A little slice of French history with a strange connection to Gloucestershire and preparations for a photo shoot this week

Last week was wonderful; a precious chance to leave work behind and go on holiday to France knowing the business was in capable hands and Trish was on hand to keep an eye on teenage boys!   A lovely week was spent near Poitiers; visiting some truly beautiful churches and chateaux.  The area was very deeply divided in the war, with the Vienne forming a division between occupied France and free France.  So sobering to see memorials to young people, even boys of 14, who had been shot and killed in the wartime struggle.  It was particularly terrible to see Oradour sur Glane where the entire small town was razed to the ground to set an example; it happened in June 1944 and yet only a few years earlier they had erected a monument in the church to the ending of the catastrophic First World War.  President de Gaulle announced that the town was to remain untouched as a permanent reminder, so the building of the new town is now nearby and  it feels as though it is there to protect the history and keep the memory alive.  This is an area that many people whizz through on their way South, so in many ways it does remain untouched.   We managed to visit Chatteau Touffou, which has an astonishing museum devoted to the history of hunting; not only were there buttons from our local Ledbury hunt on display, but on the wall were two beautiful Cecil Aldin hunting prints which seemed weirdly familiar, until I realised that they are exactly the same as the ones we have in our hall way at home …

On that note,  we had arranged to have some painting done inside the house whilst we were away and now our own English versions of the Cecil Aldins have been rehung side by side and look resplendent against a new soft green background.  A gorgeous colour; Verd Antique by Fired Earth.

Anyway, it’s back to work with a vengeance; masses of product to be wrapped and packed tomorrow morning and got to a photographers for a photo shoot.  Thankfully two out of three sons are around tomorrow to pitch in and help – one of the advantages of being self-employed, but they of course might see things slightly differently!

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