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Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

Each August, a local village celebrates it’s ‘Fete de Plan d’Eau’. There’s all the usual stuff, a vide grenier, a bar, a buvette selling snacks like frites, hot dogs and kebabs and stuff. There are static displays too, like tractors or old farm machinery. It’s all typically French, but this one, Les Loges, is different. The lake is huge. Bigger than the average Plan d’Eau you’ll find on the outskirts of most communes. There’s a campsite attached and there’s a guingette. Like an open air restaurant, the likes of which our daughter & her boyfriend have been trying to convince us to build here! This one does pretty well. Open only during the summer, it attracts the crowds with the promise of dancing to ‘Eddy Morgan’ and his ‘orchestra’ on selected Sunday afternoons. There’s no ‘orchestra’ really, it’s just Eddy, and his disco. Sort of an upmarket Dave Doubledecks! Still, the place is usually full and folks enjoy it.

But, the thing that really makes the fete des Loges stand out, and why it’s really worth a visit is for the annual 2CV races. On the water! Yes, these 2CV’s have been modified for use as motor boats. Veritable speedboats in fact. They can achieve speeds of up to 100km/h! It’s yet another great photo opportunity that we’re too busy to attend, seeing as it’s usually held on one of our busiest summer Sundays. Changeovers are on Saturdays, so the day after we’re still tired, there are still new guests arriving, friends leaving, and all the washing and cleaning to be done. By the end of it all, we’re just too worn out to move far from the fridge! So, as I usually do, I informed guests that this fete was taking place, described how to get there (it’s only 10km or so from us) and they agreed it sounded a fun afternoon out! Off they went, with the promise that they’d take plenty of pics and report back on the event for us!

So, it’s with grateful thanks to Phil (photos), Elaine, Alex (video) & Becky for taking the time and the effort to record all of this for us. Here’s a few images of what you can expect to see next year!

Is it a car? Is it a boat?

Is it a car? Is it a boat?

Definitly a boat......car, no a boat!

Definitely a boat......car, no a boat!

It'll never catch on!

It'll never catch on!

Ever had that 'sinking feeling'?

Ever had that 'sinking feeling'?

Neck & neck! An exciting finish!

Neck & neck! An exciting finish!

I think that next year, we’ll have to make the effort to visit the Fete des Loges at Breille les Pins, it looks like lots of fun on a beautiful summer afternoon in rural France!

Thanks again to one of our lovely guests, Phil, for the loan of the cracking photos.

Until the next time, au revoir.

TBC

All content © Le Chant d’Oiseau, 2006-2009

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I was saying just a couple of posts ago about how we love this time of year? Well yesterday (dimanche) had to be just one of the last best days of the summer for a variety of reasons. Not just because the skies were blue and the sun was hot on your face, but also because it was one of those rare occasions when we decided to go out and support a local event.

A lovely setting for a car boot sale!

Usually, we’re flying around the place doing what we do here, or we’re just too tired to bother. This time though, we thought we’d have a wander into Vernoil to help support the village’s inaugural vide grenier. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the French and their passion for these things? A vide grenier simply translates as ’empty loft’. It’s a way of life for many French and it’s a great day to add to any holiday itinerary too. Catch one if you can when you come to France next, you’ll find them great fun. If it’s anything like the one we visited yesterday, then you’ll be able to buy all manner of things from copper pans, to old newspapers, to very old farm implements among the usual baby clothes, cuddly toys and paperback books. There’s usually a few old Johnny Halliday LP’s going spare too…

Our one yesterday also had quite a few old cars on display from the earliest Peugeot’s to late 50’s Citroens and even a cute little Vespa! Niall’s currently looking for his first Moto. Shame it wasn’t for sale!

We bought all manner of things yesterday including an old tin, an ancient (but fully working) enamel inhaler, some books on the WW2, a beautiful (but heavy) copper jam pot, a couple of woven baskets for the fresh eggs and a half a garden bench(!) Don’t worry, I know where I’m going to put it. The lady we bought it from had the same idea – to ‘sink’ it into a wall on one half. All the transactions were extremely good natured, as is the way at these sorts of village gatherings. It was nice too to be greeted by friends with a cheery ‘bonjour’, and to feel like we belong in the community.

There were the usual crowd of people gathered around the bar there and parked right next to it was the fouée stall!

How could I resist a lunch of two of my most favourite things? Ice cold lager and a couple of hot fouée?

This is the rusty old (but perfectly serviceable) portable bread oven they used. I’ve seen a few of these wheeled out for country fairs etc. Although this one looked in need of a bit of TLC! Along with the old bbq parked right next to it, the comité des fetes managed to keep quite a few hundred folks well fed throughout the day. A four a pain was a way of life for many country folks living far from a village with a dedicated bakery. These days, although some remain, far more fall ravage to weeds and the elements. Some are kept as interesting curio’s – a memento of a bygone age. Ours was lost in the 1950’s. I’ve been sorely tempted to begin work on building my own bread oven here at Le Chant d’Oiseau so we can bake fouée for guests here during the summer, and pizza too. But now I’ve seen these portable ones at work, they seem more appealing! Once back home, I actually scoured the Internet looking for just such a beast. There are quite a few of them around, it has to be said. Unfortunately too far away in both distance and cash!

Anyway, here’s what the fouée looked like once out of the oven.

And well tasty they were too!

It seemed that the whole of the village had turned out to have a stall here, and some from quite a way away too. There weren’t that many tourists around, well not English anyway. But, we did bump into one or two friends and acquaintances all looking for a bargain or two as well.

Now, if only there’d been a bread oven for sale….

Until the next time, au revoir.

TBC

All content © Le Chant d’Oiseau, 2006-2008

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