One of the (many) lovely things about living in this area of France is seeing how clean and clear the rivers and streams are. Fishing is a very popular pastime, the Allier River is well known for salmon fishing. In the photo above, we are standing on a bridge above the River Doulon, which runs … Continue reading pebbles

frescoes and old lace

We had a couple of interesting cultural excursions this weekend, both of them in full-on rapid French. The first, on Saturday, was the opening of a new summer exhibition at the Lace Museum in Brioude. Now, I have to admit that we've never visited the Lace Museum, because to be honest it really doesn't sound … Continue reading frescoes and old lace

water lily

We've had a couple of grey, wet days, which has been a bit of a shock after all the sunshine. On the plus side, it's been good for the garden, and it has encouraged me to get back into the workshop and make some jewellery. I have some new designs ready to add to my … Continue reading water lily

a colourful afternoon

We had rain this morning, but it cleared up this afternoon, so we headed out for a walk around Vals-le-Chastel, our nearest village. We came across this stunning oak tree growing next to the River Doulon. The colours were spectacular, even on an overcast afternoon. No handy bar tabac in Vals, so it was straight … Continue reading a colourful afternoon

Village life: Inauguration des travaux de l’église

David’s write up of a social event in our nearest village on Saturday. As for the macaroons, I could’t possibly comment!

750 metres

Not a lot happens in our village. The population is only 47, theres no bar or boulangerie or shop. But we do have an excellent garage at the bottom of the hill leading up to our hamlet.

P1020500 2


The main event usually is a get together at Christmas for champagne and cake. However the local church has been the subject of major renovations and so an inauguration ceremony took place on Saturday.


invite for the church inaugeration

There was a mass performed by the Bishop of Le Puy en Velay and then numerous speeches by local dignitaries including our local mayor resplendent in a tricolour sash.

Mayors speech at the church inauguration

The church is originally 11th century but heavily reworked in the 15th century including wall paintings which have also been restored.

church interior

After the speeches we all retired to the Mairie for an “apéritif dinatoire” which turned out to be sangria and savoury and sweet nibbles, including some gorgeous raspberry…

View original post 3 more words