Mortisha

Before we moved to France we sorted through a lot of items, some that would fit well in the French property and much that would not. Sometimes difficult decisions were made about what to keep and what to dispose of. One of which was the old wrought iron candelabra, I thought no, it should be left behind, Paul wanted to take it for personal reasons. Yes it was and I am so glad that we did.

It was not until I started to renovate the candelabra that I began to remember where it came from so many years ago. It was a gift from my father in law who died seventeen years ago. So while I worked fond memories of him came flooding back. Recalling our first meeting when he welcomed me as ‘Mortisha, from the Adams family. Well I was dressed in a long black dress with hair flowing past my waist and wearing a large black floppy hat. In my defence I was only seventeen at the time and it was in the late 1960’s.

Fond memories Fond memories of a man who is still missed today.
 

Cheers DadI think that he would have loved sitting on the veranda by candle light sipping a drink or two. Cheers Dad.
 

Now that the warmer days are here, flowers are starting to develop and open in our courtyard.
apple blossomMagnificent is the apple blossom on our new tree which looks and smells gorgeous.
 

I just had to take pictures of our babies relaxing in the spring warmth.
relaxing in the shadeCleo on the veranda steps dappled by the sun.
 

This is the life...Angel, or as she has affectionately come to be know Groucho Marks, she was not in a good mood that day.
 
 

Vide-greniers and Brocantes:-

Sarlat 27th May.
Daglan 3rd and 4th June.
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 13th July.
Saint-Cyprian 26th and 27th August.
La Roque-Gageac 3rd of September.

 
 

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.
 
 

The last Crusade and the curious iron!

Part one of our trip to La Rogue-Gageac.

 

The Brocante at La Rogue-Gageac was wonderful and it was so large that it extended from the road to the water front, in one direction and from the cafes through to the end of the car park on its South side. Brimming with everything from Dinky cars, antique and not so antique furniture, paintings to linen and lace.

I love looking at the most curious items while searching for the particular pieces that I would like for our home.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1764This selection remaindered me of the scene in the film The Last Crusade, when Harrison Ford had to pick which chalice to drink from.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1761This desk took Paul and I back to the late 1950’s when we were at school learning while sitting at desks which were similar to the one above. I was lucky though I had fountain pens rather than the ink wells in this desk. You could also buy the class photographs from the 1930’s, 1940’s, plus end of term school reports.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1765Believe it or not this stack of cushions are porcelain, they look so real. They were so interesting that I was tempted to ask the price but where would I put them?
 
La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fairTemptation over with, I have always wanted a flat iron as a kind of homage to the women who had to use them, who I have great respect for. This particular one is fascinating due to the fact that it seemed to have belonged to the Gendarmerie which is cast into the iron along with the Gendarme emblem. After we had purchased the iron we were talking to another antique dealer who said that it was unusual and rare!

I do seem to find linen and lace from a long distance away, I know exactly where the various stalls are, (Paul calls it my linen magnet). One stall had displays of manufactured lace and hand made lace. Resistance was very futile, this particular hand made lace is from about the eighteen hundreds and absolutely gorgeous. There are two possibilities for the lace, either on a pillowcase or a white linen top – It is so special that I think it should be the top.
 

Event:- the last Brocante in our area will be held in St-Cyprien on the 24th and 25th September.
 


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
 

St Cyprien on market day

I had been in bed with gastric flu for what seemed like weeks but in reality only a couple of days, cabin fever had developed so I had to get out for a short trip after my sickness had abated. What better way to start a gorgeous summer day than a breakfast picnic in the small picnic area next to the statue of Josephine Baker with one of her children and then on to the Sunday market in St Cyprien.

DSCN1498Picnic area perfumed by flowers

 

The tourist season is in full swing here so you do need to get to the market early in order to park. The crowds of people make it impossible to hurry along, so a slow shoe shuffle past the stalls is the order of the day. I do not mind it gives me longer to stand and view each stall in turn as you pass by.

There seemed to be hundreds of stalls selling everything from vegetables to household goods, the aroma from the spices, cheese, sausages, oriental treats, cut flowers etc. is overpowering. Quite a few dogs were sniffing the air to see which direction to go for a snack or two. However, today I wanted to see the unusual, the artisans at work creating their own unique products to sell in the markets of the Perigord.

 

DSCN1424 For example it was fascinating watching an artisan at work creating a person’s name in wood.  The speed at which he worked was extraordinary, with in a few minutes he had completed another name.

 

DSCN1499This gentleman looked so splendid I had to ask if I could take his picture. He corrected his posture to his full height and looked proudly at the camera. He had hand made jewellery for sale on his stall.

 

There were quite a few buskers playing various instruments.

DSCN1488Here are two of them at work.

St Cyprien market

They both sang and played very well, I was tempted to join in but I remembered our border collie howling at me when I sang and our cat Angel hides her head underneath the pillow in horror when I sing “soft kitty” for her. I refrained for the sanity of the other shoppers.

 


Events :- St Cyprien will be holding a night market every Friday Evening throughout the summer. They are not like the usual markets that we know but are stalls of street food and drink where you purchase different foods of the area to eat at a table. There is also live music and an area to dance. I missed last Friday’s due to illness but we shall be going, I just hope that they sell a vegetarian option, which is difficult to obtain in the Perigord.

Daglan, 13th July, live music

Castlenaud, 13th July, Brocante

14th July, Bastille Day when all of France celebrates, our French flag is at the ready.

La Roque-Gageac ,16th July, Brocante and free live music

 
 

Daglan Brocante

I always feel that summer is around the corner when the Brocante season starts in and around our village.  Last weekend it was Daglan’s turn to host a Brocante, the sun was shining, and the heat was rising. So armed with a mental picture of possible purchases we set off for the Brocante.

It was a fabulous turn out of antiques and people from Daglan and the Perigord Noir, we where glad that we had arrived early.  In the Salle des fêtes (village hall), no pictures were allowed to be taken, which is always a shame but understandable given the really expensive items on display. I did fall in love with an armoire but too expensive at nearly 900€ and a few very interesting amphora that looked like they had just arrived from Pompeii.

Temptation over with we slowly walked around the various outside stalls, meeting and “kisses” on both cheeks, our friends in the village. Who helped us to find what we had come to the Brocante for, a large mirror for the bathroom.  But I digress, other items first.

 

DSCN1349These two gorgeous chairs I have called the “gun powder plot”, you can just see in the left hand chair two cavaliers carrying the barrels of gun powder.

 

The mirror.

DSCN1351Paul and the seller trying to place our new or rather old mirror into a bag.

If anyone knows what the items are on the table on the right please let me know. I am unsure if the thatched witches’ hats belong to the oriental wooden objects or not.  I should have asked the seller!

DSCN1355Here it is, it needs cleaning but no other work is needed, we love it.

 

DSCN1359Another purchase, our “slug” or rather fish shaped dressing gown hook for the bathroom. I think you will need to look at the picture from the side in order to see the fish.  It was painted white with bits of bronze peeping through.  Paul cleaned it and voila, it was transformed a fish balancing a chess pawn on its head (please don’t ask why).

We were all ready to go back to the Brocante on Sunday after a planned visit to the market at St Cyprian.  We wanted to look for another mirror for the guest bedroom. Unfortunately we only got as far as Castlenaud when thick heavy black storm clouds were seen gathering over the castle. Needless to say a quick retreat was in order; we made it back to Daglan just ahead of the torrential rain and thunder that lasted most of the day.

 

The most interesting event on Sunday was the fact that the stall holders in La Place de La Liberty market just pulled their parasols further down to keep the wind and rain out then continued on selling their fresh produce. They are more hardened to the weather than Paul and I.  Which is strange due to the fact that Paul and I lived in Blackpool which is in the north of England, were it rains most of the year?

 

Events:-

Castlenaud : 4th and 5th June : Brocante and vintage cars in the main car park.

Sarlat : 21st June : Fête de la Musique. Live music throughout the Medieval quarter.