1 EAGLETON NOTES: September 2011



Friday 30 September 2011

Thankful Thursday (on Friday)

I went to a wedding yesterday.  The wedding of a special person.  OK, I know that everyone is special in one way or another but for today I'm going to concentrate on why Marsha is special.  I've known Marsha for quite a long time.  Before she became the beautiful young lady she is now.  When she was a beautiful pre-teen/teen.  For the record I don't use the word beautiful simply or only as a physical attribute but to include beauty of spirit and personality.    Marsha has stayed with me in New Zealand and has been one of the most delightful of visitors.  She even played croquet!  Big plus!

So today I am thankful for the new life that Marsha and Moe are making for themselves.  May it be a long and happy marriage.  If the rest of their lives is half as good as the wedding was then it should be a pretty good life!  

The deed is done
Dad ponders over his speech

Thursday 29 September 2011


This morning as we were driving into Glasgow from Bishopbriggs I overtook a tricycle keeping a perfect line to the left in the heavy main road traffic and traveling at an astonishing speed.  Anticipating that the rider might be going to the local shopping complex and not into the City centre I pulled off the main road and lay in wait.  Actually I didn't have to wait.  Thanks to a red traffic light I managed to capture some photos.

Monday 26 September 2011


I went for another cycle ride this afternoon.  Just a short one.  It was 42℃ on the terrace at Maumulon this afternoon.  A record high for this time in September over the last 12 years that John has been taking temperatures.  So I cycled down the lane.  Having spent half the day chasing a Red Admiral on the Sedum in the garden I discovered a wild Sedum out in the countryside.  It was covered in bees, hover flies, things I couldn't identify and butterflies: Small Copper (to quote Adrian 'I hope'), Red Admirals and Peacocks in particular.  Having posted a Peacock already here's the other two:

Red Admiral
Small Copper

Sunday 25 September 2011

Peacock Butterfly

This afternoon there was a Peacock Butterfly Inachis io on the Sedum.

Avoid Dead Parrots

For as long as I can remember the parrot has been hanging in the doorway between the kitchen and the salon in John and Sue's French home.  Hanging in the other side of the doorway (which is about 5 feet wide) is a (very successful) flypaper.  In between the two is a gap of about 4 feet: a perfectly respectable gap through which to manoeuvre my relatively thin body.   On the whole I've managed to avoid the parrot over the years and I've never touched a flypaper.  I arrived this time and managed to walk with my bare arm straight into the flypaper.  That is not a thing to be recommended.  Since then I assume in my enthusiasm for avoiding a second confrontation with the flypaper I've managed to bang into the parrot several times.  Anyway all that rambling was just so that I could show you a dead parrot picture:

Saturday 24 September 2011

A Rugby Dilemma

Some of you may have heard that the Rugby World Cup is on at the moment and that it's being played in New Zealand.  Now what happens if you are a person born in Liverpool.  Despite rumours that around the time I was born there were only Liverpool Welsh, Liverpool Irish, Liverpool Scots, Liverpool West Indian and Liverpool Chinese some people actually think that Liverpool is in England.  Of course it's not.  So by birth I'm a Liverpool Lancastrian.  By length of time I've lived in one place ie the Outer Hebrides of Scotland where I've lived well over half my days, I'm a Hebridean Scot.  

I've never had any nationalistic tendencies because I tend (perhaps irrationally) to associate nationalism with extremism and intolerance.  Of course that doesn't apply in matters of sport.  Does it?

When I was a youngster and in the days of Gareth Edwards, possibly the greatest ever rugby player, I was a Wales Supporter.  But that allegiance ended in the '70s (together with the Welsh team).

When I went to live half my year in New Zealand I got over the problem of which team to support by deciding that when I'm living in New Zealand I support the All Blacks and when I'm in Scotland I support the national team.  Well that's the theory.  Problem is that the heart tends to find the ABs more exciting and compelling.

At the moment I'm in France. 

I'm afraid that I don't see Scotland making much headway.  I think France will come second to the ABs in Pool A.  I won't go any further but at the end of the day I can't see the ABs not being in the final.
And I'll be back in the Outer Hebrides to watch it!

A Cycle to Mauprevoir

I cycled from Maumulon to Mauprevoir yesterday afternoon: a pleasant 25 k round trip.  I Googled the village and discovered that the name mauprevopir.com has been reserved on gandi.net and parked as unused.  So no help there then.  In fact no help anywhere it seems.  But then when I arrived it didn't seem that Mauprevoir needed any help from the internet.  It seems to be a thriving, if small, community in what must be one of the tidiest and prettiest villages in the Vienne.  I hope that all the other pretty villages are not reading this.  Don't think I need to worry.  If I have a French reader other than someone I already know I'd be surprised.

Anyway I thought that whilst I was at it I'd have a play with JogTracker the new app toy on my phone.  A click here (if you do want to open it I suggest you do so in a new tab) will show you my journey and a map - I hope.

I had an excellent coffee at Le Diament bar.  The English proprietors are working on it to open a café/restaurant in the New Year and to add letting bedrooms.

In the meantime here are some of the (inevitable) photos I took:

The Chateau of Mauprevoir.
The Church of St Impère,  a 225m2 structure with Gothic windows.
The Village centre with the bar

A window over the River Payroux

A touch of New Zealand's habit of painting pictures on any structure that stands still long enough.  In this case the bus stop and public convenience

The Marie and Bibliotèque
The inevitable Pétanque terraine

On the way back

The last few hundred metres

Friday 23 September 2011

French Indian Summer

We've just looked at the Météo France forecast for the next few days.  I go back to Scotland on Tuesday.  Quel dommage!  Even worse for John and Sue is that they are taking me to Poitiers for the train when they could be sunning themselves on the terrace on Tuesday - the hottest day.

Fast Food in France

Whilst I'm on the subject of things that amuse me as we were driving out of the supermarket this morning I spied a slot machine for hot pizza.  I thought that France was the land of haute cuisine and discerning eaters.  Hmmm.

To Don't

I'm sorry but when I read this on a friend's Facebook wall I just laughed out loud.  It's brilliant - leastways I think so!

Feelings of Autumn

Considering that it's nearly October the weather here in France has been excellent: warm and sunny.  However this week some of the mornings have been distinctly autumnal:

Sunflowers ready for harvest on a misty morning

Thursday 22 September 2011


The Common Wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, is a common sight around buildings in France many of which have lots of crevices for the lizards to dart into when they feel threatened.  I'm sure it's not my imagination and that there are more this year than usual.   

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for blue skies and songbirds - in this case a Nuthatch in a tree at Viv's with whom I was staying in France:

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Civray Market

I love French street markets.  Today we went to Civray Market,  It appears to be winding down and was not as large as it is in the full height of the summer but it was still interesting and there were a few photographs to be had:

Knife sharpening, beekeeping and dog-loving.
Don't you just love those spectacles - very French.
Et un beau sourire

Couldn't be any nationality but French!
Artisan basket maker.

Monday 19 September 2011

Le Camélia

Friday night seven of us went to Auriac-sur-Dropt to Le Camélia restaurant.  What a superb place with friendly unfazed service of good food and excellent local wine all at a very reasonable price.  A sign of its popularity was the number of people who were disappointed having been turned away because they had no booking.

I Need a Rest!!

The last five days have been wonderful - full being the operative word.  We've done so much.   Every night dinner was with at least half a dozen people:

Yesterday Viv and I drove over to John and Sue's in the Poitou-Charantes.  The next week should be restful!

Saturday 17 September 2011

Pétanque at Villeneuve

This week I've been playing some pétanque in Villeneuve.  On the weekday evenings it was a friendly affair but this afternoon life was real and life was earnest.

A quiet evening's play
Viv throws and George looks on
George's turn
Saturday afternoon is serious time
Off to check
No pressure then!  There was.