Thursday, 29 September 2016

Romorantin-Latheney - repeat after me..

One of the delights of retirement is having the freedom not to be preoccupied by stuff that has no personal significance to you whatsoever. Gone are the days of populating risk registers with imagined institutional threats, working towards SMART targets or dreaming-up areas for improvement as the absurdities of an annual performance review looms over the horizon. However, all this new found mental space does have its downsides too. At times my underpopulated mental territory becomes occupied by uninvited guests. In particular, I seem ever more prone to ear worms as a surprising variety of tunes, songs, advert jingles or memes become fixed in my head, resisting all attempts to dislodge them.

Some are innocuous, pleasurable even. For example, I was surprised to wake this morning with whole chunks of Moloko's 'The Time Is Now' ringing around my head, not the album version from 'Things to Make and Do' but the one from Glastonbury in 2000 complete with Roisin Murphy in a flowing sky-blue robe.

If only all my ear worms were so benign. Recently I was assailed unexpectedly by Gerry and the Pacemaker's ' How do you do what you do to me' and worse than this horror, was the moment a few months ago when I discovered myself humming 'Sun Arise' by Rolf Harris, complete with diggeridoo accompaniment. Where does this stuff come from? 

It's not just music, but odd snippets of verse, ancient jingles or random phrases can get stuck in my head and start repeating themselves like some mystic chant or exotic mantra. So today, the winsome Ms. Murphy became inexplicably dislodged by the name of the place we are staying in, 'Romorantin-Latheney' I began saying it to myself as we walked into town, rolling the syllables around the tongue as if savouring a fine wine. Maybe finally I am losing my marbles, or perhaps lots of people do this, but don't own up to it.

Anyway, 'Romorantin-Latheney,' aside from being my current ear worm, is a rather lovely small town on the river Sauldre, and here are some pictures of both the old bits and newer buildings.

The heart of the old town is on the banks of the river.

Timber framed houses

with original carved corbels and wooden columns

The usual grand Hotel de Ville next to the park

The town was full of people on tandems - some kind of rally.

The oldest part of the town is on an island - I suspect this was once an abbey church.

Up until the 1960s the place was famous for its textile mills - this one is being restored.

New investment too - not quite finished - but we suspected it was a large Palias de Congress.

In the afternoon we simply relaxed in the warm sunshine - not all autumn days will be like this.
The weather has been gorgeous, cloudless skies and temperatures nudging the high twenties. Great to stop and relax for a day. Onwards tomorrow to Périgeuex, Spain by Sunday.


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