Monday, 23 November 2009

France, part three.

Today, day three, would have been Chris' birthday. Chris was Brenda's husband who died in a tragic accident a year after they moved to France. Each year now, Brenda & a few friends walk up to the little church at En village and ring the bell for Chris. This year, Sue & I were privileged to be here at the right time, and would join the walk with everyone else. The numbers were slightly down this year, due to some illness and family commitments, so we were glad to be able to bolster things a bit.

As usual, the day started with these two, Starry & Sky, tussling and play fighting. These two Samoyeds are mother (Starry) and daughter, and get on really well.

RIGHT! That's enough of that - we're ready to go now.
Come ON - get your boots on, and bring the lead.

Unfortunately, today was going to be the only day we had rain.
Well, not much really, just a bit of drizzle but Mannes was ready for it.

Our 'motley crew' assembled in Nyer as the weather cleared a bit.

Oh dear, it started again, but there were lots of umbrellas in the offing.

Soon we had done the climb up to the church, and here it is.

This is the new bell, which Brenda paid to have fitted, in Chris' memory.

Each of us had a go at ringing it.
No mean feat, as there's a special 'knack' to doing it
(which Brenda imparted to Sue & I).

Our picnic with, of course, a glass of good red wine.
The inside of the church was once very ornate, but years previously, some incomers had taken over it, and defaced the walls and murals, painting over them. Nyer got a special grant to have them restored as much as was possible, and an expert came from Paris, and returned many of them to fairly good condition.

After a picnic and a glass of wine (cheers Chris), we all set off back down to Nyer.
The jangle of the cow bells could be heard as we walked.

As you can see, the day improved a lot, and the walk back was very pleasant.

A last look back to the church, now locked and secure again.

We arrived back at 'Les Samoyedes' & started to get dinner ready.
However, Brenda noticed that the water was running VERY slowly. The house, like most in the mountains, was not on mains water. Now and then, a small problem such as this arises. They rely on water 'sources', which are springs that seldom dry up, especially not at this time of the year, so a possible blockage was suspected..
Time for action!

Right Mannes, lets find out what's wrong!

"What do you think?"
"Hmm, not sure mate - shall we take a look?"

"Right, if I push this down here, and you pull, maybe we can........."

"See, it's EASY when you know how - oh yes, I've done a bit of plumbing in my time........"

And the day ended as usual, a lovely, sociable evening with laughing, joking and stories.
We talked about Chris and lots of Memories of him from Brenda and Mannes.
Today was a bit of a rest day - tomorrow we had a more ambitious walk planned, and the forecast was good!

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