The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

'La Locomotion' - the biennial car meet

Every second year the AUVL (Association d'Utilitaires de la Vallée de la Loire) organises a huge rendez-vous of old vehilcles that fills the cardinal duc's parc for a weekend.  This time, for 2010, it also hosted the GREC (Grande Rassemblement Européene Cadillac) with the Cadillac LaSalle Club France as specialist hosts.

The highlight really is the Sunday morning run that cruised 50 km around the various cantons of the pays de Richelieu followed by a communal motorist's luncheon under the trees of the park.

We must briefly mention those plucky motorists from the Bristol Austin Seven Club who managed to wobble their way from their home to this distant parc.  A 1930's radiator was replaced at the roadside by their mechanical wizards from Birmingham hidden (allegedly) in the club's only-too-Gallic corrugated Citroën H support van.

Below a collection of images of the meeting.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Lime rendering a garden wall

The garden walls of 16 Grande Rue are shown being re-rendered in lime mortar.  First, all the old lime render was hacked off, and then the two artisans started on this skilled task that will entirely encase the old 17th century coursed rubble wall within.  Hand skills such as this are still quite the norm in the Loire valley.  There are so many historic buildings of quality that require these traditional skills to survive, that it is expected that non-specialist builders can execute them as much their conservation specialist colleagues.

click on the image for a nice big version to open

Sunday 12 September 2010

Les Caves Painctes in Chinon and the Entonneurs Rabelaisiens

Here is a short movie of a gala dinner held in the underground 'Caves Painctes' in the ancient Plantagenet town of Chinon, located deep within the castle rock itself.  Allegedly, this is the location of the cellars owned by the father of the 16th century Humanist writer François Rabelais, and referred to directly in the 1534 adventures of the giant Gargantua and his own son Pantagruel.  A ritual ceremony installed a few of the 300-strong Cadillac Lasalle Club France party into the society of 'Entonneurs Rabelaisiens - the funnelers/barrel fillers(?) of Rabelais', a dinner club started in 1962 that celebrates the famous red wine of Chinon and its most fervent admirer, François Rabelais himself.

Your blog's author, the Abbé Henri Proust, was elevated to the rank of Chevalier of the Entonneurs Rabelaisiens on the 3rd of September 2010 (for services rendered etc.....).  What an honor, and frankly what a responsibility!; to act as advocate for the Humanist and gourmand world-view of Rabelais and as an ambassador for the gorgeous cabernet franc wines of AOC Chinon.

HARD work; but someone has to do it!

Readers, friends, if you turn these pages
Put your prejudice aside,
For, really, there's nothing here that's outrageous,
Nothing sick, or bad — or contagious.
Not that I sit here glowing with pride
For my book: all you'll find is laughter:
That's all the glory my heart is after,
Seeing how sorrow eats you, defeats you.
I'd rather write about laughing than crying,
For laughter makes men human, and courageous.


< Beuvez tousjours, vous ne mourrez jamais >