poetry and prose about place

a roof over your head 5-4

with 10 comments


clay tile roof in Les Grandes Rivieres

clay tile roof in Les Grandes Rivieres (image from Street View)


Day 5-4 1 Logbook


Day 5-4 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)


I am glad and grateful that, in real life, I have a roof over my head.

During my university days, a professor pointed out to our class how variable the humble roof can be.  The design of a roof is a case of ‘form follows function’.  For example, in areas where there is a greater snow load or lots of rain, steeper roof designs prevail.  In areas where there is no snow and little rain, the roof usually has a gentle slope or is flat.

During my virtual ‘travels’ through central France, I am amazed at the roof design, in particular the materials used – clay tiles …


clay tiles

clay tiles on both house and outbuilding (image from Street View)


The clay tiles must be efficient at repelling water or they would not be used on the newer houses …


newer house

newer home with a clay tile roof in La Riviere (image from Street View)


Many of the roof-scapes are interesting as well.  Most have chimneys and other vent pipes and stacks.  Some have sky-lights.  In many communities there are satellite dishes, or antennae from almost every house, suggesting no cable service …



various elements of roof-scape on a roof in Les Grandes Rivieres (image from Street View)


Occasionally, I see a roof needing a lot of repair …


broken roof

vegetation has taken over this broken roof in Les Grandes Rivieres (image from Street View)


Best View: a picnic site in the village of Les Grandes Rivières.  A place for lunch if you don’t mind having no roof over your head …




Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

May 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

10 Responses

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  1. In general, the pitch of the roof is proportional to the amount of precipitation. Houses in areas of low rainfall frequently have roofs of low pitch while those in areas of high rainfall and snow, have steep roofs. The longhouses of Papua New Guinea , for example, being roof-dominated architecture, the high roofs sweeping almost to the ground. The high steeply-pitched roofs of Germany and Holland are typical in regions of snowfall. In parts of North America such as Buffalo , USA or Montreal , Canada, there is a required minimum slope of 6 inches in 12 inches, a pitch of 30 degrees.


    Spencer Lawrence

    June 5, 2013 at 3:19 am

  2. What a gorgeous picnic site! I love the look of clay tiles. I wonder if they would work here now that I’m in a warmer climate. The house needs so much work that it wouldn’t surprise me to find the roof needs replaced.



    May 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    • Hi Robin. I don’t think clay tiles are designed for ice and snow. I hope your roof is! I remember when we first built our house (we had a flat roof at first), we spent a lot of time adding tar to the leaky corners. Do you know the best implement for spreading tar is an icicle! 🙂 Jane


      jane tims

      May 27, 2013 at 8:04 pm

  3. It was the same in the house we lived in England One day there was a severe wind storm and they lifted up in a row and came crashing down on the lawn!




    Bruce McKenna

    May 18, 2013 at 9:20 am

    • Hi. I wondered how they were attached to the roof – from what you say, it is likely gravity. It probably makes a terrible noise when they lift in a strong wind. Jane


      jane tims

      May 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

  4. Actually two things unrelated to this blog. 1. Got your letter. Loved it. Thank you. 2. On your book. Lots of people will have input. We are finding this with the restaurant. But make sure they do not change your essence or purpose. Incorporate good ideas and discard the bad. In saying that, some of the best writers do expand on the characteristics of minor characters. I guess it makes the reader sense who they are. Anyway my message – be true onto thine self.


    Stan Spavold

    May 18, 2013 at 12:56 am

    • Hi Stan. You give great advice. You always have. One great thing about writing in this time, a writer can create alternatives, have a look and go back to the original with a keystroke!!!! I will try to send you a letter more often! Jane


      jane tims

      May 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

  5. I love the look of clay tiles on a roof but know they are not practical in our climates. I’ve given lots of thought to roofing materials lately as I think our home needs a new roof. It’s intriguing to study all the materials made for roofing; even here, there is great variety. I enjoyed this post as always.


    Carol Steel

    May 17, 2013 at 9:06 am

    • Hi. Thanks. We need a new roof too. The back rarely gets sun, so has grown an assortment of mosses. Jane


      jane tims

      May 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm

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