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.

 
 

Cat Association Pirate and 8 à Huit Supermarket

I just have to say a very big thank you to the Cat Association Pirate and Virginie and Chris from our local 8 à Huit Supermarket who have helped and continue to help stray cats in the Daglan area. The help and support that they give is outstanding.

If you want to adopt a cat or two please check out the below website.

https://www.facebook.com/assopirate/

Here are pictures of our two beauties just to set the mood.

Angel
 

Cleo
 

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.

 

Truffle Festival

This is undoubtedly the highlight of January, Sarlat Truffle Festival which ran for two days last weekend. There are not many things that would entice me to leave the warmth of a log fire when the temperature outside is -2 and I have a bad cold but the prospect of buying a truffle wins every time.

At up to one thousand euros a kilo the fusty, musty, heady truffle is among the worlds most expensive foods, comparable to caviar that is a similar price.

You can find truffles used in moose, macerons, chocolate, and thinly sliced on top or in various meat and vegetarian dishes. When Paul and I had a holiday in Umbria many years ago we were introduced to truffle ice cream, sounds a bit icky but it was so delicious.

Due to the fact that it can be used to flavour foods before you actually use the truffle it can be quite economical. Dropped in with other foods such as eggs, pasta, chicken or rice so the truffle aroma and taste will permeate most food products you can make a small truffle last for several meals.
 

Medieval Quarter in Sarlat Medieval Quarter in Sarlat where truffle hunters and Chiefs from all over the Perigord Black sell their truffles and truffle creations.

There have always been truffles in the Perigord Black but due to the First and Second World Wars, the nurture of the truffle went into decline, on one hand due to the loss of the smallholders and on the other hand the shrinking forests due to changes of land use and the exhaustion of truffle friendly trees. Across France in the 1930’s, the truffle harvest was roughly 1000 tons. During the 1960’s replanting of trees such as the French Oak was introduced plus other trees to test the growth of truffles. Now however is the constant threat of climate change. Hotter Summers and less rainfalls in other parts of France is reducing the growth of the truffle. So as the harvest starts to decline so the price increases. Today in sharp contrast it is only about 50 tons.
 

Truffles on displayVery proud owners of the truffle selling their finds at various weights and quality.
 

Truffle mooseTruffles made into moose with grated truffle on top, or thinly sliced between pate.
 

Two young Chiefs Two young Chiefs competing for the best truffle macerons. We did buy two macerons from them and ate them while the Chiefs waited for our response. Truly delicious boys.
 

Truffle maceronsOf course we had to buy two large macerons from another Chief to take home with us. You can not beat coffee or chocolate macerons made with truffles, the flavour is magnificent.
 

Our little truffleOur little prize along side a dessert spoon, we only paid fifteen euros so a really good price. We placed the truffle on top of eggs and left them over night. The truffle had permeated the egg shell by the morning giving the scrambled eggs the luxury flavour of truffle. Now the truffle is sitting in the rice container to flavour the rice.

A pig or a dog is usually used to sniff and find truffles in the forests, however I think that we may have the first truffle cat! Our kitten Cleo loves the smell of truffle.
 

Events:-

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 28th and 29th January for the International Céou Canoe Race.

Daglan 19th March for the Second Spring Festival of Flowers.

What a pur-fect Christmas it was…

This was our kitten’s first Christmas and she loved every minute of the day. From helping to unwrap the presents (hers and ours) to playing with her new toys, wrapping paper and ribbons.
 

CleoCleo finding a fluffy mouse from underneath the wrapping paper.

 

You just cannot get better than a comfy bed with three duvets and four toy mice.

AngelA very contented looking Angel.

 

Our son came to visit over Christmas so it was an extra special time for us. He likes to keep fit and trim and only gained a few pounds in weight over the week which is brilliant, he thought it would be more. I have a tendency to over feed just a bit!
 

Mairie in Daglan.Mairie de Daglan.

 

The fourteenth century Church of St. Martin.

Church of St. Martin.I love the decorations on the church this year.

 

Hoping that you all had a brilliant holiday and Bonne Annee to everyone from the village of Daglan.
 

 
Events:-
29th December Sarlat Organic Night market.
31st December Sarlat morning Truffle Market from 9 until 12.
14th and 15th January Sarlat Truffle Festival in the Medieval Quarter.

A real tree or not a real tree that is the question!

We or rather I decided on a real tree for Christmas. “It would not be the same without a real tree “, I said. Paul however did point out that we had a new addition to our family this year, a four month old kitten, who loves to collect anything that is sparkly and has a ribbon attached. A prized collection which she stashes underneath my bed for later use. So far she has my beads, ribbons, Christmas paper, toys, glossy paper bags and string.

O.K, plan A, decorate the tree and see what happens or plan B decorate the tree, remove it to the balcony and clean up the mess.

A cautious plan A.
That's so mineCleo loves the tree but a little too much. “That’s so mine…”
 

Paul and I placed the baubles onto the tree while Cleo being helpful as ever tried to take them off. I did have a vision of a bare tree and Cleo sitting proudly, surrounded by baubles. However, after a few “no” accompanied by the pointing of the naughty finger Cleo calmed down. She still has a sneaky go now and again when she thinks she can get away with it but so far we have not had to resort to plan B, bless her she is so good.
 

Cleo and AngelCleo and Angel watching the supermarket being decorated.
 

brilliant with its gold bows and ribbonThe supermarket looks brilliant with its gold bows and ribbon.
 

 Joyeux NoëlJoyeux Noël from Daglan.
 

Cleo loves Pixar!

Our ten week old kitten whom we have named Cleo loves the Pixar “Birds on a Wire” animation, she taps the screen and follows the birds from left to right, when the short film is finished she will look behind the screen to see if the birds are hiding.

Birds on a WireA great fan of Pixar “Birds on a Wire”

 

In the past we have adopted stray or unwanted cats but we have never had a young kitten before. Everything is new and exciting for her, she thrives on exploration, she plays hard and sleeps often.

Cleo sleepingIt’s an exhausting life…Time for sleep.

Cleo the catI am wide awake now, get ready, it is play time again.

 

We thought of adopting another cat as companion for Angel because she was grieving the great loss of Phoebe who died in the Spring of this year. Angel would call for her most nights and look for her around the house at feeding time. So when the chance to adopt Cleo came there was no hesitation.

For the first couple of weeks Angel hissed at Cleo whenever she saw her but gradually Angel has mellowed and they have started to play together, they now rush about playing tag and kiss each other on the nose.

dscn1922Starting to get along together.

 

We have plenty of cat toys to play with but who needs toys when she can play for hours with an empty cardboard kitchen roll, or a pair of slippers.

dscn1875“They are my slippers Cleo”.

Angel has stopped shouting in the night and when food is ready she now looks for Cleo, wonderful.

dscn1921She is so cute.