Hidden and not so Hidden Gems of St Cyprian

Arriving at St Cyprien you are first greeted, by the commercial area with Carrefour Supermarket which has a very handy chemist, plus other stores including a DIY and a household electrical stores which we have found very useful. Head up to the town and you reach the main street the Rue Gambetta.

Along this charming road there are many restaurants and bars, a good fresh fish shop and a number of boutiques, there is also an excellent shop selling beautiful cabinets and stone hand basins for the bathroom. If you are looking for a coffee, a meal or simply a stroll taking in the French atmosphere, this is the street to head for. The tourist information office is on this street and they can give you a very useful map for exploring the old town.

Our not so Hidden Gem. If you use the Credit Agricole bank in St Cyprian you will have noticed across the road from the bank a very interesting Roman style sunken garden which is I am afraid to say is somewhat neglected now but you can imagine how wonderful it once was.

It looks gorgeous even now.
 

A market is held every Sunday morning throughout the year and Wednesday mornings in the summer season.

The array and variety of fresh produce is outstanding.
 

Every basket you could possibly want is on display
 
Our Hidden Gem. A weekend Brocante is held each April and is hidden away at the back of the Sunday market in and around the Salle des Fetes.

Does anyone remember these dress makers models? My mother used to have one like the model to the back, right. Very awkward to use, she had to take it apart and rebuild every time she needed another size. With my help due to the fact that it was always very difficult to attach the pins.
 

Our purchases from the Brocante. Blue and gold leaf coffee cup
 

Plus a red and gold leaf tea cup and saucer
 
 
Event:- Cenac this Sunday, 30th April for the Flower Festival
 
 

Operation Percy Pink

We had never heard about Operation Percy Pink until we visited Saint Cyprien market a week ago. We had just finished buying our produce and were on our way back to the car when we spotted a vintage car parked at the end of the main road.
Operation Percy Pink

We soon found out that Operation Percy Pink was the code name that was used by US Special Forces to parachute thirteen men into German occupied France in August 1944 to aid the local ‘Maquis’ resistance fighters in the Perigord Noir. These commandos were the first allied troops to be dropped into the Perigord Noir, their task was to prevent the Germans moving North for as long as possible to aid the D-Day landings. This they did for several weeks which helped shorten WW2.

To honour their bravery a documentary is being produced aimed at teaching students of all ages about these men and the French Resistance in the Perigord Noir. In the documentary you can see veterans of the Resistance fighters telling their story.

Percy Pink PosterBrave men indeed,
who punched holes in petrol tanks so that the Germans would not get the fuel, blow up railway bridges so troop trains fell in the river, set fire to and destroyed what they could and used what they found to help the local people in their resistance.
 

Percy Pink WitnessA witness in 1944 who saw the US parachute team in Cadouin.
 

US Special forces, Percy Pink CommandosThe US Commandos who took part in Operation Percy Pink.
 
Operation Percy Pink Trailer on YouTube

 
Events: 30 April, Cenac Flower Festival.

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.

 
 

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.
 


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