Sunday, 6 February 2011

Les chats et le chateau

imminent be-kittenings
Hurrah!! This afternoon the skies cleared and we were treated to blue sky and sun. It started around lunch time--little bits of blue came out between the clouds as we drove in to Preuilly to do some quick shopping before everything closed. 

Parking opposite the vet we saw these 2 cats; obviously 'energised' by approaching spring. We enjoyed the irony of where they were eying each other up; though the thought occurred that they could both do with a respective op as, sadly, there are far too many un-wanted kittens around.

chateau La Guerche
We decided not to go straight home but to make a little detour and check out La Guerche. We knew there was a 15th century chateau but hadn't done any more finding out about it. 
chapel at La Guerche
We are aware however, that most medieval castles in this area were, more or less, on the front line between Plantagenet (English kings) and Capetien (French kings) power struggles. Located on the banks of the river Creuse it obviously held a position of strategic importance. A notice informed us that it was closed and would re-open to the public on 27 June 2011. We look forward to visiting it in the summer! And we will blog about it in detail then. The village also had an interesting church as well as wee chapel on the right just before arriving at the square in front of the marie.

Shadow 'guarding' the front door
When we got home we were greeted by basking cats. In fact on the south side of the house it was really quite warm. So much so that after getting a photograph of our camera shy Shadow, we lingered outside to watch the cats.

Shadow had strolled along the house towards the grange when he stopped, pricked his ears and launched himself at the honysuckle under one of the windows. He wasn't successful but we did find out what had caught his attention ....lizards!

cat pounce

The warm sun had brought them out--this one on the left was just peeping over the top of one of the shutters. Standing still we watched a few more brave enough to venture out. They were obviously enjoying their first 'bask' of the year.  Perhaps spring really is on its way :-)


Jean said...

Lucky you having warm sunshine today. It has been mild but grey and blustery in Derbyshire.

La Guerche is a fascinating château. We visited a couple of years ago and it will be well worth your wait.

Tim said...

You never know, the two cats might have been waiting for the vets to open... they are an alien species after all!As for the weather... what a change... and with us most of the week!! [According to La Novelle Republique... so rain by Tuesday then!]
No lizards felt the warmth here yesterday... but the sun is much stronger today and all the Gendarmes have spread themselves across the wall.

Susan said...

The chateau at La Guerche is associated with a number of very interesting people, ranging from a young male member of the family who organised the 'modernisation' (electricity, central heating, running water) while he was suspended from duty as an army officer for what I suspect was duelling, to Charles VII's 'other' mistress, Agnès Sorel's cousin Antoinette, and the most likely person to have actually administered the mercury she was probably poisoned by.

The river there is so shallow you can walk across in the summer. The current bridge is relatively recent, and after the previous bridge was blown up in WWII the crossing remained a ford for c.40 years.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Susan-- we saw the block/memorial of the old bridge in front of the mairie; destroyed to stop the Germans and ensure safe transport of the Treasury to Poitiers in 1940. Interesting that the river is so shallow you can ford it; that fact alone will have made the location of strategic importance for centuries. Roll on June so we can have a look.

Tim-- Our cats certainly think they're 'extra'special.
They spent today up on the roof chasing the lizards.

Jean--lovely again today but less good tomorrow. :-(


GaynorB said...

I hope the good weather will hold/come back for our half term visit. We feel in the need of some good weather for gardening jobs and generally 'chilling out'.
In the winter it seems that I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. My lab doesn't have any windows other than skylights so I certainly think that I suffer from S.A.D.

Mind you being in education is a bit like alphabet soup at the best of times. Some of my pupils will now be eligible for C.B.Os and not A.S.B.Os. I ask myself, will the change of the name change the behaviour!

How did I get from a beautiful day to here? It must be age!!

GaynorB said...

P.S. I love the new banner photograph.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Gaynor-- here's hoping the weather is lovely for your 1/2 term visit.
Re photo: thanks :-) it's a view down over the Aigronne valley from the road out of Charnizay towards Azay le Ferron. [taken 06.02]