Honey Lemonade

On a hot day there is nothing more refreshing than home made lemonade.

This particular variety is made with honey.

Honey Lemonade

Half a cup of water.
Two cups of fresh lemon juice (about 8-10 lemons depending on their size).
Two or three cups of honey depending on taste.
Zest of one un-waxed lemon.
6 cups of water.
4 or 5 sterilised empty bottles.
 

In a large saucepan, heat half a cup of water, lemon juice, honey and lemon zest.  Keeping the mixture just under a boil, stir constantly until the honey is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and let the lemonade cool. Add 6 cups of water or more according to taste, pour into the bottles and store in the refrigerator or in the pantry, the lemonade lasts for a few months on a shelf, once opened keep in the refrigerator.
 

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The Purple Pansy Eater of Daglan!

After filling our tiny border with pansies last Spring a curious thing happened over night, something had selected pansies to eat and not just any pansies but only purple flowering pansies! Whatever it was left the yellow, orange and the white pansies alone. Thank goodness my sister was visiting, she remembered an old Yorkshire trick of putting a glass in the soil which was part filled with beer, the slugs love beer and would fall into it quite happily. No more problems we thought… incorrectly, during the Summer months another curious thing happened, again it seemed at night when another selective insect or slug had arrived which eats every leaf in sight except our jasmine plant!

Purple Pansy

An example of one of our tomato plants which resembles worn lace curtaining after a cat had played with it for a while – large and small holes on every leaf. After a few weeks the beast strips the leaves and in a few cases it kills the plant. We tried several home made remedies and some shop bought repellent which the insect or slug seemed to love because they returned for more. Then friends of ours were talking to an artist, who was exhibiting his paintings in Daglan, about garden problems and he told them that this problem was new to the area and had happened in his garden in Beynac. He went on to tell them what the problem could be and how it could be treated.

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The culprit that the artist described was this particular moth, it’s the larvae that does the damage. So armed with this local knowledge we can now make up a spray for the moth larvae and a backup of slug pellets which are both animal and environmental friendly. So far so good no more problems we hope!

If you have this problem the moth treatment is called Pyrale du Buis and the slug pellets are called Anti-Limaces Ferramol which you can buy from a DIY store or Garden Centre.

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Now for the wow factor in our garden, two bunches of grapes ripening in the sun. I know not many and we will never be in competition with the local vineyards in our area but it is our first ever grape vine, so our first babies. The vine was bought as a twig which blossomed, the instructions said not to let it set fruit for the first year, but…

 

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Now they are nearly ready to eat, Paul and I just tasted a couple of grapes – wow

 

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A couple of new additions to our meagre garden, we have a well which we were not using until a few weeks ago. Now we have a water pump that has helped tremendously in the hot weather to water our plants which seem to thrive on the fresh spring water.  We also have a water feature that looks great and our cat, the birds and bees use it to drink from.

Event:- Brocante 4th September at La Roque-Gageac.

News:- Johnny Depp has relisted his French estate for sale at wait for it … €50 million, which is double its original asking price. The former village near St-Tropez was marketed by Sotherby’s International in June 2015 but was removed from the market after a few months. It centres around a village square and includes a church which was converted into a guest house, his former five bedroom home has a pirate themed wine cellar, two pools and a art studio… any takers?

 

Concours des Maisons Fleuries.

Flower competition in the village of Daglan.

This year one of the well deserved joint first prizes for Concours des Maisons Fleuries goes to Sherry and Angus for their gorgeous garden. When you think that not so long ago their garden was a wilderness which was full of overgrown shrub and weeds, you’ll appreciate the time and effort they have put into creating a prize winning garden. The wow factor was produced by Sherry’s expert eye and skill of planting is outstanding.

Garden flower competitionThe front of their property, an array of colour from the hanging baskets to the borders and pots.
 

Garden flower competitionSherry relaxing in her garden.
 

Garden flower competitionTo the winner, Certificate, champagne and a voucher to spend in the supermarket in the village.
 

Garden flower competitionI particularly love this ancient stone which they found hidden in the undergrowth.
 

Garden flower competitionExpert planting was used to create this beautiful garden. I am terrible at remembering the name of plants, so sorry, but I will find out if anyone would like any more details.
 

Garden flower competitionSherry and Angus petit lane in the shade of the garden.
 

Garden flower competitionFrom the colours of the stunning plants to the lighting, gorgeous.
 

Garden flower competitionJoint first prize also goes this year to Madame Allo.
 

Garden flower competitionHere is her stunning garden and pool, which is to be found at the edge of the village near Pont Neuf.
 

Garden flower competition1st Priz for flowered balcony – Monsieur Salamitte.
 

Garden flower competitionHere is his gorgeous balcony, congratulations.
 

 
Event:-4th September a Brocante at La Roque-Gageac
 

Fête de la St Louis

The annual Fête in Daglan is something that no one should miss. When you think that each year Daglan undergoes metamorphosis from a small picturesque village to a four day long festival of wow, a fun packed party place to visit, it is quite outstanding.

Our only down side was that we were far too near to James Bond! In other words the bumper car ride was positioned very near to our home and was playing extremely loud fairground music which made the house tremble until 2 am each morning.

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

I never thought that I would ever say this but ‘too close to James Bond!’

So we are feeling a little bit fragile at the moment, however, the band that we went to see on Saturday eve were fantastic.

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

The band Mission, excellent and great to dance to.

 

Each year Daglan has a stunning themed parade and this Sunday was no exception. For 2016 the theme was Civilisation.

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

The thought and skill that goes into making the costumes to the floats is truly outstanding.

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

The master and me, I think that Maire Pascal Dussol enjoyed his role as Pharaoh!

 

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

The Vikings are coming… around the corner towing their long boat by tractor.

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

Long boat accompanied by raucous shouts of Odin, Odin, and complete with shields, swords and captives, the warriors spraying the crowds with water pistols and glitter!

 

Fête de la St Louis, DaglanNative Americans – they had captured the covered wagon, wonderful.

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

This was one of our favourites – African Tribes, apparently they were drinking jungle juice made from strawberries and lemonade liberally laced with white wine.

 

Walk like an Egyptian.
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Le Thé Vert transformed into the Oasis of Nefertiti.

Always good, not only for the lunches but for costumes, pyramids, not forgetting the sphinx which was made from plastic bottles, and papier-mâché. The face is actually papier-mâché mold of a real person, wow.

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

I loved the hieroglyphics, which translated to the Oasis of Nefertiti. Brilliant well done all at Le Thé Vert.

 

Fête de la St Louis, Daglan

And the fireworks had the awesome factor, so in short we had a brilliant time.

Problems of the undulating floor and walls of our corridor.

Old property in France does seem to have the same problems, the undulating floors and walls that meander at irregular intervals. Personally I love the quirkiness of our home, it has character but not so much when you are putting down a new floor covering along the corridor which runs past the bathroom and the bedrooms.    Paul measured the floor, the walls, the distance between the walls, scratched his head, and said “there could be a problem”.  The corridor zigzags past the bathroom, turns left by the stairwell then right to the long stretch past the bedrooms, you guessed it, the corners are not right angles.

DSCN1606To work, the first problem was the carpet which seemed to be stuck down with super glue. But not to be deterred Paul battled on, a centimetre at a time.
The second problem was, as I stated earlier the floor which is not level but kind of slopes down to the bathroom and then undulates down the main corridor. After careful consideration and several failed attempts at laying the flooring Paul started from the centre of the corridor and then worked towards the walls.

 

DSCN1612A good plan but frustrating when you lay a piece of wood down which is straight at one end and is up at the other. Another plan cut the floor boards into smaller lengths then jigsaw them together, it worked. You can see from this photograph how the corridor goes from wide to narrow and back to wide as you go towards the door to the veranda.

 

French propertyAngel, always vigilant for a game decided to play hide and seek with the box.

I thought that it would take weeks to complete the corridor but Paul had it finished in a few days, bravo.

 

The event of the year in Daglan.
IMG_20160811_154309bWe have four days of sleepless nights to come, the speakers for the music are usually placed at the corner of our home so very, very loud but on a positive note we shall certainly enjoy the parade, fireworks and the bands that play. Just hoping for rock music and we shall be happy.

Enjoy

Fête médiévale à Belvès

Each year in early August the city of Belvès turns its clock back to Medieval times, this year the Fête was held on the 6th and 7th August. On the 6th August was a medieval banquet and on the 7th August was the Fête Fantastique.

I have been wanting to visit Belvès at this particular time of year for a long time, due to the fact that the whole city recreates the Medieval period. Everyone from the shop owners, restaurants, market place, local people and children are all dressed in costume. Hand made merchandise such as leather goods, wooden toys, shields, pots and pans, costumes, jewellery, street food etc. are offered for sale at the stalls that line the market square and byways.

 

IMG_20160807_101407This was the head of the procession through the Medieval quarter of the city. On the left are the English Knights and on the right a French knight and his Princess.

 

IMG_20160807_100958The Knights and Princess set off and were followed by clergy, musicians, pagan dancers, people of the city in costume, Vikings and beggars.

 

IMG_20160807_102901The Vikings were called “Berserker’s” and they lived up to their name at every opportunity they would suddenly stop for combat manoeuvre’s and go berserk by hacking at each others shields, the object to beat your opponent to the ground.

 

IMG_20160807_104406Very authentic looking beggars.

 

Fête médiévale à BelvèsGorgeous costumes of the pagan dancers.

 

DSCN1630I was approached by “a wicked step mother” wanting me to taste her rosy red apple. It is not everyday that you get to play Snow White!

 

DSCN1641There were various encampments around the city, this was part of the Viking camp. Where you could watch a sword being made, it was totally fascinating watching the blacksmith at work, the skill of his workmanship was wonderful.

 

IMG_20160807_113654Again in the Viking camp was a wood turner, creating table legs, door knobs etc.

 

Unfortunately, all the afternoon events seemed to start at roughly the same time so we had to pick which event we really wanted to see the most, the Knights won. We could have seen the falconry display and the Viking Combats at a later time but we had to get back home, but no loss, we will just return another year.

 

DSCN1649Cheval Spectacle – was a series of equestrian competitions between the English and the French, to be fare I think that it was a draw. Of course the arrogant Knight was Sir Steven dressed in English colours. There seemed to be a lot of British people in the audience, they certainly gave Sir Steven a lot of encouragement when he rode past at full speed to cut apples in two with his sword. He also won shooting an arrow from his horse while galloping by a picture of a wild boar. The French Queen won the silk purse, defeating the English Knight at the last minute.

It was a great day out and we can recommend the Fête médiévale à Belvès very highly, a must to see and a great experience.