Moi Aussi #walking #france

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Ah La Belle France! I’ve had a few days, with three old friends, walking near Jarnac, which in turn is near Cognac (notice the …ac suffix, not sure what that means but there are a lot of acs in that part of France).

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Cognac, the old town

It’s very sunny and also wet and every field and slope seems covered in vines whose fruits will be made into to something alcoholic – which for someone who forswore the grape and the grain in 1989 is a bit ‘meah’ but for my companions – well this tells its own story.

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even an emergency vehicle on stand-by – what service!

Jarnac is on the Charante (River)

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and in Charante (the Region).

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It was the birth place of François Mitterand – former President and general all round bonker of mistresses – here’s his clock tower which I assume was created because it has so many different faces, much like the man.

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If you know Franglais, you’ll know the translation of ‘homme d’affaires’ is not ‘business man’ but ‘a man with many mistresses’ which in turn neatly fits FM.

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Everywhere you go there are these beautiful châteaux which must cost a fortune in upkeep alone. But then booze is a booming business and while you might go poor in the ups and downs of most economic cycles you rarely hear of booze or bust, do you? Each one seemed to belong to a Hennessey or a Courvosier or Heinne or Martell or Marnier and from across the river looked magnificent.

Even the factories had charm of their own

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But if there’s one feature of France that I always find both odd and disconcerting it’s the ‘f**k off, Joe Public’ mentality that has 20 foot high walls round everything when viewed from a road and shutters keeping out any prying eyes too. Walk along an ordinary street and you’re in a corridor of windowless prison walls. I’m told it’s to keep the courtyards cool or some such but it’s not a place for nosey neighbours or to feel anything other than rather isolated. Perhaps we in England are just hypocrites – we don’t want to be overlooked any more than the French – but while we chunter on about it, and do nothing the French built their walls. I guess, as with so much about France and its beauty, I’m a touch jealous.

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Still, the countryside is fabulous, the people are charming if you squeeze out a little of the local lingo and, even more, so if you splash the odd Euro – and the food is pretty good and, mostly, reasonably priced. So yes, we walked many a mile, we ate and they drank well and it was all rather fine.

This is part of Jo’s Monday Walks; find more here. 

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in France, French, Friends, walking. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Moi Aussi #walking #france

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    I miss my shutters… keep them closed and the windows wide open and the house stays cool.

    I was in Paris the day Mitterand was first elected… that was an experience and a half. Newly arrived and unaware of what all the fuss was about, the crowd virtually carried you along.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s very beautiful and a lovely spot for a bit of walking – perhaps next time pick a place where the boozy bit is less appealing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jan says:

    Lovely – I am jealous. I’m on my way to Colorado where it is still snowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Autism Mom says:

    What a beautiful place!

    Like

  5. A magnificent walking tour. With the heady smell of fresh air, bright sunlight, the scent of water, and wonderful photography, I felt I was there looking over your shoulder. 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for taking us along on a lovely walk. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ack! I mean ‘Ac’! 😉 Excellent walk about and beautiful photos. So glad you’re having a great time. I’m a tad envious but mostly just happy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ritu says:

    What a lovely walk about! Thank you Geoffles!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Makes me a bit nostalgic for Sigoules (Aq uitaine)

    Like

  10. M. L. Kappa says:

    Lovely photos, Goeff!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. restlessjo says:

    I do love a watery walk, Geoff (and not the precipitation kind 🙂 ). You’ve done a grand job on the photos and I can feel that ambiance from here. I wouldn’t mind a stroll in that direction myself. (stoppit- I’m barely home! 🙂 ) Many thanks for the link.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mick Canning says:

    Looks great, Geoff. Lovely photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m envious, in the extreme. Travel a little further south, to another ‘ac’ if you will, Armagnac and find the secret the French have kept from the world, without high walls, that is the brandy, armagnac, particularly in the Bas region

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Meeting Meg | restlessjo

  15. Charli Mills says:

    Beautiful photos! Now I know the Californians who move to north Idaho are real French with their ‘f**k off, Joe Public’ gated estates that block public access to forest and mountains.

    Like

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