Sunny Blackpool.

My goodness, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and there was no rain to greet me on my visit to Blackpool last week to see our son.

Blackpool became a major tourist centre when the railway was built in the 1840’s connecting it to the industrial regions of the North West of England. One of the oldest hotels of this period is the Savoy which was built in 1899 and it was this hotel I stayed for a few days. It is situated about 3km from Blackpool centre, near to the Promenade in the North Shore area.

My room was on the left of the above picture, at the side of the hotel. It had a really nice comfy bed with a spacious bathroom, gorgeous.
 

The Reception and Comfortable Lounge area.
 

The iconic Tower is on the right of the picture. It was built in 1894 and will be 125 years old this year. It was the brainchild of Sir John Bickerstaff, a former Mayor of Blackpool who was a distant ancestral relative of my husband.
 

Being a big fan of Star Trek I was overjoyed to see the tableaux of Patrick Stewart advertising the new Star Trek exhibition in the centre of Blackpool. A must see for any Trekkers planning to have a holiday in the area.

It was so brilliant visiting our son and seeing the changes that have occurred in the Blackpool area, but would I return? Although I do like the improvements that have been made since we left the town the answer is a definite no, we love France too much to return to England.
 
 

Event:-Easter Weekend, events everywhere, check with you local tourist office.


 
 

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Reserve Zoologique de Calviac.

If you are visiting the area one place that we can highly recommend people to visit is the Reserve Zoologique de Calviac. It is about 10km from Sarlat on the D704A to Souiliac and is set in woodland. It is unique in its conservation of the approximately 200 animals which come from Europe, Madagascar, South America and Oceania.

Such a gorgeous character welcoms you into the reserve.
 

One feature that I love is that you are able to walk through some of the enclosures. Proximity to animals like the lemurs, wallabies and ibis are a real treat.

I adore Lemurs.
 

They approached Paul and I as we walked through their enclosure. Obviously, no touching or feeding of any of the animals.
 

Manned Wolf have the most gorgeous long legs.

The sign on the Maned Wolf enclosure tells you that “they eat bananas, apples, pears, chicken and rabbit but not children. But to keep on the safe side, keep children behind the fence”.
 

No luck for the Black Headed Squirrel Monkey, who was trying to steel from a litter bin.
 

Vibrant colours of this Goura of Victoria Bird.
 

You can choose which animal you like best or make a donation to sponsor an animal. The Zoologists travel to different zoos in Europe to offer advice and give talks on the conservation of animals and their ecological system. It is a none profit organisation and any donation is very welcome.

They have held seminars at Blackpool Zoo which is situated very near to where Paul and I once lived in the North of England.
 

You may also meet this very friendly cat on your way out. The markings and colouring of which are so like our own cat Cleo. The picture was taken just outside of the gift shop.
 
 

Event:-Children’s Carnival in Daglan on the 29th March at 2 o’clock.
 
 

Just for Monsieur Poirot!

Imagine the scene, Monsieur Poirot boarding the Orient Express and in his luggage was the above case all ready for his moustache preparation that evening.
This was my greatest find at the Brocante at La Rogue-Geanac this morning a Vintage and rare but sadly empty kit by Marcel Rochas. Which originally held three bottles containing cologne for Monsieur.

“Anytime you slip on a sleeveless bustier or slide your hands into your skirt pockets, send a silent thanks to the late fashion designer Marcel Rochas”, (Sophie Rochas 2015).

In the ‘40s and ‘50s, Rochas pioneered such silhouettes and helped define that “je ne sais quoi” of French glamour. During his 30-year career, which began with perfume, Rochas dressed the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich and Mae West.
 

“Hold me back”, I found another linen stall.
 

The morning shadows are getting longer but it is still a gorgeous view any time of the year.
 

Paul jokingly asked the stone mason if he started with a large block and it got reduced to the items at the front of the stall. A hearty laugh was the response.
 

I loved this vintage cart. You can imagine it full of gorgeous flowers.
 

Browsing complete, in need of a treat… hot chocolate with cream.
 

Here is my version of a moustache, delicious.

 

 

Zig-Zag Gardens of Gourdon.

The Medieval houses and the gardens of the old quarter in Gourdon date from the time of Charlemagne. In 812 a Legal Act was formed for the protection of trees, vegetables and plants that were to be cultivated. The list of plants that were to be used changed the organisation of the Medieval gardens. It also was the start of the creation of separate gardens. Some herbal, vegetables, trees and a few ornamental. The division of the gardens and the plants were all used in this period.

Porte du Majou, one of the four medieval gates were built in the 14C for protection of the city and leads onto the weavers quarter next to the Chapel of Notre Dame which was built in the 15th century.
 

Dwellings that date back to the Medieval Period.
 

Superb architecture. A little warn now but still stunning.
 

Zig-Zag Gardens literally zig-zag around the Medieval quarter. We did not have time to view them all which are eight in total so that six, seven and eight will have to wait until our next visit.

Apple trees or rather the training of apple trees above, was very popular in the Middle Ages for decorating a wall but its origins date back to ancient Egypt.
 

The Labyrinth. Five pathways of the labyrinth show the path of the pilgrims at Chartres which date back to the 13C. At the centre, the rose symbolises God. The paths represent Christians, Life: long and demanding, filled with trials on the journey towards eternal life. The oldest representation of a Labyrinth was found in Siberia and were known to many ancient civilisations, Ancient Egypt and Greece. At the end of the Middle Ages however, the labyrinth became the symbol of evil and by the 14C the clergy erased mazes drawn on the ground. Those which could not be destroyed were modified into games or hidden under carpets. In 1538 a law was passed banning these designs.
 

The Rosarium. Is a lovely tranquil garden which symbolises Venus, Bacchus and the Graces. It is the symbol of vegetation in Paradise.
 

Herb Garden which was started as a separate garden in the Middle Ages, and was very popular for medicine which were cultivated by the Monasteries.
 
 

Event of the year,
Féte de Saint-Louis, August 17th to 20th, Daglan.

 
 

There and back again.

Our regular Sunday morning consists of a trip to St Cyprien market with a stop in
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle for a picnic breakfast on the banks of the River Dordogne.

Last Sunday morning the Montgolfier’s were out in force, rising like smoke over the hills.

It must be such a brilliant view across the Ceou valley from the balloons. But not for me, I’m too afraid of heights to open my eyes and admire the vista of the country side below.
 

Arriving in the car park we noticed a new sculpture being worked.
 

Can just see the dog at its masters feet in front of the figure being sculpted.
 

The Summer bunting provides a little shade.
Spots everywhere, there are over 300,000 of these rosettes covering the streets of St Cyprien.
 

On our return I could not resist a sunflower picture.
The brilliant yellow always reminds me of watching the Tour de France on TV when I lived in England.
 
 

Enjoy the sunshine.

Next blog, the Grand Gastronomie market which will be in Daglan this Sunday.