Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fog and dinner plates. - Wednesday 20th September

Once again we hung around for too long, wondering if the day would improve.  Once again it didn’t really. It was too foggy to take our bikes apparently, although it remains unclear to one of us whether visibility was any greater when travelling on foot.   When we finally arrived at the Mill Museum it was exactly lunch time and thus approached its gates with a good deal of trepidation.  Curiously and quite thankfully we may have discovered the only museum in France that does not close for lunch, and for the next few hours we therefore had the complex and its gardens entirely to ourselves and the fog.

The museum was brilliant, with much of its water powered machinery in almost working order, and its gardens sublime.  The massive water powered crushers and machinery connected via drive shafts through the complex are examples of the industrial revolution at its finest.  It might even have won an award for being the world’s greenest industry at the time, if it weren’t for the thousands of tonnes of coal required to fire the kilns each week, such was the volume of product produced.

Porcelain from here is held in quite high regard by they who know about this stuff,  but we couldn’t help but note the stark contrasts between the heavy albeit hand-painted mass produced product here and the lightness of the hand crafted works still being produced in the even more ancient potteries we’d visited in Japan earlier in the year.  

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