Summer seems to have really kicked in now, though it’s breezy today, long hot days with the occasional hail and thunderstorm to punish us. Things start happening, village fêtes and other things to do. The morning dog walk is a touchstone for passing time too. It was only a couple of month ago that the fields were short pasture that Siena would race across chasing the crows and occasional bird of prey that she never caught (thankfully). The morning walk has two particular fields that are evolving. From pasture to ploughed – tough going for Siena and only worth a romp when its something even more interesting like deer (again no chance of her catching any). Seedlings sprouting then slowly growing until almost too long to race through – the fine art of porpoising is hard work. It was at this stage that, looking out for Siena I saw a hare bounding through the wheat – I realised it wasn’t Siena at about the same time as it realised I wasn’t a tree and veered off at right angles.
I had been watching the pasture in the large field opposite our house grow into hay to suddenly be cut and baled leaving hay bales scattered over a newly shorn field that Siena could race across with glee. I decided it needed some photos, so last evening in the golden hour at sunset (about 9pm to 10pm) I was out with Siena and Delia. Siena couldn’t believe her luck and raced around like a lunatic until Delia decided to take her back since I was occupied with tripod and camera. Just as dusk started to fall I went across to the lake near us and disturbed a deer who dashed off just feet away.
Chalus, some of you may know, isn’t the tourist destination it could be. Yes there is the tower from which Richard the Lionheart was shot but which is seldom open to the public. There is a bare 17th century church. There are the ruins of the 12th century chateau but little is made of them. There is little else of interest apart from a rusting (intentionally I think) large copper sculpture of a chestnut and a fading high street bypassed by the main road racing past toward the Dordogne. However, recently there has been a lot of work renovating the central square by the Hotel du Centre. Scarcely a centre before, no seems to be showing promise, with more area for pedestrians and two new artisan/artist workshops. A porcelain worker showing his beautifully decorated Limoges porcelain and a wood worker with his varied sculptures and also welcoming guest crafts in his window. So whilst the well-thought-of butchers has closed and with him much visiting custom for the (again appreciated) Le Sax’o bar who is selling up – changes are afoot and the centre of Chalus may well be worth more than just a fleeting visit for fresh croissants.