Lately we’ve been busy entertaining, the fitba finished for the season and we’ve seen a very young foul, a fox and a couple of snakes.
First my Aunt visited from Edinburgh and we had a very good few days pottering around locally. Collecting her at Limoges airport we went to nearby Oradour sur Glane for lunch – me having a Gratin so we could see exactly what it was! Then visited the old bit of the village where the SS killed 642 people as was featured in one of my earlier updates. There were many more visitors than when S and I went last year but still haunting. Then we headed home and Catherine loved oor wee abode.
We had a day pottering around Saint Yrieix then had lunch at the restaurant by the lake where I was able to have cunard and frites, (duck & chips). Then went on to Nexon to a bricante (sort of jumble sale/market) where we had a look at things after a wee walk around the grounds of the Hotel de Ville chateau. Stocking up on groceries Catherine was very impressed by the lettuces – she would know having an allotment. After tea we walked gently down to the wee lake.
The next day we went to Junmilac le Grand looking at the Chateau and had a drink watching a group of middle aged motor cyclists line up in front of the impressive building for photographs, clearly on some sort of tour. We then planned for our financial future by visiting an exhibition about gold mining and panning. There’s gold in these here hills… Then onto Segour le Chateau where we wandered about the Plus Beau Village and had lunch (only my 3rd burger of our trip).
The Sunday we had a quiet day going for a walk, there are a few laps possible depending in how vigorous or guilty about large lunches you feel. Then did some what I’m told young people call chillin on the deck at the hoose. Mitzy provided some entertainment catching a couple of lizards who needed to be saved!
We had another day in Saint Yrieix on the Monday, where found the large bric-a-brac place which you could furnish a house or six from at not much cost. Catherine loved lots of things and got a skirt at much less than Stockbridge prices. Then we went to Intermarche where we met Jan (a star of this!) as I updated the Blog and rather than reply to her latest e-mail we spoke to her! Lunch that day was at L’Aquarelle, a pizza place. In the afternoon we joined Fran and Mike who’s Mum was visiting as well as Fran’s cousin who’d popped in. We had a good old blether sat with them in the sun. John our neighbour wandered past later on having a chat and Archy (the dog from next door) was a hit with Catherine.
On the Tuesday on the way to the airport we had a drink and walk around Limoges going to St Stephen’s Cathedral and nearby gardens then set off for her flight – escaping a one-way system we’d not experienced before largely by fluke. There were a couple of days of good weather and the others though cooler didn’t limit out activities – she said she had fun which was good cos we enjoyed having her visit.
The first Eurovision Semi was good.
On the way back from a shopping trip to SYlP we went, on a whim to Saint Julien le Vendomois which we’d seen signs for many times but never visited or even driven through. We walked around the little village and went to a barn shop, which we’d seen details for elsewhere run by a British couple, selling all kinds of cool things. The man (Adrian) had spoken to us in French on the way in, on the way out she (Jane) said hello and having established we were Scottish said we could speak English. I’d apparently fooled Adrian enough with my French for him not to clock us as being Brits! After only a brief chat Jane offered us a drink, I got a coke and S was presented with a massive glass of Rose. Gossiping in the sun they mentioned a Scottish couple they’d had dinner with the previous evening, moments later they (Ian & Maureen) appeared. He is from Authermuchty and the six of us went inside as it started to rain. Two and a half hours later we returned to the car having had a great time blethering away about living here, house/garden projects and many other topics in between including the ridiculous financial terms that were provided to Fife’s third football team by the Bank of Scotland – something I didn’t bring up!
Next day we wandered around Saint Yrieix and had lunch at the Vice Versa where I had a very lovely pork dish with a mustard sauce. We visited a couple of art exhibitions – there’s always at least one going on somewhere in SYlP and arranged to get a copy of a poster my Aunt had liked. This killed time before a hospital appointment the details of which I’ll bore you both with some other time.
As the week wound down we watched the disappointing second Eurovision Semi and gently prepared for our next visitation. A wee trip into town saw me replace an ornament I’d got S for Xmas that I’d then knocked over damaging. DOH! I’d seen that they were still available and went to the Cave de Bacchus to get another. Francois – who wears 11 for SYlP – was working, it appears to be his shop, and my short visit was prolonged by us chatting, as best I can, about the previous win and last game of the season.
Mitzy meanwhile was under the knife! She’d had a scrape the vet said was probably with another cat. We’d put antiseptic cat stuff on a small wound which healed and seemed ok but a lump developed under the skin/fur. Turns out it was an abscess and she had to have that dealt with. We collected her still under the influence of the anaesthetic and feeling rather sorry for herself poor thing. Ongoing treatment of her by us was easier to understand as I’d had an abscess myself a few years back. She seems fine again now, a shaved area and rapidly healing open wound, not hindering her efforts to catch then play with much of Frances lizard population. The prime suspect for her injury is a large grey and white stray cat that’s appeared here lately.
We watched Eurovision and were pleased the Russian’s didn’t win. The Swedish effort was decent but in our view not the best. Due to minimal phone/web signals the usual text/Facebook frenzy wasn’t able to be joined in but we were the French jury for Barry’s Eurovision event in Embra. Chant sans frontiers!
On Sunday John from next door and I went into Saint Yrieix for the fitba which for a change started at three o’clock. As we headed for the wee stand the player coach said after the usual handshake that we should stay for a drink after the match, a small marquee and bar trailer were positioned by the clubhouse. There was a bigger crowd than normal with most of the regulars and a few new faces. I declined the opportunity to have a red and blue stripe on my face fearing it would mess with my tan! Philippe, who I’d seen at the first Limoges game, had been pressed into running the line as the visitors had no subs and no-one other than their coach to take that role.
Eymoutiers B are another side who insist on wearing yellow which is oddly popular out here. SYlP where not however put off by such sartorial trivialities and early on the big number ten fired a low shot through a ruck of players following a corner to make it one nil. From then on there was only going to be one winner, Ricardo scored as he does and the busy visitor’s keeper committed an outrageously stupid foul on the SYlP captain for a clear penalty. The referee – who was excellent – didn’t take any action against the youngster seeing him pick the ball out of the net after Ricardo’s low finish into the bottom corner as punishment enough. Despite numerous chances it somehow remained only 3:0 at the break.
Continuing to dominate despite having taken their foot off the gas SYlP took a while to get a fourth goal. Eventually it came when one of the centre half’s bored with the front men squandering chances meandered through the visitors defence finishing with aplomb. (I must admit that John helped me remember this one as I don’t yet take a pad and pen to SYlP games!) The home Captain who’d just put a shot just wide was played in again took a couple of touches to improve the angle and fired a great shot past the now despairing keeper into the top corner from about 22 yards. The final goal came when a sub Centre Back had a run up the wing sending a very inviting cross to the back post where the number 7 had the simple task of heading home. A 6:0 end of season win did not flatter Saint Yrieix and the visitors probably thought themselves rather lucky.
After the home dressing room was loud, soon celebrations and champagne spilled out as girlfriends and friends avoided sprays from bottles. Philippe confirmed to John and I that the result had sealed promotion to Division 3. I had known that going into the game they were tied on points with Sussac but wasn’t aware what second could mean. The players from both sides and the ref soon joined the fans who had for some reason congregated in front of the bar! The coach came over and thanked me for going not just home games but also a couple of away games. I explained, as best I could that’s what I did watching Raith Rovers, I was wearing my Rovers top. We spoke to Francois and Phillipe who both said that the club need to recruit to do well next year – John and I wondered where new players would get a game as the current side are good and many of them young. Francois is according to Philipe 36 but he clearly won’t be calling it a day for a while such is his enthusiasm, pace and ability. I also spoke to my former supporter colleague, the goalkeeper, pointing out that at my first game we’d watched from the stand and in this one I’d watched from the stand as he’d watched from the goals having nothing to do!
John and I wandered off as the locals looked at the gathering clouds which had broken to let the sun shine on the match. I’d assured Philippe to his amusement that the weather was still good for me!
Monday’s paper indicated that Sussac had lost 3:2 to Occitane, the League winners, which left them 3 points behind SYlP.
The final classement is here – http://www.fff.fr/la-vie-des-clubs/4628/page-classement/competition-303159/phase-1/groupe-5
It looks like SYlP will be in the same Poule as Coussac Bonneval who are just down the road so they’ll have a derby next season which John and I are already looking forward to. However knowing my luck that’ll be the first match after we return to sunny jockoland. Triumphant end to fitba bits, until Aout!
On Monday we drove north to get Maureen and Keiran. S was briefly at school with Maureen and despite them only being in same city for a short time they’ve been pals for longer than I feel safe to say… They now live in Norfolk with their two girls who were deposited at gran parents en-route. We drove into Limoges with them and had a wander around the city centre. It being a holiday one of them was no doubt pleased that the bank balance wasn’t at risk due to almost all the shops being closed, (I won’t say who he was). We had drinks in the Place de la Republic and then using our increasing knowledge of the city found somewhere for lunch. They’d been up early so after we got back to the wee hoose we had cakes and then showed them the lake as they marvelled at the views and hills – did I say they live in Norfolk?
On Tuesday we set off in search of Chateaux and went via Coussac Bonneval so they could see their first. Going thru STlP we went down the D704 in bright sunshine and had a coffee in Hautefort, chateau number two.
We stopped for lunch at Montignac (near the recreated caves). Despite the riverside restaurant providing a good view of wild ducks on the river three of us had other ducks for lunch. All were very happy with lunch – not that the wine was a factor in that – we set off for Chateaux Losse further along the river, passing chateau number three as we went. Arriving in time for a tour we watched and learned about the impressive place from a young woman who – wait for it – was prepared to step over the velvet ropes that prevented access to rooms as she spoke about them. You don’t get that at home very often. The tour ended on the terrace/battlements overlooking the river and we saw canoers going past who we’d seen setting off down river as we had lunch. Our upstream journey was less hard work than theirs no-doubt after a relaxing stroll around the gardens and some fortifying cake. The little tea-room was monitored by a friendly cat who happily settled on my lap before I had time to stop him, not that I’d have tried. We drove gently back stopping for provisions and ate a light meal on the terrace in the evening sun.
Wednesday we didn’t stray too far and went into SYlP where we pottered around the shops again. I fear Francois will think I’m stalking him but M & K bought some things in his shop so he’ll probably not complain. We then had lunch in the sunshine at La Bonne Cave. Maureen had very much enjoyed her lunch the day before but it was eclipsed by a dish she ordered knowing only it was fish. It turned out to be topped with a cheesy puff pastry over a gorgeous ensemble of fish, vegetables and scallop. She raved with justification about said knowing better than to not let me try a mouthful. We were all more than happy with our nosh when we continued our wanderings, all a little redder/browner after the time sat in the sun. Returning to the house via a supermarket much cheese was purchased for our tea again outside on the deck. After which we played petanque which Keiran was best at but he does despite his relative youth bowl…
On Thursday when they were packed we drove northwest to Saint Junien and had a wander around the town. Maureen had adjusted to the one hour time difference and at five to twelve was peckish. We went to a hotel restaurant and Keiran had the beef while Maureen and I went for the duck. It was with a green pepper sauce and a bit overdone which was rather disappointing, the others however enjoyed theirs. Heading for the airport we had a coffee and laugh while waiting for them to be called for the flight. We’d all had a great few days and it must have been odd for them being jealous of the length of someone else’s holiday because they are both teachers. They were second and third through security however it turned out their plane hadn’t even departed Stanstead at that time and annoyingly much delayed they didn’t get home until 0100.
All three visitors seemed to enjoy their visits and liked our wee hoose. Worryingly Archie the dog was twice at risk from being dog-napped! They are all probably bored being driven around by me pointing out good or great looking houses mainly cos there are SO MANY!
At least one of the pair of you will be wondering about the snakes. We saw our first that was a victim of a car on the road and with M & K avoided a live one crossing the road ahead of us. These encounters are close enough thank you very much but we’ll of course update of any other serpentry.
Until next time which will be I warn you lacking in tales of visitors, Eurovision and fitba. If there is sufficient demand there could be more Archie pictures…