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.

 
 

Easter Egg Treasure Hunt and Daglan Village

Children of all ages gathered at the local Primary School for the Easter Egg treasure hunt around Daglan village yesterday morning. Various eggs, candy and clues were hidden in and around the village but the one that the children wanted was the chocolate rabbit which found would lead to an Easter surprise.

On the hunt through and around the market.On the hunt through and around the market.
 

Hidden cluesOne clue was attached to the bush which was at the side of the supermarket. This is a smart little girl collecting all of the treats to share out later.
 

Eggs and candy's were hidden in and around our plants on the wall, but no rabbit! Eggs and candy’s were hidden in and around our plants on the wall, but no rabbit!
 

Daglan Village

Daglan MairieTaking a walk through the village this morning I could not resist taking another picture of our Mairie looking splendid in the morning sunshine.
 

Café de la Fleur Robin taking a well earned break on the balcony at Café de la Fleur.
 

flower pot men If anyone is in my age group you will remember Bill and Ben the flower pot men which was televised in the 1950’s and 1960’s in the UK.
 

the most gorgeous wisteriaThe wow factor, the most gorgeous wisteria I have ever seen is to be found next to Le Thé Vert in the village.
 

delicious chocolate cakeA special thank you to Chris and Virginie for this delicious chocolate cake. It is truly a chocoholics dream with every slice.

Happy Easter from Daglan
 

Easter Events:-

Sarlat and Marqueyssac are both holding Easter Treasure Hunts this weekend.
 
 

One of our dinosaurs is missing!

One of our dinosaurs is missing is what I was thinking when Paul and I went to Marqueyssac Gardens last week for their Grand 20th Anniversary open day. As garden ornaments go, having your own dinosaur is very OTT. Could we find a dinosaur… no… and we looked everywhere. I thought that it would be lurking behind one of the many high bushes in the garden, like the dinosaur that I remember in the Natural History Museum in London. I turned a corner in the museum to be face to face with a dinosaur. Lets just say that I was making more noise than the dinosaur exhibit.
 

The gardens are magnificentI must say that the gardens are magnificent, the views of the Dordogne valley are wonderful and well worth a visit or two.
 

rosemary in lavender.Above is a favourite on our walk through the gardens, the curling rosemary hedge in a bed of lavender.
 

Tree HouseThis is just one of the hands on displays that are new to Marqueyssac this year, the double tree house.
 

Play TimeAlong the “Esplanade” were new musical animations designed and constructed by Alfred de la Neuche for children of all ages to play with, (including myself).
 

Tree ClimbingWe were informed that we could have a go at shimmying up the ropes to the top of the tallest tree for a breath taking view over the valley, and even after reassurances that it was easy we said ‘no thank you, we will watch you’.
 

flowers and perfumeThis bicycle train looked like old style bird cages, they were full of flowers and perfume.
 

in the ChâteauI love this room in the Château from the wallpaper to the furniture gorgeous.
 

 peacockStill looking for “dino” we spotted this peacock, what magnificent plumage.

After looking everywhere Paul and I decided to ask in the gift shop. It turns out that we were too early for the unavailing of the dinosaur which would take place in the late afternoon.

An Allosaurus named KanThe above was as close as we came. No problem, we shall have another visit in a few months time to see a 7.5 metre long and 2.5 metres high, 150 million years old Allosaurus named Kan.
 

Other events at Marqueyssac will be the Great Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday and Monday, where eggs will be hidden around the gardens.

Curious about Nature? Arts and Crafts workshops, creating animal masks, mobiles and dolls. During Easter and All Saints Day, plus every weekend during the school holidays in the months of May and June.
 
 

Daglan Spring Festival – Part two.

The variety of plants on display at the Daglan Spring Festival was amazing. Just one problem, I have a terrible memory for plant names, I just could not remember the names of any of the plants that I wanted for our balcony and courtyard. Luckily for me I have an expert on hand to help me out of this predicament. Sherry, an absolute marvel, from my description of the plants that I wanted she was able to tell me what I was looking for. Brilliant and thank you so much.

Taken from our balcony as the stalls were setting up, from pansies to fruit trees and plenty in between.
 

This is a local wine grower serving one of the older residents of the village. I can recommend his wine especially the rosé. In the lower left of the picture you will see a tray of ‘make your own wine kits’, various young grape vines.
 

Gorgeous variety and colour,
 

This flower seller has a stall on Daglan market every Sunday morning, she always has a wonderful variety of plants for sale.
 

I asked Paul to take a picture of an array of exotic bushes then I spotted an outstanding red rose and went in to investigate so spoiled the shot a little!
 

Children’s works of art around a bush in the Presbytère garden.
 

It does not matter what event is taking place in the village all the community works together. These lovely flowers were made by the children from the school in Daglan
 

Paul and I bought tickets for the tombola and what a surprise, we won a prize, a gorgeous apple tree. Which was presented to Paul by our Maire Pascal Dussol, who informed Paul that the tree will produce wonderful Daglan apples.
Paul brought the tree into the kitchen for me to look at, Cleo loved it so much that she gave it a large cat hug!
 

Only yesterday morning Paul and I where wondering where we could place the fat balls for the birds, problem solved, the branches of our prize are perfect… brilliant.
 

Event:- Happy Birthday Judith and a very happy ongoing 25th Wedding Anniversary to you and Paul.
 

Fred and Ethel!

It is pouring with rain today so a walk down the many pretty lanes near our village is out of the question. However, we did take some pictures a few days ago on our cold but sunny morning walk.

Walk through our village of Daglan and turn tight in the direction of Saint-Cybranet you will see Fred and Ethel guarding one of the local fields.

Fred and EthelFred and Ethel, as you can see are stick people relaxed and leaning backwards, Fred on the left and Ethel on the right. I really should get out more!
 

After taking the picture of Fred and Ethel I realised that the local stable ‘Les Écuries Du Claud’ looks like it is sinking slowly into the mire!

dscn2326The stables are build below road level but the effect is quite unusual. You can see Peyruzel on top of the hill in the background.
 

Turn right at Les Euries du Claud and it will take you along a lovely country lane.
dscn2318You will walk alongside the river Céou on the left and see more horses on the right.
 

dscn2331Passing the time of day chatting with one of the locals.
 

Walk a little further and you arrive at a park, there are wooden benches here so that you can sit and enjoy the view.

dscn2333Spring is in the air, Catkins by the turbulent river.
 

dscn2338Back into Daglan and a gorgeous array of colour.

Halloween and All Saints Day

Halloween is the contraction of “All Hallows Eve” the tradition originates from Samhains Day. He was born in Ireland and the legend states that he was nicknamed Jack O’Lantern. He was a drunkard who would stagger around with his lantern in his hand and who cheated the devil twice. After his death, his soul could not enter Heaven or Hell, but he convinced the Devil to give him a fire ember which he put into a hollowed out turnip to provide light for himself in his everlasting wanderings. When the potato famine struck, the Irish people who immigrated to the USA took many myths and legends with them, and so the tradition of Halloween began.

 

Halloween Shop DisplayOne of my favourite shops in Sarlat, I love the pumpkin.

 

Haloween PumpkinPaul scooped out the pulp so that I could make pumpkin, ginger and carrot soup and then I carved the face, basic I know but I am trying.
Practice is needed I think!

 

HalloeenThe pumpkin in the window, illuminated with a cherry scented candle inside, it gave the pumpkin a strange red tint but it smelt gorgeous.

We had more children at our door this year, three groups, the costumes were brilliant and they all came with bags for the sweets. Our kitten Cleo was not too happy, she took one look at the costumes and ran up the stairs to peep around the corner at the children.

Many Catholics throughout France honour their Saints, Martyrs and deceased loved ones on the 1st November, known as ‘All Saints Day’ or ‘All Hallows’, called ‘La Toussaint’ in France. Our village is no exception, so many people attended the church service this morning, after which they took flowers to the cemetery. It is customary for people to place flowers, gifts and candles onto the tombs and graves of their loved ones. La Toussaint is a National Holiday where administrative offices, shops, restaurants, banks etc. are closed so that families can honour this day.

 

Chrysanthemums are known as the flower for the deadChrysanthemums were in every market to buy. In France and Italy, Chrysanthemums are known as the flower for the dead.

 

It was Pope Gregory IV who in 835 ordered all of the Christians to celebrate Toussaint. The date and custom actually derives from the start of the potato harvest when children would join with their families to bring in the harvest of potatoes in early November.

 

Events:-

8th to 11th November : Film Festival in Sarlat.
11th November : Armistice Day.
3rd to 12th December: Truffle Market Sarlat.

 

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?