Walking in the Village

P8210239I’m sure we all have our favourite walks, where we know every curve in the path, every furrow, every gap in the hedge. I certainly have mine, it meanders through the very edge of the village and then out into farmland. I pass two tiny vineyards, although really this name is far too grand, for they are merely several long rows of grapes between crops. Ideal for producing enough vin de table for the year. I know this route so well, I know where the wild daffodils grow in the spring and where the sweetest blackberries can be found at the end of the summer.

But just occasionally I take a different direction. Last Saturday, was the most perfect day for the end of September. Clear blue skies, really warm and yet just cool enough that walking was a pleasure. We headed out en famille with the dogs. Unsurprisingly we were not the only ones out for a stroll, half the neighbourhood it seemed had taken an afternoon amble and as for once we had decided to stay within the village as opposed to venturing off into open farmland we seemed to spend half our time stopping to exchange pleasantries and share a few words with complete strangers, but that is the beauty of village and country life, we say bonjour to everyone we meet and conversations begin quite easily.

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There’s also an upside to walking around one’s own village, you notice things. A newly painted shutter

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or indeed a shutter in need of paint! This house would have been the old vicarage or rectory, but it has been uninhabited for several decades now and has fallen into really bad disrepair which does make me rather sad. It has such great bones, I love the windows and the general style of the house. One day I am hoping I will get to have a look inside.

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We wandered down tiny alleys that I don’t think we even knew existed for at least the first two years that we lived here. I remember a neighbour showing us a few ‘hidden walks’ one autumn!

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Our village has a working farm which is situated right in the middle. The cows graze outside all year round. I often see the owner on his tractor driving past our house, when school is over for the day, his son rides in the cab alongside his dad, our youngest daughters are the same age and were at primary school in the village with him a couple of years ago.P8210173P8210181

This is not a fancy smart village but a good honest hard working one and most importantly there is a great community spirit. P8210223

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No walk with dogs would be complete without a tiny detour so that they can be let off their leads and have a good run

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And then we head back in the direction of home before the sun starts to dip lower on the horizon and the evening takes on a slight chill, just enough to remind us that it really is autumn.P8210242P8210190P8210187P8210257

31 thoughts on “Walking in the Village

  1. I love the flagstone house w/the red shutters—I remember it well. Loved having a long walk w/you, the family & the dogs!

  2. Lovely pictures! On the old barn, there appears to “crosses” which look like rusted metal. Do you know what they are for? Thanks.

    1. Hi Nancee, yes these are for basically holding the old buildings together, they tie in the beams inside. It is a very common thing here and in the UK and I daresay in many parts of Europe. xx

  3. Lovely walk. and what a beautiful time of year – the sun’s angle in the sky is so lovely and warm – here as well in Northern California. Do you know if the empty blue shuttered hose is for sale?

  4. I am intrigued by the building with the reinforcing x’s, plastered-over doorways and shutter-free windows opened inward. Thank you for sharing photos of your beautiful village.

    1. These are all characteristics of old houses. The X’s actually tie in the beams, they are a very old way of reinforcing old houses, we have them here and in the UK. Some windows don’t have shutters, and all windows here open inwards and not outwards, it was one of those things that took me the longest time to get used to when we first came here! xx

  5. That was a lovely walk, Susan. Thank you for taking us with you and your family. Was it you taking all those glossy, wonderful, light filled pics, or did you have l´embarras du choix?
    I love how much you all love your village. You well and truly have arrived!!!!
    On another note: Am missing Philippe who used to be a faithful and enthusiastic follower?

    1. Bonsoir Kiki ! Je suis toujours là pour lire les passionnants posts de Susan et tous les commentaires intéressants ( particulièrement les vôtres Kiki…) venant, presque, du monde entier. Je suis toujours ému de lire la francophilie de la famille Hays et des followers. Je préfère vous lire car j’ ai l’ impression de n’ avoir rien d’ intéressants à ajouter. Merci Kiki de vous rappeler de mes commentaires. Je promets d’ écrire plus souvent pour votre plaisir Kiki et aussi pour celui de la famille Hays et de tous les followers de ce magnifique blog.// Hello Kiki! I am still here to read the exciting posts of Susan and all the interesting comments ( especially yours Kiki…) coming almost from around the world. I am always moved to read francophilia, even love for France, of family Hays and all the followers. I’ d rather read to you ( posts and comments ) because I feel like I don’t have anything interesting to add.Thank you so much Kiki for reminding you my past comments. I promise to write more often for you and also for the familily Hays and all the followers of this wonderful blog. Philippe ( from Lyon )

    2. Yes incredibly it was me taking about 90% of the photos. The best ones are of course Roddy’s. He walks with his good camera, I simply snap away! Philippe, yes we hear from him from time to time, he is an avid Gigi supporter and I am hoping one day we will get to meet him xx

  6. Susan, you make the ordinary extra ordinary. We are back in France in our usual stomping grounds, but sadly will not be able to venture your way this year. It’s been a different year for us, but we are happily here.
    Fondly
    Ali xxx

    1. How exciting that you are back in France, but also sad that you won’t be heading in this direction, oh well next year I hope. Anyway, have a fabulous trip, relax and enjoy yourselves and big hugs to you both xx

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