This morning I went off on my usual cycle ride after the school bike run, and I headed down from the college to the Coulée Verte, or Green Way, which belongs to our town. The sky was beautiful and the river was very peaceful and calming. What a way to begin the day!Although the plants think it's autumn, the weather still thinks it's summer, which is a very beautiful combination. A little along the river is an old water mill. If I'm right, the bricks for this were surely made in our tuilerie?A loop around the parcours sportif (jogging route) took me slowly towards the town lake. It's an odd shape, clearly excavated by humans rather than natural. Surely it was the old clay pit for the nearby tile manufacturers?Meeting only a small, elderly jockey on his elegant horse (we stopped for a chat about a pheasant he'd just seen), I cycled up the track, bemoaning my early-morning French, and came out on the road just before the tuilerie.These beautiful, flat bricks are just like Roman ones. The Romans brought the art of brick-making to our area and it was never forgotten.
Because the old tuilerie building has decorative tiles on it, I assume that they made patterned, glazed tiles here too, although it's all conjecture. Given the area's tile-making past, and our sons' tendency to pick up anything they find, I shouldn't have been surprised to find this sitting on our sofa one evening last week!
But I was, because it's rather more special than the modern nuts and bolts with which they normally fill their pockets! It's a design that has been made since medieval times, although this could easily be much newer - say nineteenth century? It's a piece of floor tile.Son 2 turned out to be the culprit, and he was quite surprised at how much I liked his latest find. We went out to the spoil heap where he'd found it (diggers have been along our road, excavating the ditch) and found a few more bits and pieces of pottery, although I'm not sure they originally came from the same part of the road.Perhaps some good comes out of having a mum who studied archaeology - at least she's less likely to freak when she finds dirty bits of tile on her sofa!
Looking at the photo of the resulting display (fish tongs, hearts, broken teapot, pottery sherds...) I have to say that it looks eccentric, to put it kindly. But we are very happy with it...