December 2018 – January 2019 Issue 5
érigord Local The Region’s FREE magazine in English
The Winter Edition Inside: Winter Birds, Christmas Wreaths, Le Langage des Arbres & Mistletoe Wine, Cookery and even The Three Kings, Isabelle de Limeuil, Artisan Dinandier La Guillotine & Dordogne Archery Two Great Photographers
Make your garden
a winter wonderland
for wildlife www.vivara.fr
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4 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL
Welcome to the winter edition In this edition you will see that we’ve tried to include a bit more French. We are often asked to do this and although we cannot do everything in two languages, we’ve included some summaries in the alternate. This has seemed like a varied edition, we’ve winter birds, local archery, Cahors wines and recipes, the language of trees, wreath making, a coppersmith, investments and even the guillotine! Valerie Thompson tells us about her travels down the River Dordogne and some of the treasures she found along the way. Then we have a quick look at Isabelle de Limeuil, a local lady who played a dangerous role in the Court of Catherine de Medici. We hope there’s a little of something for everyone! Bienvenue à l’édition d’hiver Dans cette édition, nous avons essayé d’inclure d’avantage de textes français. Cela nous a été très souvent demandé et, comme nous ne pouvons pas tout publier dans les deux langues, nous nous sommes efforcés d’inclure quelques résumés dès que cela était possible. L’édition que nous vous proposons est très variée : les oiseaux d’hiver, deux grands photographes locaux, un club de tir à l’arc, des vins de Cahors et des recettes, le langage des arbres, la fabrication de couronnes, un dinandier, des investissements et même la guillotine ! Valérie Thompson nous raconte son périple le long de la Dordogne et nous parle de certains des trésors qu’elle a trouvés sur son chemin. Puis nous nous intéresserons à Isabelle de Limeuil, une femme de la région qui joua un jeu dangereux au sein de la cour de Catherine de Médicis. Nous espérons qu’il y en ait pour tous les goûts ! Website: www.localmagazinesfrance.com Email: email@example.com
Doing a Geographical
The Three Kings
On this day...
UK Investments in France
Great photographers Emma ELLIÉS
Great Photographers Nicolas GASCHARD
Meander down the Dordogne Valley
Isabelle de Limeuil
Feeding our Feathered Friends
Sid the Super Spider
SW Wines - Cahors - with recipes
Le Langage des Arbres
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The Local Magazine - Périgord & Quercy
The Périgord Local ISSN: 2608-497X. No part of this publication may be copied, used or reproduced without written consent. No responsibility is accepted for any claim made by advertisers/contributors. Please check that advertisers are appropriately registered. Toute reproduction, utilisation ou copie, même partielles, de cette édition sont interdites sans un accord écrit de la direction du magazine. Nous déclinons toute responsabilité pour les éventuelles réclamations des annonceurs ou intervenants. Merci de vérifier que les annonceurs sont enregistrés convenablement. Propriété et direction : A. ATKINSON, Las Razes, Touffailles (82190) Siret: 518 460 605 00018. Assistée par Valérie Rousseau. Imprimé par - Gráficas Piquer.
(1) Exemple Location Longue Durée pour un nouveau Hyundai KONA 1.0 T-GDi 120 Initia 49 mois/40 000 km, sous condition de reprise. (2) SANS APPORT : 1 er loyer majoré de 1000 e couvert si éligible à prime à la conversion (voir service-public.fr) puis 48 loyers de 195 e . Entretien offert sans condition. Modèle présenté : Nouveau Hyundai KONA 1.0 T-GDi 120 Executive avec peinture er métallisée. (2) SANS APPORT: 1 loyer majoré de 1000 e couvert si éligible à prime à la conversion (voir service-public.fr) puis 48 loyers de 290 e . Entretien offert sans condition. Voir conditions en concession, si acceptation par Cetelem Renting, RCS Paris 414 707 141. Hyundai leasing est la marque sous laquelle Hyundai distribue les produits de Cetelem Renting. Détails : hyundai.fr * La garantie 5 ans kilométrage illimité de Hyundai s’applique uniquement aux véhicles Hyundai vendus initialement par un Distributeur Agréé officiel Hyndai à un client final, conformément aux termes et conditions du carnet de Garantie Entretien & Assistance du véhicule.
6 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL
Doing a Geographical If you’re reading this, chances are that you have moved from another country to make a new life in France. You had a dream. At the very least you hoped for better weather, cleaner air, less stress, cheaper wine. Some of us had bigger dreams: starting a business, having time to pursue a passionate interest, writing a book. It takes a lot of courage to move to a new place. So, we can assume you are courageous. Now, I’ll ask you to be honest with yourself, really honest, and ask yourself if there was something or someone that you wanted to get away from.
This is known in therapy-speak as ‘doing a geographical’ – believing that if you go to a new place for a fresh start you will leave your problems behind. Wrong. My mother in law was a champion at doing a geographical. In her 90s she moved 7 times from the south of England to the north to the south. Well, you get the idea. We used to joke that when she died she’d just think she was waiting for her furniture to arrive. The sad truth is that when she died at nearly 100 she still hadn’t found peace. The answer to her unhappiness was within her, not in a new town or flat or landscape. Often the problems that we hoped to leave behind can be made less present in our everyday lives by their physical absence. The Channel is a great psychological barrier. Nevertheless, we are still someone’s child or parent or friend. Distance can’t erase those connections, even if we would like it to. And if you procrastinated in your former life you can be sure that you’ll still be a procrastinator in your new life. Are you still finding reasons for not doing what you came here to do? Still fighting with your partner about the same old things? Still drinking too much, or maybe even a little bit more? Sometimes I help couples who have moved to France and find that their relationship has taken a turn for the worst. Almost without exception this turns out
to be because they believed that moving would fix what wasn’t working between them. And in the excitement of looking forward to a new adventure or a peaceful retirement they have forgotten to consider the possible drawbacks of relocating, particularly relocating to a country where one or both of them don’t speak the language. On top of that there are real drawbacks to upping sticks; moving is stressful, particularly when it involves navigating completely new systems and bureaucracies. It’s not easy to make new friends and losing a long-established social and professional network can throw couples into unexpected chaos when they find themselves having to rely on each other more than usual. As the song tells us, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Couples may find it easier to talk about new plans and projects than to talk about what they’ve lost through moving to another country and about their disappointment when the dreams that fuelled the move fail to materialise. This column will be a regular feature and will aim to address some of those issues. Anne Kearns is a retired psychotherapist and author who enjoys helping couples to navigate the obstacles of the three r’s: relocation, retirement and regret. She is based in Le Vigan and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 7
ISSIGEAC Le Relais de l’Ancienne Gare - Sylvie & Hervé Rodot - Route d’Eymet - 24560 Issigeac 05 53 58 70 29 email@example.com www.relais-anciennegare.com Sylvie and Hervé Rodot look forward to welcoming you to their lovely restaurant where the dining room has a bit of a train theme; or to their floral terrace for a lovely summer meal. The restaurant is about 800m outside the medieval village of Issigeac in lovely leafy countryside.
Opening Hours: 12h15 – 13h45 19h15 – 20h45 Open all year and every day except Monday lunchtimes, all day Thursdays and Sunday evenings You are advised to call and make a reservation
The Rodot Family – father and son chefs ~ Hervé, the father: traditional and gastronomic. Fabrice, the son: creative and modern. Victoria and Fabrice welcome you to their restaurant for all seasons – in winter there’s an open fire, charming open stone-work and a lovely cosy ambiance then in summer there’s a large shaded terrace
Fresh seasonal produce used to prepare fine cuisine. Easy parking opposite.
Repas de Noël le 25 décembre Réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre le 31 décembre Repas du déjeuner le 1er janvier 2019 Jours de fermeture : mardi et mercredi. Pour nos actualités d’hiver, consultez notre page Facebook
L’Atelier, 66 tour de ville, 24560 Issigeac 05 53 23 49 78 Restaurant L’Atelier Issigeac
Published March, June, September and December each year The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019
8 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL
Mistletoe by A Atkinson
uropean, white-berried mistletoe, Viscum album is the best known variety of mistletoe and the one that popular traditions and folklores are based on. It’s the only variety with the distinctively forked branches, paired symmetrical evergreen leaves and pearlescent white-berries that are associated with midwinter and Christmas. Mistletoe exists by parasitically attaching onto and then penetrating into the branches of trees or shrubs using a structure called the haustorium, through this they absorb water and nutrients from their host. Technically, mistletoe is a hemiparasite, because it can perform at least a little photosynthesis for at least a little of its life cycle. However, this distinction is largely academic. Some sub-species of Viscum album have adapted to live on evergreen trees such as firs. However, here
in France, it’s the main Viscum album that we see, particularly in winter, when it grows as large spherical plants (often up to a meter in diameter) in the branches of deciduous trees. This parasite prefers trees with softer bark, it traditionally loves old apple trees but can also be found on ash, lime, birch, hawthorn and larch but rarely on oak and strangely not on pear trees. Mistletoes have to be grown from seed, directly on a host, and cannot be cultivated directly in the earth. It is possible to encourage the growth of a new plant by rubbing the sticky white berries onto the bark of a host tree. Replicating the process usually undertaken by birds. Birds have developed very specific ways of dealing with the very sticky mistletoe berries that contains the seed. Some seeds pass straight through their digestive systems, the resulting (rather sticky) dropping then
The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 9
Sitting under the mistletoe (Pale-green, fairy mistletoe), One last candle burning low, All the sleepy dancers gone, Just one candle burning on, Shadows lurking everywhere: Someone came, and kissed me there. (From the poem ‘Mistletoe’ by Walter de la Mare) adhere to tree bark. Whilst other birds dine on the berries and then wipe the sticky residue (often including the seed) off their beaks and onto tree branches. Mistle thrush and black cap are perhaps the keenest consumers of these mysterious, sticky white-berries. A few days after contact with tree-bark the seed projects a thread-like root which pierces the bark and firmly roots itself in the host. These roots draw up all the plant’s required sustenance. So effective is this process that mistletoes can contain greater levels of essential elements than their host trees. Mistletoe’s association with Christmas is a simple coincidence. It’s long been associated with mid-winter and this seasonal-association predates Christianity. Many people still consider it to be a pagan plant, with its history based in ancient winter-solstice customs. So even today it can be banned from some Church decorations. Over time, many cultures have celebrated mistletoe as a sign of peace, love and fertility. In Norse Mythology, it is said that the blind god Hodur was tricked into murdering Balder (the Beautiful) with an arrow made from Mistletoe. The plant then went on to assume the role of a symbol of peace and friendship to compensate for its involvement in the murder. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe has been recorded for many centuries. Traditionally a man could kiss any woman standing underneath some mistletoe. Some customs include the plucking of one berry for each kiss and then once all the berries have gone – the kissing had to stop. Perhaps mistletoe’s association with fertility developed following the annual sightings of the bright, evergreen growths on their deciduous, rather dead-looking hosts. This could let mistletoe give the impression of being a symbol of fertility; a continuing ‘life-force’. Maybe it’s no great surprise that after its association with so many fertility based myths and legends; that the plant was also used to produce
many ancient potions, either to enhance fertility or to attract a partner. Ancient Druids valued, even worshipped, mistletoe. Especially, when it grew on their sacred trees particularly their oaks. Priests would climb trees to gather the plant, cutting it with a special golden sickle and letting it fall towards the ground to be caught in a cloak. This catching was essential as if the mistletoe touched the ground it was believed it would lose some of its mystical powers. The druids would then use their precious crop for their rituals and the preparation of their medicines.
Published March, June, September and December each year The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019
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In France mistletoe is called Le Gui and traditionally a sprig was given as a Porte Bonheur (a good luck charm) particularly at New Year. In Brittany, where mistletoe grows profusely, the plant is referred to as Herbe de la Croix. A local legend tells that the biblical-cross was made from mistletoe wood, and so as a penance its status was degraded to that of a parasite. Historically, mistletoe held a reputation as a cure for ‘falling sickness’ – epilepsy and other nervous/ convulsive disorders including St. Vitus’s dance, delirium, hysteria, neuralgia and additionally even urinary disorders and heart disease. Such was its reputation as an aid to epileptics that reportedly, sufferers in Sweden, would carry a knife with a
mistletoe-wood handle to ward off attacks! It is important to note that digesting mistletoe and in particular its berries can cause, rather than prevent, convulsions. Keep all parts of the plant well away from children and dogs! As with many poisonous plants, handled correctly, it can be a source of very important drugs. An extract from mistletoe has, for many years, been used in drugs to help alleviate the side-effects of cancer treatments. Increasingly there are investigations into how extracts can also boost the body’s own immune system and perhaps even stunt the growth of some tumours. So maybe in the future this ancient plant will find a renewed place in the hearts and minds of people for more than just an excuse for a sneaked kiss!
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HeeHaws - for the Love of Donkeys Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 06 37 36 78 04 www.heehaws.fr 24500 Razac d’Eymet
The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 11
Ironwood Motif Artist Blacksmith, Ferronnerie d’Art
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Published March, June, September and December each year The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019
12 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL
The Three Kings & the ‘galette des rois’ We’ve all grown up with ‘The Three Kings’; those colourful characters from much-loved Christmas carols, cards, and of course nativity plays! The Christmas story tells us that they were; Caspar who travelled from Arabia with gold, Melchior who made the long journey from Persia with a gift of frankincense and finally Balthazar who had ridden all the way from India with his offering of myrrh. Whilst many texts refer to ‘Kings’ there is no evidence that any of the three were actually rulers. Another name used for these visitors was the ‘Magi’, a caste of spiritual Persians whose reliance on astrology and understanding of the stars made them highly regarded. At times the ‘magi’ were erroneously linked with the occult and sorcery – this was never the case. However, this does perhaps explain the basis of the word ‘magic’. Kings or not, these three ‘Magis’ had the skills to literally follow the star before them. They soon became referred to also as the ‘wise men’. Any why not? They were ‘wise enough’ to understand the significance of Jesus’ birth. They were clever enough to navigate those long journeys and even coordinate their arrival! The celebration for these Kings is post-Christmas. Once December is over ‘The Three Kings’ get their own day. ‘The Day of Kings’ (Epiphany) has been enjoyed for thousands of years. A day which over the years and
in different places has become a mixture of different celebrations, traditions and religious festivals. But on this day, January 6th we still celebrate the day that the Kings, allegedly, arrived to visit the newly-born Jesus. In most Christian traditions it’s believed that all Christmas decorations should be removed by 12th Night (Eve of Epiphany, 5th January). Failure can bring bad luck. However, alternate traditions allow for such a mishap as they believe you are safe to remain decorated until Candlemas (2nd Feb). In France, The Day of Kings is celebrated with a ‘galette des rois’, which is a flat cake made of puff pastry and filled with an almond paste. Traditionally this ‘galette’ is cut into as many pieces as there are people at the table plus an extra portion called the ‘part du bon Dieu’ or ‘du pauvre’ originally this was symbolically meant to be left for the poor or the arrival of an unexpected guest.
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 13
Hidden within the cake is a small charm (often a figure). The person who receives the portion with the charm is then proclaimed King or Queen for the day. They wear a paper crown and are permitted to behave foolishly, if they so wish. The tradition of the ‘galette des rois’ nearly did not survive the French Revolution. It was declared that if the cake was to be consumed it had to be renamed as ‘gâteau de l’égalité’. A declaration that was unable to defeat the years of tradition that went before. The ‘galette des rois’ triumphed. The charms are known as fève in France. This is because originally it was a ‘bean’ that was placed in the cake rather than a figure. Beans have wide symbolic importance in many ancient civilisations. In name at least, beans still play a part in the popular Epiphany tradition. Modern charms come in many styles, varying values and are made of different materials (the advent of the microwave oven has seen the virtual demise of the use of metal!) A person who collects charms is called a ‘favophile’. Mind how you chew!
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On this day ~ January 25th
On this day ~ February 2nd
For Scots, the world-over, this is a very important celebration. On this day in 1759, Robert Burns was born. He was a Scottish poet, widely seen as Scotland’s national poet. Burns Night celebrates his life and works. The 25th of January is not an official holiday in Scotland, but it’s more widely celebrated than Scotland’s ‘official’ national day – St. Andrew’s Day. Robert Burns was born in Scotland into a poor family, but his father ensured that he received a good education. Robert became a keen reader, this was the beginning of his life of poetry. Burns became a farm-worker and whilst he worked, he composed. His first poetry collection was published in 1786 and was immediately successful, he became an important figure in the Romantic movement. Aged only 37, Rabbie (as he was known) died from a rheumatic condition in 1796. His funeral took place 4 days later, the day after his son Maxwell was born. The annual celebration of Burns Night began after his untimely death, when a group of his friends gathered to remember the great poet, on what would have been his birthday. Burns Night festivities involve a specific meal and good, Scottish, single-malt whisky. Importantly the meal includes a Haggis, a dish made from Sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices. It was traditionally served stuffed into the sheep’s stomach; although it’s now common to find artificial coverings. Most importantly, the evenings activities involve poetry. When the Haggis is carved, ‘To a Haggis’ is recited, with its famous line, ‘Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race’. Before the meal another of Burns’ poems, the ‘Selkirk Grace’ is read. Burns Night should end with a rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Now a globally popular song for New Year’s Eve. It was Burns, however, who first wrote down this old Scottish folk song.
Groundhog Day is celebrated in America and Canada but emanates from Europe. It’s not an official holiday but a chance to celebrate traditions with a dose of lighthearted humour. It all started in what is now, modern-day Germany in a period when the worship of animals and nature was prevalent. There are also links to the (pre-Protestant Reformation), Catholic festival of Candlemas – also on February 2nd. Then it wasn’t groundhogs that were the centre of attention. It was badgers! People believed that badgers could predict the coming of spring. Before badgers, it was bears that were the mystical prophets of the season. Predicting the weather was important to people who depended on growing food. That said, it’s not clear that the badger (or even the bear) had any great skill. But, people had to believe in something! People left this part of Europe for new lives in the USA and particularly, Pennsylvania (the centre of Groundhog Day celebrations). These immigrants, even though they knew of the badgers’ fallibility were keen to continue their tradition. Faced with a lack of local badgers, the groundhogs had to step up; becoming synonymous with the 2nd of February ritual.
IT’S BURNS NIGHT
To a Haggis (verse 1 only) Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin’-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace As lang’s my arm.
IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY
So, what happens on Groundhog Day? The official Groundhog Day ceremony takes place at Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania and 1000s of people attend annually. It involves a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. Phil exits his burrow on the morning of the 2nd. If he sees his own shadow (suggesting sunshine) then he will become alarmed and re-enter his burrow for a further 6 weeks, winter is then expected to be similarly delayed. If he exits his burrow and sees no shadow, then spring is on its way! Each weather-predicting groundhog belongs to a regional ‘lodge’. These lodges claim that their groundhogs are over 100 years old! Other weather predicting ‘wild-life’ In French Canada there’s Fred la Marmotte. And, indeed there’s ‘le jour de la marmotte’ on February 2nd. Then in Irish folk tradition on St. Brighid’s Day (1st February), it was seeing a hedgehog that was the harbinger of spring, in Scotland spotting a snake was the cherished sign. The film ‘Groundhog Day’, starring Bill Murray was released in 1993. When a cynical weather reporter gets sent to cover the events of Punxsutawney on February 2nd and end up reliving the same day repeatedly.
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 15
Cement Tiles, and garden furniture/decorations - including Moroccan and Vintage styles Tel. 05 63 39 96 46 Mobile. 06 80 36 54 99 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bhmateriauxanciens.com
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Ouvert du Lundi au vendredi de 8h à 12h et de 13h30 à 17h30; Le samedi de 9h à 12h : du 1er octobre au 31 avril; Le samedi de 9h à 12h et de 14h à 17h : du 1er mai au 30 septembre
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Meet: Chloé Moore from French Business Management
‘A friendly, dynamic, bilingual team, helping you and your business succeed’
CFE TAX Every year we see many questions on the CFE tax in French business groups and on social media. We thought it would be helpful to set out clearly what it is, who pays it and who is exempt. As with everything tax, there are exceptions and complications, this is intended to be a very simplified introduction and we urge you to always seek expert advice when dealing with these matters.
What is it? The CFE tax is one of the two taxes that make up the contribution économique territoriale (CET). The CFE is based on properties used for business which are subject to taxe foncière. This tax is due in every commune or town where the company has premises and grounds. The rate of CFE payable is decided by the commune in which the taxable property is located. The CFE is based on the rental value of the part of the property used by the business. If for example you work from the computer on your kitchen table, it is perfectly acceptable to declare that you work from the ‘coin du table’.
Who has to pay, and how much? The CFE is payable by companies or individuals who are running a business and are not in a salaried position, whatever their activity or regime the business is registered under. Micro-entrepreneurs are not exempt from this tax. When you establish your business you should ensure that you complete form 1447-C-SD (available on the impots.gouv website) and return it to the tax authorities before the 31st December of that year. This is generally sent out automatically upon business registration. New businesses are not subject to the CFE tax in their first year. During their first taxable year they benefit from
a 50% reduction in their tax base. Therefore, if you start a business in 2019 you won’t pay any CFE in 2019 and will only pay 50% in 2020. In certain other cases the tax base may also be reduced, these include; l A reduction for seasonal businesses, restaurants, cafes etc l A 75% reduction for an Artisan who has one employee, 50% for 2 and 25% for 3 employees if salaries and associated outgoings represent more than 50% of turnover. Apprentices are not counted. There is also a correlation with turnover so if yours differs from the base for calculation you can also ask for an adjustment. Renting, or sub-letting buildings is subject to the CFE with certain exceptions relating to whether the property is furnished or unfurnished. If you are considering letting-out property it may be wise to check whether your property falls into any of the exempt categories with the tax authorities. Please note, CFE does generally apply to gîtes, irrespective of whether you have registered as a business (LMNP System). When the rental value of the property used for business is very low, a minimum contribution is fixed by the commune and will be taken from a range which varies according to the turnover or receipts of the company. For example, a turnover of up to 10,000 e in 2017 was subject to a minimal contribution in a range from 216 e to 514 e depending on what the commune agreed.
How to pay? The bills are only available on-line, therefore business owners should create an ‘espace professionnel’ through their personal on-line tax account. Bills can be paid up to the 15th December each year, either through your on-line tax account, by a one-off payment via Direct Debit or monthly payments taken by Direct Debit. You do not need to make a declaration each year, the bill will be in your on-line account. You must notify your tax office of any changes which may affect the
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 17
Château de Marsalés
Un lieu de charme pour vos réceptions, mariages, réunions de famille… 24540 Monpazier 06 80 75 18 20 firstname.lastname@example.org chateaumarsales.fr
Help with administration, moving and settling in France and business registration
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amount of CFE you pay. You must also inform the tax office if you close or sell your business.
Who doesn’t have to pay? Exemptions. There is a long list of possible exemptions, these exemptions can be either permanent or temporary. These include: l Certain agricultural workers l VDI – vendeurs a domicile independants earning less than 6556 e gross a year l Various artists, painters, authors l Chambres d’hotes (subject to conditions) l Certain artisans (subject to several conditions) l Businesses operating in some rural zones The full list is available on the French Government website. www.service-public.fr/professionnels-entreprises/ vosdroits/F31913 Finally, some good news for small businesses or those just starting out, from 2019 businesses with a turnover of less than 5 000 e will be exempt from CFE. If you would like to talk to us about CFE, how to register, or apply for an exemption contact:
email@example.com +33 (0)5 53 04 27 80 www.frenchbusinessmanagement.com French Business Management La Jaubertie, 24380, St-Maime-de-Pereyrol
Rosalynde HICKS | 9 Avenue Pasteur 24160 EXCIDEUIL 07.87.61.13.44 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.frenchhiccups.com Professeure d’anglais N’hésitez pas à me contacter pour plus de renseignements
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La Petite Cuillère Bar - Restauration Salon de Thé - Glaces Café Littéraire Soirées Musicales á themes Vente de Déco Vente de Thés 12 rue des Déportés, 24150 Lalinde 05 53 27 36 39 La Petite Cuillère
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When Guyenne Immobilier met Beaux Villages Guyenne Immobilier is a trusted feature on the Eymet landscape and has now joined Beaux Villages Immobilier estate agencies group to offer their combined experience and a warm welcome to buyers and sellers alike. A very busy summer sales period shows little signs of slowing as we go through autumn into the winter and the sales teams throughout the Périgord area are actively searching for new properties to present to clients booked to view right through into 2019. If you are thinking of selling, drop in for a chat and a coffee. Or call 08 05 69 23 23 to make an appointment to speak to one of our expert sales team. Guyenne Immobilier est une agence immobilière qui jouit d’une bonne réputation dans le secteur d’Eymet et elle a rejoint récemment le groupe Beaux Villages Immobilier à qui elle va pouvoir offrir à la fois son expérience et son accueil chaleureux pour ses acheteurs et vendeurs. L’activité très intense que nous avons eu pendant l’été se ralenti avec le passage de l’automne à l’hiver et nos équipes de vente du Périgord sont en recherche active de nouvelles propriétés à présenter à nos clients qui viennent visiter des biens d’ici 2019.
Emergency numbers Medical Help/SAMU 15 Text Service for Hard of Hearing 114 Police/Police Nationale (Gendarmerie) 17 Fire & Accident/Sapeurs Pompiers
SOS – All Services (calling from a mobile) 112 Child in Danger (child protection) 119 Missing Child
Si vous songez à vendre, venez nous voir pour en discuter autour d’un café ou appelez-nous au 08 05 69 23 23 pour prendre un rendez-vous pour parler à l’un de nos conseillers en vente immobilière.
For anyone with an interest in the ‘real’ history of the Périgord, its people and the natural world, then you need go no further than the publications produced by Secrets de Pays and Esprit de Pays.
They produce books and periodicals and an incredible website which, in all honesty, must be the most interesting and well presented set of historical articles that I can remember coming across. There books and periodicals are available throughout the region. We are delighted that Jean-Françoise Tronel and Jacky Tronel have allowed us to include a few bits and pieces from their website in this magazine. We hope that we will be able to call on their huge resource in the future. You can find out more about their publications and read some incredibly interesting articles on http://espritdepays.com/ Editor
Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs Twilightdogshome www.twilightchiens.com The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 19
E - IC RD V A SER AW NG I N IN W DROP IN AND SEE US IN LALINDE OR VERTEILLAC
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“If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.” In the Harbour, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Archery Dordogne A steady aim, a clear target and a passion for the sport. Ian and Cathy tell us about their venture in the Dordogne – ARCHERY DORDOGNE
e are Ian and Cathy Hendy and we started Archery Dordogne in the summer of 2017. We are based at our home near Verteillac in the Dordogne. But if you’ve a suitable venue we are happy to travel to you. We work with a wide range of abilities. With beginners we offer fun, have-a-go sessions for either individuals, families or groups. Increasingly popular are bespoke events for private parties, holiday groups, weddings etc. There’s no strict age limit, we simply suggest an age somewhere between 8 and 100! Archery is now a growing Olympic sport accessible to all. We supply all the equipment, generally using modern training-type recurve bows but sessions can also include traditional wooden longbows.
I (Ian) have a long history in the outdoor-activity industry in the UK and qualified as both an archery and clay-pigeon shooting instructor nearly 20 years ago. I really enjoy bringing new people into the sport of archery and it is great to see the sense of achievement people get when they hit their first ‘bull’s-eye’ – especially the children! Sessions consist of practice and scoring – both individual and team and there is always a competitive edge by the end of the session. Although my French is still improving, sessions can be delivered in French and I usually get taught some new words and phrases! After spending plenty of time in France on holiday over the years, we purchased our house in the Dordogne in 2016. Until we can make a full-time move
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Did you know? • The first combative use of bows and arrows was in 2340 BC in Babylonia • 1904 Olympics – archery was the only sport for women • In 1457, King James II banned golf in Scotland believing it was distracting men from archery • Archers shoot according to their dominant eye. So, a right-handed person may shoot with their left hand
to France (hopefully 2019) we divide our time between the Dordogne and Scotland. It took us at least a year to carry-out the necessary renovation work but by the start of the 2017 season we were up and running. Arrows were flying! Although most of our business currently revolves around the summer holiday season we hope soon to be open all year round. We are getting increasing interest from local residents who want to try the sport and hopefully in 2019 we will be able to start a regular archery club. So, if this is something you might like to try for the first time, something you have done before but would like to try again – or if you think your summer visitors would like to be able to add to their summer holidays – please do not hesitate to get in touch. Why not pop this possibility on your holiday-property details? Living with a potential Robin Hood or Maid Marion? Let them unlock their ‘quivering’ potential – we can supply gift vouchers for lessons – drop us an email. Ian and Cathy Hendy, Archery Dordogne Lieu Dit Lafont, 24320 Saint Martial Viveyrol email@example.com; www.archerydordogne.fr; Archery Dordogne; 00 44 7870 652215; 00 33 6 72 12 71 63 Ian est un instructeur de tir à l’arc et, avec son épouse, Cathy, ils dirigent le club Archery Dordogne. Ils ont partagé leur temps entre la France et l’Ecosse, ces dernières années, mais espèrent bien qu’en 2019, Verteillac deviendra leur résidence à plein temps. Tout le monde peut pratiquer le tir à l’arc, et à n’importe quel âge : du débutant au confirmé, en famille, en couple ou en groupe. C’est un sport qui peut intéresser les personnes locales ainsi que les nombreux visiteurs saisonniers de la région qui sauront s’y investir. Published March, June, September and December each year The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019
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Concerned about Concerned about your tax position your tax position in France? in France? With expert advice, France can actually be a tax-efficient place to live. With expert advice, France can actually Much depends onplace howtoyou be a tax-efficient live.hold your investments and assets. Blevins Franks Much depends on how you hold your has in-depth knowledge of the local investments andhow assets. Blevins tax regime and to use it to Franks your has in-depth knowledge of local advantage. Our French tax the specialists tax and on how use it to solutions, your canregime advise you taxtoplanning advantage. French tax to lower taxOur for yourself andspecialists your heirs. can advise you on tax planning solutions, to lower tax for yourself and your heirs.
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INTERNATIONAL TAX ADVICE • INVESTMENTS • ESTATE PLANNING • PENSIONS Blevins Franks Group is represented in France by the following companies: Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) and Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF). BFFM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as ‘Conseil en Investissements Financiers’ and ‘Courtiers d’Assurance’ Category B (register can be consulted on www. orias.fr). Member of ANACOFI-CIF. registered 1 ruecompanies: Pablo Neruda, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Franks GarantieFrance Financière Assurance Blevins Franks Group is representedBFF’s in France by theoffice: following Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) and Blevins SASUet(BFF). BFFMde is Responsabilité Professionnelle conformes auxAuthority articles L in 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and du Code des Assurances MMA). Blevins Franks authorised and Civile regulated by the Financial Conduct the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is 512-7 provided outside the UK, via the(assureur Insurance Mediation Directive Taxthe Limited provides taxation advice; its Directive advisers are fully qualified regulatory tax specialists. Thisdiffers promotion hasrespects been approved and byBlevins BFFM.Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered or Markets in Financial Instruments II, the applicable system in some from that ofissued the UK. with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as ‘Conseil en Investissements Financiers’ and ‘Courtiers d’Assurance’ Category B (register can be consulted on www. orias.fr). Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: 1 rue Pablo Neruda, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA). Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.
INTERNATIONAL TAX ADVICE • INVESTMENTS • ESTATE PLANNING • PENSIONS
The Périgord Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 23
SHOULD YOU KEEP HOLD OF UK INVESTMENTS IN FRANCE? By Colin Leigh-Higgott, Blevins Franks
However well we have settled into our new way of life in France, most UK nationals living here continue with some British lifestyle habits. Whether it is a Sunday roast with all the trimmings, watching UK TV channels and sport etc, there are some ties we do not like to lose and we find comfort in familiarity. The same applies for UK investments. You may, for example, have accumulated Premium Bonds, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) etc over the years, or bought shares in UK companies, and prefer to hang on to them because they are familiar and feel like a safe option. But are these suitable investments for your new life in France? In particular, once you take up residence in France, the tax incentives provided by Premium Bonds and ISAs in the UK fall away and all income and gains are subject to tax in France.
Premium bonds, ISAs and other UK investments Premium bonds were launched 60 years ago and today around 21 million people own some. They do not provide any automatic interest earnings or capital growth – which means their value will be eroded over time by inflation – but the possibility of winning a large prize can make them quite appealing. But what are the chances of winning big? According to MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis, you have a one in 45 million chance of winning the jackpot with one National Lottery ticket, but your chance of becoming a millionaire through one single Premium Bond is one in almost 36 billion. If you’re happy to win £25,000 the chances are still one in 2 billion. One key attraction is that they have always been tax free in the UK – they are not tax free if you live in France though. Although betting and gambling winnings are tax-free in France, this does not apply to Premium Bonds since the initial investment is never actually at stake. ISAs too are fully taxable in France in the hands of French residents. This applies to income and gains from cash and share ISAs. You also need to look at your other UK investments, such as shares, unit trusts, OEICs and investment bonds, and consider whether they are the most tax-efficient way of holding your capital. Since January 2018 most investment income is now subject to a flat rate of tax of 30% (inclusive of social charges). This includes income and gains from ISAs and Premium Bond winnings, as well as bank interest, dividends, capital gains made on the disposal of movable assets etc. Low income households can choose to pay tax at normal scale rates of tax instead.
de réference is below e25,000 for an individual or e50,000 for a couple. In the UK long-term residents benefit from a 5% tax-deferred allowance when making withdrawals from UK investment bonds. This does not extend to French residents. The French rules on such income are different so seek advice if you have these bonds. Some expatriates mistakenly think that since ISAs and Premium Bonds are UK investments they do not need to be declared in France. In fact they do, and with global automatic exchange of information now taking place under the Common Reporting Standard, the French tax authorities will be informed about your UK investments.
UK rental income If you are resident in France and rent out property in the UK, under the UK-France double tax treaty, the income will be directly taxed in the UK, since that is where it arises. It is not directly taxed in France but note that you have to include it as part of your taxable income for the year. You then receive a credit equal to the French tax and social charges.
It’s not all about tax There are very tax-efficient investment vehicles available to residents of France. With specialist professional advice, you could enjoy extremely favourable tax treatment on your capital investments, both for yourself today and your heirs in future. Speak to an adviser who can guide you on both UK and French taxation, the interaction between them and tax planning opportunities. Taxation is not the only reason to review your savings and investments, however. You need to ensure they are suitable for your life in France (for example, what currency should they be in?) and your future expectations; your objectives (are you looking for income or growth?); your time horizon and, importantly, your risk tolerance. Too many people have portfolios which were built up over the years and are no longer suitable for them today. You need personalised advice from a locally based adviser like Blevins Franks which provides holistic advice covering investments, tax efficiency and estate planning. The tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been
Note that if you receive interest or dividends from the UK you summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice. must declare the income within 15 days of the end of the month and pay 30% of the amount received by that date. This is then Keep up to date on the financial issues that offset against the tax due on your tax return. This advance may affect you on the Blevins Franks news payment can be avoided where your household’s revenu fiscal page at www.blevinsfranks.com
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Behind the lens with 2 Great Local Talents
Emma Ellies Photographer - Saint-Aulaye (24410)
Je m’appelle Emma et je suis photographe spécialisée dans le végétal. Je suis originaire du bordelais où j’ai grandi dans le vignoble (mon père est viticulteur). Enfant, je l’accompagnais souvent sur sa propriété et la nature est vite devenue mon terrain de jeu. Pendant que mon père s’occupait de ses vignes, j’observais les arbres, les nuages, les oiseaux, les végétaux et les insectes. Je pense que c’est en grande partie de là que me vient ma passion mais aussi du fait d’avoir grandi dans un milieu rural, proche de la terre et en communion avec la nature. Très tôt, j’ai été sensibilisée aux questions de l’écologie. Après avoir occupé différents postes, j’ai fini par poser mes valises dans le Nord de la France où j’ai exercé en tant que travailleur social durant une quinzaine d’années. En parallèle, j’étais comédienne dans une troupe de théâtre et c’est aussi à cette époque que je me suis intéressée à la photo. J’ai
commencé à pratiquer la photo sans vraiment m’attacher à un « style » en particulier, je photographiais mes amis, ma troupe de théâtre, tout ce qui se trouvait à portée de mon objectif. C’est après la rencontre avec mon mari, également photographe, que je me suis tournée vers la macrophotographie. Celui-ci possédait un objectif macro inutilisé que j’ai monté sur mon boîtier et ce fut une vraie révélation !! Le rapport de grossissement me permettait de montrer ce qu’on ne voit pas et naturellement je me suis tournée vers les fleurs, les insectes et le monde de l’infiniment petit en passant des heures à photographier les plantes de mon jardin et des parcs alentour en milieu urbain. Il y a deux ans, j’ai eu le besoin viscéral d’un retour aux sources et c’est ainsi que nous nous sommes installés en Dordogne du côté de Ribérac. Nous avons décidé de sauter le pas et de vivre de notre passion. Ensemble, nous proposons nos services en tant que photographes professionnels de mariage et de mon côté, je suis également spécialisée dans les photos du monde végétal. Je pense qu’une artiste a toujours sommeillé en moi et la photographie est devenue l’un de mes modes d’expression favoris. La pratique de la photographie me permet d’être connectée à mon environnement. J’aime les grandes balades dans la nature et j’ai besoin d’aller m’y ressourcer. D’abord, parce que c’est un lieu où je m’autorise à être moi-même et ensuite parce que la nature est pour moi une source constante d’inspiration. La forêt de la Double, avec sa diversité, s’est naturellement imposée à moi. J’apprécie les jeux de lumières et d’ombres portées, les effets de transparence et de clair-obscur. J’essaie de retranscrire dans mes photos les émotions que je ressens lors de la prise de vue. Je puise mon inspiration dans mon imaginaire mais aussi dans les autres arts visuels comme la peinture ou le cinéma. J’expose régulièrement dans des festivals de photos nature, showrooms, boutiques. Je travaille en lien avec des architectes, décorateurs d’intérieur, paysagistes mais aussi auprès de particuliers. Je tire mes photos en
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très grands formats sur dibond ce qui permet de les installer en intérieur comme en extérieur pour embellir une cour privée ou un jardin. Chaque photo est unique, impossible de réaliser deux fois la même ! Peut-être aurons-nous le plaisir de nous croiser lors d’une expo ou d’une manifestation ? My name is Emma, a photographer specialising in photos of plants. I grew up in Bordeaux on a vineyard (my father has a vineyard). As a child, I often accompanied him, and nature
became my playground. While my father looked after his vines, I observed trees, clouds, birds, plants and insects. This is largely where my passion comes from. Growing up in a rural environment, close to nature, I soon became aware of ecology. After several jobs, I ended up making my home in the North of France where I worked as a social worker for about fifteen years, whilst also acting in a theatrical group. It was then that I became interested in photography. I started practicing without really focusing on a ‘style’, photographing my friends, my theatre group, in fact everything within my lens’ reach. After meeting my husband, I began macrophotography. He is also a photographer and had a spare macro lens. So, I mounted his lens on my camera and it was a real revelation! The magnification allowed me to show what we cannot see naturally. I looked at flowers, insects and the world of the infinitely small, spending hours photographing the plants in my garden and parks nearby in my then urban environment. Two years ago, I started to miss my home and so we moved south to the Dordogne, close to Ribérac. We decided to take the plunge and live our dream. Together, we offer professional wedding photography services and for my part, I specialise in photographing the world of plants. I think that there always was an artist, slumbering inside me and photography has become my favourite way of expressing this. Photography allows me to connect to my environment. I like long walks in the countryside, this is how I recharge my batteries. Firstly, as this is where I feel most at home and the nature is a constant source of inspiration. La Fôret de la Double, with its plant world has become a growing fascination. I love the play of lights and shadows, the effects of transparency and chiaroscuro. I try to show in my photos the emotions I feel during the shooting. I draw my inspiration from not only my imagination but also from other visual arts such as painting and the cinema. I regularly exhibit at natural photography festivals, galleries and shops. I work with architects, interior designers, landscapers and private clients. I shoot my photos in large formats on dibond allowing them hung indoors and outdoors, embellishing also private courtyards or gardens. Each photo is unique, no two alike! Maybe we will have the pleasure of meeting at an exhibition or event? You can see more of Emma’s nature photographs on: www.emmaellies.fr Emma Ellies Artiste Photographe To find out about Emma and her husband’s wedding photography work see: www.justmphotographes.com
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Nicholas Gaschard Photographer - Périgueux (24000)
J’ai commencé ma carrière professionnelle il y a 18 ans, en tant que commercial pour des produits industriels dans les environs de Paris. Six ans plus tard, je retournais vivre en Dordogne avec ma femme et ma fille. Vivre dans la banlieue parisienne peut s’avérer très difficile avec un jeune enfant ! J’ai eu mon premier appareil photo en 2014 ! Je me rappelle de ce moment comme si c’était hier : c’était lors d’un salon à Alès (Gard), mon patron a demandé si quelqu’un était intéressé par un vieil appareil photo qu’il s’apprêtait à jeter ! J’ai dit “Moi” et c’est ainsi que j’acquis mon premier appareil avec ses différents modes de prises de vues. J’étais passé d’un appareil automatique à un modèle entièrement manuel ! L’année suivante, je m’achetais un nouvel appareil photo. Je devais rendre visite à un correspondant du lycée que je n’avais pas vu depuis plus de dix ans. Il vivait aux USA et je souhaitais pouvoir prendre les meilleures photos possibles. J’étais maintenant capable d’essayer différents types de photos : paysages, rues ou portraits. Les portraits étaient devenus rapidement mon type de photos préférées. Ca semblait juste me correspondre. Puis en 2016, j’ai commencé à travailler en studio pour la première fois. Etre capable de contrôler la lumière et les arrière-plans fut une joie intense ! Je me suis immédiatement engagé sur des projets de studio personnels : “j’peux pas j’ai salsa”, projet dans lequel j’ai réalisé une série de portraits de danseurs de Salsa, ainsi qu’une série de photos pour un jeune styliste. A ce moment-là, j’étais encore commercial, en déplacement clientèle durant toute la semaine. Puis, en décembre 2017, après 17 ans dans la vente de produits industriels à travers toute la France, j’ai démissionné et me suis inscrit au chômage. Je n’étais alors pas sûr de mon avenir. L’idée de débuter ma propre activité semblait plus un rêve qu’une réalité.
Après de longues réflexions et de multiples rencontres, je décidais de mettre toutes mes économies, mon temps et mon énergie dans la création de mon activité de photographe professionnel! C’est devenu une réalité en juin 2018. Mes premiers contrats m’ont amené à réaliser des photos de famille, des nouveaux-nés, des couples, des mariages, des baptèmes. J’ai travaillé aussi pour une école de danse à Périgueux (Véronique Danse) en couvrant leur spectacle en juin au Théatre de l’Odyssée. Aujourd’hui, je fais ce que j’aime mais c’est devenu mon travail! Jusqu’à présent, c’est une grande expérience. J’ai rencontré beaucoup de personnes intéressantes et motivées. J’ai connu de grandes expériences artistiques et j’ai appris (je continue d’apprendre) comment développer mon entreprise. Mes inspirations sont nombreuses et incluent des peintres comme Rembrandt, Vermeer et Ingres. Et des photographes comme Howell Conant et Henri Bresson. J’aime également les images des magazines actuels (j’aime particulièrement le magazine ELLE). J’adore travailler avec mes clients ; en fait, ils sont mes modèles! J’aime beaucoup l’idée de capturer et transmettre un peu de l’histoire de ces familles aux générations futures. Par exemple, lorsque je prends
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des photos de mariage, ces photos se transmettront certainement à leurs enfants et petits-enfants. Les photographes jouent un rôle important. Nous préservons le présent! Aujourd’hui, je suis occupé par la photographie de mariage, de famille, les portraits de nouveaux-nés et mon propre studio de photographe. Plus tard, je projette de développer le côté business ‘B2B’ des choses. Alors, consultez mon site internet et surveillez les actualités ! I started my professional life 18 years ago around Paris, as a sales person for industrial goods. After 6 years I moved back to Dordogne with my wife and my daughter. Life in the suburbs of Paris can become very difficult when you have a young child! I got my first camera in 2014! I remember this moment like yesterday: during a sales meeting in Alès (Gard), my boss asked if anybody was interested in an old camera he was about to throw away! I said, ‘I am’ and this was how I got my first camera with different shooting modes. I had jumped from an automatic camera to fully manual one! The next year I bought myself a new camera. I was to visit a pen pal from high school whom I hadn’t seen
for more than ten years. He lived in the USA and I wanted to be able to take the best pictures possible. I was now able to try different types of photography: landscape, street and portraits. Quickly portrait photography became my favourite. It just seemed to fit me. In 2016 I started using a studio for the first time. Being able to control the lighting and background was a pure joy! I immediately undertook some personal studio projects: ‘j’peux pas j’ai salsa’ (I can’t come, I am going Salsa dancing) where I did a series of Salsa Dancers’ portraits, and a series of pictures for a young fashion designer. Up till now I was still working in sales, visiting customers all week long. Then, in December 2017, after 17 years of selling industrial goods all over France, I left my job and registered as a ‘job seeker’. I was not sure about my future then. The idea of starting my own business seemed more of a dream than a reality. After a lot of thinking and meeting many people I decided to put all my savings, my time and my energy into creating my own photography business; my dream became a reality in June 2018. My first engagements included family portraits, newborns, couples, weddings, baptisms. I also worked for a dance school at Périgueux (Véronique Danse) to cover their show in June at the Odyssée Theater. Now, I am doing what I love, but now it is actually my job! So far it has been a great experience. I have met a lot of great, motivated people. I have had great artistic experiences and learned (I am still learning) about developing my own business. My inspirations are many, but include painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Ingres. Then there are photographers such as Howell Conant and Henri Bresson. However, I also love modern magazine imagery (I particularly enjoy ELLE). I love working with my customers, they are, after all, my models! I really love the idea of being part of capturing and passing a bit of family history to future generations. For example, when I take pictures of a wedding these captured images will hopefully pass to children and grandchildren. Photographers play an important role. We preserve the now! Today I am involved in wedding photography, family portraits, new-born portraits and my own studio photography. Next, I aim to develop the B2B business side of things. So, please check my website and watch this space! You can see more of Nico’s work on: studio-nico.fr; Studio-Nico
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la guillotine Did you know that there was a Dr. Guillotin? By A Atkinson Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin opposed the death sentence. Seeking an improvement to its inevitable continuation he suggested a new method of execution. One that would end the class-divide which saw the poor being destined to hang (at the very least), whereas the rich might afforded a swift swordsman.
Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin
he doctor felt that if heads had to be removed it should be quick and without the scope for human error. Once his idea was approved, he oversaw the design of a prototype, built by another French doctor, Antoine Louis and constructed by a German, harpsichord maker called Tobias Schmidt. The new ‘instrument’ was first used in 1792. Much to the horror of Dr. Guillotin, this device took his name. His family tried and failed to stop their name being attached to the ‘killing machine’. The guillotine was not truly a new idea. Beheading equipment had existed since the Middle Ages. There had been Germany’s ‘planke’; England’s sliding axe, known as a Halifax Gibbet; Italy’s ‘Mannia’ and even the ‘Scottish Maiden’. During the Reign of Terror (following the Revolution) the new ‘guillotine’ was rarely out of use. It’s introduction and the demise of even more barbaric executions, upset the crowds. Some of the entertainment value had been lost with this swift decapitator. People came in droves to La Place de la Revolution to watch executions, they wrote songs, sold souvenirs,
printed programmes and even dined at a nearby restaurant. The most famous audience members were the ‘Tricoteuses’ a cheery group of women who knitted between beheadings! Often the condemned would also play to the audience, dance to their death or issue sarcastic quips. Children attended and there were even miniature guillotines sold for the beheading of dolls and small mammals! Dining tables of the well-to-do were often resplendent with a scaled-down device for slicing vegetables and bread. Executions were spectacles and the executioners became celebrities. The role of executioner was usually a family business. Perhaps the most famous ‘family firm’ was the Sanson family, who served for many generations up to 1847, executing thousands of the guilty (and less so). This dynasty dispatched King Louis XV1 and Marie Antoinette. ‘The Great Sanson’ as he was known, otherwise Charles-Henri Sanson, (Royal Executioner of France, High Executioner of the First French Republic) began his career, aged 15 in 1754. He served King Louis XV1 and then the Republic. At the start of his working life he oversaw, strangulations, burnings, hanging drawing and quarterings, and so the advent of the guillotine must have seemed like a technological advancement. Denied the respect and the civil-inclusion he felt executioners were due, Sanson (a learned man) petitioned the new Republic, asking that executioners be given full rights as citizens. He was successful. Icons of their time, executioners influenced fashion and even inspired tattoos among the criminal classes. By the end of the 18th century, this public fascination had declined. Public beheadings continued in France until 1939. The guillotine was responsible for, perhaps, as many deaths in Germany during the 1930s as in the French Revolution. Hitler made the guillotine the state’s method of execution in 1930 and 20 were installed across Germany. Records show that 16,500 people (generally members of the resistance and political opponents) were guillotined.
ADVERTORIAL • 29
FUND RAISING FOR THE HORSES THE CHRISTMAS FAIR Sunday, December 2nd 2018 Our biggest fundraiser of the year is The Chrismas Fair. With over 30 stall holders and volunteers ready to greet you at 10.30 am until 5 pm. So, come and join us for a wonderful day of food, drink, music and of course buying lovely Christmas presents for family and friends. Why not make a cake and join the Great Brantome Police Horses Christmas Bake Off (only open to amateur bakers). There is plenty going on all day so meet up with friends and make a day of it. All profits go towards keeping these amazing and brave animals, so please come along and support us and give the horses a Happy Christmas.
The guillotine remained France’s state method of capital punishment into the late 20th century. When convicted murderer, Hamida Djandoubi became the last person to meet the ‘National Razor’ in 1977. The guillotine’s 189-year reign officially came to an end in September 1981, when France abolished capital punishment for good.
Saviez-vous qu’il existe un Docteur Guillotin ?
e Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin était même opposé à la peine de mort. Souhaitant néanmoins contribuer à une méthode d’exécution rapide pour laquelle l’erreur humaine n’aurait pas de conséquence désastreuse, et surtout, afin que la peine capitale soit la même pour tous, quels que soient le rang social ou le forfait (l’accusation) des condamnés, il proposa une machine de décapitation qui sera mise au point en 1792 par un autre docteur Antoine Louis. Contre sa volonté, la machine finale portera le nom de guillotine. L’idée de cette machine n’était pourtant pas nouvelle, car d’autres “tranche-têtes” existaient depuis le Moyen âge et dans toute l’Europe, tels que le gibet d’Halifax, par exemple… Pendant le règne de la Terreur, sous la Révolution, la guillotine ne manquera pas d’ouvrages ; et le peuple viendra fréquemment assister aux exécutions comme distractions ! Les bourreaux deviendront des célébrités, telle la famille SANSON qui officia pendant plusieurs générations et décapita Louis XVI et Marie Antoinette. La guillotine sera l’outil français d’exécution de la peine capitale jusqu’en 1981, date d’abolition de celle-ci. Et le criminel Hamida Djandoubi restera le dernier à subir le “rasoir national”.
CAROLS IN THE STABLES Saturday, December 15th 2018 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm We are really pleased to have The Carillon Choir join us on Saturday 15th December for an evening of Carols in our Stable Yard. All horses will be in their stables accompanying the choir in any way they can, and it would be lovely to have lots of people joining in. There will be plenty of mulled wine and mince pies to get us all in the mood and of course soft drinks, beer, wine and other food available. This is going to be a really special occasion to start the Christmas celebrations so wrap up warm and join Lewis, Johnny, Ranger and all their horsey friends, not forgetting those very naughty donkeys. Roland and Alison Phillips, La Grange, 24530 St Pancrace, 05 53 05 86 80, www.brantomepolicehorses.com
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Christmas Wreath Making
good garden brings you happiness all year round and Christmas is no exception. If you want to avoid the commercialisation of Christmas, with the frenzy of Christmas shopping, nasty plastic nicknacks and artificial decorations, you can look to your garden to provide you with natural resources for creating environmentally friendly decorations and thoughtful gifts. It doesn’t have to be about consumerism, instead you can choose a simpler, more meaningful celebration, reclaiming the joy and the spirit of Christmas, by spending time with family and friends. A quick trip into your garden and local neighbourhood can provide you with all the materials you need for seasonal arts and crafts, creating personal, handmade gifts and beautiful wreaths that can decorate your home and bring festive cheer to your friends, family and neighbours throughout the Christmas period. The wreath, in Christian theology, is a symbol of God, the circular shape, with no beginning and no end, representing life everlasting. Traditionally, for an advent wreath, three candles are placed around the wreath, and another in the middle. The candles are lit successionally throughout the advent period, as a countdown to Christmas, with the centre candle being lit last, at Christmastide, to represent the arrival of Jesus, the light if the world. Holly leaves on the wreath represent the crown of thorns and the red holly berries represent the blood of Christ. If we look beyond Christianity, to pagan traditions, the wreath can be recognised as the wheel of life, a symbol of Yuletide and the Winter Solstice. On this, the shortest day of the year, with the longest, darkest night in the
cold depths of winter, the Yuletide wreath represents the enduring life of the earth, with the evergreen leaves of the wreath triumphing over the winter bleakness, a reminder that new beginnings emerge from darkness. On this day, darkness has reached its peak, and the winter solstice looks towards the return of the sun, celebrating the eternal and divine in nature and offering gifts in the hope of blessings for the forthcoming crops of the new year. In modern, more secular times, the wreath is often simply a decoration, with no symbolism other than being a harbinger of Christmas, and a cheerful way of brightening your door and welcoming visitors to your home. Making your own wreath each year can be a lovely family tradition to start off the festive season. There are no rules when it comes to creating your own wreath and you can be as traditional or avantgarde as you like, using simple colours and textures for sophisticated style or mixing in a riot of colour, shape and form. You can choose the material for your
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Next time you visit Excideuil stop by and try something a bit different...
Le Patio Café Excideuil Fine Coffees & Teas, Meals, Wine & Beer, Gateaux & Tarts, Private Patio See you soon ~ Steve Le Patio Café Excideuil 10 rue Jean Jaures 24160 Excideuil 05 53 55 17 74
frame – wood, metal, straw etc., making your own or buying one ready-made, but we like to use willow, grapevine and wisteria, recycling these pliable woods, which we have in abundance after autumn pruning. Begin by foraging in your garden, and consider joining forces with friends and neighbours to pool resources, for a fun-filled festive activity. The following is a useful, but not exhaustive, list of things you might find in your local environment: Wood: willow, grapevine, wisteria, Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Moss, Berries, Teasels, Conifer clippings, Pine cones, Eucalyptus, Laurel, Physalis, Sage Rosemary, Thyme, Acorns, Twigs. Other items you might find useful are: gloves, secateurs, gardening/ florists’ wire and a glue gun. To make a circular wooden frame for your wreath, select strands of wood that are similar in diameter. Ideally they will be long, thin, pliant and elastic. If you are using freshly harvested wood, it is not necessary to soak and mellow it, as it will be naturally bendy, rather than brittle, though be aware that as it dries it will shrink and the weave may become uneven (though for a rustic wreath, this is not a problem). If your wood has been cut and stored for a time, it will have dried out, and it is useful to treat it to make it more pliable. This will ultimately result in a stronger weave, so it is helpful to use pre-harvested wood if you want to make a sturdy, enduring wreath.
Soak your wood in hot water for 24 hours, weighing it down so it’s fully Immersed. Stand the lengths upright and leave to drain before wrapping them in an old towel or rag. The tannins in the wood might stain, so don’t use your best towels and linens, and be careful where you put your bundle, which should be a cool place, so it won’t dry out. Leave the wood wrapped up, allowing the moisture to be retained and evenly distributed – this process is known as mellowing, and it will allow you to weave the strands without them snapping. When you begin weaving, remove one length at a time, to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle. Wind the lengths round in circles, weaving the supple strands around each other and tucking the ends in to secure them. Repeat with multiple strands, to achieve the desired thickness. Obviously, the more strands you use, the sturdier your frame will be, which is good for large wreaths which can be heavily decorated, or alternatively, use very slender lengths more sparingly for an elegant look. To decorate your wreath, add various greenery such as moss, small branches or leaves of evergreens, plus flowers, fruits, seeds, nuts, berries etc. You can attach your decorations using a glue gun or horticultural or floristry wire, or, our favourite method, for a totally natural wreath, fasten decorations by pushing stems into the weave of your circle and securing them with ivy, long thin strands of which can be wound around your wreath for both functional and aesthetic effect. By Debbie Wilson
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Valerie – tells us about some of her fascination for France’s many historical intrigues and puzzles. She’s been gradually drawn to the mysteries and long history of mankind along the length of the River Dordogne. Some of her findings are now published in a book.
“From Source to Sea, a Meander Down the Dordogne Valley” By Valerie Thompson About 30 years ago I bought a small, old, stone house in a rural village in the Correze, a backwater of France, about halfway down the Dordogne River. Essential restoration and improvements made the cottage a true ‘home from home’. Some years later I wrote and illustrated a book about the purchase, the journey, the crazy things that rental guests did and about various aspects of the country which fascinated me, including wild flowers, fungi and standing stones. This was published by Leonie Press with the title “The Hidden Triangle”– the description that writer Freda White gave to this remote area in “Three Rivers of France”, which inspired me to search this region for a holiday house. My journey used to include a regular coffee-stop in Chartres, where I became intrigued by the mysteries of the Cathedral. I subsequently wrote an article for Connexion which won me a prize, mentioning the fact that it had been built over a pagan, sacred spring, on an orientation unlike most East/West churches, and that a Black Virgin statue had been found there, thought the present one on display in a side chapel is
a replacement after the original one was lost in a fire. Also, the labyrinth in the floor used to have a metal plate at the centre, engraved with the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. I wondered why such a story was represented in a Cathedral. More puzzling is a hole in a window, through which the sun shines on midsummer’s day, reflecting off a pale stone, set at an angle to all the darker stones around it on the floor. The stained window
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shows Saint Apollonaris, an early martyr, but surely it is a reference to the Greek God Apollo, the sun god. I became fascinated by the whole story of the River Dordogne, which I can just hear splashing over a ridge of stones, which form a set of rapids below the village. For five years a friend and I drove the length of the Dordogne in fits and starts, taking notes and photographs with the idea of writing a second book. This has now been published by Lulu.com, both as an e-book and as a paper-back, and is available from Amazon and other book distributors. My website, Valerie-thompson.co.uk gives more information on obtaining it. Again, I have illustrated it with line drawings and included hand-drawn maps, which enliven the text. I wrote about geology, geography, pre-history, the Romans, the Cathars, the Templars, the Hundred Years War, the landscape, legends, religious institutions, castles, churches, towns, villages, industry, what is on, in and over the river and who has lived in the vicinity, but I never dwell too long on any one subject but skip briskly to the next as there is so much to tell. The lovely cover uses a painting called “Fish and Fossil,” appropriate references for a book about the Dordogne, by Glyn Morgan, an artist with whom I worked and who visited my French home several times. One highlight of our researches was the exploration of the history of Brivezac (19120), the tiny village where I own my house. To discover that its abbey was of greater importance in the past than nearby Beaulieu, with its large and solid Abbatiale was a revelation. Published March, June, September and December each year The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019
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Riverside at Argentat
Youth, Beaulieu Abbatiale porch The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 35
Now there is just a small church with some of its robbed-out stones scattered in the walls of the village barns. The boules pitch is in the former cloisters, though no walls exist. It is believed that a tunnel runs under the hollow church floor to a Renaissance house opposite, thought to have the family home of Jeanne d’Albret , sister of King Francis I of France. The church suffered during the Wars of religion when Saint Fauste’s bones were said to have been “scattered to the winds”. However, its splendid reliquaries survive and are now in pride of place in the Musée de Moyen Age in Paris, where, though the room was officially closed when I visited, I was permitted to look at and photograph the Limoges-enamelled caskets. Another special place was an apparently unimportant village called Mezels (46110), where lepers were allowed to shelter during a time of persecution, and then, when following up the derivation of the name I discovered links with the word ‘mazar’ – a beggingbowl and even with place names in England where lepers had been looked after. Following a small roadside sign I discovered the well, which had been given to the lepers, lower down in the village than the rest, so that they could not pollute the water. On the riverbank they must have built simple benders of branches covered with cloth or animal skins, and fished in the river for sustenance.
Then there was the extraordinary pre-historic site at Sigoniac (24480), discovered by accident by its owner, who had started to dig a path to one side of his house, only to discover a vertical wall, then a ready-made track and another wall the other side. This led to a set of steps designed for descending, left, right, with single stones for each foot. At the bottom, near a spring, he started excavating the crumbling, muddy, stony platform, on which stood his house. Behind this he found three, hidden, round chambers, one with a weird acoustic, another with a still pool of water in the floor, over which celebrants, of whatever cult ceremonies took place there, would have had to step. Lower down the land is a clapper-bridge, of large slabs over a stream. To the left is an overgrown marsh, thick with reeds and willow trees, in which I am sure he will find votive offerings when he has the time to clear the pool. He has created a museum in his house where all his finds are displayed in historic order. I was thrilled to be allowed to handle the polished stone axe heads and Roman objects he has unearthed.
A bit about Valerie Writing is not the only creative activity I have pursued. At nine, I wanted to be an opera singer, not having ever attended an opera, and was desperate to start piano lessons. At Junior School I learnt a great deal about music and could sing from a score without thinking about it. Finally at eleven I was allowed to start piano and achieved grade 4 after two years – grade 8 in six. Before college I studied with a concert pianist. By thirteen I was already composing and have written a Mass and a Requiem, part of which was performed by a London choir, as well as numerous songs and an Ave Verum, sung at a Sunday service at Westminster Abbey. I still sing with a good choir. At Homerton College, Cambridge I studied Music and Art, then taught both in a Secondary School and later Art to adults at Summer Schools and have sold paintings at exhibitions. During my late forties I returned to College to study Interior Design and ran my own business. Other interests include silversmithing, archaeology, antiques, travel, gardening, genealogy, and writing poetry while I have fun with my four grandchildren. The next project- another book, “Symbolic Stones”!
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L’Escadron Volant The Original Flying Squad!
When we think of modern-day intrigues, hacking, spying and surveillance it is easy to forget that things were ever thus.
Catherine de Medici – Queen and spymaster
There were many political, military and religious problems for her to circumnavigate. So, to empower herself Catherine filled the Royal Court with beautiful and talented women. Then, from among this gathering she created an elite, inner-group of women who were to become her spies. Women that she then sent off in the direction of her potential enemies to seduce, listen, report-back and manipulate. These women became known as Catherine’s ‘flying squad’. The ‘squads’ reputation has been greatly reported, often fictionalised and certainly exaggerated but they were clearly successful and ruthless. Women chosen to join this ‘squad’ were put in a difficult position. Accepting the role could be perilous. Offending, with a refusal, could seriously damage your well-being and prospects.
Isabelle de Limeuil – daughter of Périgord and spy
Catherine de Medici
The Catholic Queen, Catherine de Medici (1519 – 1589) was the daughter of Lorenzo II de Medici and Madeleine de La Tour d’Auvergne. An Italian noblewoman she became Queen of France (1547 – 1559) after her marriage in 1533 (aged 14) to France’s King Henry II. Catherine was not allowed any involvement in French affairs, her husband denied her say. However, after he suffered an untimely and protracted death following a tournament injury, she found herself pivotal in France’s future. As the mother of the soon-to-be young kings, Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III, she suddenly had influence. Her young sons each reigned at times of virtually constant civil and religious strife. So, it was imperative that she found ways of helping her sons and protecting what she felt to be their and France’s interests.
Isabelle de Limeuil was the third of ten children born to Gilles de la Tour d’Auvergne and his wife Marguerite de la Cropte. She was born in 1535 at the Château de Lanquis in the Périgord. At the age of 17 she was called to the French Court at the request of her (distant) cousin Catherine de Medici. Regarded as a beauty, Isabelle was soon enlisted by the Queen into her ‘flying squad’ to work as a spy. Amid her many other professional conquests and even though her heart appears to have truly belonged to another, she was sent to seduce the powerful Hugeuenot, Louis Bourbon, who was then the Prince de Condé. Louis was a political and military rival of Catherine’s son, Henri IIl. Catherine knew that inside information on Louis was going to be essential. Isabelle’s successful liaison with Louis was legendry, so much so that she gave birth to his son in 1564. Whilst in theory this should have evidenced the success of her seduction. It did not please the Queen. Catherine had always insisted that an appearance of morality was to be preserved at Court. None of her ‘flying squad’ were supposed to return to expecting babies. Pragmatically, she did not want her work-force being unable to work whilst confined with childbirth. So, these women were in a perilous situation.
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 37 Issabelle de Limeuil
Almost any of their actions or inactions were likely to anger Catherine, who was very quick and harsh with her punishments. Isabelle’s child was reportedly born in Catherine’s dressing-room and so there was very little hiding the situation. It seems that despite her previous successful ‘flying squad’ work, she was banished from the Royal Court. To add to her plight Isabelle had fallen in love with Louis and after the subsequent death of his wife, she had hoped for some sort of happy reunion. She even took the (then) bold step of naming him as the father of her child. She was, however, shunned, and he quickly married again. Isabelle was sent to a convent before eventually marrying a wealthy banker from Tuscany and then living out the rest of her life quietly in Paris.
Château de Lanquis
Isabelle de Limeuil Isabelle de Limeuil a fait partie de ce qu’on a appelé “L’Escadron volant”, un groupe de courtisanes issues de la meilleure noblesse chargées d’espionner les grands seigneurs du royaume qui pouvaient faire ombrage à la régente catholique, Catherine de Médicis. Délurée et délirante, on lui attribue de nombreux amants, parmi lesquels Robert de Fresne, futur secrétaire d’état, et surtout le prince de Condé, un protestant dont elle a un enfant. Après une période de disgrâce due à son “enflure du ventre”, elle épouse, en 1567, un richissime banquier avec qui elle aura cinq enfants. La belle Isabeau de la Tour d’Auvergne, égérie de Ronsard et de Brantôme, native de la paroisse de Limeuil en Périgord, fait partie de ces femmes au destin exceptionnel. On a dit que son charme puissant ne fut pas étranger à la Paix d’Amboise. Citations de l’histoire complète par : J F Tronel Vous pouvez lire cet article complètement à https://espritdepays.com/dordogne/histoire/ isabelle-de-limeuil-la-scandaleuse
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Feeding our feathered friends T he start of winter greets us with sharp, glistening frosts and short, cold days and this can often be the most important time of the year for our garden birds. Harsh weather conditions mean that not only are birds struggling to find enough natural food supplies, but due to the short days, they have less time to find it. Supplementary winter feeding is literally vital for our birds and we can all help by providing a generous supply of high-energy foods; the more diverse the better, as you’re more likely to attract a wider variety of species. Opt for oil-rich, peanuts (ensuring that these are fed from a wire mesh feeder, to prevent choking) and energy packed sunflower seed mixes. For an extra special treat, put out some nutritious peanut cakes, specialist peanut butter for birds or fat balls. These are enormously popular with garden birds and you won’t be disappointed with the number of visitors eager to get a peck at this avian super-food! Vivara has developed a wide variety of bird foods and a range of patented recipes with added seeds and insects. Their special varieties are jam-packed with calories and nutrients and lend themselves to all types of gardens. They also make perfect gifts!
Don’t forget to stock up on multi-packs over winter, you’ll be surprised how well they are received. As well as making big savings when buying in bulk, stocking up will also ensure you are never short of a much-needed hi-energy boost when the weather takes a turn. All products ordered at www.vivara.fr are delivered to your door in France.
Here are a few tips to help you look after your garden birds this winter: • Introduce a bird table to your garden and put out sunflower hearts, high energy seed mixes and chopped up peanut cakes. • In gardens with big birds or squirrels, use feeders in guardian cages to allow smaller birds to feast in peace. This ensures they have access to food without being challenged by dominant garden visitors. • Offer hanging feeders with perching rings. Unlike traditional straight perches, rings allow birds to feed in their natural position, facing forward. This improves visibility when looking out for predators, which allows them to feel safer and stay at feeders longer; vital when daylight hours are limited, and temperatures are at sub-zero.
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 39
• Try to avoid disturbing the birds when they are feeding. Winter nights are long and cold so the first and last feeds of the day are vital; try topping up feeders and tables after dark so that the food is ready for them the next morning. • Provide fresh water – tepid if necessary, but never use antifreeze products. • Chop up apples and pears for blackbirds and thrushes. • Hang up fat cakes or rub them into the bark of trees if you have any tree creepers or goldcrests in the area. • Provide winter roost sites for smaller birds by putting up nest boxes; the birds will then use these for breeding in the spring. • Plant berry-bearing trees and shrubs in the garden such as hawthorn, holly, cotoneaster and berberis. Vivara stock a range of bird food, feeders and care products as well as gifts for the home. You can benefit from a 10% discount using the code FRQPL18. Visit www.vivara.fr or call 0810 1098080 to find out more.
Some key words and phrases glistening frosts gelées scintillantes garden birds oiseaux de jardin natural food supplies aliments naturels high-energy foods aliments riches en énergie wider variety of species plus grande variété d’espèces peanuts les cacahuètes sunflower seed mixes mélanges de graines de tournesol peanut cakes blocs de graisses de cacahuètes perfect gifts cadeaux parfaits stock-up faire le plein high-energy boost boost d’energie a few tips quelques conseils bird table mangeoire temperatures are at sub-zero températures sont à moins de zéro fresh water de l’eau fraiche apples and pears pommes et poires blackbirds and thrushes merles et grives bark of trees écorce d’arbres tree creepers or goldcrests lianes ou cimiers nest boxes nichoirs shrubs les arbustes
Make your garden
a winter wonderland for wildlife
A huge range of wildlife feeders and food is available and ready to be delivered to your door in France. Plus, learn how you can help the birds both this season and beyond with our FREE wildlife guide.
Order your guide at www.vivara.fr/ guidefaune or call us
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Great ‘creepy crawly’ Christmas present idea – perfect for the little ones in your life. Jamie is publishing the stories he wrote for his own children.
Sid The Super Spider
Sid The Super Spider is a fun children’s picture book, about a giant talking spider who befriends a boy to negotiate a quieter life in the family shed. This rhyming story has already been a hit with many insect-loving children, and spiderfearing grown-ups too! Released for the first time on the 28th September 2018, it’s the first of five picture books by author Jamie Snape, the rest of which are soon also to be published. Sid The Super Spider is available to buy as a traditional paperback picture book, or as a Kindle ebook on Amazon sites in many countries around the world.
ry, that it’s a myste Mummy says to such a size. How Sid grew
To remember that it’s my home too, As it’s where I spun my web.
Spiders, Tinsel & (just a little) Christmas Magic In Eastern-Europe a legend has ensured the humble spider’s place amid the wonder of local Christmas festivities.
he legend tells of an impoverished widow with three little children. One Christmas Eve, her children were tucked into their beds whilst she quietly cleaned the house. The house was home to several spiders who (avoiding the broom) spent much of the evening hiding in the corner of a room. When she had finished cleaning, the mother gazed at their Christmas tree. She was disappointed that she
could not decorate it to match those that glistened and sparkled in town. She did her best with ribbons and fruit. Truly, the little tree started to look a little more festive. High in a corner a young spider was saddened by the mother’s disappointment and decided to help. Once midnight struck and the mother slept (the broom safely put away), he climbed down and began to spin his web around the tree. Amazed by his enthusiasm, the other spiders joined in the fun. They scurried over the tree, leaping from branch to branch and then back again. Spiders’ webs now covered the whole tree. Later, Santa arrived. He was touched by the young spider’s attempt to help. But, also amused to see a tree draped in webs. He was not sure that the family would appreciate this ‘webbed’ tree. However, the spiders were so pleased with their work. Santa faced a dilemma! There was no point in being Santa, if you could not spread a little magic. So, he removed one of his gloves and waved a magic hand at the tree. All the webs were turned into beautiful shimmering strands of silver. When the children woke, they saw their tree sparking and glittering in the corner of the room. They had never seen such a beautiful tree. Their mother stood amazed, she knew it was a Christmas miracle. From that day, tinsel became a traditional Christmas tree dressing. People who are familiar with the legend still add an ornamental spider to their tree.
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Tasting the lot
Which wines to drink on cold nights! Let’s start with a bottle (or two) of Cahors Welcome to winter 2018. There is something rather nice about planning warming meals, Christmas and New Year celebrations and then for me finding new wines to make the celebrations all that more special.
ost-harvest has been the best time to travel around the region tasting new wines from old favourite vineyards and trying an awful lot of new wines. I was incredibly fortunate in October to join the South African blind wine-tasting champions at a training session with the fabulous Malbec grape. My friend Anita is the captain of South Africa’s finest wine tasters! The International Championships were held in Beziers and Belgium won 144 points, beating France by 29 points, South Africa came 10th with 105 points and UK a shocking 20th with only 63 points! For the training session we met the day before the competition in the Malbec lounge in Cahors, organised by the lovely Jean Vincent Ridon who had taken the team to meet as many winemakers and owners as he could in the Cahors region and then they tasted 12 different Malbecs from the Cahors AOP region. After discussing the good and the bad of each bottle there were 4 favourites.
My favourite was La Berangeraie, Cuvee Maurin 2015 from Grezels (46700). One of the loveliest vineyards in the region. It started in 1971, when Cahors received its AOP status. The derelict buildings were turned into a marvellous winery and the vineyards brought back to life. A family business from the start this vineyard and its wines should most definitely be on everyone’s Christmas list! My 2nd favourite was Vendemia, from Lo Domeni, Caillac (46140). A delicious wine from this relatively new winery north of the River Lot. Pierre has been the owner since 2004. The grapevines are, in some parts, over 40 years old. The vineyard is 6ha in size and well worth a visit. There are a range of delicious wines to choose from, something to suit every palate. For me, I have bought quite a few bottles of Vendemia for Christmas and New Year drinking as it goes fantastically with duck and venison (both on the menu this winter)! My suggestion for anyone that feels they have already tried everything is, Les Laquets from Domaine
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And now … 2 meaty recipes making the best of the great Cahors wine (and then a naughty dessert – also using lovely local goodies)
Cosse et Maisonneuve. Run by two talented oenologists and winemakers: Matthieu Cosse and Catherine Maisonneuve. Matthieu (winemaker) is a graduate of the Institute of Enology in Bordeaux, and Catherine (oenologist) holds a BTS viticulture and oenology in Blanquefort. 15 years ago, they took over a 5-hectare estate in Prayssac (46220), a short distance from Cahors. It had been planted with Malbec vines (average age of the vines is 55 years). They set out to make wines that are the antithesis of the rustic image of Cahors. Their very first vintage was a cuvée called Les Laquets, this was the wine we tried but they have also expanded their range, creating separate cuvées to reflect the identity of the different terroirs of the estate. There is now a total of 17 hectares of vines planted predominantly with Malbec with a little Merlot and Tannat. The vineyard is biodynamic, and the wines are big and bold. I loved them. Thank you My final Christmas wine suggestion from this tasting was Cuvee Clos des Pradelles, Domaine Campoy from Flaujac- Poujols (46090). This wine was delicious, and we felt that it could be drunk at any time. Especially as we were drinking it early in the morning! It was beautifully made with 100% Malbec grape. This represents just a small selection of fabulous wines for Winter, Christmas, New Year and into Spring that are available from this lovely wine region. If you would like some more ideas, then please check out Tasting The Lot. Throughout the year we taste wines from around the South West. Before I go and tidy up my wine store – there are a few extra suggestions – places to visit and buy for the winter season. Domaine du Garinet and Maison Neuve in Le Boulvé (46800), Hauts St George and any of the Georges Vigouroux collection (46000) and my favourite fall-back wine is Chateau Eugenie in Albas (46140). I particularly love their sparkling! Tasting The Lot can help organise wine tasting parties or food and wine evenings for Christmas or birthday presents, hen parties, ice breakers or in your holiday home for clients for 2019. All food and wine will be provided.
Venison meatballs with Cahors wine sauce & pasta
Ingredients For the meatballs 2 free-range eggs, 125ml milk, 450gr minced venison steak, 200gr breadcrumbs, 75gr parmesan, grated, 1 garlic clove finely chopped, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp juniper berries (toasted, crushed and added for and extra flavour, but can be optional) For the sauce 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 stick celery finely chopped, 4 garlic cloves finely chopped, 150gr tomato purée, 450ml Cahors red wine, 450ml pint chicken stock, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary Method For the meatballs, beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add the minced venison, breadcrumbs, parmesan and garlic and mix well. Mould the meatball mixture into balls, each the size of a golf ball. Place the meatballs onto a plate or tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the meatballs from the fridge and place into a hot frying pan. Fry for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown all over. For the sauce, heat the oil in a separate frying pan. Fry the onion, celery and garlic for 5-6 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 7-8 minutes, until the sauce is thick and deep red in colour. Add the wine, chicken stock and rosemary and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the meatballs are completely cooked through. To serve, place a generous portion of cooked spaghetti into each serving bowl. Spoon over equal amounts of the meatballs and sauce, and finish with grated parmesan. This dish goes fantastically with Mike and Sue Spring’s Domaine du Garinet Fut de Chene 2008 or Hauts St George 2015.
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 43
Wild boar, Cahors wine & juniper berry pie saucepan over the boiling plate. Add the olive oil, then fry the wild boar pieces for 3-4minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove the browned wild boar from the saucepan and set aside in a warm dish. Add the pancetta/ bacon to the dish the wild boar was cooked in. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until some of the fat is released from the meat. Add the shallots, carrots and mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the bay leaves and parsley sprigs (if you chose to do so). Then return the boar pieces to the pan. Add the flour and stir well until it coats all the ingredients. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to the boil. Transfer to the simmering plate and simmer the mixture until the volume of liquid has reduced by a quarter, about 15-20 minutes. Add the beef stock, then cover the casserole dish with a lid. Ingredients For the meatballs Plain flour, for dusting, 500g ready-made all-butter puff pastry, 1 free range egg, beaten Pie filling ingredients 1kg wild boar shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into large pieces, Salt and freshly ground pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil, 175g pancetta or streaky bacon cut into lardons, 225g small shallots, peeled and left whole, 400g carrots, peeled, roughly-chopped, 175g chestnut mushrooms, 2 bay leaves, parsley sprigs (optional), 2 tbsp plain flour, 200ml Cahors wine (I bought some fantastic wine by the litre in the market hall in centre of Cahors), 650ml beef stock, 6 juniper berries crushed Method Season the pieces of wild boar shoulder with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large
Simmer gently for two hours, stirring occasionally, (I normally place my casserole dish on the top of the log burner for the afternoon) until the boar is very tender. Transfer the cooked pie filling to a pie dish and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling mixture to cool. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 0.5cm thickness. Brush the rim and outside edge of the filled pie dish with beaten egg, then lay the pastry over the top of the dish. Press the edges of the pastry down to reach down the sides of the pie dish, then trim any excess. If desired, use any trimmings to decorate the top of the pie. Brush the pastry all over with the remaining beaten egg, then cut a small cross in the centre of the pastry using a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape. Transfer the pie to the roasting oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden-brown and the filling is piping hot. Serve with delicious parsnip mash and green beans and perhaps a fabulous wine from Château Eugenie, Albas.
Sloe gin and juniper jelly & homemade ice-cream For the jellies 600ml apple juice, 300ml sloe gin, 3 strips orange rind, 4 juniper berries - bruised, juice of 1 lemon, 75g granulated sugar, 9 small leaves gelatine (about 18g) For the ice cream 300ml milk, 115g caster sugar, 3 egg yolks, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 450ml sour cream or crème fraiche, 4 tbsp lemon juice Published March, June, September and December each year The Périgord Local • December 2018 - February 2019
44 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL
Method To make the jelly, put all the ingredients except the gelatine in a pan and bring to just below the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer on a very low heat for five minutes. Set aside for 20 minutes. Put the gelatine in a dish and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for about three minutes. This amount makes for quite a soft set. If you are planning to turn out the jellies, use an extra leaf. Reheat the apple juice to warm and strain into a jug. Gently squeeze out the water from the gelatine leaves and add them to the warm liquid, stirring to dissolve. Divide between six glasses or pudding moulds and leave to cool. Refrigerate the jellies to set them – at least six hours. To make the ice cream heat the milk with half of the sugar, stirring to dissolve. With an electric beater, whisk the rest of the sugar with the egg yolks until creamy-white and foamy. Bring the milk to scalding point again, add the vanilla and pour the milk on to the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Put in a heavybottomed pan or a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat gently to thicken, stirring all the time. The mixture must not overheat, or the eggs will scramble. Run your finger across the back of the spoon; if it leaves a path in the mixture, the custard is ready. Immediately pour into a bowl sitting in some cold water and leave to cool. When the custard is cold, stir in the sour cream and lemon juice and either churn in an ice-cream machine, or put in a broad, shallow box and freeze until set, stirring occasionally so you don’t get ice crystals. About 6 hours until set.
Expat Radio is an online digital radio station for English speakers with a diverse array of programming with eclectic music, topics, interviews, competitions, news and politics. The goal is to offer a little bit of home, some nostalgia and all-round radio entertainment.
Founder, Dave Hailwood, believes it’s essential for a radio station to engage with listeners by hosting shows that appeal to everyone. Whatever your personal taste in music, be it rock, dance, hip-hop, disco, motown, country, northern soul, classical or golden oldies, you can be sure to find something you like. Charles Hanson is joining Dave once a month to do valuations and to talk to expats who send in the photos of antiques they’d like valuing and even sending to auction. Rosemary Conley will be continuing her health and fitness show in September. She would like listeners to get in touch regarding a healthy lifestyle and to ask her any questions you may have regarding diets or fitness regimes.
A very Happy Christmas and New Year from Luci xx U.K./France van deliveries U.K./France van deliveries
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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 45
LeLangage des Arbres Si lors d’une balade en forêt, vous vous êtes arrêtés devant une souche d’arbre mort présentant des repousses bien vertes, alors c’est que vous savez déjà qu’il suffit souvent d’observer pour comprendre…
e récentes observations et expériences scientifiques ont permis de mettre en avant un système de communication entre les végétaux. Elles ont amené à revoir nos connaissances et peut-être pourront-elles faire changer nos choix de société (mécanisation, industrialisation, sédentarisation) et prendre conscience des effets désastreux de l’urbanisation sur la faune, la flore, l’eau, l’air et la terre.
RESEAU Savez-vous que les racines d’un arbre occupe un espace 2 à 4 fois plus vaste que la surface de sa ramure externe (le houppier) ? Il en résulte un entrelacement des ramifications souterraines qui crée autant de points de contact et d’échange entre les arbres. C’est là qu’un réseau de champignons intervient, car ils garantissent la continuité de la transmission. En transmettant les signaux d’un arbre à un autre, ils concourent à l’échange d’informations. Ainsi les plantes communiquent entre elles via ce réseau « internet » de champignons qu’on nomme « Wood Wide Web » qui permet aussi de distribuer la nourriture. C’est notamment Suzanne Simard, de l’université de Colombie Britannique, qui a découvert cette relation entre les racines et des champignons, que l’on nomme la mycorhize. Le réseau est composé de minces filets de champignons que l’on appelle mycélium et qui va transporter l’eau et d’autres éléments chimiques sous la terre, autour de l’arbre partenaire, jusqu’à rejoindre le réseau voisin et constituer un immense maillage souterrain. C’est une association gagnant-gagnant : les champignons mycorhiziens aident l’arbre à obtenir les sels minéraux dont il a besoin (le phosphore et l’azote) tout en le protégeant d’attaques parasitaires alors qu’ils exigent en échange une rançon sous forme de sucres et glucides que l’arbre leur reverse ! Ce réseau permet surtout aux arbres de s’entraider dans leur croissance et épanouissement. Suzanne Simard a été la première à montrer que les arbres primaires, ou arbres-mères, vont gérer la diffusion de substances envers de jeunes plants afin de pallier
un manque de lumière, ou les prévenir d’un danger environnemental. Cette « alimentation maternelle » synchronisée aux besoins permettrait la survie à une majorité de jeunes plants connectés à ce réseau fongique pour bénéficier de ses réserves. Les arbres-mères ne nourrissent d’ailleurs pas seulement les enfants-arbres, mais aussi les arbres voisins qui peuvent avoir besoin d’un soutien pour leur développement, à charge de revanche bien entendu. Cet échange de substances nutritives est toujours équitable car les arbres, d’une même espèce, sont capables de connaître les besoins de chacun et de diffuser les substances en conséquence. C’est donc une entraide, on prend soin les uns des autres. Ce rééquilibrage s’effectue là aussi par les racines et pourrait être assimilé à un service d’aide sociale !
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Pour en revenir à cette vieille souche qui reverdit, l’explication se trouve dans ce même réseau qui prend soin d’un arbre « dit mort » et le nourrit de substances chimiques pour lui permettre de rester « vivante ». Bien évidemment, une forêt plantée de la main de l’homme ne permettra pas de tels échanges : les racines des arbres ont été coupées pour permettre leur réimplantation et leur durée de vie, avant abattage, trop courte pour laisser le temps à un réseau fongique efficace de se mettre en place…
ODEURS Le langage se fait aussi par les odeurs : pour se protéger des prédateurs mangeurs de feuilles (les girafes sur les acacias ou les chevreuils sur des chênes, par exemple), les arbres augmentent la teneur en substances toxiques de leurs feuilles, ce qui indispose les gourmands. Si une chenille plante ses mandibules dans une feuille, alors le tissu végétal se modifie : il émet des signaux électriques qui, en se propageant d’1 cm par minute, indiquent à l’arbre la fabrication d’anticorps. Selon le danger ou l’attaque, les substances odorantes sont différentes et permettent aux arbres de se prévenir entre eux. Les insectes sont identifiés grâce à leurs salives distinctes (sens du goût) et les végétaux sont même capables de produire des substances qui attirent les prédateurs des agresseurs et ainsi s’en débarrasser. Même si la vitesse de réaction (transmission chimique) à l’intérieur est un peu lente, la propagation des odeurs dans les airs s’ajoute et indique le danger aux parties aériennes, distantes tout au plus de 100m du tronc de l’arbre. Bien évidemment, l’information est aussitôt transmise aux arbres voisins par le réseau racineschampignons pour qu’ils préparent également leur défense. Signaux chimiques, électriques, olfactifs, hormonaux, …. Les végétaux savent donc bien communiquer entre eux pour se défendre en force !
SONS Des scientifiques, mais aussi les personnes en lien avec la nature comme des gardes forestiers, ont su prendre
le temps et accepter de remettre en cause leurs connaissances pour avancer dans la compréhension des plantes – et surtout des arbres de la forêt. Ils ont constaté que des sons (vibrations) étaient émis par les plantes, grâce à l’enregistrement de basses fréquences par des capteurs. Ces vibrations seraient notamment perçues par beaucoup d’insectes qui recevraient le message pour venir recueillir du nectar, par exemple. Comme tout être vivant, la plante a une activité électrique qui varie en fonction de l’environnement Les plantes produisent des sons que nous ne pouvons pas percevoir. Ils servent à stimuler les chaines protéiniques pour réagir à la température, éloigner ou attirer les insectes : cette science s’appelle la génodique. On place des électrodes sur une feuille et sur une racine. En captant les différences de potentiel entre les deux points, on obtient une ondulation électrique qu’on transforme en son. Cette mélodie (protéodie) peut faire ensuite varier la croissance de la plante ou combattre une maladie. L’étude de la vie secrète des arbres est patiemment racontée par Peter Wohlleben dans un livre qui nous oblige à revoir la forêt et nous rapprocher de la nature pour mieux la comprendre. Respecter une gestion raisonnée de la forêt pour ne pas puiser dans son écosystème plus que nécessaire, réinstaurer le débardage animal qui, contrairement à l’utilisation des machines, ne compacte pas la terre et n’en détruit pas les précieux réseaux d’échange et de transmission permettrait à la forêt de conserver son rôle protecteur contre les risques ou catastrophes naturelles, ainsi que son rôle bienfaitrice d’ondes calmantes, délassantes ou énergétiques qu’elle transmet aux humains qui la parcourent* Si les arbres parlaient, ils nous diraient : « Laissez-nous tranquilles ! »… *Des études ont mis en avant le Syndrome du « Nature Deficit Disorder » ou syndrome du manque de nature : les effets d’une vie privée de nature démontrés sur des personnes qui passent trop de temps dans des locaux ou véhicules : de graves déséquilibres (problème d’attention, obésité, anxiété, dépression, …) sont apparus qui pourtant pourraient tout simplement être évités en passant plus de temps à l’extérieur, que ce soit pour se promener, faire du sport, éduquer, …. et contribuer à la prévention du mal-être, ainsi qu’à la guérison de certaines pathologies. Il est donc sérieux et mesurable, en termes de santé publique et à l’échelle individuelle de penser à inclure la nature dans son quotidien *Richard Louv « Last Child in the Woods »
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 47
TheLanguage ofTrees A summary
Tree roots occupy a space 2-4 x as large as their canopy. The intertwining roots create a www (Wood Wide Web) allowing interaction between trees. They transmit messages and nutrition using not only the roots but also a network of fungi, known as mycorrhiza. In exchange for sugar and carbohydrates these fungi create and extend the network. Mother trees can send nutrition to their offspring, to compensate for her shadow. This feeding ensures the survival of most seedlings located on the network. Mature trees do not only support their ‘young’ they also assist neighbouring trees, often enabling the survival of an otherwise dying tree. Trees re-planted by man do not have this ability, their uprooting ends their involvement with a network. Trees also use odours/toxicity to protect themselves from predators (such as oak from hungry deer). Caterpillars chewing triggers electrical signals from the leaves, requesting that the tree increases its production of antibodies. Releasing odours also warns other trees and can be used to attract the natural predators of unwelcome insects. Scientists have discovered that trees emit sounds (vibrations). These detectable messages can be used to communicate with insects and stimulate responses to heat and other environmental changes and disease. ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben asks us to rethink forests altogether, recommended for further reading. Text and photos by Valérie Rousseau
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48 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL
ARTISAN DINANDIER Ce qui est le plus important chez un dinandier quand on rentre dans son atelier c’est de voir sa collection de marteaux et de “tas”(enclumes). S’il a une panoplie assez élargie, vous pouvez être sûr à 80% que c’est un artisan traditionnel. “Voilà le secret “ nous indique Alain Lagorsse, le dernier dinandier d’art de Dordogne, les dinandiers traditionnels en France se comptant aujourd’hui sur les doigts d’une seule main.
ontrairement aux industriels et semiindustriels qui fabriquent mécaniquement ou importent des pièces, ici tout est fait à la main et ce sont presque cent marteaux qui sont alignés dans ce petit atelier de Saint Amand de Coly (24290). A partir de feuilles de cuivre ou de laiton d’épaisseurs différentes suivant les besoins, un dessin sur papier permet dans un premier temps de calculer le gabarit de développement (patron) et de découper le flan de cuivre. “Ce même dessin me permet de vérifier si j’ai l’outillage, marteaux et tas. Si je ne l’ai pas, je forge mes outils selon les objets à fabriquer”. Le dinandier doit donc connaitre le travail du cuivre et du laiton mais également le travail de la forge. La pièce est ensuite mise en forme, galbée et martelée. L’opération de martelage ou de planage consiste à donner des coups de marteau sur toute la
surface du métal ce qui lui donne sa longévité, son brillant et sa finition. Le cuivre ou le laiton se travaillent généralement à froid jusqu’à une certaine épaisseur mais sous l’effet d’un choc avec le maillet ou le marteau lors de la mise en forme, le métal s’écrouit (se durcit), il faut donc le chauffer afin qu’il retrouve sa malléabilité. “Je forme, je recuis, je reforme, je recuis, autant de fois qu’il le faut pour arriver à la forme désirée”. De la petite casserole à sauce ou du petit alambic à parfum à l’alambic de 800 litres, en passant par divers plats, casseroles, soupières, théières, marmites, sauteuses, plats à paëlla, hottes de cuisine ou de cheminée, vases, barbiers, fontaines, vasques, baignoires, ou encore girouettes, gargouilles, ou baptistères et quêteuses pour les églises, épis en fleurs de lys pour le château de Versailles, ou ce chaudron pour un magicien pour lequel il a fallu
THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 49
retrouver le secret se trouvant dans le couvercle, ou encore cette poêle à œufs offerte à Pierre Perret, et jusqu’à la couverture de 5000 m² en cuivre de la basilique de Yaoundé au Cameroun, le métier est très diversifié. Et certains objets, comme les turbotières par exemple, restent l’apanage de l’artisan ne pouvant être faites industriellement. Le dinandier s’adapte à la demande et travaille également en réparation sur des vieux objets à décaper, polir ou redresser, pour les pièces décoratives, ou décaper et ré-étamer à l’intérieur pour les pièces utilitaires telles que les casseroles. La demande en restauration devient plus importante du fait du manque de professionnels. “Le secret pour garder les objets décoratifs propres est de ne pas les toucher avec les doigts car la transpiration fait un dépôt d’acidité sur le métal et l’oxydation se développe”. C’est à l’âge de 15 ans qu’Alain Lagorsse est amené par son oncle chez un dinandier où il apprend le métier pendant 3 ans, il n’y prendra goût qu’un an et demi après lors de la fabrication de sa première pièce : une bassinoire. Il part ensuite avec les compagnons du Tour de France pendant 6 ans, puis, natif de la Corrèze, revient dans la région et s’installe en 1979 à Saint Amand de Coly. Il est promu meilleur ouvrier de France en 1989.”J’ai eu la chance de passer sur le Tour de France à une époque où j’ai eu affaire à des vieux de la vieille qui m’ont fait voir des coups que même d’autres dans les entreprises ne connaissaient pas et c’est comme ça qu’en peu d’années j’ai pu apprendre et m’installer tout gamin à 25 ans ici”. Pour lui, le métier ne s’éteindra pas, “il y aura toujours un artisan par ci par là, ça fait partie de notre patrimoine et celui qui restera et se prêtera à la demande aura vraiment beaucoup de travail parce qu’il n’y a plus rien en France”.
Alain Lagorsse is the last of a Dordogne dynasty of coppersmiths. There are less than a handful of ‘Dinandiers’ (traditional brassware makers) left in France. At the age of 15, Alain started to learn the trade from his uncle before then continuing his training throughout France, under the guidance of traditional coppersmith masters. Alain now works from his small workshop in Saint Amand de Coly (24290), making everything by hand. This is the home to hundreds of special hammers and anvils. Working in sheets of copper and brass, he first draws out his patterns on paper, checking that he has the correct tool. If not, the first job is to create a tool to fit. As well as being able to work the metals, the coppersmith must also be a master of the forge and a tool-maker. The crafted items are then shaped, curved and hammered. The ‘hammering’ of the surface of the metal gives it its longevity, brilliance and recognisable finish. Copper or brass are generally cold-worked but under the impact of mallets or hammers the metal hardens. So, malleability is regained with the often-regular application of heat. From a small saucepan, casserole dishes, kitchen hoods, fountains, baths, sinks, gargoyles to large alembic stills of 800 litres, the work is very varied. Alain was even asked to create the 5000 m2 copper cover for the Basilica of Yaoundé in Cameroon, and parts of the ‘fleurs de lys’ decorating the château de Versailles. It is not all about creating new objects. There is a great demand for his skill in repairing old items. The lack of available craftsmen to create new pieces makes the job of repairing existing items increasingly important. Alain’s tip for the preservation of items is to avoid touching them – the acidy of perspiration causes harm. His hope for the future is that this important craft is not forgotten and that it is taken up by people with a passion like his. Text and photos by Dominique Buridant
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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 51
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English-speaking advisors are just a phone call away ! Crédit Agricole Charente-Périgord regional branch, cooperative organisational structure with variable capital, approved as a credit institution - Head office : 28-30 rue d’Espagnac, Soyaux (Charente) - Registered on the Angoulême companies register, under the number 775 569 726 - Insurance broker registered on ORIAS, the French Organisation for the register of Insurance Intermediaries, under the number 07 008 428. © Photo credits : Jean-Marc Barrère - Design : Maïa www.maia-creation.com - 05/2018
The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...
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The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...