Thursday, October 12, 2023

Sunny French Interlude

How wonderful to be able to spend three whole weeks in our beloved Correze and how even more wonderful that it was sunny almost every day! Usually, in September, it's rainy and getting autumnal but not this time.  Lovely light effects from the top of the westernmost volcano of the Massif Central, a short walk up the hill from the house.

I never get tired of admiring the Limousin cattle - funnily enough I once came upon a local farmer in Cattaraugus County  who had a Limousin herd. He was impressed when I knew what they were. According to La Montagne, our local rag in France, they are getting more and more popular all over the world.

Back to those lovely forest lanes, although I didn't venture too far as it was hunting season - La Chasse - I may be doing them a grave injustice but I have a feeling the locals aren't too scrupulous about where they let fly. I don't know what they find to shoot though. In three weeks I never saw anything bigger than a red squirrel, though we've seen deer in the past.

Plenty of rural relics here, though the area has become a lot more second homey since we started going there. (Well we can talk.) But the good thing is that a lot of the crumbling old stone houses and barns have been rescued. And the farm on the hill is still thriving.

More light effects - I could fill a gallery with them. Every day was different. 

Now here's a new neigh-bour (sorry). Since last year the palomino pony farm has expanded. This of course is not a palomino. What's skewbald in French?*

The crossroads at Pisse (or Pisce) Lebre in the mist. That mail box stood with its door swinging open for ages and people still left their letters in it.

The lake was getting lower (it's actually a reservoir, controlled by the electricity company) so we couldn't sail. It didn't stop it looking pretty though,

with the morning mist coming off the surface. Warm enough to swim, even in September.

Earlier, up the hill, the mist filling the lake valley - just like western New York.

No second homers here yet - it's a proper working barn.

Another view of the mist, this time from the top of the volcano.

And walking down the hill the other way and looking east, you can just see the Massif Central in the far distance.

And on another day, a different shape to the mist.

Plenty of sustenance in the hedgerows. Though I sometimes wondered if the cows had been at them before me.

Another view of the lake - from the tiny beach where a Resistance memorial commemorates a 1944 gunfight here - our little bay is obscured.

The Limousin calves are reared "sous la mere" - out in the pastures with their mothers.

Though unfortunately for them, Tete de Veau is still on the menu here. It was former President Jacques Chirac's favourite dish. He was a local boy.

These pink flowers were everywhere - they look like orchids but I wish I knew what they're actually called.

As the mist lifts, a view to the west, over the Plateau de Millevaches and the Monedieres mountains. Keep going for a couple of hours and you'll get to Limoges.

King Charles was visiting Paris - French television was obsessed and we had wall-to-wall coverage. I hope they fumigated his room for bed bugs. When they ran out of things to say about Brexit, the French TV  talking heads brought on the team of chefs preparing the Royal banquet at Versailles. They lamented the fact that the drought had meant a lack of mushrooms. "We need a good thunderstorm". Well on our last evening down in Correze we had a good thunderstorm and guess what ....

Perfect cepes for a perfect breakfast. Sadly not enough to share with HM though.

*Pie. I looked it up. (But what's piebald then? It seems the French are like the Americans, who use "paint" for both. Is English the only language that differentiates?)

To be continued.....

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