to provide.

Blessings,
Christi

Teresa said...

It is so amazing how I can feel like I am where ever you are posting about. How beautiful! I'd like to visit, France. Someday when I make it to England, I will. Not so sure the tunnel is for me though.

I have two new blog posts. Thought you might like to know since you sent me that nice comment about hoping I'd not stopped blogging.

carol said...

Interesting ... informative!

Melanie said...

What a lovely place to stay. Your freinds has created a beautiful garden from a field. :-)

Years ago we did a run down to Andorra in the car on the ferry. The light/atmosphere varies so much from the North to the South.

I'm looking forward to knowing more. :-)

Elizabethd said...

What a pretty garden. Not always easy to create a garden in France, soil, temperatures etc can be very different.

inspired said...

Hi Barbara.. No thesalems-thesalems is a new but old blog of mine.. haven`t got round to doing anything on it yet :o]

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You know, it's funny, but those sheep actually look French!!

Angie said...

I would love to see those vistas and hear the croaking sounds first hand. Wonderful to at least see it in this form. Thank you.

Adrienne said...

Hi Barbara -
Your trip was wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us. I would love to visit France someday. Until then I feel that I have a better idea of the countryside. Your photos gave a good picture of what I can expect if I ever do get a chance to travel there.
~Adrienne~