Up, Up and away…

…in my beautiful balloon.

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier was born in 1740 and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier was born in 1745, they were paper manufacturers from Annonay in the Ardèche region of France. Both were inventors in their own right but are mostly remembered for their joint collaborations in inventing piloted hot air balloons. They launched the first ascent in 1783 which covered 2km and lasted ten minutes at a maximum altitude of about 2,000m. Success followed success and the Montgolfier hot air balloons were, and still are, a prominent feature in the “skyscape” of France, especially in the Perigord Noir.

 
Down, down over the forest at Castlenaud.

 
Slowly the balloon descended towards the house!

 
Apparently just missing the roof.

 
A companion landing in the field in front of the house and close to the road.

 
These pictures were taken a few weeks ago on our way to Sarlat early one morning. “Champagne breakfast over the forest anyone”?

 
They floated right over our heads and you could see the people inside the baskets. What a superb view they must have, not of us but of the Château’s, the Dordogne River and the surrounding forests and countryside, sight seeing at its best.

 
 
Event – Brocante at La Rock de la Gageac, 3rd September

 
 

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A drone at breakfast!

Most Sunday mornings Paul and I drive to Castelnaud for a picnic breakfast of naughty but nice pastries enjoyed by the river Dordogne but this Sunday was special we had a drone for company.

We picked our picnic spot with a gorgeous view of the early morning mist over the water.

We had just sat down to eat when a man on the next picnic table to Paul and I began assembling a drone.
Here it is all ready to take off.

For those of you who are interested, it looked like a DJ1 Phantom 4 advanced Quadcopter which has a 20 megapixel camera capturing high definition 4K video at 60fps. The drone has a maximum control range of 7km.

Gaining altitude and speed rapidly, it flow over the Dordogne River, pausing to hover now and again in order to take aerial pictures.

After the wow factor of the drone, we returned to the picnic and relaxing by waters of the tranquil river.

 
 

“Is this song from the Sound of Music Mummy”?

This is what I overheard from a little girl on the next table to us while we were having lunch at Café De La Fleur yesterday. I wasn’t listening in but it was so easily heard and so funny. The song was Edith Piaf, singing Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regrets). When her mother told her that it wasn’t from the Sound of Music the girl went on to ask if the song was from the Madagascar film, “it sounds Russian to me”, she said. When her mother said no that it was a French song the little girl said “Oh I had better be quiet”, and Mummy said, “Yes do”.

Café de la Fleur, I love the bar outside for the Summer drinkers to enjoy in the sun.

 
On Paul’s second Birthday we had a meal at Cafe De La Fleur, his real Birthday was the day before. So sad they had run out of fish so there was no fish and chips to enjoy, but he loved the succulent steak and the mountain of chips. Shock of all shocks, he could not finish it all.

 
The owners of Café de La Fleur are looking for new owners to adopt two most adorable kittens.

This one just needs a little bit more practice with the magic trick of pulling the table cloth from the table.

Good news from Charlotte (who runs the Café with her husband Robin), they are thinking about having their own float for next years Fête and having a band playing at the Café one night over the Fête weekend, brilliant we will be there.

Le Croquant de Sarlat.

Le Croquant de Sarlat is a dry and crunchy, caramelised sugar ‘biscuit’ like treat, often made with almonds or walnuts. It is mainly made in the South West of France with each pâtisserie having their own, closely guarded variation on the recipe.

It was only a couple of months ago that Paul and I first saw these biscuits at Pâtisserie Massoulier in Sarlat so, feeling the need to assuage a sweet tooth we just had to try them.

Croquant is French for crisp or crunchy, the ‘biscuit’ is often named ‘crunchy Perigord’ and they are delicious.

 
The ‘biscuits’ may be large or small, plain or with nuts.

 
They are something like a brittle, hard and perfect to crumble over ice cream, layered into parfaits, or to eat as they are.

 
More tempting delights at Pâtisserie Massoulier.
33 Rue de la République, 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda.
 
 
Event:-. The bunting and flags are flying, the Bumper Cars are all set up to go in La Place de La Liberty. Daglan Fête starts on Friday 18th August.

 
 

Daglan.

Preparations for Le Fête de la Saint-Louis and the Tourist Office!

The Daglan Tourist Office/Museum is one place we have not covered much in our blog. With this in mind we set out to rectify the omission. However on our walk to the Tourist Office we became a little side tracked with the preparations for the Fête de la Saint-Louis which will be held this weekend. The bunting was already in place, then came the flags showing the themes of past Fêtes.

No plants were harmed during the taking of this photograph

 
Here we have a navigation flag indicating the theme of the 2003 Fête.
 

Tourist office and museum

If you are ever visiting Daglan do pop into the Tourist Office where you can pick up lots of information about the area.

The Tourist Office/Museum is open throughout the Spring and Summer, 10 till 12.30 and 2 till 4. closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

 
At the rear of the tourist office is a vineyard where there is a display of antique farm equipment and a variety of grapes.

The children from the Primary School in Daglan harvest the grapes in the Autumn.

Grapes are rich in vitamin C and B, glucose, fructose and have many trace elements such as calcium so have many health benefits. Not forgetting of course, they are great to eat and to drink.

 
I was once a dress designer before I became a Forensic Psychologist so this display of vintage sewing machines was fascinating for me.

You will find antique household and farm implements, instructions for dry stone walling and construction of dry stone huts for which the village is famous.

You will also see pictures of Daglan , this is a vintage La Place de la Liberté. Im not sure when it was taken but looking at the car I would suggest the 1920s

Not much has changed except that the tower is missing from the house in the middle of the picture and the small Boulangerie is now closed. The new Boulangerie is to be found across the road from the Square.

Entry to the museum is free.

Another view of the place de la Liberté You can just see our home in this picture.
Picture from the Daglan Mairie.

 
 

Event:- Fête de la Saint Louis 18th to 21st August in Daglan.

 
 

On Hot Summer Nights

During the months of July and August the villages in the area host their “Marches Nocturnes”, which are a brilliant way of experiencing the local produce and culture of the region. What could be better on hot Summer nights than food, wine, music, dance and most of all excellent company.

During the evening markets tables are set up around a central square or along the main road of the villages and vendors sell everything you need for a good meal, including the excellent wine of the region. There is usually live music or a DJ and dancing well into the evening. Which is what we did in St Cyprien and St Pompon.

Saint Cyprien

Not even a rain shower stopped the revelry in St Cyprien.
 

Sherry and Angus ready for their dinner
 

Brilliant musicians topped the evening.
 

Saint Pompon

Such a delicious choice of food.
 

Wow, we had to try a selection of the scrumptious desserts above.
 

This gentleman danced around the bottles, sang, played an instrument of four harmonica’s, plus castanets.
 

You meet such a lot of interesting people. The couple at the end of our table were on holiday from the North of France. We were telling them about the places of interest in the area, including Daglan of course.
 

Angus and I had to get up and dance YMCA, great fun.
 

Boogie Night for Sherry and I. We had such a good time that we are all going to St Pompon again this Saturday… see you there.

You need to arrive early for a good seat and remember to take your own cutlery.
 
 

Events :-

It is that time of year again, four nights of no sleep but boy do we have fun.


 
 

Would Paella fit through the letter box?

Food glorious food, or rather “Promenade en Gastronomy Daglan 2017”. Our first impression of the event was the unmistakable aroma of roasting chicken and paella which permeated our home last Sunday morning. Our cat Angel sitting by the front door and licking her lips was also a sure sign that the Gastronomy Sunday was up and running.

The Paella and roast chicken stall made using our front door interesting to say the least and keeping the shutters closed reduced the temptation for our cats to go on secret raids. I had visions of Angel dragging a whole roast chicken home.

The side door was also temporarily blocked by a large white van being unloaded. No problem we waited for the lane to clear to enjoy the experience.

For Sunday lunch we could have lowered a basket from the balcony.

 
Le Place De La Liberté was packed with stalls offering various types of food and drink.

 
Long queues of locals and tourists were forming to buy the produce.

 
Tempted by truffles, these looked so good.

 
The forest materialised the day before for the truffle dog demonstration. Such a gorgeous dog who found the truffles in record time, but I think that the aroma of chicken, sausage and paella was a great distraction.

 
The Boulangerie stall selling various types of bread.

 
One simply cannot have a Gourmand Sunday without garlic.

 
Or wine, this is just one of the many stalls selling wine.

 
Perhaps a little too much wine (or beer), but it looked like great fun.

 
 
Events :-

Dominique ALLAËRT is displaying his wonderful watercolours.
See and buy them at l’Ancien Presbytère, Daglan until the 26th August.
Dominique ALLAËRT, Aquarelliste.