Saturday, February 24, 2018

24/02/2018 A visit to a nut oil producing water mill

Maximum temperature today 8C, minimum -4C.  Dry, but total rain since 1 Jan is now 279 mm; 13 km/h North Easterly winds with up to 29 km/h gusts.

Winter trees but the ivy remains green!


as above.


Driving through Pont d'Agris.


Logging.


Arrival at the mill.

The river Argence runs both sides of the mill, this is near the entrance...


and on the other side...


with the sluice gates.


The water wheel...


as above.  The wheel is 4.55 metres (14'11") in diameter and 0.77 (2'6")metres in width. It also generates electricity.

Inside walnuts being manually cracked to remove the kernels... 


The mill wheel inside...


the stone wheel that crushes the walnut kernels...

The wheel in action crushing the kernels,,,


the crushed kernels are then heated here, there is a fire burning underneath...


and here they are extracting the oil into the bucket.  We were allowed to taste the warm oil and it was delicious. 


We did not see this machine in action but we wonder if this is what cracks the shells mechanically rather than manual labour with a hammer!

Here are some very short videos of the machinery in action.  With our slow connection it took some time to down load them so I hope they help to give you some idea of the what is going on...

The stone crushing the kernels as they are tipped in.  The lady was telling the child to get back as he was getting too close!!!

As above.



For those that have been following our trip to Nevis the 4 and final part of our holiday is HERE.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

22/02/2018 Out for a drive and meeting friends.

Maximum temperature today 6C, minimum -2C.  Dry, but total rain since 1 Jan is now 279 mm; 16 km/h winds with up to 43 km/h gusts.


We now officially have the wettest winter on record in 60 years, which was when  rain gauges were first  set up in France!

The drive was actually yesterday, but I did not get around to getting it on the blog.  There was a very strange light when we left home.  The ground is so wet and cold and suddenly we had some blue skies and a little sun.  This seemed to make the ground steam and everything had a strange misty look about it.

You can  see steam rising in this photo behind the parked tractors.


Just another road obstruction!


Hopefully, these trees will soon be in bud, but they still look pretty lifeless at the moment.  The only green comes from moss on the branches and ivy climbing up many of them.


Arriving at Busseroles in the Dordogne.


Wall art in the restaurant where we met friends...  No, this is 4 Frenchmen also enjoying a good meal.


 As above.


Driving home through Piégut-Pluviers, this is the town hall.
(Piégut is pronounced Pee-ay-goo!)


The church in Piégut-Pluviers.  I angled this shot a bit high and picked up some tinted windscreen!!


All the dams and lakes are full to overflowing.


A little green here with a couple of evergreens.


Not sure which town this was, but just as we were driving out I saw this spectacular WWI memorial.  Maybe we will find it again one day!


The only photo taken today - I made some biscotti biscuits.   A number of years back, friends of ours in South Africa had them as a dessert with a glass of sweet wine to dip them in.  Very yummy! We must get some sweet wine, which is something we do not usually have in the house.



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

20/02/2018 Join us on a drive to Angouleme on another grey and dreary day.

Maximum temperature today 10C, minimum 6C.  3 mm of rain measured last night but drizzling all day again. North Easterly chilly winds; 22 km/h with up to 43 km/h gusts. 

All photos have been made a little brighter as it was really very grey with light drizzle on and off.
I have put this wall painting on the blog many times before, but it is the first thing we see entering into the tunnel before Angouleme.  I just love it.

In the tunnel and then...

sharp right just after; up this very narrow road...

tight squeeze past the parked van, the side mirror was very close!

Underground parking.  We collected some new duvets that we had ordered.  The old ones we gave to the homeless charity.

Then on to the Thai market which I love.  We were short of time though so no chance to browse and fill the trolley, only bought what was on the list! 

This old house which I thought had lots of character was opposite the Thai market.

On the road again. Good to see full size trees on a roundabout in the middle of a built up area...

We passed this little outside market...

Note the well pruned trees, they are a bit harsh here in France, but the trees seem to thrive...

Past the old Massey Ferguson depot...

Angouleme centre up on the hill.  The dark coloured building behind the tree is the very large enclosed market...

Crossing over the Charente river. Apologies for the windscreen mark....

and stopping at our favourite restaurant for lunch and a glass of wine 👍

Looking up at the building next door...

Heading back home past Eglise Saint Cybard Saint Yrieix, a roman catholic church...

Trucks hogging both lanes of traffic!!!!

Nearly back home, this is the new pallet factory that has been recently finished just out of town...

The last photos I put on while building was in progress was in October last year
Note all the wood piled up on the left.



If you should be interested after an 18 month break from my blog 'My Life Before the Charente'  I have at last added a new post 😊

Sunday, February 18, 2018

18/02/2018 A few of our feathered friends.

Maximum temperature today 7C, minimum 2C.  3 mm of rain measured last night but drizzling all day. South Easterly winds; 11 km/h with up to 28 km/h gusts. 
Are you watching me ?
Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

As above...

Quite relaxed it seems

and a close up.  They are very relaxed with me around.

Now I do have 3 bowls of perfectly clean water all full; but no the dirty water in the overflowing mint pot takes preference...

As above...

As above...

That feels better 😊

Two Great tits in the lawn looking for food.
Great tit (Parus major)

On the window sill...

Playing at acrobatics...

Great tit close up.

Pair of Common Wood Pigeons (Columba palumbus).



If you should be interested after an 18 month break from my blog 'My Life Before the Charente'  I have at last added a new post 😊