Monthly Archives: April 2007

The Dixmude statue

The Dixmude statue

Eighty years ago in May, this statue was erected by the people of Pierrefeu to commemorate the 50 lives lost when the airship Dixmude exploded and crashed off the coast of Sicily. The dirigible had been given to the people of France as part of reparations from Germany following WW1 and was based at the airfield down in the plain, below the village. In the shape of a giant wing, the memorial lists those who died, all local men.

Red faces abound over fountain blunder

Having seen a considerable number of euros spent renovating the ancient Fontaine Wilson in the centre of Pierrefeu, the villagers are now asking probing questions of the Mairie. When exactly will water start to flow again in the 200 year-old fountain?

Not as quickly as the Clerk of Works would like, it seems. Apparently, the ornate replica copper pipes are too long and there’s a risk of the fountain flooding. So now they’ve got be be recut to a reasonable length.

Well, quipped the Mayor, we’ll have to get it done quickly before we get a ruling from local government to shut off the water because of the drought.

How we laughed…

The Sporting Event du jour

The Boulodrome was buzzing on Saturday with the Lei Rima boules open tournament – for a grand prize of 1500 euros. Lei Rima is the name of the Boules Club in the village and is a provencal term for little flames – like those seen in the Pierrefeu’s coat of arms. There were boules players from all over the region (men outnumbering women by about 50 to 1!) with a little bar open so they could regularly fortify themselves with pastis.

Morning view

After a late arrival in Pierrefeu on Friday, having driven through the rain, past splashing lorries and speeding French motorists, how lovely it was to fling open the shutters this morning and see this view from the bedroom window. NOT so lovely was my inability to upload this picture using stone-age dial-up from Orange France… How I miss broadband over here.

Brasserie des Iles destroyed by fire

Before: outside

Before: outside

Before: inside

Before: inside

One of the most upmarket restaurants in Hyeres, the Brasserie des Iles at the port, was completely ruined by fire yesterday. An electrical fault is thought to have started the fire which, with the help of the mistral, quickly took hold just before midday – and the lunchtime rush. Over twenty firemen worked for two hours to bring the blaze under control, by which time the Brasserie, and its sister restaurant next door, the Baleine, were totally gutted.

This has been a favourite of ours for special meals out for many years. Let’s hope it will re-emerge from the ashes.