Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Today started off really well.

Gorgeous bright blue skies with not a cloud in sight. I was up ... well, not as early as I have been but still early enough, and while I was breakfasting, I had the fan working, so hot that it was up here.

Terry rang up and so I met him down the lane and we went off to the quarry for some melange and a pile of sand, and I ended up with about half a ton of the stuff - that will keep me out of mischief for a while, rebuilding the lean-to wall.

After computing for a while I attacked the raised bed with the early spuds, and am I disappointed. There's not even half a bucket full. I've no idea where they all went to.

But I was so engrossed with digging over the bed that I failed to notice the time - 15:24 and I was covered in soil and so on, and I had to meet Marianne at 15:30. So I flew into Pionsat just as I was, hardly a good advert for anything, and we made it to St Magnier just in time to start the walk.

St Magnier is a very exciting place and proudly announces that its population has grown by 17.4% in the last 10 years - typical of many small villages in the Auvergne, and mostly due to all of the foreigners who have come to live here.

The church is another one of these 11th Century Roman-style churches, complete with its rare original ornamental doorway, although the church has been extended and "restored" - and we all know what that means.

From there, we went for a long walk out to the Fountain of St Loup, scene of a well-attested 7th-Century miracle, and then to the small hamlet of Villeromain - very significant in that wherever you see a French place-name bginning with ville, it almost certainly signifies the site of a Gallo-Roman villa.

You are not allowed in France to use the term "Roman" on its own. French history does not accept the principle that the Romans colonised and settled the country. It insists that the Gauls were already civilised and that the presence of villas and other contemporary buildings were due to the combined efforts of both the Romans and the Gauls.

However, Villeromain is a very controversial place as the inclusion of the very definite Roman in the name suggests to some that this settlement was entirely Roman and had no input from the Gauls - an opinion that does not go down very well with the historians.

So this evening after a nice hot shower, I came up here to the furnace. It's roasting up here and the fan is doing almost nothing. Summer seems to have arrived - but for how long?

1 comment:

  1. About 2 days and then it's back to duck weather, or so they say.