We had a good drive down Susan and Simon's house in Preuilly-sur-Claise yesterday. We left home at 9:30 in the morning. It was cold, just below freezing, but the roads were clear and dry. The drive is about 75 km (45 miles) and we didn't pass more than 10 cars all along the way. It took almost exactly an hour to get there.
We drove straight south from Saint-Aignan through Nouans-les-Fontaines, Villedômain, and Châtillon-sur-Indre (châtillon is another word for château or castle and there's a very big old stone tower there, which is what's left of a medieval castle built by Henri II Plantagenêt). South of Châtillon, you come to Azay-le-Ferron and that's where you turn right to get to Preuilly.
As we drove through woods between Azay and Preuilly, we noticed that there was still snow on the ground along the sides of the road. We haven't had any snow in Saint-Aignan for a while now, but they must have gotten some snowfall more recently down near Preuilly.
There were 20 or more people at Susan and Simon's house for the belated New Year's party. Most were English expats. There were two American women, both of whom live near Preuilly but in different directions, and there was an Australian woman who lives with her Indonesian husband down south of Preuilly in the Poitou region. There were two Frenchmen at the party that I talked to. Some of the English people in attendance are also bloggers.
Susan gave me and Simon gave Walt, at different times, a tour of the house so that we could see the state of their renovations and improvements. They are making a lot of progress but, as they'll tell you, they still have a lot of work to do. We stayed at the party — featuring sparkling Touraine wine with a nice buffet of finger foods — for a couple of hours but then we needed to get back to Saint-Aignan. We were sorry to have to leave early.
I forgot to mention one piece of news from the Saturday afternoon gathering chez one of our neighbors. There is a proposal to build a McDonald's hamburger restaurant across the river from our village in the town of Noyers-sur-Cher. It would be near the Intermarché supermarket.
The proposal has not been approved yet, and may not be approved, for zoning reasons. I hope it won't be built. But you can't stop progress. Many French children and young people love McDonald's. One of our neighbors, a teacher, says the children in her school are very excited by the idea of having a « McDo « (pronounced [mac-doh]) nearby. Right now, the closest ones to Saint-Aignan are in Amboise, Romorantin, and Blois, all about 25 miles distant.