Out and About

Beynac is now open!

The main D703 road through Beynac has been closed to traffic for a few months while major construction work took place. I am so glad to say that it is now open with a new road and pedestrian walkway. Beynac is now ready for the Tour de France to pass through next month.

On our way to St Cyprian market this morning we bypassed Beynac on the other side of the river Dordogne.
 

Returning home we noticed the deviation signs were missing so decided to try the Beynac route.
 

Before our trip to the market we stopped for a breakfast picnic. There is nothing to beat fresh pastries from Maison Carré at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle enjoyed by the banks of the river Dordogne on a glorious sunny morning.

Still waters mirrored in the Dordogne river.
 

The water is so clean that you can watch the trout swim by.
 

And enjoy the terrific views. With canoes ready for the first customers.
 

I could not resist taking this picture of the two foals and their mothers sheltering from the sun.
 
 

Events:-
– Bouzic night market is on Tuesday evenings in July and August
– St-Cyprian night market, throughout July and August on a Thursday evening,
– July and August for Saint Pompon night market on a Saturday evening.

Night markets are a great evening out where you buy hot or cold food and drinks from a variety of stall holders, sit at a handy table to enjoy the entertainment and later dance to your hearts content to live musicians or a DJ.
 
 

Summer comes to Daglan

Traffic has been steadily increasing for a few weeks but the real sign that summer is here is that the Supermarket next to our home is now open every day including Monday for the summer season, and “Wonder Woman”, our new name for Virginie due to the fact that she can lift the most heavy gas containers, is hard at work.

Virginie (Wonder Woman) looking good
 

People make time to stop and chat in the Sunday market.
 

This glorious display was for Mothers Day which fell on May 28th in France.
 

If you visit Daglan make a point of wondering the side streets where you will find some of the hidden gems. This picture was taken at the end of the lane at the side of our home.
 

A stunning array of roses in full bloom cascade down the side of this property.
 

Trying to hide from view. This is gorgeous Meemow, so named because she talks to you none stop.
 
 

Event:-

The Tour de France comes to the Perigord Noir on Tuesday, 11th July. Stage 10 begins at Perigueux, passes through Montignac, Sarlat, Vitrac, Domme, La Rogue-Gageac, Beynac, Saint Cyprien and on to Bargerac.

Check out the 178km route at http://www.cyclingnews.com/
 
 

Winter months in Daglan

A few people have asked me what we find to do in the Winter months here in Daglan. Last year we spent most of our time on renovation projects. This year we have been taking it a lot easier and we have found more time to do the things that we love. Of course the renovation is still on going but it can wait a few more weeks.

Paul has been working on a new web site for an artist who lives in Beynac, he had an exhibition here in Daglan last year. His name is Dominique Allaërt who paints in watercolours to create the most gorgeous and atmospheric paintings of the Perigord Noir.

Dominique ALLAËRTHere he is.

On our first meeting to discuss his web site he was up early in order to bake Paul and I cakes, how nice is that?

Artist at workHere is Dominique at work in the square last Summer.

So if anyone is interested in his art please check out the web site https://www.art.ourfrenchdream.com/

He will be in Daglan during the Spring Festival on March 19th exhibiting his painting at the Old Presbytery and a further exhibition at the same place in August.

If you are interested in a new web design please contact us.
 

To refresh and develop my skills in various media I have returned to my design work and have focused on embroidery in particular silk stitch and cross stitch. At first I embroidered basic flowers on a cushion, white and red roses which represents Yorkshire for me and Lancashire for Paul.

The Wars of the RosesThe Wars of the Roses

Happy with the outcome I let my imagination take hold and started to plan out the Elven King from the Hobbit films. It took quite a long time to complete but really relaxing and rewarding.

The Elven KingThe Elven King
 

Events :

Clement Bouscarel
24th February
Clement Bouscarel.
Admission 10€, children under 12 free.
Cake and Wine after the performance.

Carnival
22nd March
Carnival parade through the roads of Daglan by the schools of the Céou valley

Its so Cold

Winter

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When Blood is nipped and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

William Shakespeare.

 

My goodness it is cold -10 a few days ago, -7 today but am I complaining well a little but you need the cold to appreciate the warmth of Spring. It is one of the many things that I love about France, you certainly notice the changing seasons – from weather to the seasonal fruit and vegetables in the markets.
 

dscn2191a“This is mine, just try to take it from me”.
 

Like all eccentric people Paul and I do not let the freezing temperatures stop us from going out, so on a -10 day we left the warmth of our home to go shopping in Sarlat. The country side did look gorgeous bathed in a frosty glow but I was observing from inside the car wrapped in a car blanket!
 

These pictures were taken later in the day near Castelnaud
dscn2226We were unsure if the Montgolfier’s were getting ready to take off or they have just landed or the owners were testing them?
 

dscn2225aUp, up and away
 

News:-
Beynac-et-Cazenac: The D703 is closed to the public until 17th February due to construction work to widen the road and pavement. Diversions are marked, and very scenic.

Domme: Major works installing new utilities – electrics, gas, water, drainage and communications, expect road and path closures. All new for the Spring season.

 

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?

 

Hidden Gem Château de Fayrac

Beynac is having major road and pavement constructions which will not be completed until next winter. However, the road will be open as normal from spring to autumn for the tourist season.

We wanted to go to St Cyprien which unfortunately is to be found at the other side of Beynac, so a new route was in order. We have already followed the diversion signs that take you around Beynac to avoid the roadworks but this new route, told to us by friends in the village, did sound promising for the lovely vistas. So off we set on a rather cloudy morning.

From the bridge at Castlenaud take the D53 leading to Les Milandes so you will have the river on the right hand side and a stone cliff face on the left.

DSCN1108Bridge over troubled waters

The trees looked like they were slowly descending into the swollen river Dordogne.

Continue and you will pass Château de Fayrac on your left.

DSCN1112Château de Fayrac, how awesome is that!

Unfortunately the Château is not opened to the public, but is still magnificent on the outside and is worth a look.

In the 14th century, the Château belonged to the Lords of Castlenaud to serve as a lookout post during the Hundred Years War between the French and the English. In the 18th C during the French Revolution, it was seized has a National Property and sold to the composer Fernard Fouant of Tombelle who restored the Château to its former glory.
Like Beynac, Castlenaud, Milandes and Marqueyssac, it is part of the tourist complex called the “Valley of the five Castles”, which I hope will open to the public at a future date.

If you want to go on to St Cyprien follow the D53 until the junction where the road bears left to Les Milandes, do not turn here but head straight on to take you through two lovely villages of Envaux and Allas les Mines and over a narrow, single track bridge to a wonderful vista taking in fields, hamlets and forested hills and on to Les Cauffours at the D703 between Beynac and St Cyprien.

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The bustling market at St Cyprien

DSCN1109On our return journey the sun was shining so we had to stop and take this picture of Beynac, still magical in winter with the houses clinging to the rock face.

Picnic at Beynac

These pictures are for Mike and Bonnie who sent Paul and I photographs of their stay in the Perigord. The photographs look great, and thanks again. I was very pleased to hear that you like our “blog” and that it was helpful to you both in finding different places of interest. You must come and visit Paul and I after our move to France.

This is one of our favourite places for a picnic and we finally got to use our new picnic blanket. If you remember on a previous “blog”, we did try to have a picnic when we went to see the Tour de France but we had to eat in the car due to the raging storm outside. This time we were lucky, a gorgeous sunny day with not a cloud in the sky, perfect. Only one bit of embarrassment, when Paul and I were eating our lunch, a tourist boat came by very slowly and the people on the boat started to take pictures of us. So if anyone has a copy of the pictures, I am the very red faced person sitting on the stone bench.

Paul relaxing and watching the Dordogne flow by.

Paul relaxing and watching the Dordogne flow by.

I think this picture says it all

relax, chill out and enjoy the canoeists slowly going by.

Relax, chill out and enjoy the canoeists slowly going by.

The water is so clear you can see the fish.

The water is so clear you can see the fish.

The last picture shows the changing of the seasons from Summer to Autumn, with the lovely vibrant reds of the leaves just emerging on the trees.

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves