Roasted Chestnuts

15 Oct

The highlight this week was the arrival of James & Lavinia’s good friends Han & Rens.  They arrived from The Netherlands by car on Tuesday afternoon and have been an absolute delight.  They have spent 3 or so weeks here every year for the last 8 years so they know the place well and have many friends locally including Tutu.

We have had 6 nightly visits from the sanglier this week and I have not gone around the property to check on last night’s activity so it could even be 7 out of 7.  I don’t want to know any more.  I have now found firm evidence that they are crossing the river and clambering up the bank.  The funny thing is that they don’t cross at the easiest location – they exit the water where it is still a metre deep then have to go up a 2m bank.  Only 30m further along the water is only 100mm deep and they could walk up the path.  Beats me.

There is not so much to report on this week – we have been to Carcès on Monday, for a 9km walk on Saturday with Jeremy in the hills in the middle of an area bounded by Lorgues, Le Thoronet, Taradeau, Vidauban and Le Vieux Cannet.  And on Sunday we visited the Chestnut Festival at Les Mayons which is near Gonfaron.

The lake at Carcès is a water supply reservoir for Toulon. Its a long story full of political intrigue for the locals – it was sold to Toulon by the Carcès city fathers about 40 years ago. Anyway, when we first saw it back in early June it was full to the trees and this is probably near its low point.

For our walk on Saturday we were invited to join Jeremy and his friends Nicola and Louise.  We met at Nicola’s house in Lorgues.  It was a little frightening.  As we walked up the path to the door an enormous dog (see below) met us at full gallop.  Turns out that Barafu has the temperament of a playful kitten and is extremely good natured and gentle.  Just as well – if she hadn’t have stopped then Jeremy, Leanne and I would have been flattened for sure!

The problem with walking down hills like this near the beginning of a walk is that you know you will have to walk up the equivalent somewhere before you are finished. BTW, in the centre of the horizon is Le Vieux Cannet. It is a hilltop village near Le Luc that I wrote about back in late April.

Can’t be sure about the pedigree of the aquaduct – it seemed too ‘young looking’ to me for it to be Roman. Anybody’s guess really. The walking crew are (L to R): Leanne, Jeremy, Louise and Nicola. In front is Barafu, the Berner Sennenhund belonging to a friend of Nicola. A really beautiful dog.

Just beyond the aquaduct was this little chapel. The date inscribed over the locked door was 1691.

She did deserve her very own picture. Barafu stuck with us for the entire walk and kept coming back around us to make sure we stayed together. Just a magnificent temperament and a majestic looking dog. More information… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berner_Sennenhund

This weekend is the Chestnut Festival in Les Mayons (as well as in several other nearby villages this month). It looked more like a standard market day with a few chestnut themed vendors mixed. I had not seen chestnuts so large before.

This size was selling for €2.50/kg. We bought some roasted ones in a paper cornet but neither of us really liked them.

We spent most of the rest of the week fairly close to home…

This colourful scene was just down the road between home and the village of Le Thoronet.

After the autumn vineyad shot, Leanne thought the view along the lane was also worthy of a look. There is not yet much sign of autumn but most of these particular trees are deciduous so it must happen some time.

Leanne on the firing range…

And a good result!

I think this is Dracaena. There are lots of them around the garden and most have impressive flower spikes on at the moment.

Close up of dracaena flowers.

A crocus flower, I believe. In the terrace garden under the olive tree from which our home derives its name.

This is down the back of the property and it is starting to look quite autumnal.

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