Wednesday, July 27, 2011


So I understand that I have been a little lax about updating my blog, so I will do several updates for today which has been an excellent day, and hopefully throughout it you can gather the essentials (I.e. living in a castle in the French countryside). I have cycled from the castle to the village Lhomme, and from there to Ruille sur Loir, up the valley a few Kilometers, and then home via a large hill to take some pictures where you could see the view a bit. And to get my heart beat up a bit. I should be well fit by the end of summer with all the exercise!

Firstly, I cycled to Lhomme, a really sweet little village which is the closest to the castle. Really lovely. With the bakery where I bought brioche for my mini picnic, to be addressed in detail later. In New Zealand, and in fact England too come to think of it, brioche always had chocolate or some sort of filling in it, but this was plain. I shall thus assume that we have taken up bastardising a traditional food again by adding chocolate or some other sort of ingredient which changes the essential nature of the food. But anyway. There was this really cute church in the centre of the village, which looked to be really old, and was clearly not for tourists. So clearly not for tourists in fact that I felt totally ridiculous standing there taking pictures, so I took a bit of detour and found this really bizarre place, which I can only assume was somebody's garden full of lots of old machines!

In further strangeness, I stumbled upon a little house behind the church, with such an odd little garden, it immediately made me think of Hansel and Gretel!!! I took a few pictures, but I think it was somebody's house and garden, so I felt a bit weird and stopped! But such a huge old tree overhanging this garden which seemed made for children, little stone table, flower beds. Very strange, quite eerie!

Following my explorations of Lhomme, which is a pretty tiny village, I discovered this little stream with an old stone foot-bridge next to the new one for cars, so of course I had to play on it! I ended up having my picnic of brioche and nectarine there. So delicious, and such a lovely spot. I was disturbed only twice in my endless photography, by the same man. I think he went to pick blackberries or something, because he stopped on the way there and we had one of those oddly satisfying conversations where we both talk at each other in different languages, probably about completely different things, and then walk away smiling. When he came back again maybe 15 minutes later when I was actually about to take a last picture and leave, I had the presence of mind to ask him to take a picture of me on the little bridge. Yay for my awesome Franglish (not retarded Franglish, tyvm)!

When I was cycling away from the little picnic spot I also found this little spot with more wildflowers and a view over the wheat fields, which I love. Why don't we grow wheat like this in New Zealand? It's such a similar climate, we grow other crops the same, why not wheat? There is a lot of wheat here, as well as the wine which of course the Val de Loir is famous for.

And my other favourite crop here is the sunflowers! Fields and fields of them! Look at this massive one- again in someone's garden. It's a wonder I haven't been yelled at in French and chased away really, the time I spend photographing other peoples gardens without asking! Maybe I should add that request to the list of phrases I must learn in French.

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