Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Re-roofing a Tower

Last month we encountered these guys re-roofing a tower in Montrésor. The half cone shape had been formed with lengths of curved wood. The guy in the flat cap was engaged in rasping the surface smooth before terracotta tiles were fixed.
Botany Outing: There will be a general botany outing to look at wild flowers of agricultural land and pond plants on Sunday 15 June. Meet at 10.00 and/or 14.30 at La Morellière, Saint Laurent de Lin, home of Dominique Tessier (I can provide a phone number if you require it). At Chateau la Vallière take the D749 towards Bourgeuil. At the Croix du Chêne Pilé crossroads take the Saint Laurent du Lin direction. La Morellière is about 1 km on the right. Bring a packed lunch (many people will bring something to share). People can come for either the full day, arriving at 10 am, or half a day. If you are just coming for the afternoon arrive by 14.30, or get there an hour or two earlier and join the group for lunch.
French Expression: Désormais = from now on. This seems to me to be a somewhat formal word, the equivalent of 'henceforth' in English, although in more mainstream use (journalists use it both in writing in the newspaper and spoken on the television).


  1. Do you know the Charles Aznavour song, « Désormais, on ne nous verra plus ensemble... »? It's a very good song. Désormais is not terribly formal and certainly not as formal sounding as "henceforth".

  2. Susan, when you said curved....
    I thought you meant pre-curved, steamed timber....
    but on looking at it, I can see that the curve is being formed bu nailing flat lengths of thin timber to vertical ribs...
    a traditional boatbuilding technique that lends itself perfectly to a wonderfully curved section of roof such as this.
    The result is exceptionally strong and very light....
    Vosper Thornycroft used a double-lapped version of this technique on their WW2 Motor Torpedo and Gunboats and their RAF Air-Sea Rescue launch...
    the contra-lapped lengths of very thin marine ply allowed them to get away with half the ribs... without loosing any strength.
    I wonder which came first?
    Roofer or shipbuilder saying...
    "Aha, I can use that idea!!"

  3. Ken: No I don't know the song. Am I right in my impression that désormais is frequently used informally to mean something more like 'nowadays'? Certainly, before I looked it up in the dictionary and was just working out its meaning by context in the sentence that's what I thought it must mean.

    Tim: your analyses of the technique is correct and it is the standard way of doing it. You can see it up close at the Chateau de Fougeres sur Bievre. We saw them doing it a few years ago at La Celle Guenand, after the fire, too. There's a lot of talk about the connection between chateau carpentry and boatbuilding. I don't know how much interchange there was. I don't really believe that boatbuilders worked seasonally part of the year on boats and part of the year on chateaux. Could be convergent evolution, dunno...