Another grand day out

Yesterday we went to start the proceedings for the acquisition of what will one day be our new home. Buying a house takes ages in France and as our place is on agricultural land, it has to be offered to the local farmers’ association first. They won’t make up their minds about whether they want it for many weeks.

We talked to the grand-nephew of the owner about aspects of the property that he would know about, like who has been responsible for cutting and baling the hay, who is responsible for keeping the vegetation along the stream under control, and something that has been worrying me, how will the neighbours take to Finbar.

There is a section in the country code referring to sight hounds that forbids their use as hunting dogs, and insists that they must be kept on a lead at all times. Hunters hate them because they chase anything that moves, and particularly rabbits and hares. Chase, but not necessarily catch, the reason for the Spanish Galgos being abandoned in their thousands after every hunting season. In the countryside, the hunter has a lot of privileges, and can chase game that have been started across anybody’s land. There have been cases where a deer has taken refuge in somebody’s front room, only to have the hunters barging in claiming that the poor creature be handed over. Hunters are trigger happy. They take pot shots as animals and people that annoy them.

The good news is that not only are the neighbours not hunters, but there aren’t many rabbits to send Finbar crazy. Even better, deer come onto the property to drink at the stream. As long as Finbar leaves the deer, the sheep and the owls alone we should be okay.

I did try to take some photos of the house, but after a single shot the camera gave up the ghost. My phone only does outdoor pics with any great success, so for the moment, until I get the pics other people took, I’ll just post a few photos of the nearest small town.

Tonneins in on the banks of the Garonne, built on river cliffs with a promenade all the way along the foot of the embankment. In the main square there’s a bandstand with a splendid view of the river. The guy in the pic is nothing to do with us.

Hundreds of cranes flew over while we were there. You can just about see them, tiny specks against the white cloud.

Berges1

Looking downriver towards Bordeaux

Berges3

Along the walls there are old stone water chutes that send rainwater cascading down to the river, after a brief and picturesque stop over in a stone basin.

 

 

Beneath the bandstand are the public toilets. Not a place I would visit in the normal course of events, but somebody had a pressing need, so down we went. They were medieval but clean. The picture is from the toilet window. There were cormorants flying past, out of the shot too quickly though.

Toilet

And finally, the kind of strange shot my telephone does best—the ghost in the machine type shot.

Glitter

I’ll post the pics of the house anon.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

24 thoughts on “Another grand day out”

  1. It looks beautiful. I love that bandstand looking over the river. I’m glad all seems well for Finbar, too. (I had no idea French hunters could be as crazy as some American hunters.)

    1. Thanks Clare. I’ve been dreaming of a place like this for years. Husband would be equally happy in a small town as long as it’s quiet. Now that we’ve got it, we’re both beginning to get butterflies. Not so much because we’re afraid we won’t like it, but because it’s a dream coming true, and that can fall terribly flat. Crossing fingers we won’t have time for existential navel-gazing once we’re there.

      Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 17:25:46 +0000 To: jane.dougherty@dbmail.com

  2. Good luck with the land … in the Cantal the farmers virtually always take it and then wonder why we are infested with Mole Rats because they leave it fallow not having the time nor the money to work any more than they have already. I hope they are a little more raisonable in your area 🙂

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