Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Simple pleasures…

We have been very fortunate with the weather over the past weeks. Our very first Autumn in France has been wonderful. Shutter painting aside, we’ve tried to make the most of the mild and sunny weather. Amongst other activities we’ve fitted in a couple of fairly impromptu walks around the local area. These haven’t been of the large, organised Touraine Trekkers style walks, but rather walks of the “shall we?”, “ok”, “what about tomorrow?” type.




Our walks took us around the Foret de Preuilly and Chambon. Our fellow walkers, S&S and C&E were a mine of information about the local flora, fauna and fungi. You can check out some of their wonderful photographs and info by clicking on the links. We really enjoyed the walk and we spotted so many fungi, the names of most escape me, but I have added a good fungi field guide to my Christmas present list! Any suggestions as to which one to ask Santa for?











How many steares of wood do you think are here? Colin providing a sense of scale. Imagine stacking this pile of wood…


The advance party…


I wonder whether this still works…


We spent a while trying to spot then photograph this ruddy darter which was well camouflaged against the autumn leaves.


Nearly home.


On each walk we walked 8km with an average speed of around 3km/hour. Hardly break neck pace, but just right for what we wanted to do.

Thank you to our walking companions for being such good company. We hope to experience more of these simple pleasures in life, and to continue learning about the wonderful, natural world that surrounds us…


  1. I love those impromptu and not really well planned experience is that the well planned ones always end up with us getting lost anyway. I'm glad your first autumn "term" away from school has been so enjoyable. Relaxing into autumn and retirement, in France is perfect. We've had a great autumn too, but are back in Yorkshire now....Halloween grandparents duty called, so we're back now until I need to go prune my salvias in the first week in March !
    Hope you continue to enjoy your time in France. Jx

    1. Thanks, Janice.

      Thoughts of work are far away. It could be that Le Pre Vert is only associated with holidays. I wonder whether it will be different when we are back in the UK.

      Halloween! Must get Tim to get this year's pumpkins carved...

      Enjoy your time in the UK, and particularly enjoy the grandchildren xx

  2. The best fungi guide in French is Champignons de France et d'Europe by Marcel Bon published by Flammarion. No idea for one in English though. Ask Tim F.

    We've really enjoyed the walks and very much appreciate being included in them. More please!

    I'm trying to find out something about that still, but not having much luck so far. Might ask Lara from O petit verger on Thursday at the market, as it's at the end of her road.

    1. Thanks for the guide info and for your expert knowledge.

      I would be interesting to know more about the still.

    2. I've found out the name of the owner of the still and apparently it still works. Simon is dead keen for me to phone the guy up and arrange for him to make us a batch of calvados from Lara's hail damaged apples.

    3. Phillips and Rix guide is good - there are some second hand copies in English on Amazon France at the moment, a genuine bargain so long as nobody has used a mushroom for a bookmark!

    4. Thanks. Have ordered a Phillips one from Amazon UK

  3. 3km per hour - as fast as that? On a good day with the wind behind us we might have made 3km in an afternoon, and that was before my little problem. There's just too much to look at! Isn't Chambon a mess, when you look more closely? Great work for the couvreurs, but what's the cost and who will pay? Pauline

    1. I didn't notice Chambon as a mess, but as we walked up there was a funeral so it was very much 'eyes down' and as we walked back we were keen to get something to eat!!

  4. After the wet summer we had, this nice autumn is just what the doctor ordered!

    1. It is, Walt. It is!

      I didn't notice the summer as being that bad, but with the UK as my benchmark I'm probably starting from a very different point. ;o)

  5. You've made me yearn for those French countryside walks, Gaynor. This all looks so familiar and I do remember the amazing funghi and little woodland creatures - you've capured some fantastic specimen here. Lovely! Axxx

  6. Hi Gaynor I wrote on here before and it has disappeared :-(

    Simple pleasures are the best pleasures and now you are retired I am sure you will find time for all of them x