I speak very good English!

While I was watching our cats playing in the lane at the side of our property I overheard a group of tourists chatting outside the supermarket which is situated at the side of our home. Pointing at a temporary sign one lady asked the group “Do you know what it says”.
“No idea”, said the other people in the group.
So I turned around and explained that the Boulangerie is closed for annual holiday, but that they could buy fresh bread in the supermarket, and it is delicious.
The response was “Wow, you do speak very good English” !


You can just see the sign propped up against the wall on the right of this picture. The Supermarket is the building on the right.
 

As with many French village houses we don’t have much in the way of garden so we need to make the most of what we have.

This red rose bush is in glorious bloom at the moment, unfortunately we had a thunder storm here last night which explains the droopy flowers which took the full force the heavy rain.
 

Our living wall is nearly in full bloom.
 

A red theme continues on our veranda.
 

With a jasmine plant in the corner, the aroma fills the veranda with its gorgeous perfume.
 

Cleo found a cool and shady corner yesterday in temperatures of over 30C.
 

 

Event:-

Art competition in and around Daglan this Sunday, May 21st from 8am. Open to all artists, children and adult, choose your site in the village, by the river or in the surrounding countryside , create your masterpiece and submit it for judgement…

Bonne chance

Information from :-
Mairie de Daglan, 05 53 28 41 16.
Tourist office 05 53 29 88 84.
Couleurs d’Aquitaine 06 50 85 36 14

 

 

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.

Nearly Easter

The next two blogs will be on my favourite time of year…, Easter. As a confirmed chocoholic, being faced with the mastery of the chocolatiers in the Perigord is pure delight.

So first, the array of Easter delights at Maison Carré at Castlenaud-la-Chapelle.

As I entered the shop this morning my senses were hit with the outstanding display of chocolate creations which are produced by the Master Chocolatier.
 

 Easter themed cartoon charactersHere are just a few examples from the large selection on show.

There are Eggs from small to large and Easter bells, bunnies, and chickens, to pretty flowers and Easter themed cartoon characters, all displayed on the tables and cabinets throughout the shop.
 

too gorgeous to eatSome are just too gorgeous to eat, well nearly!
 

Service with a smileThey also sell the most delicious macarons and gâteaux, petit and grand, that you have ever tasted. Plus an assortment of fine French breads and pastries, which are always served to you with a smile.
 

The youngest member of the team. The youngest member of the team at Maison Carré. It is a delightful Boulangerie, Patisserie and Master Chocolatier in one shop.
 

Sunday breakfastPaul and I go most Sundays mornings to buy our breakfast treat of the week and to stock up with their delicious breads.
 

delicious french  breadWe have found that French bread will freeze well for short periods of time of up to a week if wrapped in cling film.
 

Next blog:- The Easter delights of Sarlat and Périgueux.

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.
 

Party time at Café de la Fleur.

Robin and Charlotte have worked wonders on this property, transforming a neglected bistro into something quite special. They have worked extremely hard to renovate the first floor bar area/restaurant and the second floor which is now open for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Party’s etc. Most of the village attended the grand official opening last Saturday night.
 

dscn2301 Robin and Charlotte.
 

dscn2299Everyone was given a warm welcome with free wine and party food.
 
Gorgeous oak beams and interesting wallpaper made from newspaper and magazine cuttings.

dscn2298and a very welcoming fire on a cold evening.
 

dscn2303All girls together. I am the Hobbit size person wearing the Doctor Who scarf.
 

dscn2307Bonne Chance Robin, Charlotte and Café de la Fleur.

 

Event:- I am so excited, towards the end of last year I was asked to write a article for French Property News magazine about our buying experience, the renovation of our property, our village and the area in general. I can not tell you how nervous I was after sending the article to the editor but she loved it and a few days ago I was sent a copy to read complete with our pictures. Wow, the article is in the March issue.

More Hidden Gems of Sarlat

It is always worth wondering around the side streets of any town in the Perigord Noir however, the Medieval Quarter in Sarlat stands out as one of the best, where you can find hidden treasures literally just around every corner. This happened to Paul a few weeks ago when he was passing the time waiting for me while I was at our hairdressers.

If you walk up the main shopping street in Sarlat, pass the chocolatiers, Burton’s Store and the store that sells knifes and guns! You will come to a small cobbled lane on the left that doubles back and rises up to take you around the bend. There, hidden around the bend on the Rue J.J. Rousseau you will find the 17th Century Chapel des Pénitents Blancs with its magnificent portico.
 

17th Century Chapel des Pénitents BlancsChapel of the White Penitents XVIIth century
 

dscn2256The beautiful baroque door is the only ornament of the Chapel of the Récollets (a reformed branch of the Franciscan order) of the White Penitents.

In 1944 the chapel was classified as an historical monument and since 1970, it has housed a museum of sacred art.
 

In the old quarter take the lane which is found on the left of the Cathedral and runs past the Lantern of the Dead.
 

twisty, narrow laneTake the first left at the antique shop and you will find a twisty, narrow lane which in turn leads you into the myriad of Medieval properties which we had never seen before.
 

A beautiful balustradeA beautiful balustrade with artisan jewellery shops on the first level of the property.

Meandering through the narrow cobbled lanes of artisans and art galleries you will come to Rue Fénelon, turn left where you will find cafes, a Thai Restaurant (which we must check out) and antique shops.
 

Tall houseOn the right, tucked in between the shops you will see another interesting 14th C property.
 

Aux Bonheurs De SopheFurther along the same lane towards Rue de la Liberté you will find on the right, ‘Aux Bonheurs De Sophe’. A Millinery shop where I could spend hours browsing and buying almost everything. It sells beautiful materials, cottons, wools and accessories, in fact everything that you need, including silk embroidery threads which I needed for my new hobby.

Past the milliners you will see the Truffle Market on the right and the magnificent Place de la Liberté with its Wednesday and Saturday markets.