27 October 2012

More Chémery photos and information

This again isa mix of photos that I took a month ago along with some that are eight years old. I went back into my archives to try to find more pictures of the château de Chémery, and especially of the little bridge across the moat on the west side of the château.

It's not easy to find pictures in my archives because I have tens of thousands of photos filed by date only. To find the pictures I wanted, I had to figure out when I was at Chémery, in other words. And the easiest way to do that was to try to remember when friends visited, because going to see châteaux is something I often do with visitors.

The top photo of the three above is one I took last month, showing the little bridge in question.
The next two date back to October 2004. Friends were here from California.

There's a history of the château de Chémery on the town of Chémery's web site. It says, among other things, that not much is known about the château's distant past because all the records and archives were burned at the time of the French Revolution. It's clear that the château was always part of the domain of Saint-Aignan, the text says. The Roche-Aymon family, owners of the château de Saint-Aignan, finally sold it in 1970.

If the photo above looks slightly distorted, that's because it's a composite that I "stitched" together,
combining two shots that I took last month.

And finally, this one is not a composite.

And who did the Roche-Aymons sell Chémery to? The mother of the French singer-songwriter Alain Souchon, the text says. She wanted to turn it into a résidence secondaire (second home).  When Souchon became successful in the music business in the mid- to late 1970s, he bought the Chémery property from his mother with the idea of restoring the château. He gave up the idea in the early 1980s and sold the property to its current owners.

This one of Alain Souchon's most famous songs. I'm posting this version
because the video shows the lyrics as the song plays.

If you live in France (or even if you don't) and you're not familiar with Alain Souchon's songs and recordings — well, you should be. The first time I ever heard him sing live was at the Olympia theater in Paris at Christmastime in 1978. I've learned more French from listening to his songs than from just about anybody except maybe CHM and all the people I spent three years with in Paris 30 years ago. I've heard stories from local Saint-Aignan people about Souchon spending time around here back then, shopping at the market on Saturday mornings.


  1. Your technique for finding photos is no different to ours and we have similar numbers. It's a perfectly valid cataloguing and archival method -- people tend to remember when something happened to within a month or two, so it narrows your search down. The time you spend doing this is less than the time it would take to reorganise your photos in some more sophisticated system. I notice that a lot of my entomology contacts are using Lightroom as a cataloguing system these days and love it.

  2. I imagine it would be more straightforward to categorize photos by keywords if most of the subjects photographed were easy to name, as are insects. Simple categories. Maybe I'm mistaken.

    Going through the archive to find specific photos can be fun. You see photos that got short shrift at the time they were taken, and it's just nice to see how things and places you photograph have changed (or not) over the years.

  3. Hard to believe Alain Souchon is 68 years old. I've always loved his songs (and his acting on "one deadly summer"). My favorite is the CD he made few years ago (I can't remember the title; "la ballade de Jim" is in it).
    His new song about consumerism is right on. He should have included a "Hummer" in the video.

  4. Nadège, Souchon's Foule Sentimentale is from 1994! I remember teaching a class in Illinois in 1976 and using Souchon's Bidon song and album to help students get into French:

    J'suis mal dans ma peau en chanteur très beau
    And I just go with my pince a vélo
    J'suis bidon, j'suis bidon
    J'suis qu'un mec à frime bourré d'aspirine
    And I just go with my pince à vélo
    J'suis bidon, j'suis bidon

  5. My favorite Alain Souchon song is "Le Baiser" from the album "Au ras des pâquerettes" (the number 1 album on the French charts in December 1999).

  6. Dean, I like that too. I had trouble with the link you posted. Does this one work better?

    Le Baiser

  7. I just listened to "le baiser". Alain has such a pretty, soothing voice and the lyrics always wonderful. I know he and Laurent Voulzy wrote together for a long time. I don't know if they are still together.

  8. Hi Ken,
    I sent the original link from my iPad. After reading your comment, I noticed that the mobile device youtube link (m.youtube.com) didn't work on my Mac.

    In any event, here's "Le Baiser" with French/English subtitles.

    Je suis curieux: que penses-tu de la traduction?

  9. Hi Nadége, yes, Voulzy and Souchon still work together. Voulzy writes the music and Souchon writes the words, for all of their songs. I've seen them together on TV recently.

  10. That's one of my favorites by M. Souchon.


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