Monday, 23 April 2012

Bin bags & butter

Late last week, we collected our annual allocation of grey [general garbage] and yellow [recycled stuff] bin bags from the Maire. Normally, we don't take the camera along for such mundane errands, but this time we did as we were off to Loches as well; and you never know what you might see.

A little while ago we shared a progress update on Charnizay's new Salle des Spectacles and last week we took a look at the chantier to see what further progress is being made.   

creating the entrance to the Salle des Spectacles
More progress is clearly evident.  The back of the building, where it drops down to the road towards Le Petit Pressigny, has been covered in a fresh layer of lime render. The workmen are now busy with the entrance foyer which will join the two original buildings which sit at right angles to each other. Many of the double glazed wndows have been fitted and they all have burgundy red frames. We are, as yet, unsure as to whether we think the colour might not be too strong.

Meanwhile the weather continues to be extremely changeable and chilly. One minute we have fluffy clouds and sun, the next it's back to rain and stormy winds. All of which means we work outside in short little bursts when we can.

Heures de la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie, April; f.8r, French 16th C

So far, April has certainly been a far cry from the bright spring day in this little miniature; although the dark purple cloud with Taurus the bull in the top left corner is apposite! Like then, so too now the cows at dairy farms around us have been put out to graze the spring grass.

When we lived in The Netherlands "gras kaas" [grass cheese] and "gras boter" [grass butter] used to appear in the shops in May. This is cheese and butter made from milk from cows who had been turned out to graze on the new spring growth. It was always light in colour and tasted delicious!

12 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
It is always good to see old, possibly redundant, buildings put to new uses and it will be interesting to know how, finally, these work.

The grass butter, available at this time of year in the Netherlands, sounds absolutely delicious and wonderful to eat on freshly baked bread with, perhaps, a hunk of the cheese. Perfect.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - it is great to see these old buildings being re-used.

Houses round here sometimes have their shutters painted this colour so it may well be the frames end up looking fine. however, right now they look [to our eyes] a bit 'strong'.

the fly in the web said...

Pity they couldn't have designed something with a gable to link up the two buildings...but this seems to be current 'local authority' design at the moment.
The commune next door had something similar done when changing the old fire station into a social centre...and then I kept seeing the same design all over the place..

Lovely miniature...and the 'gras kaas' and 'gras boter' took me back to my grandfather's farm when the first butter and then cheese when the cows were turned out for spring would be sent down to us by train.

The Broad said...

I, too, love seeing old building putting to good use. As we painted our outdoor woodwork red burgundy, I think it will look just fine!!

Grass kaas and gras boter sound wonderful and as Jane and Lance have suggested on freshly baked bread -- oh YUMMMMMmmmm!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@fly - so far it is staying pretty true to the architect's design we were presnted with. But yes it does follow the trend of combining very modern with traditional. Usually there's no 'inbetween'; this either works brilliantly or not at all.

Personally we really love the roof tiles which are in keeping with originals.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Broad - oh yes!! :-) 'gras boter' is indeed yummy especially on fresh warm bread!!

Vera said...

I would like to recycle, but every time I visit the mairie I have to ask his rottweiller of a secretary for the recycling boxes, and she always says no, that they have run out. I have given up for the moment. Did start taking our recycling to the local recycling bins, but they are always full, so have given up with them as well. So for the moment, well done you two for recycling, and I shall joing you sometime in the future hopefully!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Vera - I think we're lucky. Colette the Marie secretary is friendly, helpful and super efficient.

Rubbish is very well organised: yellow bags for all the 'tri' and back for the rest. We have a small dechetterie depot in the village as well as the standard bins and then there's a larger depot[takes oils, rubble etc] at Le Grand Pressigny.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

We have yellow bags for recycling but we have to buy our own bags for the rubbish. It is also very organised. Black bags weekly and yellow bags every fortnight. The only thing we have to take to the many bins available is glass. Diane

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - black and yellow both get picked up once a week. We noticed that the black bags seem to be a little more flimsy this year. Cost cutting no doubt.

Perpetua said...

I'll be interested to see whether our canton has moved onto recycling bags when we go back there in June. So far it's been communal bins for recycling and black bags for rubbish, collected weekly, which works fine for us.

Thanks for the update on the Salle des Spectacles. I look forward to seeing the finished project. As for grass butter and cheese - after all the cake I've consumed here in the Highlands I'd better say no. :-)

Tim said...

We just bought some "Gouda de Mai" at Super U in La Roche Posay! We're looking forward to trying it.