Limousin, France – Day 6

Day 6, Wednesday, designated a relaxation day. Although the sun was shining on the gite, the view across the valley was very misty.

La Porcherie, France - A misty morning as viewed from the gite

La Porcherie, France – A misty morning as viewed from the gite

As usual I made the journey into Masseret to obtain fresh bread and as is my wont, en-route back to the gite I made a small detour.

The start of  some of our previous excursions had taken us past a sign, at the entrance to a small lane, indicating that it  serviced something or somewhere called Landes du Pierres du Mas. Being inquisitive by nature I decided to find out what was what and after following the lane which meandered for maybe a mile or two I was rewarded with a beautiful view.

etang des Pierres du Mas  -  The Pond of Pierre Mas

etang des Pierres du Mas – The Pond of Pierre Mas

Here I met a gentleman who introduced himself  with a hearty “Good Morning” and laughed at the surprised expression that must have been on my face. I had expected at least a “Bonjour” and had, as he approached, been preparing my best franglaise. His immediate interest was to see if I was planning to fish as the pond is owned / administered by  the local fishing association. I assured him the only thing that I was fishing for was a decent photograph, or two. As we were talking I discovered that he was a brit and that he originated from Little Missenden in Buckinghamshire. He has been in France for over thirty years and had originally come over as a shepherd, working a farm north of Limoges. He eventually took over the farm but had sold up and was now living in La Porcherie and fulfills the role of  “guardien de peche”.  During a pleasant conflab he explained that Landes du Pierre du Mas roughly translated to “the moors of Pierre Mas” and that anywhere we see “landes” indicates moors or heathland, areas of special interest.

After he took his leave, I strolled part way around the pond, disturbing a pair of kingfishers who launched themselves across to the far bank. No chance of a photo, they were almost supersonic. This brief sortie served to show that here was a venue that deserved a longer visit but rumbles in my stomach told me I was long overdue for heading back to the gite for breakfast.

Later in the day a couple of us headed out to walk the lanes again, this time heading away from the centre of La Porcherie. We hadn’t traveled very far when we came to an almost complete stop. Having discovered a hazel tree loaded with nuts we spent a few minutes cracking the shells and enjoying the contents.. Moving on, we hadn’t gone very far when we stopped again. This time it was Sweet Chestnuts that were on the menu. This was how our walk progressed, walk a bit, much a bit, walk a bit more. The nuts were supplemented by the blackberries we discovered in the hedgerows. Very healthy.

Not sure what this is ? Appears to be on a rose plant

Not sure what this is ? Appears to be on a rose plant

Our route around the lanes took us to a point where we could look back at the gite and on towards La Porcherie.

Puy Archer, La Porcherie, Limousin, France

Puy Archer, La Porcherie, Limousin, France

The view from the lane, over the pond, back towards La Porcherie demonstrates just how rural this area is. Beautiful.

Countryside, La Porcherie, Limousin, France

Countryside, La Porcherie, Limousin, France

Although our walk did not cover many miles it kept us occupied  with so many beautiful things. Berries and Harebells in the hedgerows, blue Cornflowers (?) in the fields …

Cornflowers (?)

Cornflowers (?)

"Tangle" Berries

“Tangle” Berries

One thing noticeably in abundance around the gite are birds, birds of all varieties. Our perambulations were regularly punctuated by the cries of  large birds soaring out over the fields. Obviously birds of prey, but we never got a really good look at them. They certainly did not come close enough for us to be able to make a positive identification. Of course it would have been helpful if we had taken the binoculars along with us. That would be the ones sitting in the glove box of my car. My guess would be that they were kites or buzzards, judging  by their size. However, the heron posing on a rock in the pond was a little easier to identify. I think the beak was a bit of a give away.


Heron - pond, La Porcherie, Limousin, France

Heron – pond, La Porcherie, Limousin, France

Having seen a few trains passing in the distance, we decided to take a detour to the station at La Porcherie.


Station – La Porcherie, Limousin, France

Probably not a good idea but it had to be done.


Railway Lines – viewed from the station at La Porcherie, Limousin, France

As we headed back towards the gite we passed this sign which was very informative. Unfortunately the site that it was telling us about was fenced off with nothing to see from our position on the road.

Motte Feodale du Chateau Vieux - La Porcherie, Limousin, France

Motte Feodale du Chateau Vieux – La Porcherie, Limousin, France

The gist of this is that, back in the 11th Century, there was built a “castle” on an earthen mound with a moat. This type of construction was introduced during the 10th Century but was eventually replaced by stone construction during the late 12th Century. My translation may be a bit flaky but it seems that this place was home to a family called De La Porcaria. This area was a centre for agriculture and in particular “pig breeding”. La Porcherie translates literally to The Pigsty.

So my holiday for 2014 was spent in The Pigsty.

Operation Listen – TOMORROW !!!





Meeting at 9am Wed 15th Oct, Fernham Hall, Fareham.


If you have any concerns about having a new 6,000-home community dumped on your doorstep you need to make yourself heard.

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Limousin, France – Day 5 Evening

Finding ourselves back at the gite, a little earlier than we expected, a couple of us decided to go for a walk up into  La Porcherie. The gite is situated in a very quiet corner of a very quiet village so we were able to stroll the lanes with no concerns about traffic. Here are a few shots I took along the way.

This is the lane that gives access to the gite.

This is the lane that gives access to the gite.

Behind the gite there are three lakes from which the water trickles, one to the next before passing through some kind of water treatment works. The water then passes on to the large lake which can be viewed below the gite. Whoever, owns and works at the water works had created a rather stylish rock patio set.

I think Fred & Wilma probably live here. Actually an improvised outdoor dining set for our nearest neighbour.

I think Fred & Wilma probably live here. Actually an improvised outdoor dining set for our nearest “neighbour”.

Just a few yards from the lane leading to the gite, at the side of the road, we came across a totally random collection of flowers. Not in someones garden, just at the side of the road. Beautiful.

Beautiful. A random roadside collection of flowers.

Beautiful. A random roadside collection of flowers.

Across the road from the flowers was a field containing three horses. We were rather puzzled by the fact that all were sporting blindfolds. Perhaps they were playing some kind of equine “Blind Mans Bluff” ? We were later informed, by the owners, that this was to protect their eyes from flies. The horses were visited two or three times a day and the blindfolds were removed at times when the flies were less apparent.

A horse playing "Blind Mans Bluff" or perhaps "pin The Tail On The Donkey"

A horse playing “Blind Mans Bluff” or perhaps “pin The Tail On The Donkey”

As we entered La Porcherie we came across this old shop front. Apparently La Porcherie used to have shops and an active restaurant but all are gone now. It is a shame but does, of course, mean that the village remains very peaceful.

La Porcherie, France - Old Shop Front

La Porcherie, France – Old Shop Front

The church here dates from the 12th century. Unfortunately, I have forgotten if it is dedicated to a particular saint. To the left of the church is the now defunct restaurant. Anyone want to start a new business. The canvass is completely blank.

La Porcherie, France - 12th Century Church

La Porcherie, France – 12th Century Church

La Porcherie, France - Village Well

La Porcherie, France – Village Well

As we strolled around the village we came across the war memorial. As we were to see in many other towns and villages, the names listed  really drive home the devastating impact the first world war must have had. Not just to the families but to whole communities. When you see that single families lost two, three or even four members, it really drives home the futility of war.

La porcherie, France - Monument to the fallen of the 1914-1918 war.

La porcherie, France – Monument to the fallen of the 1914-1918 war.

One thing the Limousin is renowned for is it’s cattle. They really are solid looking beasts, much more robust than there English counterparts. And, as one of our group commented, rather glamorous with their long eyelashes and the lighter markings around the eyes, reminiscent of mascara only white. This fine example studied us intently as we made our way back to the gite.

Limousin Cow

Limousin Cow

On our return to the gite we were able to relax with a nice cold glass of Leffe Ruby which was nicely set off by this wonderful sunset.

La Porcherie, France - Sunset

La Porcherie, France – Sunset

200mph Drag Race: McLaren P1 vs Porsche 918 vs Ducati 1199 S


Superb. The results are not quite what one might expect. Sharing this one for my biker and general auto buddies.

Originally posted on Mind over Motor:

Autocar brings us an incredible race between three of the fastest vehicles on the planet, the Mclaren P1, the Porsche 918, and the Ducati 1199 Superleggera. Imagine having all of those vehicles together with a runway at your disposal, just epic!

Check out what happens!


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Paul Revere RIP

Paul Revere, Rocker Who Founded the Raiders, Dies at 76 –

Sad to hear that Paul Revere, founder member of 60’s band Paul Revere and the Raiders, has died at the age of 76.

Probably like a lot of folks my age, their most memorable hit would be “Indian Reservation”.

They also had hits with “Kicks” “Him or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?” and “Hungry”


My thoughts are with his friends and family.



Whoohoo ….. She Passed !!

Who ?

Passed what ?


Becky that’s who. Passed her driving theory test. And on her birthday too.

WhooHoo !! Well Done !!

Of course, now we will all be at risk as she takes to the road for the real thing. But I am sure she will be fine.

Is now a good time to declare that I moving to Sark …. not motor cars allowed there…… lol