Along with all the other newbies to this part of France, we were invited to a 'Programme journee d'accueil des nouveaux arrivants' - an afternoon to welcome new arrivals. We couldn't have been made more welcome. We met the local Mairie in his lovely offices, enjoyed delicious coffee, cakes - and, later, a local aperitif - and were given a fantastic guided tour of the mediaeval city of Parthenay. The place is full of history, and we took in the wonderful church, the museum, and lots of other sights. There are cobbled streets here full of half-timbered, five hundred year old houses, some of which are still lived in. This part used to be a merchants' area and pottery and fabrics, such as silk, were sold from the little shops.
It rained all afternoon, but this didn't make the afternoon any less than thoroughly enjoyable. We were amongst a group of about a dozen new arrivals, some French, some English, and everyone was very friendly. We were made to feel very welcome.
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