Don’t you just love September? It’s my favourite month with all its autumnal majesty. Here in Semur the days remain sunny and warm but the cool misty mornings and clear crisp evenings make enduring summer heat waves all worthwhile. The leaves are turning and already I can smell the sweet scent of chestnut fires burning somewhere in the distance. I tell you it’s magic.

I know that this will all too quickly be replaced by a long gray winter so I’m frantically trying to spend as much time as possible soaking in the pleasures of fall. Sunday we woke to a glorious day and decided that we’d finally get over to see a chateau in Lantilly, a town just around the corner. For some reason we hadn’t managed to drag our pastry laden arses over there yet and once there my suspicions that we are the worst tourists in the history of French tourism were confirmed.

The weekend before last all the chateaux in France were fully open for viewing and admission was free. What was I doing? I don’t even remember but I bet it involved eating. And this weekend the chateau closest to us was now closed for the season. Merde. But as we drove home we passed through a pretty village called Grignon not far from Semur I saw the perfect place for a fall fix. So I hopped out of the car and raced down the lane.

Then I turned my back to the road to capture this vista….

While I was squatting in the driveway I saw the blue of our car out of the corner of my eye so I turned to get back in but instead I turned smack into a dapper gentleman dressed in his Sunday finest and holding a bible who coincidentally also has a blue car. I didn’t quite catch all that he said but the phrase ‘my house’ was in there for sure. Holy trespassing, how do I get myself into these situations?

Now add in a few frayed nerves and my French goes from bad to worse so I knew I wasn’t getting out of this one alone. And where was my beloved? Still sitting in our car. So I fired him a look that said two things: one, thanks for the warning jackass and B, come help me. As it turned out the man wasn’t angry at all but instead curious if I was taking pictures for a website or a blog. I guess he’s used to the world stopping to admire his place. He politely said that while he didn’t have time right then we should call on him another day and he would gladly give us a tour of the village and its church which he assured us was magnifique.

It always amazes me how eager the people around here are to show off the treasures of this land but then again look what they have to offer. But this time I was just plain lucky. One of these days I’m going to wander too far in the name of pretty photos and end up face to face with a farmer’s rifle. Next time I’ll wait in the car and send Neil in for the shot.

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