One of our dinosaurs is missing!

One of our dinosaurs is missing is what I was thinking when Paul and I went to Marqueyssac Gardens last week for their Grand 20th Anniversary open day. As garden ornaments go, having your own dinosaur is very OTT. Could we find a dinosaur… no… and we looked everywhere. I thought that it would be lurking behind one of the many high bushes in the garden, like the dinosaur that I remember in the Natural History Museum in London. I turned a corner in the museum to be face to face with a dinosaur. Lets just say that I was making more noise than the dinosaur exhibit.
 

The gardens are magnificentI must say that the gardens are magnificent, the views of the Dordogne valley are wonderful and well worth a visit or two.
 

rosemary in lavender.Above is a favourite on our walk through the gardens, the curling rosemary hedge in a bed of lavender.
 

Tree HouseThis is just one of the hands on displays that are new to Marqueyssac this year, the double tree house.
 

Play TimeAlong the “Esplanade” were new musical animations designed and constructed by Alfred de la Neuche for children of all ages to play with, (including myself).
 

Tree ClimbingWe were informed that we could have a go at shimmying up the ropes to the top of the tallest tree for a breath taking view over the valley, and even after reassurances that it was easy we said ‘no thank you, we will watch you’.
 

flowers and perfumeThis bicycle train looked like old style bird cages, they were full of flowers and perfume.
 

in the ChâteauI love this room in the Château from the wallpaper to the furniture gorgeous.
 

 peacockStill looking for “dino” we spotted this peacock, what magnificent plumage.

After looking everywhere Paul and I decided to ask in the gift shop. It turns out that we were too early for the unavailing of the dinosaur which would take place in the late afternoon.

An Allosaurus named KanThe above was as close as we came. No problem, we shall have another visit in a few months time to see a 7.5 metre long and 2.5 metres high, 150 million years old Allosaurus named Kan.
 

Other events at Marqueyssac will be the Great Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday and Monday, where eggs will be hidden around the gardens.

Curious about Nature? Arts and Crafts workshops, creating animal masks, mobiles and dolls. During Easter and All Saints Day, plus every weekend during the school holidays in the months of May and June.
 
 

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French Property News magazine.

Black Diamond.

Towards the end of last year I was asked by the editor of French Property News Magazine to write an article for them about how we found our home, the buying process, the renovation work, Daglan village and the surrounding area. At first nerves took hold and I thought no, then on reading past blogs and our experiences, who could forget the arsenic paint on our toilet door, or the shower that kept me practising Yoga every time that I used it!, I thought yes I can write the article.

The editor loved the article and our pictures and it was published in the March issue of French Property News magazine and now the April issue has been published I can show my article in our blog for you to read. I hope that you like it.

Just click on the page image to open an enlargement in a new window (Use keys to override your popup blocker if needed).

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Childrens Carnival

The Judgement of Pétassou

Last Wednesday on a gorgeous sunny day the children from Three local Primary schools got together for the Children’s Carnival and the Judgement of Pétassou.

The tradition dates to the Medieval period and is performed all over south western France to welcome the start of Spring. Pétassou was the object of a thousand evils from theft to explosions, he is tried by the children and condemned, then burned for his faults, therefore bringing an end to the cold and frosts of winter.

The Carnival ProcessionThe Carnival Procession was lead out of our local Primary School and around the village by Maire P. Dussol and 2nd adjoint Thierry Cabianca.

You can see the effigy of Petassou in the trailer on the back of the tractor.
 

So cuteSo cute, dressed in animal or insect costumes.
 

Superb head dressersAnother school sported superb head dresses.
 

Walking FishThis class had made themselves up to be fish.
 

Bless her,Bless her, a sit down at the front of our home. She did rejoin the Carnival on their return through the village.
 

Anita, and one of the mothers  enjoying the day.Anita, and one of the mothers in face paint enjoying the day.
 

Singing and dancing was performed by all of the children.
 

Burning of PetassouPétassou’s effigy is burned in the open ground at the Salle des fêtes in the village.
 

Spring is hereSpring is here.

More pictures at the schools of the RPI vallee du Céou website.
 

 

Events:-

Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle from April 1st to May 1st, sword fighting lessons for children aged five to fourteen. From April, Demonstrations of a crossbow from the Hundred Years War.

Easter Monday, Sarlat Easter Egg Hunt around the Medieval Town.
 

 

Daglan Spring Festival – Part two.

The variety of plants on display at the Daglan Spring Festival was amazing. Just one problem, I have a terrible memory for plant names, I just could not remember the names of any of the plants that I wanted for our balcony and courtyard. Luckily for me I have an expert on hand to help me out of this predicament. Sherry, an absolute marvel, from my description of the plants that I wanted she was able to tell me what I was looking for. Brilliant and thank you so much.

Taken from our balcony as the stalls were setting up, from pansies to fruit trees and plenty in between.
 

This is a local wine grower serving one of the older residents of the village. I can recommend his wine especially the rosé. In the lower left of the picture you will see a tray of ‘make your own wine kits’, various young grape vines.
 

Gorgeous variety and colour,
 

This flower seller has a stall on Daglan market every Sunday morning, she always has a wonderful variety of plants for sale.
 

I asked Paul to take a picture of an array of exotic bushes then I spotted an outstanding red rose and went in to investigate so spoiled the shot a little!
 

Children’s works of art around a bush in the Presbytère garden.
 

It does not matter what event is taking place in the village all the community works together. These lovely flowers were made by the children from the school in Daglan
 

Paul and I bought tickets for the tombola and what a surprise, we won a prize, a gorgeous apple tree. Which was presented to Paul by our Maire Pascal Dussol, who informed Paul that the tree will produce wonderful Daglan apples.
Paul brought the tree into the kitchen for me to look at, Cleo loved it so much that she gave it a large cat hug!
 

Only yesterday morning Paul and I where wondering where we could place the fat balls for the birds, problem solved, the branches of our prize are perfect… brilliant.
 

Event:- Happy Birthday Judith and a very happy ongoing 25th Wedding Anniversary to you and Paul.
 

Daglan Spring Festival – Part one

Daglan hosted its second spring festival yesterday (19th March) and it was a brilliant success. Paul and I had a wonderful day looking at the array of plants which lined the square, around the church and down the main road. There was so much to choose from that we must have walked around the displays at least four times before deciding what to buy.

This is why I need to split our blog into two. The plants will be in our second blog but first was the very moving ceremony at the side of our local church.
 

Maire P. Dussol, officials and dignitaries at the inauguration of the new monument in Daglan.
 

To the memory of the fighters and victims of North Africa and Indochina
1946 – 1962

“Tolerance is a virtue that makes peace possible”
Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations 2001

 

La Marseillaise.
On the cushion was a medal for one of our local heroes.
 

A very proud villager was presented with a combatant cross.
 

Wonderful, a very moving and uplifting ceremony.
 

Events:

21st March – Jardins de Marqueyssac will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with an open door event with free entry.

22nd March at 9AM – Children’s Carnival, Daglan

Carnival

I hope we picked a winner!

Sarlat was inundated with Master Chocolatiers last weekend, they were showing their skills at the Chocolate Festival which had been organised, for the second year, by the Rotary Club. If you love chocolate as I do, last weekend was amazing.

Your senses are first aroused by the Masterpiece creations which were displayed on a long tables near the entrance. They are each numbered and you pick the one you think is best, which I found extremely difficult, once you have made your choice you write the number onto a card along with your contact details. If you have picked the same as the judges your entry is placed in a draw for a hamper of chocolate.

This is the one that I picked, keeping fingers crossed that it is a winner.
 

I also liked the golden eggs, and,,, and,,, and…
 

Paul picked number seven in the middle of the picture, in front of the Rotary Club sign.
 
One room was used for chocolate demonstrations where classes were held to teach a little of the art of working with chocolate. There were also films about growing cocoa for chocolate.
 

Two other rooms housed what was for me, the main event…
 

Rows upon rows of chocolate creations for sale from the Master Chocolatiers of the Perigord.
 

Chocolate cartoon characters, Wow yummy
 

This was my favourite, a chocolate Peruvian mask which was made from the rich dark chocolate from Peru. Unfortunately it was tucked away behind a pile of chocolate pieces in a corner of a display cabinet, hence the poor lighting!
 
 

Events:-

Sunday 19th Daglan Spring Festival in and around the Place de la Liberté http://www.daglan.fr/fete-du-printemps/. At 11:00 there will be the official inauguration of the Stèle de la Paix, (magnificent carved tree), alongside the church. The Café de la Fleur will be holding a mini market.

Morning of Wednesday 22nd Daglan Children’s Carnival http://www.daglan.fr/carnal-des-enfantscarnaval-ecole-2017/.
 

 

Our New Find.

Last Sunday our friend Judith took us to a Brocante near the village of Catus which is about thirty minutes drive from Daglan. Somewhat off the beaten track but my goodness what a find, there is a large building full to the brim with antiques, furniture, books, paintings etc., plus smaller out buildings and every available outdoor space covered with furniture, china, garden ornaments etc.

Judith took Paul and I into the main building first, ‘wow’ does not come close, there is such a lot of furniture, if you were hunting for that ‘something special’ there so much to look through. Paul and I will certainly need to go back and hunt for other pieces.

I told Judith that I was looking for a chair for the spare bedroom so she took us to a room packed with chairs from wall to wall, floor to ceiling, all piled higgledy-piggledy onto each other. A couple caught my eye but the above chair had the edge, luckily it was near the front but still buried under a few other chairs.

After a few contortionist style wiggle moves by Paul the chair was pulled out. It was dirty but in good condition.

This is the ‘before’ picture. Before dusting and extensive cleaning with soapy water and lots of cotton buds. After which Paul rubbed on several coats of scratch cover to hide a few wear marks at the corners. After that had dried and was buffed I returned for the final polishing.
 

Looking good, I love the carving and warmth of old wood .
 

Our new – old chair now sports the latest of my embroidered cushions, depicting two women in conversation standing in a field of fantasy red flowers with yellow stems.

My last embroidered cushion for this year will be completed in a few weeks time. It shows a central piece of trumpet flowers with the greenery, like the above, alongside the central piece and the corners.
 
 

Event:- Sarlat Chocolate Festival, this Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th.