Saturday 2 April 2011

grass & bricks

Easter colours
We worked outside today; round midday it registered 24C on our thermometer [northside, no sun]. It has been a stunning spring day. The cowslips and daisies really are harbringers of Easter with their bright yellow and white against the green of the grass.

We spent most of the time mowing the grass and sorting out an over-grown forsythia bush. It has finished flowering so we've cut it back very hard to try and get it into shape again.

cowslip meadow
We've left some areas of the grass uncut for now--like the section which is almost a cowslip meadow in the photo on the left. It will help the insects to leave it as is for a while.

after & before

With 2,5 acres and quite a few trees it does take some time, especially if you're weaving in and out of trees, but the result does speak for itself.
Charnizay bricks
Late last week and earlier this week Ken came and sorted out the old fosse etanche which we replaced by a fosse septique which we wrote about in December. The fosse etanche has been filled with sand and capped so no danger of a child or animal ever falling down into it. 

Ken also created a turning space/extra parking area for us, just before you reach the house. While doing so he found 5 bricks, nothing unusual about that. We'd found other building rubbish before close by. 

 reversed 'z'
What was unusual was the marking on the bricks. Although they don't look to be very old, they do have some age to them as they were made in Charnizay; it's clearly stamped into the bricks: " Brethon A Charnizay". To the best of our knowledge Charnizay doesn't have, and hasn't, in the very recent past, had a brickworks. An odd feature is the z in Charnizay has been reversed. No idea why. 
So a little mystery for us to solve-- where was Charnizay's brickworks and when did it operate? We'll let you know when we find out.


GaynorB said...

24C, that's something to look forward to!

I'm off to the Chateau de Broutel at Rue with Y8 on Monday, and the forecast is pretty good again. This will be our 5th year and the weather has always been sunny and fairly warm.

Jean said...

Fascinating. I'm jealous of your good weather - it's quite nice here but it's always better there !!

Tim said...

I'll hazard a guess that the 'z' is reversed accidentally... and the ironworker who made the stamp cussed, shrugged his shoulders in that French, nonchalant way and said "The only zeds I've got left all go from left to right... OK!?"
It is a lovelly find though... but surely, given the clay from your fosse bed, isn't the brickworks somewhere quite close?
The "Charnizay Crimson" is still flowering...

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor: hope you had a good day at Rue. Looks like it will be nice again from tomorrow--we had plenty of rain yesterday!

@Jean: quite a few of my students were complaining today about the weather here. They all want to move to Spain because it's better there :-)

@Tim: we don't know but it could easily be possible. Our lieu dit seems to have been around for a long time and there's plenty of brick-quality clay round here. We'll have a chat with the locals and see what we can find out.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim: re the 'z' and there was I thinking it might be a secret masonic sign akin to the royalists/freemansons who still stick postage stamps upside down!! Alas.... Niall