A quick tour round my Surroundings
From 1965 to 1996 I lived near Romsey, Hampshire, in the UK. I ran a small business, Romsey Woodcraft, making nice things for kitchens, pepper mills for example.
This is where I lived 1984 to 1996.
We bought a house in Villiers le Morhier, France, about 50 miles south west of Paris in 1990, with the intention of retiring there. From 1996 to January 2003 we lived there.
Below is the main house and a barn on the right, the little house hidden behind the big ash tree, and another barn in front.
The open space in front below was my launch field. (You did know I fly balloons?)
The main house.
The little house.
My workshop was the old farm house kitchen on the right, my study is next (with the wide open door)
Looking back to where the previous photo was taken.
That's the ash tree in the garden, and directly underneath there are the steps leading down into the wine cellar.
To the left is the main house originally a barn built around the late 1700's but converted into the main house around 1970.
Just between the barn and the house, behind the tree, is a grassy bank.
Under is a tunnel dating from the 1600's which ran between the chateau and the church to allow the chateau inhabitants to reach sanctuary. Total length about a mile.
The dining/living room
. The far end of the room used to be divided in two, the left hand room was the farm bakery.
Each farm in the village would take it in turns to make bread for the village.
Behind the fire place is a large bread oven, lined with bricks and tiles.
A fire would be lit in the oven and the ashes raked out, the bread would be cooked by the residual heat from the bricks.More photos of the house - copied from an album.
Cats..........Mum on the left, daughter on the right. Mum has now passed on and daughter is in charge of 3 other cats and living near Poitiers, where she was boarding during my travels.
She likes the life there too much to move her again.
I sometimes had trouble getting to the keyboard.........
We had ducks too. For fun, not food.
After divorce early 2003 the house was sold. I now live in the south west of France not far from the Pyrenees. Here in the Gers there are lots of ducks, but here we eat them......
This is a better photograph but the mountains are not so clear.
The main reason I picked this area is because it is beautiful to fly balloons. I love mountains but I think they are a touch fierce for quiet living and flying. Here there are gentle rolling hills everywhere, no power lines, no telephone wires, no fences or hedges around the fields, there are very few animals, the farmers are friendly, the winds are light, and most days there are clear skies.
This is my house.
And this is the hamlet I live in. I built my garage after this photo was taken. The red ellipse is my launch site. Note the balloon shadow top left.
This is the living room. Like the house in Villiers, this house was built about 200 years ago, and has mud and river stone walls about 2 feet thick.
Of course I had a cat. She was living wild and was very timid when I found her. She checked out my building works.
Sadly she lost her life on the road during March 2007 and I now have Pica, who was originally on loan from my daughter, while she was studying in Australia.
Pica had a kitten in the early summer of 2010. She hates her own kitten and growls and hisses whenever he is near. He looks just like his Mum so I have given him a collar so that I can tell the difference. I took him with me on my summer tour of 2010 around the Cevennes, central southern France.
Sadly in early March 2012, he went out with one back paw bleeding badly after a fight with another cat, and never came back. I think something got him when he could not get away fast enough.
This is the end of the tour. Click here to return to the opening page