Monday, September 15, 2008

Scrignac is not a medical condition

No, indeed, Scrignac is a pretty wee town in the Monts d'Arrees national park in Brittany. Yes, I'm afraid this is another "what I did on my holidays" posting. I've been working loads since we got back, so apart from a brief sighting of Dong and Shazzerooneypoos last night at film club, I haven't got any Millbrook news.

Here's the centre of Scrignac; it's fairly typical of small towns in the region: the single moving vehicle (the La Poste van) representing the sum total of bustle. Just about how Mrs The Millbrooker and I like it. Note also the presence of two bars (huzzah!) and a boucherie on the left (there's a boulangerie out of shot). What more could anyone ask for?Anyway, some of you will remember my recent drivellings about horse poo (scroll down a bit to find it if you missed it). The adventure that included the horse poo viewing started in Scrignac as Mrs The Millbrooker and I set off for a day's walking and exploring. Over a pretty reasonable bottle of Minervois the night before, we'd perused the hikers' guides and chosen to follow the Circuit de l'Ancienne Gare (so that's a circular walking route which includes an old railway station, then).So off we set. In my case, laden with a backpack containing our picnic lunch, white stick swinging merrily from my right hand and my torso bedecked with a pair of binoculars and the trusty digital camera. The whole ensemble required moderately frequent adjustment. And, frankly, was a bit bleedin' heavy for a man of my physical fatness. Mrs The Millbrooker kindly recorded my mild discomfort for posterity.We trogged through lots of quiet lanes, the birdsong and the whisper of wind through the trees interrupted only by roaring tractors (it is harvest time, after all), lots of grumping about being fat and unfit from yours truly and the occasional parp caused entirely by eating too much steak the night before. We pretty much expected some nice views and we weren't to be disappointed. These two shots are looking back towards Scrignac after we'd done a couple of miles or so:
Picnic time involved a couple of Bleu d'Auvergne sarnies and a spot or two of fruit followed by some birdwatching in which we expertly identified several "little brown jobbies" hopping about in the hedgerow. No, seriously that's the scientific name for them: little brown jobbies.Something like four miles out and we reached the turning point, l'Ancienne Gare itself. It wasn't only Beeching who closed railways; the French did it, too. Here's the station as it was in the good old days: Here's the station as we found it. The waiting room (in line with the trees on the platform above) is now used as a hay store and the track is a cycle and footway (a sentier de petit train):

It was shortly after this that Mrs The Millbrooker brilliantly spotted the moving poo.

The inward trog was much the same as the outward, and despite all outward appearances to the contrary I don't think I can keep repeating myself ad infinitum, so you'll just have to be content with the idea that we walked back into Scrignac, which you now know isn't anything that requires ointment in sensitive little crevices.

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