Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Grand Hotel

Saint-Aignan's largest hotel, I think, is the Grand Hotel on the river. There's a bigger hotel out by the zoo, but that's much newer and not in town. The Grand Hotel is a very typical French hotel. I've never stayed there, but I know people who have and I've seen some of the rooms. It was renovated not too long ago and has all the modern conveniences, but still a lot of the old French charm.

The roof and the upper rooms of the Grand Hotel on the quai in Saint-Aignan. Notice the curly-cue lamp posts.

The hotel's facade is hidden by the trees in the picture. This is the hotel's setting, facing the Cher River, with its back to toward the center of town. The blood lab, where Ken and I get our annual blood work done, is just to the left of the hotel in this photo.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

View from the island

This is a view of Saint-Aignan's church from the south bank of the island in the Cher River. Not much to say except that it was a nice spring morning. The trees were just beginning to leaf out. I took this photo just over a week ago.

The bridge across the river is just behind the tree on the left. The château looms up on the right.

Monday was rainy most of the day. It was a very light rain, only two millimeters in the gauge. Our neighbors across the street had a family gathering, easily eight or ten cars altogether. It's too bad they had to stay indoors.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Water under the bridge

This is the bridge over the Cher at Saint-Aignan. More accurately, it's the southern span that connects the left bank (at my back in the photo) to the island, which is quite long, but narrow. The municipal swimming pool is on the island, as well as a good-sized park and the town's garden allotments. Another span to the north of the island connects to the river's right bank. It's here on the Saint-Aignan side that you find the lock and the foundations of the old mill that used to operate adjacent to the bridge.

You can see the lock on the island side of the river. The main stream flows under the bridge's two middle arches.

It rained a little overnight. I heard the drops on the loft windows at one point and the ground is wet this morning. But I don't think we got very much in the way of water. Today is a holiday in France. We won't notice, except that garbage will get picked up a day later than usual.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bunny day

Bonne idée ? Today we'll cook our annual rabbit dinner, but with a twist: I'll be cooking the bunny on the barbie. I don't think I've done that before. We're also planning to have spaghetti squash (yes, we still have a few from last fall's harvest) and some collard greens, also from our garden.

Little yellow flowers grow under a tree by the river.

It'll be interesting to see what goes on in the neighborhood today. Most of the out-of-town neighbors are here for the weekend. I expect some of them will be receiving family and/or friends for Sunday dinner.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Somewhere in Eriador

Watch out for trolls! Actually, this bridge crosses a stream bed very close to the Cher River, not far from our house. The stream gets it's start up in the vineyards behind us. It's named, I think, l'aulne (alder) after the trees that are commonly found along water courses. There was no water in the stream on this day; it was bone dry.

Looks like something out of Middle Earth, doesn't it? Maybe hobbits passed by here...

It's Easter weekend and we are preparing for our annual rabbit dinner. This year Ken wants to grill the bunny, so we'll cut it up into pieces and marinate it with a spicy mustard sauce overnight tonight. One of our local supermarkets had a special on rabbits two weeks ago so I got a couple and put them in the freezer.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Moonset

When I got up Thursday morning I saw the just-past-full moon setting in the west, lining up nicely with that lone tree out in the vineyard. I wanted to take a picture, but my camera wasn't ready. No card, wrong lens, and the tripod base was not attached. I scrambled to get it together before the moon moved out of position. I took a few shots without the tripod and this is the best one.

A nice clear morning. The photo would be a little crisper had I used the tripod.

My tripod has a base attachment that screws into the bottom of the camera. That way, putting the camera on and off the tripod is done with a simple click. But for it to be quick, you've got to keep the base screwed onto the camera. The last time I replaced the camera battery I didn't put the tripod base back on. That'll learn me.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hello Dolly

This 2CV was sitting outside the Clos Roussely winery on Sunday. My friend noticed that it's named Dolly. I don't know anything else about it, but it's pretty, non?

The official winery car. Every winery should have one.

Ken is home and getting back into his regular routine. Callie was very happy to see him, but Bertie is pretending not to notice. He'll come around soon enough. Dogs and cats, eh?