Sunday 30 October 2016

Mosaic Monday # 14 - fête de la pomme au village de Trévières.

Yesterday we stopped for a while in the village of Trévières to take a look around the Festival of Apples which is held annually on the last Sunday of October.

vintage artisanal apple press demonstration
Orchards abound in the Calvados region of Normandy producing wonderful apples which are turned into thirst quenching apple juice and cider, pommeau (aperitif) and apple brandy which takes its name, Calvados, from the region.

The Festival is a great chance for local growers to get together to talk about crops and show off their produce.
The competition is taken very seriously and standards are high as you can see from these items on display in the judging tent.

Volunteers are on hand to help and give advice, they'll sign you up for bee keeping and horticulture too.

Seasonal displays of traditional pumpkins and strange looking gourds had been placed around the market place.

There were plenty of individual stalls selling delicious regional products and I happily wandered around the market place taking pictures of all the activity.
This young lad is following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps, Master Boulanger!

I bought a loaf for us to enjoy with some Roquefort cheese and home grown tomatoes for lunch but although they did look wonderful we declined to purchase some fresh scallops despite the excellent sales pitch from the vendeuses.

As I made my way across the road, to meet up with the Senior Partner who had taken himself off to find an apple tart for tea, I spotted this lady selling apples and pears from her private orchard.

Boskop Rouge apples make the perfect Tarte Tatin

Bon Appétit

Sunday 23 October 2016

Mosaic Monday # 13 - Postcards from Rhodes, Greece.

Hi everyone,
Happy Mosaic Monday.
We just got back from a 10 day trip to Rhodes, Greece where we celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary, yay!

I picked out some postcards to send to all our friends back home but we had such a wonderful relaxing time that I didn't get around to mailing them.

So here are some holiday snaps instead.

Sunday 16 October 2016

Mosaic Monday # 12. The Church at Stanton Lacy, Shropshire.

Whilst browsing the shelves of the Castle Bookshop in Ludlow last month I spied a book with a very intriguing title, "The Temptation and Downfall of the Vicar of Stanton Lacy".

I put the book down to wander further down the aisles, got distracted by something else and forgot to pick it up again.

At breakfast the next morning our B&B host regaled us with the story of the aforementioned Vicar and his misdeeds before pointing us in the direction of St Peter's Church, Stanton Lacy just a few miles away.

The Vicar in question was one Robert Foulkes (born 1633, died 1678).
A brief (horrible) history.
Robert Foulkes married Isabella Colbach in 1657 at Ludlow Parish Church, Herefordshire .
He became the rector of Saint Peters, Stanton Lacy, Shropshire four years later. Together they had four children born between 1665 and 1673.
Isabella had grown up in Stanton Lacy in the home of the previous vicar, Thomas Atkinson, who had a daughter, Ann.
Foulkes began to neglect his wife and family as well as his parochial duties.
He started an affair with Ann Atkinson in 1669 and was regularly seen indulging in local alehouses.
In 1674 Ann was sent away from Stanton Lacy and bore an illegitimate baby girl which was believed to have been fathered by Foulkes.
In 1676 he was called before the ecclesiastical court in Ludlow to answer charges of beating his wife and his churchwarden after returning home drunk from a bowling match.
Two years later he seduced a young woman who resided with him, she became pregnant and he moved her to a lodging in the Strand, London.
Foulkes murdered the child at birth by stabbing it in the throat and disposing of it in the River Thames. When the baby's body was found he made a full confession and was tried and convicted at the Old Bailey in January 1678.
Whilst awaiting execution at Tyburn, London he penned the missive "An Alarme For Sinners" which contained his confession, prayers, letters and last words.
He was executed on the morning of 31st January and buried at night at St Giles-in-the-Field, London.
(source: Wikipedia)

Today the churchyard of St Peters is quiet and peaceful, with no hint of the events that took place there almost 350 years ago.
However the history of the site, on which the Church of Stanton Lacy stands, dates back to AD 630 as the Legend of Saint Milburga on the Church website explains.
"The earliest stonework of the present building, namely the west and north walls of the nave and the north transept have been dated to the first half of the 11th century, but visiting archeologists have suggested that the church is at the centre of a much earlier, roughly circular churchyard.  It is possible that there was an earlier, wooden structure, one which legend attributes to St Milburga.
So the story goes, she was being pursued by a Welsh prince, when she crossed the river Corve close to the present church, and prayed for deliverance.  And  deliverance is what she got, because the river level rose very quickly and flooded the adjacent land, blocking the path of her pursuer.  By way of thanks, she is supposed to have founded a church here.

As St Milburga is associated with the founding of Wenlock Priory, dated to AD 630, that would extend the history of Stanton Lacy church by a further 300 years.
The rapid flooding of the river is by no means rare, which lends some credibility to the story."

In January and February the grounds are covered with masses of snowdrops, with refreshments being offered to visitors on the second weekend of February.
Inside the church the silence is golden. Services are still held at Saint Peters with Sunday evensong at 6.30 pm.

Hand embroidered kneelers decorate the pews.

As we left the church I paused to read this sign on the oak plank door.

Somewhere, someway, sometime each day
I'll turn aside and stop and pray
that God will make this Church the way
of blessing unto men.

Sunday 9 October 2016

Mosaic Monday # 11 Beach walk in October.

For Mosaic Monday this week I'm taking you down to the beach once again.

Now that the tourist season in Normandy has drawn to a close
 we "locals" can reclaim the quiet solitude of the beach at Saint - Laurent- sur- Mer.

Old friends meet up once again and dash around like puppies.

They hadn't seen each other since February!
Have a great week.

Sunday 2 October 2016

Mosaic Monday # 10 - October has arrived.

Turning the calendar page to October has seen some subtle changes here at the Presbytere.
During the night I have been awakened by heavy rain hitting the leaves of the Virginia Creeper and in the morning there's a distinct chill in the air.
The branches of the hawthorn trees by the front gate are hanging low, heavy with bright red berries.
I cut a large one down and fashioned the leaves and berries into a wreath.
I knew that it wouldn't last very long but for a few days it added a nice seasonal touch to the front door.

Whilst walking Fleur I noticed the lane was littered with small acorns from the many wild oak trees that grow along there, I picked up a handful and brought them home in my pocket.
The next day I found a few pine cones so I brought those back too.
I didn't really know what to do with them so simply emptied them into some antique teacups to display in front of the hall mirror.
Et voila an instant autumn vignette.

As I lay in bed yesterday early morning sun streamed in through the open window and created a beautiful shadow mosaic on the opposite wall.
At this time of year we start to see some wonderful sunrises, I captured this purple haze with the camera on my Kindle.

Have a great week.