Tag Archives: Villefranche de Rouergue

Virtual Visits: Western Aveyron

I am extremely attached to the Aveyron département, although we live just over the border in Tarn-et-Garonne. Our part of our département has more in common with Aveyron than it does with the rest. Our neighbours even kiss three times, … Continue reading

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The Bells, the Bells: the Magic of Church Bells in Rural France

In Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the loud ringing of the cathedral bells has turned Quasimodo, the bell-ringer, deaf. Some of you will no doubt have seen Charles Laughton hamming it up inimitably in the 1939 film. I … Continue reading

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A Little-Known World War II Incident: the Croat Mutiny in Villefranche-de-Rouergue

Our local Médiathèque (library) is a hive of literary activity. In addition to the literary festival that takes place every October, there’s a series of author talks throughout the year. On Saturday, we heard Adrian Weale, a former UK army … Continue reading

Posted in History, World War I & II | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

French Flavours E and F: Two Aveyronnais Specialities

Time for another instalment of my French flavours series. I realise I have only got to ‘E’ and we’ll never get to the end at this rate, so this week I’ll do ‘F’ as well and you get two for … Continue reading

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Things to Do in Southwest France 2015

  We’ve lived here since 1997, but many things remain that we haven’t seen or done. As I have often remarked, once you get settled in a place, daily life tends to take over and you are no longer a … Continue reading

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Grist to the mill: Peugeot from crinolines to cars (and pepper mills)

I always thought the Peugeot brand was associated just with cars and cycles. That is, until the trusty Perspex salt and pepper mills that have accompanied me for more than 30 years gave up the ghost. We toddled off to … Continue reading

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Baroque Splendour: La Chapelle des Pénitents Noirs

This rather odd-looking building is la chapelle des Pénitents Noirs at Villefranche-de-Rouergue, where the Choeur de Parisot gave its first concert of the season last Sunday afternoon. The simplicity of the exterior doesn’t prepare you for the exuberant burst of … Continue reading

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Parisot Choir Concerts in March

We have been without an internet connection for much of this week, so I’m posting this a bit late in the day. However, the Choeur de Parisot is giving two concerts over the next week under the baton of maestro … Continue reading

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To Crèche or Not To Crèche

Political correctness sometimes verges on the downright barmy. France is a secular society, which is fair enough. Public employees in France are not permitted to display ostentatious symbols of religious affiliation, such as foulards (headscarves) or large crucifixes. These issues … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, French life, Places, Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

An Opportunity to Meet French Schoolchildren

We attended a rather nice event last Friday at a school in Villefranche-de-Rouergue. Le Lycée Beauregard, a secondary school, invited local English speakers to meet the students and talk to them – in English.

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Villefranche-de-Rouergue Market

One of my favourite markets, indeed one of my favourite towns, in the area is Villefranche-de-Rouergue. A sub-prefecture of Aveyron, it has great historical significance in the region. Like other towns in France, despite its picturesque features, it is also … Continue reading

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When the Plague Came to Southwest France

Don’t worry; it happened several hundred years ago. But for people at the time it must have seemed like the end of the world. I thought about this recently while wandering around Villefranche-de-Rouergue  with time to kill between a routine … Continue reading

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Villefranche de Rouergue: Past Glories

It’s amazing how much you learn about a place you thought you knew, simply by taking the time to walk around it. We live about 25 kilometres from Villefranche de Rouergue in Aveyron and have shopped there regularly for 14 years. … Continue reading

Posted in Aveyron, History, Places | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments