I speak very good English!

While I was watching our cats playing in the lane at the side of our property I overheard a group of tourists chatting outside the supermarket which is situated at the side of our home. Pointing at a temporary sign one lady asked the group “Do you know what it says”.
“No idea”, said the other people in the group.
So I turned around and explained that the Boulangerie is closed for annual holiday, but that they could buy fresh bread in the supermarket, and it is delicious.
The response was “Wow, you do speak very good English” !


You can just see the sign propped up against the wall on the right of this picture. The Supermarket is the building on the right.
 

As with many French village houses we don’t have much in the way of garden so we need to make the most of what we have.

This red rose bush is in glorious bloom at the moment, unfortunately we had a thunder storm here last night which explains the droopy flowers which took the full force the heavy rain.
 

Our living wall is nearly in full bloom.
 

A red theme continues on our veranda.
 

With a jasmine plant in the corner, the aroma fills the veranda with its gorgeous perfume.
 

Cleo found a cool and shady corner yesterday in temperatures of over 30C.
 

 

Event:-

Art competition in and around Daglan this Sunday, May 21st from 8am. Open to all artists, children and adult, choose your site in the village, by the river or in the surrounding countryside , create your masterpiece and submit it for judgement…

Bonne chance

Information from :-
Mairie de Daglan, 05 53 28 41 16.
Tourist office 05 53 29 88 84.
Couleurs d’Aquitaine 06 50 85 36 14

 

 

Medieval Perigueux.

Our second visit to Perigueux and it did not disappoint one bit. Once again we headed for the medieval quarter with its fascinating tower and magnificent Cathedral.

First we saw the “Mataguerre Tower”, which is the last fortified tower from the Medieval period still in existence.

From the 12th Century onwards a ring of twenty eight fortified towers with twelve gates enclosed the Cathedral of Saint Front.

The name “Mataguerre”derives from the Occitan language, “matar” to hold at bay, and “guerra”; war.
 

The tower walls are pierced by cruciform arrow-slits and cannon ports.
 

We always need to find an hidden gem or two and this is the first we spotted.

The tower at the side of a boutique is to be found across the square from the Cathedral. What interested me was a carved man at the front of the tower, he looked like a medieval worker relaxing for a few minutes.
 

Second hidden gem is to be found a little down the Rue Du Calvaire off the square/car park outside the Cathedral. This original and interesting door and windows fascinated me.
 

The massive Cathedral Saint Front was the fourth church to be built on this hill over the River Isle. First in the 6th C which was replaced in 1074 with a much larger church that housed some religious relics. However, this was burned down and another church took shape using Greek architects who designed these magnificent domes which look Byzantine.

The model for the Cathedral St-Front was Agil Apostoli in Constantinople (now gone), the same was used for another famous church: St Mark’s in Venice.
 

The bells of St Front (1847) are famous through out Europe due to the fact that they are made up of seven peals of bells and ten fixed bells. Quite loud but sounds amazing.
 

Paul Abadie spent fifty years renovating the Cathedral from 1852 onwards, it is breathtaking from all sides. He liked his work so much, especially the pinnacles, that he built cones onto the domes of his most famous creation, Sacre-Coeur in Paris.
 

Once inside the first impression is wow, it is so big, about one and a half times as long as a football pitch. With its minimal decoration it looks like a magnificent mosque.

Abadie also designed the chandeliers, which originally hung in Notre-Dame in Paris, made for the wedding of Napoleon III in 1853.
 

 

Events:-

Sarlat, Brocante, 27th May, Lycee pre de Cordy.
Daglan, Brocante, 4th June at the Salle des Fêtes.

We drove through Birkenhead tunnel!

I have just returned from a visit to our son who lives in Liverpool, so this post is not about France but still, Liverpool is awesome. It’s one of my favourite cites to visit, it has such a wealth of history, culture and amazing shops.
 
The barge at the front of this picture was called ‘Imagine’ in memory of the wonderful and thought provoking song by John Lennon. Imagine The large Swan boats are towards the rear of the picture, I would love to have a ride in one of those.
 

Pirate ShipA pirate Ship was in dock on this very warm and sunny morning.
 

A New HopeThis band was brilliant they played the Original Cantina Music-A New Hope, which was in the first Star Wars film. You know the scene when Hans Solo is introduced (who could forget) as he gets into a shoot out with Greedo.
 

Sefton ParkSefton Park in bloom, looking gorgeous in the Oriental part of the grounds.
 

Ducks in the lakeDucks and other birds near and on the lake.

We drove through Birkenhead tunnel, under the river Mersey, twice, it was amazing I wanted to shout out just like the ‘Virgin Broadband advert’, but I kept almost quiet, although Adam had to listen to me repeating “this is amazing” about fifty times. I will grow up one day… well may be not.
 

 

The Green Finger of Knowledge.

Last Sunday morning we needed to replace a few of our plants because our kitten Cleo had sat on them a few days earlier. Being squashed to pieces did not do them any good at all. Usually we get our plants from Sandrine at Daglan Sunday market but she was not there.

Sandrine is truly a marvel with information on plants, tell her what type of plant you are looking for and she will advise on colour, flowering period and instructions on where and how to plant them. If you plant them in an unsuitable place she will wag her finger at you advising you to move the plant.

This she did a few weeks ago when we bought plants from her. She ran across the main road pointed to the plant we had just bought and said ‘non’ and them spread her arms on the wall to show that it should be planted against a wall with a trellis. Yes, we moved the plant! Well she is the expert and we are only the learners of what will grow and where in our village so any help is always appreciated.

Back to the story, Sandrine was not at Daglan market but we’d seen posters that Cénac et Saint Julien was holding a flower festival so off we went. We found the main road in Cénac was closed to traffic to be used for their Flower Festival.

I am on the right buying basil from one of the many stalls.
 

I was so tempted by these gorgeous roses, the colours, the aroma, wow, but space being at a premium, practicality won.
 

We did buy flowers to replace the squashed ones from the stall above.
 

We found Sandrine with her magnificent display.
Just a few of the large selection on offer from the expert gardener.
 

I think that we need more help from her in order to achieve the above.
 
 

Event:- France Election this Sunday for the second and final round of votes for the two remaining candidates. Keeping fingers crossed all day!
 
 

Hidden and not so Hidden Gems of St Cyprian

Arriving at St Cyprien you are first greeted, by the commercial area with Carrefour Supermarket which has a very handy chemist, plus other stores including a DIY and a household electrical stores which we have found very useful. Head up to the town and you reach the main street the Rue Gambetta.

Along this charming road there are many restaurants and bars, a good fresh fish shop and a number of boutiques, there is also an excellent shop selling beautiful cabinets and stone hand basins for the bathroom. If you are looking for a coffee, a meal or simply a stroll taking in the French atmosphere, this is the street to head for. The tourist information office is on this street and they can give you a very useful map for exploring the old town.

Our not so Hidden Gem. If you use the Credit Agricole bank in St Cyprian you will have noticed across the road from the bank a very interesting Roman style sunken garden which is I am afraid to say is somewhat neglected now but you can imagine how wonderful it once was.

It looks gorgeous even now.
 

A market is held every Sunday morning throughout the year and Wednesday mornings in the summer season.

The array and variety of fresh produce is outstanding.
 

Every basket you could possibly want is on display
 
Our Hidden Gem. A weekend Brocante is held each April and is hidden away at the back of the Sunday market in and around the Salle des Fetes.

Does anyone remember these dress makers models? My mother used to have one like the model to the back, right. Very awkward to use, she had to take it apart and rebuild every time she needed another size. With my help due to the fact that it was always very difficult to attach the pins.
 

Our purchases from the Brocante. Blue and gold leaf coffee cup
 

Plus a red and gold leaf tea cup and saucer
 
 
Event:- Cenac this Sunday, 30th April for the Flower Festival
 
 

Operation Percy Pink

We had never heard about Operation Percy Pink until we visited Saint Cyprien market a week ago. We had just finished buying our produce and were on our way back to the car when we spotted a vintage car parked at the end of the main road.
Operation Percy Pink

We soon found out that Operation Percy Pink was the code name that was used by US Special Forces to parachute thirteen men into German occupied France in August 1944 to aid the local ‘Maquis’ resistance fighters in the Perigord Noir. These commandos were the first allied troops to be dropped into the Perigord Noir, their task was to prevent the Germans moving North for as long as possible to aid the D-Day landings. This they did for several weeks which helped shorten WW2.

To honour their bravery a documentary is being produced aimed at teaching students of all ages about these men and the French Resistance in the Perigord Noir. In the documentary you can see veterans of the Resistance fighters telling their story.

Percy Pink PosterBrave men indeed,
who punched holes in petrol tanks so that the Germans would not get the fuel, blow up railway bridges so troop trains fell in the river, set fire to and destroyed what they could and used what they found to help the local people in their resistance.
 

Percy Pink WitnessA witness in 1944 who saw the US parachute team in Cadouin.
 

US Special forces, Percy Pink CommandosThe US Commandos who took part in Operation Percy Pink.
 
Operation Percy Pink Trailer on YouTube

 
Events: 30 April, Cenac Flower Festival.