Sunday 15 May 2011

Cornemuse & coquelicots

Scottish pipers, from Nantes
Just north of Le Blanc lies the village of Pouligny St Pierre, which is in the dep. of Indre (36) and produces pyramidal goat's cheese. Until today it only really distinguished itself from other villages on the way to Le Blanc by its cast-resin goat statues on the round-about. A couple of months ago one of these was vadalised--someone snapped off a back leg--and now all 4 have been removed. 

Today however, Pouligny held its fete, a 'vide-greniers et festival celtique' and we went to have a look around. On our drive down we surprised a fox. For a couple of seconds he stood and looked at us from the field edge before bounding up the field and into the trees.

Breton pipes & bombards
When we arrived it was quite busy, Breton flags were flying and there were loads of stalls: the inhabitants had obviously searched every nook and cranny for (im)possible items to sell. Posters advertised a Breton inspired lunch in the 'salle des fetes'. On the square opposite the church, the animatrice was using the tannoy system to explain in great detail the nature and origin of kilts and bagpipes and we could hear parping in the distance. It sounded as if the festival celtique was about to start. I could see Niall thinking 'how odd; listening to bagpipes in a small rural French village'.
The animatrice asked us all to clap as the bands came past.  The Breton band--with bagpipes and bombardes [a member of the oboe and schawm family--reeded insrtuments] came first and was well appluaded as we were told they'd left Brittany at 5:30 am to get to Pouligny on time. The bombards gave their music a medieval feel.
Then came the Scottish bagpipe band--kilts swinging and pipes skirling away. We wondered if there was some kind of link with Scotland --Loches is twinned with St Andrews-- but it turned out they came from Nantes!

All morning the weather had been by turns cloudy and sunny with a real Dutch sky. As we were leaving I took this photo of coquelicots in a Pouligny orchard/vinyard while the sun was out.
The visit was bookended by wildlife. On the way home we saw a roe deer hind. Like the fox she was in a field right next to the road. We stopped and watched her leaping through the meadow before disappearing into a hedgerow. 


Jean said...

I love the sound of bagpipes.
I bet it was a really jolly day - wish we could have been there !

Craig said...

It sounds like an excellent day. And much as I'm proud to be Scots - I find that bagpipes in small doses are the best!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean--it was; and the Breton band was something new for us.

@Craig-- Niall thinks exactly the same!! :-)

Geraldine said...

I've just found your fascinating blog while searching for all things Charnizay. I'm visiting Charnizay the week after next, 28th May to 4th June, to stay with friends Sonya and Merv who have a home there which they plan to retire to soon. Sonya says her home is in your photo, the one with the roses, next to the church, No. 4. She says I must invite you to knock and say hello while we are there. i will enjoy browsing your blog for more details of Charnizay.
I've just set up a google blog today, following your example, to enable me to follow yours, and just for fun. Thank you. :)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@geraldine--Welcome! :-) Thank you!! It's always lovely to hear that the things we write about are of interest to people. No doubt we'll run into eachother when you're here.