To the Woods

Yesterday was Paul’s first mushroom foraging expedition into the forests that surround this area. Guided by two French experts off he went for a few hours.

A couple of lessons Paul leaned right at the start was, carry a stick for foraging and don’t touch the mushrooms until you are sure of what they are. There are many varieties of mushrooms in this particular area, some of which are ‘do not touch’, some are simply not edible and some are not tasty but, there are some that are delicious. So it is good to have an expert or two at your disposal to sort the good from the bad. If in doubt you can take your picked mushrooms to a pharmacy and they will tell you if they are safe to eat or not.

“Come on Paul catch up”.
 

They did not find any edible mushrooms in the forest but I am glad to say that he came home with a few field mushrooms which we will eat later today. Hopefully on the next visit he will be able to pick Girolle, Ceps or even Faux Mousseron (Fairy Ring) Champignon.
 

However, Paul did find lots of chestnuts which according to one of our foraging experts are excellent served with salmon. I must try that, it sounds delicious.
 
 

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The Dark Knight from the Tower of London.

We had a brilliant afternoon last Saturday at Château de Castelnaud where a Medieval Heritage Weekend was being hosted.

There were artisans who make swords and armour, demonstrations of various techniques and moves in sword fighting and the why and when you would perform the moves in medieval combat. With the highlight being James Hester and Stephen Pasker Shellenbean giving their extremely interesting talks and demonstrations of sword fighting from the 13th and 14th Century.

James and Stephen are historical experts in Medieval combat. James was curator of Tower Collections at the Tower of London no less. Both of the men gave talks and demonstrations in English and it was translated into French.

James Hester the Dark knight.
 

Waiting to start the tournament.
 

Stephen and James demonstrating how to win against a larger and stronger opponent.
 

James stated that the swords were extremely light and that every part of the sword could be used in hand to hand combat. Unlike those epic tournaments depicted in movies a typical fight would only last three or four strokes of the blade. While Stephan talked about the education of the Medieval Knight which consisted of geography, sciences, Latin, mathematics and music. For example, mathematics for judging how near the opponent is to you, their arm span, height and weight. Music for timing and movement, so that you strike at the key moment and move quickly out of the way. But first a knight was taught wresting from a young age, which helped to build muscle and agility so that they could use the skills in the practice of sword combat.

The tournament begins with a challenge from Kevin. The score was calculated by how many strokes made contact with the opponent.
 

A presentation of civil fencing in the 12th to 14th centuries by Olivier Gourdon and Franck Cinato.
 

An artisan describing his work producing amazing custom made armour. You could have a complete set made and be armoured head to toe in only two months for a suit of plain armour, somewhat longer if a pattern was introduced.
 

Amazing work.
 

I have always pictured myself as the next Arogorn or Legolas from the Lord of the Rings. Well a girl can dream. This sword was perfect, so light allowing me to give a good swing, it was excellently balanced.
 
 

Event:- Daglan this Saturday evening at 7 o’clock – Soiree Cabaret with Paris-Londres at the Salle Des Fêtes. With an aperitif and nibbles. Ten euro per adult and three euro for children.

 
 

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.

 

 

What? No men in high heels!

Le Fête de la Saint-Louis is a Fantastic Carnival weekend held at the end of August each year in Daglan. It transforms the the usually quiet village of Daglan into a four day Festival. The highlight of which is always the parade on a Sunday afternoon. The costumes and floats are amazing.

I must tell you a little story of what happened a few years ago when the theme of the parade was Carnival. The Familia decided to make the most fantastic float with men and ladies costumes for which they needed high heel shoes but found they were rather expensive in France. So one of the family members was sent over to England to buy the shoes. Once inside the store the person had to try on the shoes! Which was funny to the bemused crowd of onlookers and a little embarrassing for the person and for the store assistant who insisted “they suit you sir”. Having posted the shoes to Daglan he was informed that more shoes were needed. This time he went to the store just before closing time to avoid onlookers. All well and good until his return flight when he had to explain to a customs officer about the contents of his luggage.

No high heels needed this year, the theme was Video Games.

Los Amigos lead the parade through the streets of Daglan.
 

Look I am so strong I can stop the parade with one littler finger.
 

The best floats of the parade were Street Fighterand The Ninja Turtles of the Daglan Mairie.
 

Looking awesome.
 

Super Mario.
 

Impromptu concert in the street.
 

Magnificent guys but you do need to sort out your bra.
 

Cheers Richard and Rosemary enjoying a drink at la Cantine after the parade yesterday.
 

 

Event:- this evening at nine o’clock the village is holding a Bal Musette with music by Los Amigos, entrance is free.
 
 

Dominique ALLAËRT

The Exhibition of watercolour and oil paintings capture the true beauty of the Perigord. This is a man of extreme talent, his perception, colour and artistic genius is truly unique. I have picked just four of his many paintings for this blog but to be honest I love them all. You can see more of his work at his website Art par Dominique ALLAËRT.

The exhibition is open until the 18 August on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 14:00-18:30 and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:30 at the Ancien Presbytère in Daglan.

Due to the composition and “the artistic eye”, each one has amazing detail that draws you into the scene so that you see something different each time that you look.

The gorgeous combination of colours captures the ancient stonework of Monpazier.
 

Dominique setting up his work for the exhibition.
You can buy different sizes, framed or unframed at a variety of prices.
 

You need to see this painting in order to experience the full depth. Different textures create a 3D effect which draws you deep into the forest.
 

I could just sit by the river dangling my feet into the water on a hot Summers day.
 

In midwinter the lone tree stands in the snow, once again superb depth and the colours are amazing.

 
 

Dominique very kindly asked if I would like to show two or three pieces of my own work in his exhibition. I picked two which are in the second room of the exhibition. I will be exhibiting my work from the middle of July to the middle of August next year in the Ancien Presbytère. it will be the first exhibition of my embroidery work so I am a little nervous already.


Une cabane en pierre sèche – A dry stone hut.
 

Dame médiévale dans son jardin – Medieval lady in her garden.
 
 

Come along, take a look and buy a few of the works of art to remind you of the Perigord.