Anna Belleforte

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Medieval villages

Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 13, 2017 at 12:45 AM

I’m back on N-roads and finding an excess of charm. First stop was Brantome, north of Perigueux, an abbey town with structures built into the cliff and, opposite the river, cute smiling pigs illustrated to advertise pork delicacies. This always rankles me a bit when, of course, their destiny here is anything but happy. The town attracts plenty of tourists. Many British, though perhaps they live here, as evidenced by the ‘So British’ fete next weekend. (I can’t imagine the French organising a celebration of Britishness of their own volition, and in a quintessentially French town at that, but I may be wrong.) One British woman was admiring it all but pointing and commenting to her husband: ‘all so pretty, but look, it’s such as shame they can’t be bothered to pull out the weeds.’ Yet they were very pretty, colourful weeds and so I photographed them! One woman’s weeds are another’s flowers.

A little further towards Limoges there’s St.Jean-de-Cole. A very relaxed-looking place, due to unpaved streets and a loose sort of (Medieval) planning of buildings, and yet the buildings were significant: a robust Romanesque church, a chateau, a mairie, ancient residences of 2-4 stories... The ensemble was the very definition of quaint, though oddly scaled making it quite playful (like toy buildings). I immediately had fantasies of setting up shop here in the summer, a ground-floor gallery in my little village house with lavender shutters and red geraniums hanging in the windows. My second immediate thought was the reality check: French Chamber of Commerce, taxes, the need to learn better French…

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1 Comment

Reply Sheryl
10:05 AM on June 17, 2017 
Made me laugh! Those very same weeds are in our front garden. I told my neighbour that some "pretty flowers" were growing in the front border and she told me they need to be pulled out but suggested I cut some of the flower stems to put in a vase if I like them. :-) For now they are where they have grown....