Recently a blog buddy did a post showing the result of a photo challenge, a dozen photos of his neighborhood. A dozen photos of a place you know maybe too well, and make it interesting to most anybody. I wondered whether I could do that. So, in no particular order, here are a dozen things that you can find within a five-minute walk of my for sale/for rent/ whatever, just take it off my hands for a bit or forever, please, house. I like this neighborhood. I hope you will, too.
Above is the local chateau. Vendee was flattened and plundered during the Terror. When the Republic couldn’t completely destroy it, they derided it as Hicksville. I imagine places like this, and there are quite a few, all built after the Revolution, as a great « up yours » to the Parisians.
This is the restaurant next to the chateau. Yes, that’s a Michelin sticker on the door. People eat well in Vendee. It has become a favorite destination for young chefs opening their first place. The ingredients are terrific. Especially in summer and especially near the coast there is plenty of business to support them.
Did I say « coast? » Saint Cyr is in coastal Vendee but I have to admit, this is kind of stretching it. The beach — you have your choice of sandy destinations — is about half an hour down this road.
Our WWI monument. Everybody has one. Saint Cyr is a tiny village in an agricultural area. Losing this many people must have been devastating. From the parking lot just behind this you can begin any of several well-marked hiking and biking trails.
Our public crucifix. Every village has one of those, too. I think it must have been a fad at some point. It’s not my thing but I am glad to see that it is well maintained.
The side door to the village church. This church is almost never used. I think the mairie must maintain it. They do a lovely job.
The municipal tennis court at the end of my street. It’s not bad and it gets quite a bit of use, especially in summer.
Your basic allee of linden trees. Blessedly there are no rumblings about ripping them out to widen the road or anything. And when the wind comes up, it is very nice to have the shelter they provide.
A cautionary tale. These stone walls offer great protection only if they are maintained. Let the water seep between the stones, then freeze, seep, freeze, seep, freeze, eventually the wall falls apart. Over at my « keeper » house I just dropped a staggering sum to replace the tiles along the top of the wall.
The reason is simple. I want my wall to stay like this one. This particular wall is just across from the house in Saint Cyr. It offers all the quiet and privacy I could want. The house itself opens to the countryside.
There is a bit of trouble in Paradise. This is my pond. It is part of the municipal drainage system. During the last year or so Vendee, which is basically drained-and-filled marshland, has been suffering a drought. There has been so little runoff that this two-meter-deep pond, in which Jacques nearly drowned on his very first day with me — he mistook duckweed for grass and jumped in after a frog — is now his happy hunting ground. I don’t know what he is going after here. After chasing a cat out of the bushes, he was definitely feeling his oats. Whatever it was, was lucky to get away.
I don’t know how these guys are going to make it. Their best hope is that those clouds in the sky will send a little rainfall their way.
And that’s it. That’s 12 random photos of Saint-Cyr-en-Talmondais, a lovely though fairly typical village in the coastal Vendee.