Bonne Année.

Looking back over 2018 it has been an unusual year full of stress, worry and a few high notes. With the prospect of more eventful times to come with Brexit casting its dark shadow over our heads. Things are, shall we say, very uncertain.

What I thought is needed in these difficult times are a few delights and some positive thinking to bring a smile to our faces.

What could be more delightful than teddy bears, which started to appear in shops, cafes and Metro Stations across Paris not so long ago, not as a publicity stunt but just to bring a smile to peoples faces. This wonderful idea has gone nationwide and teddy bears started to appear everywhere. So it came has no surprise that they have been spotted in Sarlat.

Sarlat Tourist Office, adorned with Seasonal decorations and Teddy Bears.
 

Next to the Cathedral. Brilliant, it made me smile.
 

Another smile from an heart warming tale that I read recently. A stranger paid for the entire remaining stock of a sandwich shop so that future customers could eat for free. The man in his fifties, who wanted to remain anonymous, surprised staff at the Sandwich House in Grenoble by paying 238 euros for everything in the shop, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, pizzas and panini.
 

Who could not smile at our fury baby Cleo who was very excited on Christmas morning. “Another mouse”, and lots of crinkly paper… what a happy girl.
 

Angel, looking so gorgeous.

She is unwell at the moment but the vet gave us good news, she just has a tummy bug and she should be feeling better by Monday.
 
 

So staying with good news, the best time for truffles is here.

Daglan truffle market opens in the school playground every Sunday at eleven o’clock until the end of February.

Sarlat Truffle Festival is on the 19th and 20th January. Not only can you buyg truffles but there will be demonstrations and tasting of truffle creations by master chefs. You must try the truffle macaroons, they are gorgeous.
We tried grated truffle in creamed potato for the first time last week, so good.
 
 

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Diamonds of Perigord.

The first black truffles of winter arrived in Daglan this morning and Paul was there ready and waiting to see the quality on display as were so many of the other villagers.

The aromatic smell and the dark brown almost black skin is amazing, they can regularly reach up to 10cm across although some can be bigger, one was found in the Perigord in 2012 with a mass of 1.277 kg.

The flesh is at first white, then dark which is flecked by white veins which turn brown with age. The best truffles are to be found in the forests of the Perigord with the help of a truffle dog or the occasional truffle pig. Pigs have the better nose for sniffing out the truffles but in recent years they are used less and less because they do enjoy eating them.

Truffles have earned the name ‘Diamonds of Perigord’.

Waiting to look and buy.
 

Catching up with friends at the truffle market.
 

I love the elderly gentleman on the right, his facial expression as he looks down proudly at his truffles.
 

Paul opted for one of these lovelies.
 

I had to be very quick taking this picture of our truffle, our cat Cleo just adores the smell. Last seen hunting the screwed up paper bag that our truffle came in, Who knows she could be the first truffle cat of the Perigord.
 

In cooking; black truffles refine the taste of meat, fish, soups, pasta, risotto etc. We love truffle eggs, truffle grated onto tagliatelle, truffle butter on fresh crusty bread or placed into a jar of rice for a few days so the magnificent aroma permeates the rice.

Daglan Truffle Market is held in the school yard behind the Mairie every Sunday at 11 o’clock until the end of February.

Pop in and buy one or two or more and enjoy.
 
 

Paul and I visited Sarlat Christmas Market yesterday, due to the Truffle market I got a little side tracked, next blog… I promise
 
 

Enter three Witches.

“When shall we three meet again.
In thunder,
lightening,
or in rain”.

A great place to meet on a Daglan Halloween was not the Heath but at the village 8 à Huit supermarket. It was a hub of life or should that be death with skeleton decorations placed around the till area, and a table set up near the entrance with drinks, cakes and candies.

The table is where I treated myself to a slice of chocolate cake, which was very yummy. There was also vanilla cake, chocolate marble cake and candies. Which were all much appreciated by the customers.

A yummy treat.
 

Getting into the spirit of things we see Virginie standing outside the supermarket.
 

We had a busy Halloween this year with nine groups of children and adults calling, all in costume and all looking amazing.

Look at these two trick or treaters, so cute.
 

There are many interesting folk legends in France, one that is less blood curdling is the Sarramauca.

A cauchemar (nightmare) was long thought to be caused by a creature that came at night and sat on the chest of the sleeping persons to stop them from breathing correctly. In the Occitan language, Sarramauca means ‘to tighten the chest/stomach” and refers to the feeling of breathlessness.

In our home the Sarramauca is our cat Angel who delights in sitting on my chest in order to wake me up in the morning for her breakfast.

Long ago many deaths were attributed to the Sarramauca and people would try remedies similar to those used to protect themselves against witchcraft. I wonder if they would work on Angel! Animal friendly ones of course.

No such remedies here, I love the eve of Halloween.
 

Where the place?
Upon the Heath.
There to meet with Macbeth.
I come, Graymalkin.
Paddock calls anon:
Fair is foul, and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
(From scene 1.1 Macbeth)
 

No tricks here please just chocolate treats.
 

Awesome costumes. Thanks to everyone for stopping by, you made our night.

 

Due to illness both here and in England there will be no blog next week.

So take care and we hope to blog again the week after.
 
 

Praise for the French Health and Veterinary Services.

We have had a bit of everything this week but things are getting better. First my husband Paul had to have more tests at a excellent Jean Coulon hospital in Gourdon. Paul had an operation for prostate cancer a year ago, which I am pleased to say was a great success, he is now cancer free. But when more tests were needed this week due to passing a little blood, we were both worried once more. However, so pleased to report that after the tests were completed no cancer was found. Wow, de-stress was needed in the form of Yoga and a drink or two.

Secondly our little Angel was so ill last weekend that a visit to the Veterinary Clinic in Gourdon was needed first thing Monday morning. I hate going to any vets just in case it is bad news. However, the vet gave her a good checking over, Angel purred at the vets ministrations, she loves to have a massage and seems almost pleased to see him. No temperature and after two injections she was able to run back to her pet carrier. So armed with medication and a big sign of relief, we all returned home. More Yoga and more de-stress.

Angel is still not a hundred percent but she is slowly getting better each day and is now able now to go outside to relax in the sunshine.

And, unsuccessfully, hide in her box.
 

The veterinary service that we use is called Clinique Veterinaire Des Fauvettes on Route de Salviac in Gourdon. We highly recommend the service to everyone. Their help and advice is second to none.

They cover domestic and farm animals and are open everyday but Sunday. They have two consulting rooms, an ultra sound consulting room, x-ray, digital camera, surgery room for domestic and another room for farm animals, recovery rooms plus stables and paddock at the rear. There is a very handy shop in the reception area were you can buy a variety of products, for example food, dietary needs, medicine and pet toys etc.

Angel with her “I do not feel well” look on her face.

Glad to say that she is eating now and looking more like her normal self.

Bless her.
 

Events:-

Vide Grenier at Saint Cybranet, 8:00 to 18:00 on 7th October

 

Something New to Castlenaud, Knights Time with Massenie de Saint-Michel. The leisure activities and entertainments for the Lords and Ladies in the Medieval Period. 27th and 28th October.
 

Sarlat Movie Festival 17th and 18th November.
 
 

Food, Food, Glorious Food.

Everything on sale was to delight the senses at the Promenade en Gastronomie in Daglan village yesterday. From truffles, gateau, saucisson, escargots, to vegetables, fruit, candies and of course cheese and wine to name just a few of the delicacies on offer.

The View from our balcony.
 

I had to buy my Sunday treat of strawberries which are picked that morning by a local grower.
 

One simply cannot have enough garlic. I love the little dishes for garlic, oil and herbs.
 

One of the wine sellers with a sign that I totally agree with.
 

Once again we were unable to use our front door for the chicken and paella seller. The aroma drove the cats wild. We had to keep them away from the balcony in case they pulled in one of the chickens!
 

A gorgeous smile from Corrine selling various fresh baked breads and petite gateaux in front of the Boulangerie.
 

Always a teat to watch, the truffle dog who needed a little encouragement in the form of cheese snacks to find the truffles. I think citing the truffle hunting area next to the sausage stall could have something to do with the dogs inattention to his task.
 

 

Next Blog;-Dominique Allaert who is exhibiting his oil and watercolours in the Ancient Presbytere, plus a couple of interesting embroidery works.