Through the summer guests came and went and from their feedback they have had a really good time. The tennis court has proven to be a real bonus and despite the rather variable weather the pool has been in great demand. To hear the squeals, the shrieks and the splashing has been a real pleasure as I worked in the orchard or gardens.
As the excitement has passed and we have returned to a more sedate and isolated life I can catching up with events that occurred throughout the summer. Locally and regionally the calendar has been packed. Personally we were very selective in what we went to see; we felt that we should seriously restrict our schedule to ensure that we were around Bon Abri as much as possible. This, however, did not stop us from getting out and about.
During most of July and August the town of St Aulaye lives and breathes pastels. Hidden behind the main street is a museum of pastels that hosts one of three venues for a huge international exhibition of pictures. This year there were 350 images on show.
The level of skill is incredibly high with photo-realist images that look to be photographic in their rendering. Impressive as these images are and skilful as the execution has been I personally prefer something more interpretative. There were several images in the main hall that particularly took my fancy and prime among these was an image on a roughly plastered base creating a superb three-dimensional effect.
Later we visited Epeluche for their marché nocturne which takes place on the river Dronne. With the frantic sounds of the fun-fair behind us we sat on the river bank drinking rough red wine and waited with the crowds for the summer evening grow dark. With the wide river reflecting its lights the first ‘float’ appeared and was gently punted down-stream. Floats came down stream and were then punted,
pushed and manfully pulled back up-stream to applause and cheering from the crowds clustered along the banks and across the bridge. With the floats finally finished the crowds moved off to an adjacent field where a really impressive firework display had us all, yes, even jaded old me, gasping and oohing into the spark filled sky.
Meanwhile, in La Roche Chalais, there was yet another exhibition in the Temple (a superb venue making use of a former church). This time displaying works by several Basque artists. This was far removed from the work of the pastel artists and showed two and three-dimensional images in a variety of media. With just the two of us and the curator we had plenty of uninterrupted time to contemplate the works.
Until next time Santé.