27 January 2014

Une vie en noir et blanc

We might see a little bit of sun today, but that will be the exception to the rule. I've decided to post some black-and-whites of our village in honor of the season. Actually, these photos are slightly sepia-toned.

We are spending our 11th winter here in this little hamlet outside Saint-Aignan. Last winter was long and dreary, and this one seems to be competing to see if it can outdo the last. The newer looking house in the photo above is ours. It was built in the 1960s by people who planned to retire here from Paris.

The house in the photo above is distinctly different in style from the others in the hamlet. It's built of gray stone, with battleship gray metal shutters. The people who own it (I assume) come in fairly regularly but for short stays. Last summer they did a good amount of work in the yard and around the house.

The house above has bright red shutters now. Its owner also comes to the hamlet fairly frequently for short stays — except that she spent a whole month here last summer. She's been having a lot of work done on the house, including putting in a new kitchen and a new bathroom.

The vineyards come right up to our property lines. The tall tree in this photo is in our yard, and it's the tallest tree in the area. The smaller tree on the left is an old apple tree that's being taken over by mistletoe. There's Callie running down a row of vines. The ground is absolutely slushy right now — not with ice and snow, but with splashy mud and slippery muck.


  1. Nice pix... great to see some B&W pix in this world of colour.

    All the work done at the "red shutters" could mean that you might be getting 'new' neighbours?

    And I think you misunderstood my comment yesterday... I was only refering to the leftover poaching liquid with regard to "Soopz'n'stewz"...
    in my life, nothing like that would be cast down the drain...
    it would be used later... even to boil some cabbage at first...
    or my Mum's standard of preboiling the roasties in water with a stock cube...
    then the carrots and cabbage!
    If she'd ever tried poaching meat, she would have used that water the next day for soup...

  2. Tim, my point about the broth is that the meat poaches for just a short time and doesn't really flavor the broth much. But then I was using leftover beef and vegetable broth that I had in the freezer from a previous meal. I always (or nearly) save broth the way you do and your ma did for soup or sauce making.

  3. The optical illusion in the second photo made me think of Escher.

  4. Interesting to look at these photos of your neighborhood this way-- it's interesting that the change into B&W creates more distance from reality, for me, anyway.

  5. beautiful. an interesting perspective in black and white.

  6. did u see that eastern NC (yes eastern) is in for a snow storm....4-8 inches i think tonight & tomorrow.....?

  7. Hi Melissa, I hadn't seen that forecast. It's unusual for Eastern N.C. to get snow like that but it happens every few years. I'll have to call family there tomorrow to see if the snow really develops. No sign of snow here in Saint-Aignan.

  8. Bonjour CHM, I hadn't even noticed the optical illusion. Thanks for pointing out. I guess I'm too used to seeing that house every day on my walks.


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