a series of lectures about the 'Secret War', which covered the clandestine activities of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the French Resistance during the Second World War.
Our friend John came along with us as he has a particular interest in this period of history, and in old cars. Saint Amand Montrond is a couple of hours to the east of us, in the old province of Berry (modern day Indre and Cher) and we needed to be at the venue at 2.30 pm, so we decided to leave home mid morning and lunch at a restaurant along the way. We hit Lignieres around about lunchtime and decided to stop there. We've been to Lignieres before, as it was where we got very lost a couple of years ago trying to find the Prieuré d'Orsan.
The creperie in Lignieres.
L'Europe, reinforced concrete, by the Sudanese sculptor Fabian Latorre.
L' Amour, bronze, by Louis Derbré, who grew up in the Pays de la Loire.
La Cité de l'Or, Saint Amand Montrond. Can you pick which one is Claudette?
Reflected in the roof of the bar.
After apéros at the bar in the Cité de l'Or we went back to Dan and Marie Christine's for supper. They live in a restored longere in a hamlet not far from Saint Amand. We were full of admiration for their work on the house. They actually mostly live in the barn end of the building, which has a sort of suspended staircase up to a mezzanine for the bedrooms and more or less open plan kitchen / living room on the ground floor, with a huge glass portico flooding the space with light.
On the table was a selection of charcuterie including wild boar paté made by Dan from a boar which had visited their vegetable garden once too often, some petit salé and garlic sausage from a butcher that Marie Christine trusts and sour dough bread from a real artisanal baker who has turned his back on the big city and now runs his wood fired oven just three times a week to make something exceptional. Then there was salad and sautéed potatoes, followed by several cheeses and then an apple tart made by Marie Christine from their own apples. Accompanying all of this was a selection of local wines, Dan's home made firewater (which he told us was eau de vie des mirabelles, a type of small plum) and some limited edition Chartreuse supplied by Pierre, who is a stone mason who used to work for the monks. We were joined by Pierre's entertaining young bearded collie Yuko, who was enjoying having a crowd of visitors and spent the evening being told to 'saute pas!'
What with laughing, talking, eating and looking at photos of Dan and Marie Christine's trip to Australia we didn't get to bed until 3 am.
Preuilly News: I attended a very positive site meeting at the Chapelle de Tous les Saints yesterday. In attendance was an architect from the Fondation du Patrimoine and two wall paintings conservators along with our deputy mayor and the president of the local historical society.
According to the latest council meeting minutes, displayed on the town notice board, our water rates are not going to go up next year, but our sewerage rates are being reviewed.