Monday, August 10, 2009

...of spiders, a chateau and things.....................

On my way to bed some days ago I walked past my creative space on the stair landing and saw an enormous spider on the wall. Now I do not like spiders in fact I am terrified of spiders! Mervyn was sound asleep, after all it was about 1 am and I know that if I did wake him, he would not be in a fit state to tackle a spider. Sad to say that I took my shoe and smashed the creepy thing which promptly fell into the waste basket. This was removed to the bottom of the stairs until morning! I seem to be finding more creepies in France than my entire life in Africa!
The warm summer weather has also brought out the mosquitoes, which are mean little beasties. We are both suffering from an allergic reaction to their bites and have had to visit the friendly English speaking pharmicist to obtain antihistamine tablets yet again.
Living in a farming area has proved quite educational. I have been watching the wheat fields getting dryer and browner over the past few weeks. Quite honestly I wonder if there is any goodness left in the dead looking plants and perhaps that is why breakfast cereals have added vitamins! Yesterday an enormous machine arrived across the road and starting harvesting. This is mechanised farming on a large scale and after a late afternoon start, they were working until it was dark to clear the entire field. Today I saw tractors taking large trailers full of what looks just like sand to the mill in Pontivy. We have been watching the corn with interest as like everything else it is planted close together, no manual harvesting here. It will presumably be cut and taken elsewhere to be sorted, the same as the peas and lettuce.
Sunday dawned a beautiful bright sunny day and we decided to visit a neolithic site near Vannes. As the weather was so good and it is of course summer holidays, the roads were hectic. The first site we visited was a tumulus with amazing carved stone walls. Unfortunately during the war due to its close proximity to the sea, it was used as a bunker by the Germans who destroyed a many of the carved walls. The remaining carvings on the walls are now very worn but I was fascinated with two very clear small feet! I was not allowed to take a camera inside so I did not have the opportunity to take pictures.
We had decided to visit a chateau but on setting the trusty satnav I discovered two other neolithic sites of interest which were very close. The first hidden away in a residential area turned out to be a large dolmen in quite good condition. Braving the narrow passage and just about crawling inside I discovered the one remaining carved stone wall had been defaced with graffiti at some time.

The other tumulus is no longer open to the public and has been sealed up. It is now just a large overgrown mound, climbing to the top was worth the effort as the view across the countryside and out to sea was quite amazing. According to the information on the notice board, Julius Ceasar used this as a vantage point to watch some naval battle. I am sad to see that so many of these sites are not very well cared for. I suppose that in reality there are so many of them it is impossible to preserve each and every one.
The chateau was magnificent and worth the visit. It was taken over as a total ruin and is slowly being restored at an enormous cost. This was my first visit inside a medieval chateau and I learnt a lot of the construction of these buildings. I discovered a 'steam' room, vast banqueting halls and bedchambers. Just wish it was furnished.

I have no idea what the ghostly shape in the following picture is, some reflection from the sun I presume?

Megan is busy house hunting this week and has been in Cambridgeshire looking at houses. Hopefully we will have a more permanent home soon. We do need space as Bronwen's dog has been shut up for six months and is loving being free again and my kitties have become used to a large garden to play in. Leila keeps bringing in tiny little shrews, don't know where she finds them but I managed to rescue one and set it free in the garden. Sasha is starting to show his old age and is getting a little thin, he is such a special kitty and I hope he will take the next move well.
Living in the country could prove to be useful as tomorrow if the weather is fine, we should have a good view of the meteor shower.
My bears for the Hugglets show are growing in number. I might be able to make some other things for Etsy soon if I can complete all the bears plus the orders.

History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up. ~Voltaire

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