Tag Archives: village

picking

11 Oct
Ambroise emptying 'la hotte'

Ambroise emptying ‘la hotte’

Picking at last.

There’s been stops and starts… and now it’s all GO to get the grapes in.

We’re harvesting three weeks later than previous years, but it’s shaping up to be a pretty good ‘recolte’ … there’s a charged atmosphere and smiles all round.

I’ll fill you in on this harvest over a few posts, but here’s a selection of pics from today, in and out of our village.

(you may note some ‘fx’ in the images – my dear old camera is on the blink so what you see are the results of lumping around with a clunky electronic rectangle)

woke to to the noise of the harvester outside the kitchen window

woke to to the noise of the harvester outside the kitchen window

tent-picking

tent-picking

checking out the noise... a tractor cruising down the driveway

checking out the noise… a tractor cruising down the driveway

picking 1

pick cal1

here comes the sun

cal pick3

empty 2

empty 3

empty 4

cal 7

house on the prairie

pick cal 2Meanwhile, back in the village…

ca 4

chat arnaud

clearing out remains of the ‘pressoir’ (press)

ca 3

the Vigneron having a spray

the Vigneron having a spray

...and the ladies are still out checking the 'raisins'

…and the ladies are still out checking the ‘raisins’

 

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Here little piggy

22 Apr
following in the footsteps

on the trail

When I’m on a roll and doing the right thing by my back (my G.P. freaked when I said I was discovering the merits of beer and wine over prescription pills to ease chronic pain), I get out and walk.

Up and down and around the numerous ‘chemins‘(paths) of our local village after dropping Lilas off at school – or if I’m at home, I lock the door behind me and head out for a wander around ye olde hamlet.  There’s nothing better for head-clearing than getting out and enjoying the sights and smells and sounds from the viewpoint of your feet (I haven’t yet embraced the bike-thing, despite obvious inspiration from the many folk here in Frogsville).

And now more than ever – with the hunting season is officially over, I can walk panic-free.

It sounds crazy but believe me, there’s this dodgy period of the year, from September to the end of February, when delightful shots ring in the air and I freeze and cower behind some vines.  The hunters are out.  Crouching like a ninny, you wonder if your bulk in a huge brown puffa jacket ressembles more wild sanglier (boar) than human.  Especially when you’re not much taller than a wild boar – and on all fours (ooh la la, I won’t start).  Here little piggy.

shells

Lilas likes collecting up the rubbish they leave behind. On you girl!

I’m not joking, accidents happen all over France each year during hunting season.  You can find any number of stats on the net, one of which claims 57 hunting-related deaths in the 2012/2013 season (up from 42 in the 2011/2012 year).  But the stats, depending who is reporting them, vary: the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage cites for 2011/2012, 131 hunting-related accidents of which only 18 were mortal, for eg.  And don’t forget the 9% concerning ‘non-hunters’…

hunting plaque

It’s a topic charged with anger on both sides of the fence.  I wonder which side this author is hanging on…

Oohla, Bernard has a petit hunting zizi surprise in his pocket

Ooh laa, Bernard’s petit hunting zizi surprise has popped out of its pocket – image courtesy of La Buvette des Alpages
…(AND NO, Bill! – that is not me that circled the goods)

Yes I’m confused, and wary of the propaganda – but when you’re out there enjoying the cacophany of shots whilst stepping over colourful empty shell cases, I wonder what my odds are.  I should maybe don a red beanie and have a plastic red rose held high, a la the travel guides shepherding their groups around the grand squares of Europe.

a tranquil walking path

a tranquil walking path, minus the hunting crowd

On the less extreme end, some groups simply argue for a ban on Sundays (most accidents occur on weekends)…  This leads me to wonder why Wednesday (with Saturday and Sunday) is also nominated as an’open’ hunting day of the week  – when it is, all-over France, the mid-week day-off for children from school?  Can’t say I’m itching to take Lilas out for a walk when you can see the camouflage khakis and gun cocked on a guy strolling not that far from the kitchen door.

But hey, on the whole I have no problems with hunting if regulations are respected.  It’s incredibly popular here in the Minervois and you see a big proportion of the villagers getting involved.  It’s almost like a religion.  And these guys are outside, enjoying the elements (and the odd bottle of red) and providing some of us meat-eaters with food on the table.  Probably better than frozen nuggets, pot and a few hours of Playstation in a dark living room .

dawgs in the back

dawgs in the back…  (I’d been wondering where I’d put this pic)

So onto those walks.  Like I said,  the season has offically ‘closed’ and the hunters are at rest for the next few months at least.  The piggies et al can relax – and me too.

hamlet 8

hamlet 6

hamlet 3

4L hamlet

calam5

hamlet 2

black pusscalam13

hameau

mousse

calam1

hamlet9

hamlet 10

first blossom

7 Feb
the first blossom seen in our village this year

the first blossom seen in our village this year

It’s girly wirly fleur time on the blog.  We were out on our morning walk and in the distance I spied the first blossom for the year…

our morning walk - blossom in the distance

our morning walk – blossom in the distance

Quelle belle surprise.  It’s cold and about to snow again, friends left right and centre are ‘aol’ with colds and flu, but the sight of that beautiful pink…  I go crazy in my head with excitement when I see the first trees in flower – and this was my first for 2013.

lilas and blossom

…Took Lilas out later for a look.
Carefully pruned vines in background.

blossom 6

lilas blossom 3

I know it’s only early Feb, but it gets me thinking of all the flowers to come – and Ding! goes my head with visions of colour and splendour from last year’s pickings.

So hell yeah, let’s have a cheesy insert to follow.

A ‘Collage de Fleurs’!…

a cheesy flower collage (from last year's pickings)

…a cheesy flower collage (from last year’s pickings)

this morning

7 Dec

Brrrr, a chilly morning, below freezing, but beautiful here in the Minervois.  I went out to take some photos in my pyjamas and my hands were frozen in 5 minutes.

out the front looking over the vineyards

out the front looking over the vineyards

cal this am3

neighbours'

pink over the vines at the back

pink over the vines at the back

cal this am5

the neighbours through the kitchen window

the neighbours through the kitchen window

The views from the car on the way to school were spectacular…

the drive to school...

the drive to school…

the Pyrenees

the Pyrenees in the background

on the route to school, coming into the village

on the route to school, coming into the village

La Liviniere

La Liviniere

some sights #6 – the Pumpkin Festival

25 Oct

At the Pumpkin Festival last Sunday.

pumpkin festival rieux

gorgeous gold heels

10th annual pumpkin festival

a “Chaud Show!”(quoted from “L’Independant”)

So where are the pumpkins at Rieux’s 10th annual “Fete de la Citrouille”?

My battery went on the blink before I got to that (believe me, they were big)

…we’d been distracted by the rocking drum beats and dancing ladies of “Bresil en Catalogne”.

As seen near Saintes… (signs!)

20 Jun
as seen near Saintes...

We were on our way to a party in the Charente last Saturday and followed this car on a roundabout…

Benji and I had a party to go to near his parents’ place in the Charente last weekend.  We found ourselves following this guy, somewhere near Saintes…

HOMME 55

CHERCHE A

RENCONTRE

FEMME 48 AN ET

AIMENT NATURE

MARCHE. ANIMEAUX

TEL….

He’s saying:

Man 55

Looking to

Meet woman 48 years plus

Loves Nature

Walking. Animals

Ingenious.  I hope he’s found his woman.

Speaking of signs, here’s one I recently spotted on someone’s front door :

dog con

You should ask a French person how to say this one

I think their dog’s name is Polo… and he jumps, and he’s a…

And I love this one too, seen on the back of an old guy’s truck:

Buvez du Vin!

Beziers Propaganda Association for Wine sticker

DRINK!!!!!

…and I’ve just thought,

L’AMOUR + LES CHIENS + LE VIN = LA FRANCE!?!   Ooh la la.

romance frenchie style

romance, Frenchie style

 

 

some sights #3 – images from the Minervois

6 Nov

a peak into this week in the Minervois!…

We’ve had a public holiday and lots of time for exploring and catching up with friends and family (the Frenchie side.  But I’m counting down the days to catching up with the Aussie one!).

a little door in la caunette

a petite door in La Caunette

the church in La Caunette

the church in La Caunette

ami 8 blue

a lovely Citroen… ‘Dyane’.  I thought it was an ‘Ami 8’, but I have been informed!  Thanks Vincent, where would I be without you to enlighten me!??…

le coq

un coq sur le rooftop

We had a visit from winemaking friends from Australia, Elva and Ron Laughton of Jasper Hill.  Benji showed them around the cellar in the village.  Thanks for the visit and the Roquefort guys…

Jasper Hill in La Liviniere

Jasper Hill in La Liviniere

driving into La Liviniere

driving into La Liviniere

morning shopping in the village

shopping in the village

les hommes le matin

morning baguettes all round

La Poste in Aigues-Vives

La Poste

old blocks at the 'vide-grenier' (the village garage sale)

old blocks at the ‘vide-grenier’ (the village garage sale)

chalk drawing in Felines

spied this colourful wall on the way to meet a friend in Felines

macarons from Toulouse

a delicious gift from my sister-in-law in Toulouse. I can’t believe, after all these years, it’s the first time I’ve ever tasted a macaron.

ami 8 red

encore! – another Citroen Dyane

un chasseur

Beware wild piggies, it’s hunting season again. Walks in the countryside don’t feel the same when your paths are littered with cartridges… 

Tholomies

The Abbaye de Tholomies winery down the road from our village

the abbey in Caunes

the Abbey in Caunes

Minerve

the village of Minerve

inside Minerve's church

inside Minerve’s church


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