The Extraordinary Tour de France.

Crowds of smiling, happy people lined the streets of Perigueux last Tuesday to greet the start of stage 10 of the Tour de France through Sarlat and on to Bergerac. It was just what Paul and I needed to lighten the mood after we had just received some upsetting news. It lifted our spirits so much so that we began to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

So here are just a few of the many pictures taken last Tuesday.

Sky team bus

 
The amazing Sky team being presented to an appreciative audience.

 
Cheers for Chris Froome and the team.

 
TV interview with the King of the Mountains.

 
Riders looking relaxed and having a chat before the start of the race.
 

And off they go.

Second later all the riders were gone, having started on a 178km tour of one of the most beautiful parts of France
 

So over to our roving camera crew Sherry and Angus who took these brilliant pictures. Thank you so much.

The Caravan runs through Beynac.

 
Wow, brilliant

 

 
They look happy to be here, and who wouldn’t be enjoying the spectacular scenery of the Dordogne valley. Good luck guys.

 
“Come on Chris Froome”… Just a little bias there,

 
The Perigord will bring a smile to your faces too.

 
 
Event:- 14th July – Fête National, all across France.

 
 

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Have you seen the fairies dance upon a Summers night?

Marqueyssac by candlelight is amazing. Illuminated by over two thousand candles the gardens at Marqueyssac are a site to see. We arrived just before dusk and took refreshments at a table with a breath-taking view across the Dordogne valley where we could see Castelnaud, Fayrac and Beynac Château’s.

As dusk slowly arrived we walked through the candle lit gardens towards the increasing sound of music and children’s laughter. I would highly recommend anyone to visit the gardens at night, every Thursday evening in July and August from seven to midnight.

Fairies on stilts, “Les Marraines Fees” by the Lilous Company.

The faces of the children as they where sprinkled with fairy dust was brilliant. The costumes and the make up are outstanding.

A magical moment that the children will never forget.
 

Various niches, fountains and rocks around the garden are illuminated.
This particular fountain changed from yellow to purple to red and back again.
 

Jazz and blues on the Esplanade by Karima and Oliver. They are brilliant.
 

Classical music in a circle of light by DJamano.
 

I am unsure what dance Judith and I were performing in the above picture but we all had a terrific time. My friend Michelle was taking a selfy as light scattered around us.
 

At last we saw ‘Kan’ the L’allosaure which is new to the gardens this year.

 
 
Events:-
The Tour de France goes through Perigord on Tuesday, wow. 178Km from Périgueux, through Sarlat and on to Bergerac. Tour De France Stage 10

Daglan events;-

 

 
 

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.

DSCN1656

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.

DSCN1664

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…

 

DSCN1739

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?