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March – April 2018 Issue 33

uercy Local The

The Region’s FREE magazine in English

Spring Edition Inside – Violets, Vegans and Transhumance A Missing Bugatti Box Tree Caterpillars Lauzerte and Luzech

Hotel, Restaurant and Spa. In the heart of the region and close to you. Do you know about our ‘Déjeuner Détente’? From Monday to Friday, including one hour access to our wonderful Spa and lunch. Onwards 39€ (see our website for more details). For perfect moments of relaxation, on your own or as a couple, see our list of treatments. Hotel & SPA Le Moulin de Moissac*** 1 Promenade Sancert - 82 200 Moissac Tel : + 33 5 63 32 88 88 - Fax : + 33 5 63 32 02 08 E-Mail: Hotel & Spa le Moulin de Moissac

Cement Tiles, and garden furniture/decorations - including Moroccan and Vintage styles Tel. 05 63 39 96 46 Mobile. 06 80 36 54 99

Parc d’exposition de 3 hectares Show Room - Livraison dans toute la France

Wholesaler of renovation, construction and decorative materials Vast selection of paving stones and travertine. Everything for your outdoor space Tél 05 63 95 39 08 Pont Rout, 82110 LAUZERTE

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


Welcome to the 1st edition of 2018 and to what we hope is going to be an improving and drier spring. So far this year seems to have been defined by mud and puddles! In this edition we’ve taken a quick look at 2 local towns, Lauzerte and Luzech. It’s interesting to approach towns for details of what goes on, naturally it means speaking to Tourist Offices and interested parties. The response varies, we discovered this last year and it looks as if this will be a running-theme for this year. Some places seem to have so much going on, they could fill a book, whilst others just shrug and look bemused. We’ll keep persevering (we are like that) and doing our own research as required. A huge thank-you to the towns and people that do get involved. And, just so there’s plenty of warning – in the May edition we are going to be visiting Caylus and Penne d’Agenais – all information gratefully received. We’ll be starting work on this at the start of March. We keep saying that this is a magazine that is driven by what people do and want to tell us about. People do, and we are grateful for that. If you think this should include you – please get in touch. This March has seen the launch of our sister-magazine The Périgord Local. It’s taken a huge effort to get this off the ground. It has been interesting finding out where the many similarities between the Quercy and the Périgord start and stop. The next edition will be out for the start of May. In the meantime you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram or via our website. As always we ask you to please support our advertisers whenever possible. Email:


CONTENTS Vanessa Couchman – Writer The Scented Emperor – Violets Anglican Church – Cahors Manual Therapy – Animals A Vegan Path in France A Driving Ambition – Classic Cars A Missing Bugatti The Périgord Local Festival le Temps des Guitares Lauzerte Luzech Transhumance to Luzech Help with your Insurance Jeff Price Changes in French Taxation Pour une cuisine équitable (FR) Un Bon Produit Gardening with the Moon Box Tree Caterpillar Permanent Residence or French Citizen Annual Shakespearean Tour A Lot of Cakes Tasting the Lot Summonsing Help SOS The Good Samaritan Law Wine – IGP Périgord



p.6 p.8 p.9 p.12 p.13 p.20 p.22 p.24 p.26 p.28 p.42 p.46 p.48 p.52 p.55 p.56 p.57 p.58 p.60 p.62 p.64 p.68 p.70 p.74 p.75 p.78


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Mick Bates – Monflanquin (47150) General Electrician

Certified & Registered Business in France for all Electrical Works | New & Renovation Works Plumbing | All works guaranteed | Free quotation

Tel. 05 82 95 05 73 Port. 06 27 71 94 51 Refer to this advert to receive a 10%discount The Quercy Local ISSN: 2116-0392. No part of this publication may be copied, used or reproduced without the written consent of the proprietor. No responsibility is accepted for any claim made by advertisers. All content accepted and printed in good faith. Please check that all advertisers are registered businesses in France or in their home country. The Quercy Local is owned and managed by A Atkinson (Las Razes, Touffailles,( 82190) Siret: 518 460 605 00018. It’s produced by the Magazine Production Company, West Sussex, UK. Printed by Gráficas Piquer. French admin. Valérie Rousseau.


Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018



Meet a local writer inspired by France, its history, people and culture.

I have lived in Caylus, Tarn-et-Garonne, since 1997 and worked as a freelance writer and journalist, writing for various French lifestyle magazines. I now focus on writing novels and short stories. The history and culture of France fascinate me. I’m also a great fan of the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which has always been a land apart with its own distinctive character. We have visited Corsica six times and I’m itching to get back there this year! It’s a very happy hunting ground for a writer. Joining expat writers’ community Writers Abroad gave me the motivation to start writing fiction again in 2010, after a very long gap. Writers Abroad is a small group of very accomplished writers, who have really helped me to improve my writing. Since then, I have written numerous short stories, many of which are inspired by and set in France. This gave me the idea of publishing French Collection: Twelve Short Stories. My first novel, The House at Zaronza (Crooked Cat, 2014) is set in early 20th-century Corsica and at the Western Front during World War I and is based on a true story. The owners of the Corsican chambres d’hôtes where we stayed found a bundle of love letters walled up in the attic, dating back to the 1890s. They were written by the village schoolmaster to the daughter of the house, evidence of a clandestine love affair: a gift for a novelist! My second novel, The Corsican Widow, will be published in spring 2018 and is set in 18th-century Corsica and Marseille. Other Corsica projects include a World War II sequel to The House at Zaronza and a novella about vendetta. My immediate project is a two-book story which starts in Belle Epoque France in the late 19th century and goes up to the end of World War II. It follows the fortunes of a woman born of humble origins in SW

France who must overcome social prejudice to become an opera singer. An expat writer’s life can be solitary, so we’re very lucky to have such a thriving literary scene in the area. I owe a lot to the local Parisot Writing Group, whose members provide helpful and positive criticism in a friendly and non-competitive atmosphere. I was also a founder of the Parisot Literary Festival (Festilitt), now an annual fixture in the literary calendar. Website: French life blog (Life on La Lune):

Editor’s note French Collection: Twelve Short Stories It seems that the real test of a short story it is whether you wish it were longer. I had the chance to read these 12 stories during the darker (and rather wetter) days of January and the ending of each tale brought with it a momentary sadness. Living in France means that so many of the books we read are set in what have become, increasingly unfamiliar worlds. Reading stories that reflect our adopted cultural-background provides a great new joy.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Quercy Counselling

Bi-­‐lingual architectural  practice   Planning,  design,  project  management   Full  architectural  services  

English-speaking counselling and psychological services on all manner of issues. Based in Belveze, we offer services face-to-face, via telephone and Skype. For more information please see the website: Or contact Elizabeth Cross on +33(0)788279014 or

Sean  Rawnsley  RIBA,  AA  dipl.  -­‐   Tél  :  05  82  81  10  21  -­‐  82330  Verfeil-­‐sur-­‐Seye     Membre  de  l’Ordre  des  Architectes  


2 large, air-conditioned cars, one for 7 and one for 5 people. Service to and from stations and airports Also ‘medical’ transport – Conventionné assurance maladie Child seats and wheelchair access 24 hrs / 7 days – Any distance

Mob: Tel: email: Based – 82200 MONTESQUIEU

Ironwood Motif Artist Blacksmith, Ferronnerie d’Art

In business in France since 2005, we create outstanding traditional and contemporary ironwork for indoors and outdoors. Pergolas, staircases, railings, handrails, balustrades, balconies, gates, sculptures, outdoor structures and more... simple or elaborate, intricate or uncomplicated, small or large, we can fabricate, forge and hand make ironwork customised to your needs.

Individual, original and unique.

Take a look at our website and follow us on Ironwood Motif, Ferronnerie d’Art and on Instagram Ironwood Motif 46330, BLARS, 00 33 (0)5 65 30 53 99, SIRET: 481 198 638 00019 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


The Scented Emperor

by Mike Alexander


hen Napoleon Bonaparte married Josephine in 1796 she carried a bouquet of violets and wore eau de cologne which was developed from these tiny mauve and blue flowers. Josephine passed on her love for violets to her husband. Historical records reveal that he ordered fifty bottles of violet based eau de cologne per month which he liberally poured over his neck and shoulders. In those days there was not the separation of men and women’s perfumes that we see today. His liberal use of the scent must have come as a welcome respite

to his perfumers who had recently lost so many of their top customers to the guillotine during the revolution. Josephine’s inability to provide an heir eventually led to the annulment of their marriage and the Emperor quickly began to seek out a suitably fertile replacement. He first considered Princess Maria Augusta of Saxony but at the ripe old age of twentyseven there were fears that she might be a little over the hill and unable to endow him with the heir he was so desperate for. Eventually he settled upon the eighteen-year-old Archduchess Marie Louis. Amongst his troops and others loyal to him, Napoleon was known as Caporal La Violette. In a speech to the Imperial Guard, just prior to departing for his banishment to Elba, he said “But know that I shall return when the violets bloom.” True to his word he stepped ashore at Frejus on the 20th of March 1815 just as the tiny flowers were coming out. He was greeted by hundreds of loyal followers. The women wore violets in their hair and the men in their epaulettes as signs of their continuing support. During his exile a cottage industry had developed selling postcards, rings and snuff boxes depicting the flower and thus demonstrating clandestine allegiance to the exiled Emperor rather than King Louis XVII. Josephine died while Napoleon was banished on Elba, but despite having arranged for the annulment of their marriage, Napoleon never lost his love for his first wife. Within a year of his return from Elba the fateful Battle of Waterloo ended his reign. He was again exiled, this time to Saint Helena Island where

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Anglican Chaplaincy of Midi-Pyrénées & Aude Update from the Cahors Congregation For detailed information visit our website: All services are held at Centre Paroissial, 75 av J Lurçat, Terre Rouge, 46000 Cahors

he eventually died. When he was buried he was found to have some dried violets in a locket he always wore around his neck. The petals were said to have been taken from plants he had placed on Josephine’s grave prior to his exile. In Napoleon’s day violets were a crucial ingredient to many perfumes. As flowers they have a delicate woody scent which is sometimes quite elusive as the plants produce ionones which temporarily dull our ability to smell. This soon passes and so we tend to capture the odour in waves rather than as a steady stream. Modern perfume producers have moved away from using the actual plants and instead utilize synthetic substitutes. This may have caused a drop-in business for the nursery men, who were heavily invested in supplying the perfume industry, but they were quick to adapt and find other markets for their products. Toulouse, nick named The Violet City, had built a large industry around the Violette de Toulose which was a cultivar said to have been introduced by Napoleon III. That city now still has many shops selling violet related products that range from scented soaps through to crystallised violets and violet liqueur. As an alternative to Kir with its usual additive of crème de cassis you might like to try Kir à la violette which has a pale mauve colour and a more subtle flavour. The plants grow well in most of the west of France. Wild ones are five petalled and come in colours of purple, white and blue. In many gardens they seem to appear of their own accord and grow so prolifically that they almost become weeds, all be it, with a fine French history to them.

It may have been a while since we were introduced, so please forgive us if we repeat ourselves. We are an Anglican Chaplaincy and part of the Church of England Diocese in Europe. We write from Cahors where services take place in the chapel of the Roman Catholic Centre Paroissial in Terre Rouge; generally, 30 to 40 of us gather together each Sunday. We are a scattered community and some people drive long distances to attend. Our worship styles reflect our diversity, as we are not all are Anglicans. We welcome everyone to our services and social events. We share refreshments after each service and it’s good to be able to catch up with friends regularly. Our members organise refreshments, bring and share lunches and other social events so our fellowship is not confined to Sunday services and this contributes to a friendly atmosphere in which to worship. This is a great place to live, and our worship and fellowship really add to the experience. We can also assist with weddings, baptisms and funerals. Please come and visit us! We can be found each Sunday at 10am at Centre Paroissial, 75 avenue J Lurçat, Terre Rouge, 46000 Cahors. A detailed programme of our services, events and directions can be found on our web site or take a look at our facebook pages This season brings the most important event for all Christians, that of Easter. The anticipation of Easter begins with Lent; the forty-day period synonymous with fasting and preparation for Easter. This year Lent began on February 14th (Ash Wednesday) and ends on March 29th. Lent, for Christians, is about repentance and penitence. “if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Rom 8:17). Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent and this year is celebrated on Sunday March 11th. Holy Week, the week leading up to Christ’s death arrives on Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The atmosphere of the season darkens and our Bible readings anticipate the story of Christ’s suffering and death. Easter Day is 1st April and we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Robert Browning described the absolute redemption and everlasting life brought by Christ in these poignant lines: But Easter-Day breaks! But Christ rises! Mercy every way Is infinite.

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018

SARL TOUBELMONT Your local professional contact with Environmental Warranties (Qualisol, Qualipac, Qualibois, Qualibat) A WELL-KNOWN LOCAL FIRM WITH A GREAT REPUTATION

SWIMMING POOLS Since 2004 TOUBELMONT has specialised in the quality design, construction and landscaping of swimming pools, spa and saunas. Supplying and fitting pool-liners, water-treatment equipment, automatic pool covers and heating solutions. We are happy to guide you to help you achieve your project, provide maintenance and an after-sales service. We offer you a professional, quality service with a ten-year guarantee. For more information or to make an appointment please contact us.

LANDSCAPING The creation and maintenance of landscaped areas. Including grass-cutting, turf laying (either real or synthetic).

BUILDING Restoration of stone buildings, including re-jointing. Drainage both new and renewal. Electrical and plumbing work either new or renewal. Heating: including renewable energy (Red Label), boilers, fuel, gas, wood, granules, heat pumps, air conditioning and solar.

Laveroque 82150 BELVEZE TĂŠl. 05 63 94 30 51- Port. 06 70 72 37 75


Auberge de Miramont David & Karine look forward to welcoming you

Tapas Evening on the first Friday of each month. Opening Hours: Lunches ~ Monday to Saturday / Evenings ~ Friday & Saturday Catering for Special Events 05 63 94 65 57 auberge de miramont Miramont de Quercy (82190)

“I find it extremely difficult to place Mum’s care in people outside of the family because of her specific healthcare needs, but the Helping Hands team have been brilliant. Now, when I need to be away, I have total peace of mind that Mum is safe, comfortable and as happy as can be.” Mrs B, Dunes For anyone who needs help caring for family members or friends I can, from personnel experience, recommend the ‘Helping Hands’ team. They provided me with a care plan for a family member which gave me the freedom to continue participating in activities away from home, be it for one night or a week. Mrs B, Fumel Helping Hands provided a service tailored to meet all of my mother-in-law’s needs emotional, physical and social. Six wonderful women came into our home and took responsibility for her. Her capacity to remember them may already have passed but my husband and I will never forget Helping Hands@Home. Mrs C, Septfonds

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


THE JOY OF MOVEMENT An Introduction For Dog and Horse Owners We all know (or can at least vaguely remember!) how great it feels when our bodies are working as they should be; when we can move freely without any niggles, aches and pains. Well, of course, the same is true for animals.


ike humans, an animals body has an inherent capacity to defend and repair itself and is constantly working to stay healthy. The efficient circulation of bodily fluids (eg. blood and lymph), which are pumped around the body with the assistance of muscles, is essential to this process. However, this can only happen optimally when the body is moving correctly and this all starts with good musculo-skeletal health. My name is Kate Lockwood and I am a highly qualified and fully insured Manual Therapist for Animals. Before moving to France in 2016, I ran my own successful practice in the UK for over 10 years, treating a wide variety of pets, agility dogs and competition horses. I am extremely excited to have now established my business here in the Lot. Manual Therapy works in a gentle way in harmony with the animal’s body to create the perfect conditions to facilitate the natural healing process. By utilising a variety of soft tissue and fascial release techniques, mobilisations and stretching, I can help with many musculo-skeletal problems in animals. Throughout the year I’d like to share my knowledge with you and offer some simple advice to help you create and maintain good musculo-skeletal health for your horses and dogs. By way of an initial introduction, here are just a few very simple, general points to consider in order to help maintain suppleness and vitality in your animals… For dogs, try to ensure that their bed is an adequate size. A bed that is too small won’t allow your dog to stretch out flat and sleep comfortably and may lead to stiffness, muscle tension and joint problems. When it comes to walking your dog, doing so off the lead is ideal (to allow full freedom of movement), but if this isn’t possible try using a chest harness rather than a collar around his neck to allow the spine to function unrestricted.

For horses, allowing them access to wander around your pasture as much as possible, walking them over varied terrain and feeding them their meals (hay and bucket feed) off the floor will all help to promote mobilisation of the spinal joints, stretching and activation of the CORE muscles. Getting a musculo-skeletal assessment and treatment for your animal will not only help with overall health and wellbeing but it also allows me to offer detailed advice specific to your animal and may help identify potential problems before they arise. Listed below are just some of the many reasons my clients might contact me: Horses Change in behaviour or temperament Bucking or rearing Refusing fences Unwillingness to strike off on correct canter lead Resentment to tacking up or mounting Unwillingness to engage hindquarters Dogs Change in behaviour or temperament Unwillingness to jump in or out of the car or onto the sofa Yelping or moaning when getting up from lying down Apparent discomfort when stroked To help maintain general mobility in older dogs Rehabilitation following surgery Please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list and it is always advisable to have a general checkup for your animals at least once a year. Thank you for reading. In the next issue we will discuss Pilates for horses… yes, you read it correctly, Pilates for your horse! What is your horses CORE and why and how can you help activate it? In the meantime, if you would like to get in touch to discuss your animal’s needs, I’d be delighted to hear from you. My contact details are as follows: mobile: 06 02 71 03 45 or email:

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Natalie & Peter

Forging a successful vegan path in rural France Veganism has recently enjoyed a huge surge of interest in the UK. It’s harder to judge in France, but vegan restaurants are popping up in major cities and, there’s a flurry of activity on social media. Importantly, it’s now a topic of conversation meaning that with or without sympathy for the concept, at least people know what it is! Interestingly several professional athletes have more recently adopted vegan diets, including Venus Williams and the England-striker, Jermaine Defoe. What does vegan mean? Put simply, vegans avoid all products derived from animals. Obviously, this includes meat, but also milk, butter and eggs. Vegans also tend to avoid non-food products derived from animals, such as leather. Individual vegans have distinct reasons for their lifestyle choice, but it tends to be out of concern for animal welfare, the damaging environmental impact of animalbased farming and the health benefits of a vegan diet. Athletes tend to become vegan because it improves their performance. From a nutritional perspective it’s straightforward as you can get everything you need from plant-based sources. However, understanding how to achieve a balanced diet is essential. Specialist ingredients can increasingly be found in French supermarkets and independent bio-shops. And let’s not forget that France is blessed with a plentiful supply of great-quality fruit and vegetables. What’s less straightforward is the requisite cooking skill. With the absence of meat and dairy, a vegan-cook must be more inventive with flavouring and find alternative sources of protein and importantly fat. At home, interested people can choose to start a vegan diet, but persuading a French chef to do the same is an entirely different proposition. Most French restaurants will prepare a vegan meal. However, finding one you enjoy is much more difficult. Most developments appear on English Language websites such as Plant Based News ( and Vegan Food and Living ( but little seems to get translated into French. French cuisine is, largely, based on animal products, which may render veganism a poor fit with the French culture. However, the French do take a great interest in the food on their plates; which is exactly what vegans do! We’ve found that French people are often interested in veganism’s principles, even if they’ve no intention Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse Aquafaba has taken the vegan world by storm, it’s the name of the juice found in a tin or jar of beans and is used as an egg substitute for meringues and mousses. I prefer aquafaba to egg white because it’s much more forgiving (you cannot overwhip) and I think it creates a much lighter and smoother mousse. My mousse only uses two ingredients and couldn’t be easier to make. Portions: 6 Prep time: 20 mins Difficulty: easy

of following them. France seems to have a static, food-culture; typically offering similar foods for several decades. Much of the world is moving on with its food whilst France seems to rely on its historical reputation.

About Us We came to France in 2014 to set up a cycling-holiday business, but this was my (Peter’s) project and Natalie wanted to be able to follow her own interests. Most great ideas are born out of necessity and Natalie’s business was no exception; we needed to replenish funds for our house renovation! So, a market stall, selling cakes, was the beginning. My cycling-holiday business gained momentum and we managed to open our chambres d’hôtes. Soon after opening we, not only, admitted to being vegetarians but we went one-stepfurther and changed our business to cater for both vegetarians and vegans. This new direction, to our immense relief, worked really well. Driven firstly by the quality of Natalie’s cooking and secondly, because our niche made us more visible on the internet! The cycling-holiday business and the chambres d’hôtes quickly became complementary and we found more-and-more of our cycling-holiday bookings were from vegetarian and vegans. Natalie always wanted to run a food business, but life had somehow got in the way. Right now, it’s probably the most creative and interesting sector for her to be involved in. It feels like we’re actually doing what was ‘meant to be’ and it’s allowing us a lifestyle we enjoy.

Ingredients 230ml Aquafaba (obtained from 1 jar of chickpeas) 200g 50% patissier chocolate The consistency of the chickpea water is important, it needs to be similar to the consistency of an egg white. This best I’ve found is Lidl chickpeas found in a jar. The Aquafaba once drained off is about 230ml. I use a 50% chocolate. If you use a stronger chocolate, it will be bitterer. If you use a 70% chocolate you might need to add perhaps some sugar, or perhaps agave or maple syrup. Method 1. Begin by melting the chocolate in a bain marie. 2. Whilst the chocolate is melting whip the aquafaba until it forms soft peaks. 3. To stop the mousse becoming grainy place 2 large dollops of the aquafab into the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly 4. Gently fold in the rest of the aquafaba 5. Pour into individual glasses 6. Refrigerate for at least one hour. You can eat them just as they are, but I think berries are the perfect accompaniment for these decadent mousses.

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Vegan Cheesecake (also gluten & sugar free) Portions: 8-10 Prep time: 30 mins Difficulty: moderate

Method & Ingredients For the base: Blitz 200g of walnuts and 150g of dates until it’s sticky. Push into the base of a lined 22cm springform tin. For the filling: Put the following ingredients into a blender: 300g cashew nuts, soaked overnight, a tin of coconut milk, 140g of coconut oil, 100ml Agave Syrup, 1tsp Vanilla extract, the juice of 1 lemon, *1.5 tsp of activated agar agar. * to activate the agar agar, put the powder in a pan with 4 tbsp of boiling water and continue boiling till it’s all dissolved. Blend the ingredients for a few minutes until completely smooth. Pour into the tin and add the topping of your choice. I like to use red fruit or to make patterns with fruit coulis – through which I pass a skewer.

As we embark on our 4th season, we find that our customers feel more like friends. It’s simple we’ve lots in common with them! Moreover, we’re providing much more than just a bed for the night in a nice town, we prepare food with love and it shows. Our vegan, cycling-customers are bowled over by the beautiful scenery and quiet roads. They are also amazed to arrive at a village restaurant for lunch to find they’re expected and a suitable, delicious meal is waiting for them. That’s simply not possible for the casual, vegan-visitor, especially if they don’t speak French. Last winter saw the development of a pop-up vegan and vegetarian café in a local arts space ( This has allowed Natalie to become involved with the local community as well as visitors and produce some useful winter income. We’ve also started doing out-of-season vegetarian and vegan gourmet weekends, aimed at people living within a couple of hours of here. These weekend activities mean that during winter we can close during the week and enjoy what’s needed after a long season – some rest. We’re excited to be a part of this explosion of interest in veganism. It’s enabled us to do something we really enjoy and turn a passion into an income; something that it’s not always easy to achieve in rural France. Natalie has kindly offered to share a couple of her popular recipes for anyone who would like to try and make some vegan desserts... Natalie Lynch and Peter Quaife run: Le Cheval Blanc, 3 Rue Droite, 82140 St AntoninNoble-Val. (33) 5 63 02 23 88, Find out more about Peter’s biking holidays

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018



Artisan recipes dating from 1908




Property Management, Caretaking & Holiday Lettings around Montcuq Marianne Charpentier Part French, 16 years experience with owners, artisans & tenants.

06 71 71 77 22



The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Kingfisher Holidays

Kingfisher Holidays specialise in letting attractive quality properties, all with swimming pools. With over 30 years of experience in the holiday letting market we offer local knowledge and a personal relationship, appreciated by our clients, many of whom return to Kingfisher year after year. If you are interested in letting your property and looking for a high level of professional and personnel service then please contact us at

Wild Oak Wood

Trust MARK

For – Grass Cutting, Strimming, Hedge /Tree Trimming, Log Cutting/Splitting, Power Washing, Window Cleaning, Painting/Sanding/Varnishing (Doors, Windows & Shutters). Pool and Gutter cleaning, General Maintenance and Labouring, Routine Property Checks, Airport Transfers & Pet/House Sitting Reasonable rates – please email Mark Walsh on: M.W Garden Services & Residential Property Maintenance (47370) Siret 832 290 027 00016

Spring Workshops 2018

Meditation - Human Design - Astrology Bushcraft - Fire Lighting - Knife Skills Crafting - Balm Making - Painting - And More…

Quercy Builders (82150)

Stone work and all aspects of renovation Subcontractors to the trade and a professional service to the public References available No obligation quotations 06 52 49 03 57 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Loren and Pierre look forward to welcoming you to their lovely restaurant in the heart of Puy L’Évêque, deep in the Lot valley. Where you will find both local and refined dishes all accompanied by a large range of great wines.

Do you have a painful, chronic health condition? Something such as Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Thyroid Conditions, MS, ME, Chronic Fatigue? The list could go on, there are so many horrid conditions; usually these have no outward sign of the pain, weariness and the feeling of being a little (or a lot) left behind by the world. Perhaps, the people around you get bored with the fact that ‘you’re not well yet’. Sometimes living abroad can make these problems seem worse. It’s perhaps easier to become isolated and there are less people around, speaking your language, that understand how you feel. In response to requests a supportive Facebook page has been created. Anyone with these problems (or similar) is invited to join. The aim is to provide mutual support, boost moral and maybe even get to the point where a group can meet and just have a chat with like-minded afflicted (but determined to be positive) people.

Open All Year from Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 3pm and 6pm – 10pm

24 Grand Rue, 46700 Puy L’Évêque Please reserve - 09 86 31 80 88

Chronic Pain and Conditions - Quercy

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local



SPECIALIST IN Travertine, Wall and Floor Tiling, Plaster Boarding, Plastering, General Building & New Builds References available Mobile Phone: 06 12 82 49 04 Evening Phone 05 63 29 27 31 Email: Siret: 802 145 706 00015 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


A Driving Ambition ‘If you turn your obsession into your profession, you will never work again’. However, this was only half the story, and Andy’s real passion was motorsport, which saw him compete in numerous formulas, from top-level British karting championships, racing single-seaters, sportscars and saloons in both UK and European championships. We’ve caught up with Andy to ask him a few questions about his life with the ‘classics’. Was there a ‘best moment’ during your driving? I’ve had many highs and lows during my time in motorsport, made some great friends and raced at some amazing circuits. My last national race season in 2005 proved a success, finishing runner-up in the ‘British Mini Cooper S’ championship, where I went on to represent Great Britain in the ‘World Finals’ in Italy.


ell I’m sure it’s not quite as simple as that! But for Andy Sayle, from Cross Channel Sports Cars, it certainly was the thinking behind him setting-up his classic car business here in South West France. In Andy’s previous life (for 30 years) he owned and ran a design and marketing agency in Cheshire, where he lived with his wife Ann-Marie and two sons Tom and James.

Andy’s involvement didn’t just stop at competing either. He was also a qualified racing instructor, ran his own race team, raised sponsorship and managed several young drivers, including James Pickford, who in 1998 under Andy’s management became a ‘McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year’ nominee, alongside Jenson Button. So how did the French-connection happen? Well, it was during our numerous trips to compete at race circuits on the continent, that Ann-Marie and I fell in love with France. In 2005 we bought our first holiday

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During our third season we were looking at how we could expand the business and with the commercial car rental insurance proving very expensive, we decided to change our strategy to focus solely on selling classic cars. It was a good move as we’re no longer tied up on a day to day basis, and we can return to the UK, more often, to see out family on our many buying trips.

home in the beautiful hill-top village of Roquecor. We soon realised that this was where we wanted to be and put plans into motion to move here permanently. We purchased ‘La Forge’ a larger house across the square and in 2012 took the plunge. Was this your ‘retirement’ dream? This was not a retirement move, we still needed to earn a living and I was ready for a new challenge, so we decided to start Cross Channel Sports Cars. We launched the business at the ‘France Show’ at Earls Court in 2013, specialising in classic car rentals with a few sales along the way. The rental concept was very well-received, and we generated a great deal of interest and enjoyed three busy years renting Morgan’s and MG’s to clients from all over the world.

What’s involved? Our garage in Montaigu de Quercy (82150) is in a great location and we have many clients from all over France travelling a long way to see and buy our cars. I buy the best cars I can find, but however good they are, they still need various upgrades and improvements. I work closely with my friend and qualified mechanic ‘Andy Smalley’ who specialises in the repair and restoration of classic cars. We even convert MG’s and Triumphs from ‘right’ to ‘left-hand-drive’ if our clients prefer. What’s the future for classic cars? Classic cars are currently proving a very popular investment, with a significant increase in values across all marques. Many people really do like the idea of investing in something that’ll give them investment potential, endless amounts of pleasure and the opportunity to meet other like-minded people (even petrol-heads). So, I think the future’s bright and we look forward to welcoming more people to see the beautifulclassics at Cross Channel Sports Cars.

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


A MISSING BUGATTI; THE CAR; THE HERO AND THE WRITER THE BOOK: Fatal Pursuit – A case for Bruno, Périgord’s famous Chief of Police is a captivating novel written by Martin Walker and based on the enduring mystery of a Bugatti sportscar. A car that went missing during WW2, as it was moved from the Périgord to Bordeaux. Walker takes what’s known about the missing Bugatti and weaves it into an intriguing, wellwritten story. There’s some artistic license but the actual mysterious tale is based on fact. The story is based in many towns that’ll be recognised by readers. The various elements of the book and its characters come together seamlessly. There’s the perfect amount of time given to the development of each character and the plots. This allows the story to flow well and produces an enjoyable read. There’s murder, romance, and a very well painted picture of the local way-of-life; including some mouth-watering descriptions of local produce! We’d never heard about this car or the mystery before. We are now intrigued. This book is a real page-turner, and even non-car enthusiasts are encouraged to read it, you may develop your own theories and go on to do some of your own research!

down the car is its most revered feature; the concept car had a fin because of its externally riveted body panels (which were made of Elektro – a magnesium alloy). The production Atlantic kept this feature even though its panels were made of Aluminium. Only four ‘production’ cars were produced, one’s in a museum in California and the second belongs to Ralph Lauren. The third was partially destroyed when it was hit by a train at a crossing near Gien, France. The driver and his companion perished but most of the car survived to be confiscated by the police. In 1965 it underwent a full restoration. The last, and the missing car, ‘La Voiture Noir’ was never registered. It was used by members of the Bugatti family and their racing driver, William GroverWilliams. The car was on a list of cars sent to Bordeaux in 1941 but was never seen or heard of again. There’s much speculation that it was taken by the Nazis and scrapped. That would be a sad end. Maybe it’s worth checking barns in and around the region; it may have been hidden and forgotten!


THE CAR: A 1936 Bugatti 57S is the star of the book and its full-story remains a mystery. This model of car is believed to be the most beautiful car ever manufactured and the surviving 3 examples the world’s most expensive. The type 57 Atlantic production model was produced in 1936, based on the 1935 concept car known as the Aerolithe. The eye catching ‘fin’ running

William Grover-Williams was the enigmatic man in the middle of the ‘real-life’ mystery of ‘La Voiture Noir’. Grover-Williams lived (and died) a life of mystery, intrigue and equally great success. Born in France to an English father and French mother he led a colourful early life with mystery surrounding much of his family’s life. He became a racing driver for Bugatti and won 7 GrandPrix titles at the end of the 1920s and early 1930s; including the very first race held at Monaco; where he was not driving for ‘team Bugatti’ but as a private entry. The Bugatti (normally pale blue) was painted in what was to become ‘English Racing Green’.

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Martin Walker

With the arrival of WW2, William was recruited, by the British, to the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to assist the French Resistance. He recruited fellow racing driver Robert Benoist and they worked in Paris, forming sabotage cells and aiding Allied parachute operations. In 1943 Grover-Williams was arrested by the Germans and tortured before being deported to Berlin and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In 1945, he was reportedly executed by the Nazis. There’s a theory that Grover-Williams survived the war and lived on under the assumed identity of ‘Georges Tambal’ who lived with his widow for many years. More bizarrely, rumours suggest he was, actually killed, years later after being knocked from his bike in Agen by a car of German tourists. His family deny these possibilities.

THE WRITER: Martin Walker has had a home in the Périgord since the 1990s. He was drawn by the food, wine, history and engrossing intrigue of the region; all of which inspires his now prolific,’ Bruno, Chief of Police’ novels. Martin, a scholar and historian, has worked for British and American Newspapers and global organisations. He and his wife Julia Watson, novelist and food writer, have two daughters and a basset hound. Their time is divided between Washington DC and the Périgord region of France. Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018

24 • THE QUERCY LOCAL March – April

2018 Issue

March – April 2018 Issue 1



d Local érigord Lo érigord Local érigor cal March – April



2018 Issue


The Region’s FREE magazine in English

The Region’s


English magazine in

The Region’s

Welcome to our 1st Edition

Welcome to our 1st Edition

Welcome to our 1st Edit ion

Gastropods, Violets and Goats Cheese Ice-Cream A Missing Bugatti French Tax Changes Lalinde and Domme

in English

Spring Edition Inside –

Spring Edition Inside – Violets and Gastropods, Ice-Cream Goats Cheese A Missing Bugatti French Tax Changes Domme Lalinde and


FREE magazine

Spring Edition Inside – Gastropods, Violets and Goats Cheese Ice-Cream A Missing Bugatti French Tax Changes Lalinde and Domme www.perigordloca

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE ARRIVAL OF A BRAND-NEW SISTER MAGAZINE! This March sees the launch of our new publication The Périgord Local; covering, as its name suggests, the Périgord region of S W France. Why? Well, we were already creeping over into that region with our distribution of this magazine, and so it became clear that we should either produce a joint magazine for the two regions or launch a second, separate, magazine covering just the region of Périgord. There are many similarities between the two ancient regions. They fit together quite neatly and quite clearly both represent some of the most beautiful, gastronomical and historical areas of France. What’s the plan? Well, we are planning on keeping things very similar to this magazine, same size, shape and layout. Things are bound to evolve but they will evolve along similar lines, together. What’s the biggest challenge? Well, have you seen the size of the region known as (the many) Péricord(s). We almost feel the need for a helicopter to cover what are now two, huge regions. How will we do it? Well, the publication dates are the same – and we cannot be everywhere distributing at the same time. We couldn’t do that with just the one region. We’ll be increasing our reliance on the courier firm, GLS. The magazines arrive at the office, on pallets, packed in large boxes and are then repacked following a pre-agreed (and constantly changing) delivery plan. Within 48 hours of arriving, they are re-boxed (into varying sizes of smaller boxes), labelled and off to their distribution points. We joke about the number of spreadsheets it takes to make this work, but it’s actually very true. Things only go smoothly if we have everything properly recorded. With the new magazine we are having to forge new partnerships, work with new Tourist Offices and businesses throughout the new region to get everything agreed. Not forgetting, that this new magazine will also be available inside Bergerac Airport. It’s going to be a busy year! Interested? Well, you’ll be able to read the new magazine from our website. We’ll also be arranging subscriptions just as we do for this magazine and, they now go right around the world! Also, on our website you will be able to find our distribution points. So, watch this space!

Cats are fascinating but sometimes mysterious creatures. Increasing our understanding and knowledge of their behaviour, can only enhance our enjoyment and love of these special animals.

The domestic cat is a complex creature and unfortunately problems can arise for cats because sometimes we do not understand their natural drives and reactions. Understanding what kind of environment they prefer to occupy, their social structure, feeding patterns and even toilet habits can influence decisions made about their care that have a significant benefit to their quality of life. The cat is a specialist hunter and top of the food chain predator; motivated and driven by the sight and sound of prey. To be a successful hunter cats are crepuscular, which means that its natural rhythms will fit the time when its main prey of small creatures are active and vulnerable – usually at dawn and dusk. They are likely to be physically active and attracted to movement. Their play mimics predatory behaviour. Cats need the space and opportunity to give the strong motivations for this behaviour an outlet. Some cats will wander beyond their gardens in search of hunting grounds; others may disappear for lengthy periods during peak hunting seasons. What does this mean for you, the owner? Cats come ‘fully armed’ with sharp teeth and claws! And they are likely to bring prey indoors.

Until next time... If you would like more information please contact Lynn Stone at

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Place de le Croix – 82150 Roquecor General supplies, Bread, Newsagents, Postal Point We also stock a supply of British products and a great selection of wines from local producers

Local and convenient – a true village shop 05 63 95 25 78 / 06 82 84 56 30 (SARL Lacroixroc) Delphine and Jean Longueteau

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Festival le Temps des Guitares ~ 2018 Vintage The second Le Temps des Guitares classical guitar festival in Puy l’Eveque was a great success again in 2017. Over 1100 people came to hear the ten different artists over the four evenings in July, as well as to enjoy the other happenings and the ambiance of the lovely outdoor theatre – converted to a lively festival village for the event. Now plans are well advanced to make 2018 even better of course. A few changes to the structure of the event – most notably it will be taking place Wed 18th – Sat 21st July. The programme now agreed is: WEDNESDAY 18TH Liat Cohen – Franco-Israeli in the tradition of Segovia having performed internationally to great acclaim for her poignant delicate sound. Valerie Duchateau – French guitarist and composer, with her homage to Barbara Brodi ‘La Dame en Noir’ (poet, singer, actress) ‘La guitare chante Barbara’. THURSDAY 19TH JULY Stephanie Jones – Young Australian guitarist and playing several instruments. She has already won many prizes, most recently studying in Germany. Joseph Tawadros – Egyptian by birth, educated in Australia. A virtuoso on the Oud but playing 52 instruments, eclectic in style. With 13 albums to his credit and having won many awards. FRIDAY 20TH JULY Alexandre Bernoud – One of the top French guitar soloists, taking us on a journey from Brazil to his arrangements of some of the best French songs. The Meduses Brothers (Jellyfish Brothers) – American Randall Avers and French Benoit Albert, said to be ‘one of the most imaginative and exciting classical guitar duos performing today’. Many performances and recordings in Europe and USA.

SATURDAY 21ST JULY Duo Bensa Cardinot – Olivier Bensa and Cécile Cardinot, well-known and loved locally, with their new show ’Voice Lute Forte, dedicated to the work of John Downland. Ballake Sissoko – From Mali, specialist in the Kora (harp-Lute, traditional west-African instrument), often performing with violincello player Vincent Ségal and other instrumentalists and singers. Several recordings.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


i g ht.CD g g e i r r s O M W

Sandy Wright ‘Boutadieu’ 47370 Tournon d’Agenais

Tel. 05 53 41 74 28 Mob. 06 30 83 35 22 (Eng) Mob. 06 84 91 05 68 (Fr)

Nous donnons devis et conseils gratuitement! We are happy to give ‘no obligation’ advice! Fosses – Filter Systems, Déblaiement – Site Clearance, Piscines – Swimming Pool Démolition – Demolition, Allées Privées – Driveway, Aménagement– Landscaping

Siret No 48495504200011 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Two Towns A Tale of

In this, the early spring edition of the magazine, we are delighted to take a closer look at the towns of Lauzerte and Luzech, one a key historical site for the Tarn et Garonne and the other a bastion of the River Lot. Firstly Lauzerte... by Jeanne McCaul, Lauzerte

LAUZERTE – PLACE OF LIGHT From atop a white Quercy limestone ridge, the town of Lauzerte looks over the surrounding valleys, as far as the forested crests, and down to the Petit Barguelonne and Lendou streams that flow from east to west in the geographical basin of the Garonne river. Like many towns in the area, the history of Lauzerte goes back many centuries. In medieval times it was an important trading centre for wheat and other basic as well as luxury commodities, and the seat of the judiciary for the entire region. Vestiges of this past are visible today in the towns’ layout and architecture. It is a bastide town with a beautifully preserved square, covered galleries and with the main arteries surrounding it, following the topography of the ridge. The outer buildings of the Medieval upper town also formed its ramparts. The grandest buildings housed the seats of administration and the judiciary, such as the mansion of the “Sénéchal”. The typical patrician homes had their

private quarters on the highest levels, below were the reception areas, while their shops and businesses were on street level, protected by awnings. Openings in the pavement allowed merchandise to be tipped directly into underground storage space, often several levels deep, while stone dug out for this purpose provided readily available building material. To this day, springs in many dwellings attest to the once flourishing tanning activity in the town.

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Hôtel du Quercy Hôtel ~ Restaurant ~ Traiteur

Frédéric Bacou Faubourg D’Auriac - 82110 Lauzerte - Tarn et Garonne Tel. 05 63 94 66 36 One of the few hospices in the region, with its lovely chapel, occupied pride of place on the western tip of the ridge. Here the sick and needy, but especially pilgrims on their way to Compostella in Spain on the so-called “Via Podiensis”, were welcomed and taken care of. No doubt, being on the Saint James pilgrim route contributed to Lauzerte’s fame and perhaps also accounts for its name, meaning “place of light” probably in both the figurative and literal sense. As the population grew the town expanded from the safety of its upper town ramparts, via the gardens on its southern slopes, the so-called “glacis”, down into the lower town, known as the Faubourg d’Aulery. Of the monastery once located here, only its church, the Eglise des Carmes, survives. Over the centuries the town experienced its share of prosperity and hardships and consequent fluctuations in population from several thousand in its heyday to the depopulation resulting from the 100 years’ war, religious wars and, more recently, urbanisation resulting from the industrial revolution and its aftermath. Today the population of Lauzerte itself stands at 1500, while that of the recently consolidated greater community of 22 municipalities (“Communauté de Communes”) is around 9000. In the 2015 March-April edition of the Quercy Local (Issue 18), we reported the news that Lauzerte was one of 54 French villages (or towns with less than 10,000 inhabitants) selected to receive subsidies (on behalf of the town as well as the “Communauté de Communes”), for the rehabilitation of their historical town centres (“centre-bourg”). This was the result of a 2014 state call for tender (“Appel à Manifestation d’Intérêt” AMI), in line with a law passed in April 2012 regulating development in rural areas (“Loi de la Réforme Territoriale”). The background to these initiatives was the state’s recognition of a growing reversal of migration, away from sprawling and congested cities to the countryside. Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Actually, the movement has increased in momentum ever since the socio-political upheavals following the student movement of 1968, and translates as a search for improved quality of life. It is also expressed in a popular concern for the environment and sustainable agriculture and is partially supported by improved infrastructure, decentralisation and the advent of internet and tele-working. In this context it is interesting to note that a new fibre optic cable with capacity of 100 Mbit/s will be installed in Lauzerte by the summer. Among the factors contributing to Lauzerte’s successful AMI bid, was its already well-established position as a territorial centre of activity within the “Communauté de Communes” and its location on the pilgrim route. Having been awarded the label as one of the most beautiful villages in France (“Plus Beaux Villages de France”), was of course also important Becoming eligible for these subsidies in 2015, introduced the beginning of a long and complex process. It was conditional to signing a formal agreement with the authorities for the revitalisation of town centres (“Convention de Revitalisation de Centre-Bourg”). This was signed on February 24th, 2017 for a 6-year period, ending in 2023. All recipients of these subsidies are considered text cases to serve as individual examples for territorial development, nation-wide. Financing ambitious projects is of course challenging, and subsidies always have strings attached. For instance, to qualify recipients are required to provide

20% own funding per project, impacting the viability of each project. The good news is that becoming eligible for initial subsidies in 2015, Lauzerte and the “communauté de communes” can apply for additional funds from departmental and regional sources. In this context, and with a view to consolidating its position even further, Lauzerte is now in the process of seeking another prestigious, label: “Site Patrimonial Remarquable” or Remarkable Heritage Site. This programme was launched during 2016 and requires creating an “Aire de Valorisation de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine” or AVAP for short, and roughly translating as a zone or area where architecture and heritage are valued.

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The brand-new enameled panels in 21 locations, explaining and highlighting the history and heritage of the town to both locals and visitors, is one direct and visible example of this programme’s aims. The first step in the process of allocating the subsidies, was to appoint a project manager who then invited the local population to a series of meetings, explaining the procedures and objectives. Citizens were consulted on all areas of community living, such as access to shops, businesses, medical and other services, leisure activities, job opportunities, transport and mobility, protection of the environment, etc. Next, 10 “work groups” were established whose task was to analyse and define local needs prior to itemising and launching specific projects. Next, architecture students from Paris and Toulouse were invited to survey selected private buildings which have been run down and vacant for many years and to come up with creative ideas to turn constraints into opportunities for their owners, all the while respecting the rules and regulations established by the official heritage architects (“Bâtiments de France”). Their brief included the challenge to create contemporary intergenerational living spaces, for example an apartment for a young family next to one for older people, possibly with reduced mobility. Simultaneously, the municipality has begun to launch some of the identified community projects for which the necessary funds have been allocated. During 2018 the post office (along with its many vehicles that take up parking spaces in the upper village) will move to its new location on the Place du Forail at the western entrance to the Faubourg d’Aulery. Work can then begin on its former location on the Cornières square to house a revamped tourist office, henceforth to be known as the House of Culture and Heritage (“Maison de la Culture et du Patrimoine”). This building will also house the House of Public Services (“Maison des Services au Public”) offering an increased range of administrative and other services to the inhabitants. (New website: Across the street from the school on the Place du Château are 5 run down houses which were purchased by the municipality. These will be sanitized and renovated to house three two-bedroom rental apartments on the upper floors and a new school canteen on street level.

Improving the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic in and around the town is an important project under discussion. The parking areas on the northern side of town need upgrading and new ones need to be created at the eastern and western entrances to town. Simultaneously, communication between the upper and lower town will be significantly improved. Another major project concerns the building on the Place des Cornières, presently housing the tourist office. A fire destroyed the original «Maison du Pontet” and its covered gallery (only the stone bases have remained) in 1907 and the ambition is to restore it to its former glory, while renovating the interior. Preliminary studies suggest creating a space to accommodate associations on the ground floor (there are over 100 in the community), a multipurpose space for meetings and receptions, with a seating capacity of 80 to 100 people, on the first floor and 3 apartments on the upper level (with a lift), of which 2 for reduced mobility inhabitants. The Mayor of Lauzerte, Jean-Claude Giordana is totally committed: “Our vision is that our historic

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


village remains a place where people of all generations and occupations know and support one another, but which offers the amenities of a town. We already have many, but there is room for more to serve all our 29 municipalities as well as our many visitors. Our inspiration is rooted in the best the past has to offer, our well preserved architectural heritage and history of openness to the outside world, and the desire and motivation to integrate the needs and demands of all our citizens in the 21st century”. Essentially Lauzerte’s ambition is to create maximum synergy and vitality via continual interaction between all sectors of the community: agriculture, trade and commerce, culture – including architecture, arts and crafts and involving the entire spectrum of society.

Your own slice of Lauzerte’s histor y and your own ‘secret garden’

Photo Credits – Tourist Office Quercy-Sud-Ouest.

Useful websites: &

CALENDAR OF MAIN EVENTS April 6, 7 & 8: European arts & crafts days April 11 – 26: Plant life in Print (see p.34) April 15: Plant Market May to October: Art exhibitions and sales at the Espace Points de Vue. Public openings on the 1st of each month at 18h. (see p.36) July & August, every Tuesday: open air movies after sundown July & August, every Thursday from 19h: Gourmet market July 10th to August 28, every Tuesday at 10h: Middle Ages theme visits & teas July to September 7, every Friday at 21h30: guided tours by torch light July 14: garage sales, concert & Bastille Day fireworks July 14 & 15: Metal sculpting in action & sales July 21 & 22: Potters market August 15th: Antiques market August 25 & 26: Medieval festival & market September 8 & 9: Presentations & sales by short story writers and publishers Detailed information available on

Huge stone-houses surround this enigmatic medieval town; each painted door suggests secrets and surprises of its own. You expect these houses to offer tremendous views across the valley but maybe not an expanse of private garden! It’s possible! You can buy a slice of this ancient town with its own ‘secret garden’. Everyone (over a certain age) remembers Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book – which created a fascination for the idea of finding a ‘secret-garden’ of our own. So, here’s your chance – a huge house with lots of original features offering great scope for someone to create a very stylish and comfortable home. Or perhaps it would make a lovely B & B – a perfect idea for this popular pilgrim stop. The garden lies below the house and adds to the stunning view. Simply slip out through the ancient door at the rear of the house, across the lane and through a doorway into a gardener’s 2000 m2 paradise. Here you will find peace, extended views, mature planting, fruit trees and even an ancient cedar tree. The house itself has a selection of reception spaces and bedrooms, a character kitchen and several vaulted rooms. There are centuries of mystery, magnificent views and of course that very special, enchanted ‘secret garden’. Interested in finding out more about this property? Then contact Jenny Small on +33 06 47 78 49 16,, quoting reference Ref. JAS-312

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Le Macaron de Lauzerte In the 11th century legend suggests that Raymond lV (Count of Toulouse) was addicted to almond, ‘macaron’ treats. In Lauzerte the macaron’s secret-recipe (the one which had hooked the Count) is weaving its magic again. A magical combination of egg-white, sugar and almond all mixed with a certain ‘know-how,’ to produce morsels of gorgeousness.

Who in town has the secret knowledge? Well, if you guessed the local pork-butcher you’d be correct! Jacques Bonnefous was given the ‘secret recipe’ by his friend Pierre Bonnet (who’d been a patisserie chef in the town). In the 1980s when the last patisserie in Lauzerte closed, Jacques decided to start to stock some sweet treats in his shop. When Françoise joined her mother and father in their business she was happy to learn all the family recipes particularly the one from their old family friend, Pierre. Françoise started to perfect the ‘secret’ macaron recipe whilst gradually taking over the successful management of her parents’ shop. And now, back to the macarons! Well, they’re crunchy on the outside and soft cloudylike almond goodness inside. Then there’s the secret, savoir-faire, the added extra which has people coming back for more! The reputation of Lauzerte’s macarons is growing and even becoming international. A growth

aided by a new website with an online sales facility and a social media presence, all arranged by Alexandre, Françoise’s nephew. A real family success-story! There’s no quiet period for the macaron business. Françoise is baking daily to fulfil orders and stock the shop, then during predictably busier times she’s in her kitchen even-longer, carefully preparing many more batches of her perfected treats. Le Macaron de Lauzerte is enjoying growing fame; resulting in TV coverage and attention from newspapers and even ‘foodie’ magazines. Currently you can either order on-line or go to the shop in Lauzerte to buy them. Françoise greets everyone with a smile, is attentive and cares passionately about her product. Add all of this to her talent for hard-work and, of course, the ‘secret’ of the ancient-recipe and we’d not be surprised to see Françoise’s tasty export become increasingly well-known. This great, local-business brings together the very-old and the very-new, something that Lauzerte seems particularly good at doing. Wed – Sat, 9 – 1pm & 3 – 7pm; Sun, 9 – 1pm Le Macaron de Lauzerte 9 Route de Moissac, 82110 Lauzerte 05 63 94 66 44; Macaron de Lauzerte INSTAGRAM macarondelauzerte

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018

Plant Life in Print



11-26 April, Espace Points de Vue, 6, rue de la Barbacane, 82110 Lauzerte. (Open daily, entrance free)


rtists and art enthusiasts in our corner of South West France will have a chance to immerse themselves in a remarkable print experience in Lauzerte this April. “PLANT LIFE IN PRINT” is three print ‘happenings’ rolled into one. The exhibition features the work of 11 British and French printmakers and explores several different forms of contemporary printmaking – etching, dry point, photo-etching, mono printing, aquatint, fabric printing, artists’ books. All the prints have been inspired by the very loose theme of “plant life”. The project also includes two printmaking workshops for adults which will both be run in French and English and which will take place in a temporary studio alongside the exhibition. The first is a workshop in Aluminium Etching (April 13/14), run by visiting British artist, Bron Bradshaw. The second is a workshop in Dry Point Etching (April 15/16), run by Lauzerte’s very own Marjon Mudde. After the workshops, the studio will be open for 9 days so that project artists can play with new ideas and make their own prints. And visitors to the exhibition will be able to peek and see how it is done! When I think of most of the printmakers I know I am reminded of that old joke where a bloke stops his car and asks for directions. ‘Well’ comes the response, ‘I wouldn’t go there from here’. There are seven British printmakers exhibiting in ‘PLANT LIFE IN PRINT’ but none of them started out as printmakers. Jacy Wall trained as a textiles artist, Terry Bugden as a photographer and Vera Sheaf, Pennie Elfick and

Jenny Graham are painters. Ros Marchant was an arts administrator. Bron Bradshaw is a linguist, painter and printmaker. For 40 years, her studio near Glastonbury has trained, supported and inspired generations of printmakers in Somerset. She was also a founder member of ‘Fingerprint’, which is the group name of the British printmakers exhibiting here in April. And that’s one of the reasons artists turn to printmaking – to try something new and challenging within a supportive group environment. The French participants are all professional artists too. Sophie Vigneau runs a print studio and gallery in the Aveyron, Catherine Liégeois creates artists’ books and Marjon Mudde has been publishing artists’ books for 35 years alongside her teaching work. The ‘baby’ of the group, Rafaële Rohn, is a designer who prints by hand onto fabric. So, come to the Espace Points de Vue in Lauzerte for a taste of some real artistic ‘togetherness’ in April. For more information about the exhibition, the workshops and the open studio sessions contact Association ADPIC on:

The Quercy Local • March-April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Nursery for the complete garden plant package Trees - Shrubs - Conifers - Perennials - Grasses Climbers - Bulbs - Bedding Plants - Exotic Plants

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Your copy of The Quercy Local can be delivered to your home in France or anywhere in the world. If you would like to get the next 5 copies of the magazine delivered directly to your home in France or another address anywhere in the world then this is very simple to arrange. Simply visit our website and follow the link to ‘Subscribe’ you can made the subscription immediately by using either a bank card or paypal. If you prefer to pay by cheque then simply forward a cheque (payable to A Atkinson) to Las Razes, Touffailles, 82190, France – do include the address that you want the magazines sending to. We will always start the subscription with the next edition to be published unless you email to ask us to start with the current one.

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Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local



Aide et Espoir/Help and Hope Another year has gone by since our last update, a year full of activity for our association. A year with sad moments such as hearing about the suffering of many people who had fled their homes. But, a year that brought great joy for us in the arrival of the first refugees to the two houses lent to us by kind people of Lauzerte.

All smiles at last year’s Vide-Jardin in Lauzerte


ur first guests were an adorable Afghan family, a mother and her three children who had been living on the streets of Moissac. We were sad when they had to leave us, but they were finally offered a state-lodging in Albi; and they are now happy, and the children are enjoying college life. At the same time, we heard that the family of Syrians Kurds from Aleppo that we had been trying to get here had finally been granted their visas for France and they arrived at the beginning of August. A great team has been looking after them, seeing to their various needs and most importantly assuring French lessons every day. Everyone that knows them enjoys their company tremendously and has been touched by their wonderful

spirit. We also have as a house-guest a sensitive young man from Chad who is still waiting for a definitive response to his asylum claim. All these guests, despite their appalling histories, (you can read Berry Ahmad’s story in this issue) have enriched our lives tremendously and become our firm friends. We have continued the work of sending donations where they are most needed, and we have also made two visits to Greece to renew our contacts and distribute donations. Many boxes of clothes have been sent out to Greece, and we made trips to Calais and Paris to deliver the kind donations of needed warm winter clothes and blankets. Our association has no employees and all our volunteers pay all their own expenses. However much of the help we give needs hard cash and our members have been wonderful in organising events throughout the year. No less than 18 events, including concerts, coffee mornings, vide-maison, vide-jardin and these have enabled us to support families as they arrive in Lauzerte, buy food for the homeless in Greece, send new underpants to the Greek islands and much more… We have also continued to send needed items such as school desks and chairs to the safe house for refugee mothers and children in Athens the wonderful organisation that we have supported there for over two years now. This year’s events are now being planned, so far two dates are fixed: 1) The wonderful pianist Alexandre Bodak is coming back to play for us on Sunday May 20th at 5pm in the Eglise St Barthélemy, Lauzerte. Do come and enjoy this concert. 2) This year’s vide-jardin will be on Saturday 14th April, in the Salle de l’Eveillé, Lauzerte. If you would like to join the association or propose a fund-raising event for us, don’t hesitate! More information can be found on our website or on Facebook. or email us at Jacky Malotaux

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


This brave and talented young lady wanted to write to explain about how she and her family were given a chance to survive by the people of Lauzerte, and the organisation Aide et Espoir/Help and Hope. We are honoured to be able to print Berry Ahmad’s own words and would make no attempt to amend her text. We are grateful for the chance to share her story with you. Thank you Berry.


My journey to Lauzerte

s a Kurdish girl living in Aleppo, Syria and belonging to a minority group there was an obstacle between me and others wherever I went. On the other hand everybody has a very specific space which should be carefully filled without crossing the lines, and so we did. All went quietly until one day in 2011 when I was attending a lecture at Aleppo University (English Literature Dept.), when I suddenly heard loud cheers from a few students in the college yard. It was very dangerous to witness the rebellion movement unexpectedly happening, every now and then, in the Universities. Despite the difficulties I was able to graduate but I couldn’t find work as the cheers had expanded out of the Universities. The unrest spread all around Aleppo and then it got much worse as the authorities took up violent arms. The conflict between different parties left me jobless, as if paralysed, at home watching death roaming around my area; indiscriminately taking children’s and people’s souls every day. I tried to bear the lack of essential supplies under the bombing, too frightened to run in the streets and seeing torn bodies, crying children, screaming death approaching us. My family and I finally managed to escape at the beginning of April 2013 and in order to survive we went to my home village which was also under extremists’ siege. I tried to do something good for the disadvantaged children there, I started teaching them in that isolated world. The worse feeling I ever felt is having nothing to give to those little children in need. A persecuted and obscured nation, the Kurdish people have been helpless for ages, they have lost their official right to their own lands, history, culture and identity. This made us an easy bait for ISIS to invade, they called us disbelievers and under the pretext of spreading Islam they started to kill, as they did the Izidi Kurdish in Shengal, Iraq. They were coming closer minute by minute, we fled again, till thousands of people gathered on the Turkish borders where I spent horrible nights under fire. Some people were accidentally killed stepping on land mines and others were beheaded nearby. The coming danger

forced us to rush into the Turkish fence, crammed in that crowd we hold each other’s hands with closed eyes refusing to believe that the cries of children we heard was very possibly from underneath our feet. After few minutes of being on Turkish lands I should have felt safe but unfortunately, I had lost all my senses behind. We settled in a small home in a city near Syria hoping to go back there as soon as the Kurdish fighters got it back. People there were freely allowed to steal from us, the refugees, anything they had left, health, faith, hope and money. Under the great difficulty of being able to pay the bills or to integrate in those surroundings we decided to go back to our town but on 25/06/2014 we saw on the news that ISIS committed a massacre in our town. At 4am ISIS groups broke through disguised as Kurdish fighters and slaughtered more than 289 civilians while they were sleeping. The names of those killed were published, including those people we knew. The inevitable result of all the horrible scenes we

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witnessed was the decision to travel to Europe by sea like thousands of Syrians stuck in Turkey between life and death. At least we were sure that the boat trip must have an end, whatever that end should be. After we got to Izmir we bought all the required equipment for the crazy trip, me standing in front of the sea on that dark and cold night listening to the violent winds pushing our destinies with huge waves into the unknown. Abandoned by the whole-world feeling lonely under God’s providence wings. When we were ready to leave my mother fainted, so we stopped there and decided to look for legal and safe passages as far as we could, and we ended up in Istanbul. In the big city my brothers had great difficulty finding work but eventually found menial tasks, with terrible hours and badly paid. After many failed attempts with UN, I heard that the French Consulate was granting some visas for asylum, so I sent an email and got an appointment. Seeing a gleam of hope to live normally again motivated me enough to seek a host in France and strengthened my chances to be accepted. My sister suggested a few websites to contact, it wasn’t easy to find a help online. We didn’t believe that anyone will answer us until we got an answer from Kester Ratcliff and Gaelle Téquie from the Visas for Asylum Facebook page. These two of God’s gifts paved the way for us to contact Jacky Malotaux who offered us two homes for our family. One house for my parents, my 2 sisters, one of my brothers and myself which is owned by Alan Vigouroux, and the Mayor of Lauzerte offered his house to my other brother with his wife and baby. I’m sure that they can’t even imagine how much they helped in restoring my family’s lives and futures. After 3 months the Consulate informed us that we were finally accepted, so we got the visas. The Consulate employee warned us to be careful at the airport because the police there were causing a lot of problems to Syrians. We tried to be relaxed when our luggage had been checked for the fifth time, but in

front of the airport police it was difficult to maintain our composure: 15 minutes to go and we were still waiting for them to find that we are not criminals and grant our permits to pass. When we were standing at control table it took more time than anyone can expect, and finally he said that there were problems with a misspelt family name. He let my sisters and mother pass and ordered us to go back and correct the family names. When we looked at the clock it was 11:15, we realised we had missed the plane the moment he started stamping our travelling documents one by one. We heard sounds of flying planes and what was more painful and familiar were of my sisters crying that they couldn’t leave us. I called Jacky to tell her that we couldn’t make it and hearing her tender voice for the first time made me forget all about the bad things. She planned everything again and asked me to book again and fly the same day. I couldn’t believe that there are still angels in this world who truthfully care about the fates of others, people who had never even met. We finally flew free out of Turkey no one will understand these amazing feelings except the children crammed in camps or those working all day in terrible conditions in Turkey or Leba-non. So, on 02/08/2017 we arrived in Paris. One of the sweetest and strangest moments was when we heartfully met Jacky and Michel at the bus stop in Montauban, the arms that fetched us in the deeply rolling dawn and put us in warm shelters caring for us like mother does. After all the incidents I’ve been through, I feel the need to do something to help by telling the good and the bad things. So, thank you Jacky and all the association members, to the families Vigouroux and Giordana and to the French Government for making this possible. Please help if you can, you might be lucky to discover more about hidden miracles in this vast Universe. By Berry Ahmad

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Celebrating 5 years of business


Everything for your garden, your swimming pool and your pets. Also, great regional products and decorations – lots of gift ideas! La Pépinière 82110 LAUZERTE 05 63 29 00 98 les jardins d’aulery

For anyone who enjoys gardening (or, indeed, for those who just love gardens), Springtime is a particularly evocative time of year. Buds and shoots abound, be they tentative or eager, holding the promise of lushness and colour to come. Our 2018 programme of events also holds promise – of an active year ahead! Should you wish to join us at one of our meetings with a view to becoming a member (without obligation), please contact our secretary, Pam Westcott, who will be delighted to hear from you. Tel: 07 86 40 05 29 or Mar 13

Anne Burke ‘Creating a Cutting Garden’

Apr 10

An evening with Dani Bernadine ‘Traditional French Practices’+ Plant Swap ** Visits to: Jardin d’Espiemonts + Iris Nursery

Apr 15

Place aux Fleurs, Lauzerte ** Propagation Workshop

May 08 Peter Batty ‘Creating and Planting a Pond Habitat’ ** Open Day for family and friends of residents at the Maison de Retraite, Lauzerte Jun 12 ‘Bio Control of Pests and Diseases’ ** Visits to: a Rose Garden + Open Gardens + Nurseries Jul 10 Tea Party at Sauveterre with Produce Tasting and Recipe Swap ** Visits to: Water Garden + Cacti/Succulents + Bamboo Garden Aug 14 Summer BBQ + Judging of Growing Competition ** Visit to a Dry Garden Sep 11 Chris Luck ‘Wildlife in Our Gardens’ Oct 09 ‘Soft Fruit/Tree Fruit’ + Plant Swap ** Autumn Colour at Les Jardins de Poterie Hillen Nov 13 Guy Biddlecombe ‘A Straw Bale Garden’ ** Journey de l’Arbre, Lauzerte Dec 11

Club Christmas Lunch

** Dates to be advised Our friendly club consists of like-minded, green-fingered individuals who support each other while we all get to grips with the challenges and rewards of gardening in SW France. In the winter months we meet at 2pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month in the Salle des Fetes, Lauzerte. In the summer, you’ll also find us out and about visiting the glorious gardens that surround us.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local

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Two Towns


A Tale of

Our second town is Luzech, on the side of the River Lot.

Luzech sits surrounded (almost literally) by the River Lot, which meanders around the town in quite spectacular style. In 1840 a canal was dug across the peninsula, this was to save the many river-travellers the long journey around the river’s loop. The canal ran along what’s now the main street through the town. The canal was filled-in during the 1940s. A few years later the river saw more change when building work began on the hydro-electric dam ‘Barrage de Luzech’. This work was completed in 1950 and the dam is still in-use today. The dramatic landscape carved out by the river has been inhabited since prehistoric times and there’s evidence of significant Roman-occupation. The remains of the Oppidum de L’impernal, classified as a National Monument in 1984, evidences Gaul activity even before the Romans arrived. The town’s fortunes have been juggled by (amongst others) Richard the Lion Heart, Simon de Montfort, the Bishops of Cahors, a plethora of Barons, servants of several Kings and of course the English. Luzech was once a walled-stronghold, but all that remains today is the tower overlooking the town.

For anyone interested in dinosaurs, fossils and the prehistoric there are collections of exhibits at the town’s museums, Ichnospace and Le Musée Archéologique Armand Viré. Just outside the town there’s the base de loisir, where during the summer you can dine next to the river, hire boats, swim, kayak, fish and enjoy a quiet picnic. Luzech holds its popular weekly market on Wednesday mornings when the town really comes to life. There are always regular events during the warmer months starting with the Transhumance in April (see p.46). The surrounding cliffs attract climbers and handgliders, and the local hills are a popular with horseriders and walkers. The walking route GR 36 passes close by and offers great opportunities for viewing the scenery and enjoying the bird and wildlife. Luzech sits right in the middle of the AOC Cahors wine-growing region. The valley bottom and hill-sides are covered in vineyards. Most of which offer winetastings opportunities and welcome visitors. This is a real valley for wine lovers as well as lovers of peace, walking, tranquillity and history.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Château de Cayx

Just outside Luzech lies the strikingly elegant Château de Cayx. The texturedhectares of manicured vines surrounding it, announce the Château’s role in AOC Cahors wine production. The buildings date back to the 15th Century. Evidence suggests, however, that a fort had previously existed on the site; probably to control the traffic on the river. Over the centuries there have been numerous renovations and extensions and the resulting impressive façade sits proudly overlooking the River Lot’s meander and the small village of Caix. In the 18th century, the Château was owned by the author and playwright Marquis Jean-Jacques Lefranc de Pompignan, a member of the Académie Française, who is perhaps better remembered for his feuds with Voltaire than for his literary prowess! In 1974, the Château was bought by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and the late Prince Consort of Denmark. The prince was born Henri Laborde de Monpezat, into a local family. An enthusiastic art lover, the Prince oversaw the major renovation works ensuring adherence to the building’s architectural heritage. The Château is dominated by a square tower and flanked by four 15th century pepper-pot towers with a large terrace extending out towards the vines. In 2014, the Prince first arranged to sometimes make public, his otherwise private, collection of African and Asian art which he’d carefully collected over decades. The collection is housed in the Château’s vaulted cellars. For details of how to arrange a visit email the Château: You can visit the vineyard and shop - Mon – Sat, 9 – 12, 2 – 6. Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


CHAPELLE SAINT-JACQUES DITE DES PÉNITENTS BLEUS À LUZECH 65 Grande Rue de la Ville, 46140 Luzech Nestled in Luzech amongst all the other nuggets of history there’s a very interesting Chapelle with a colourful history. A building that’s witnessed most of the turbulences that French history could muster. At its inception at the end of the 12th century this chapel was linked to a now-disbanded hospital-order. Then at the end of the 16th century, when the Wars of Religion raged throughout Quercy, a religious (Catholic) brotherhood made up of lay people and known as the Penitents Bleus took over the Chapelle. At that time a number of confraternities of Penitents Bleus were established in France. They were dedicated to the Virgin Mary, wore blue habits (and strange headdresses) and often wore an image of Saint Jerome. The Penitents performed processions in the town, notably to the Saint-Pierre church or Notre-Dame-del’Ele chapel. Penitents Bleus were required to pray each morning. They were also supposed to assist the poor and sick in the hospitals, prisons, to give alms to orphaned apprentices and contribute to the almoners.

Maximilien de Robespierre

Following the French Revolution, the Chapelle’s function changed, it was decommissioned and in 1793 became the headquarters for the radical political party La Montagne (of Luzech). La Montagne was a political group during the French Revolution, whose members were called Montagnards and they sat on the highest benches in the National Assembly. They were an extreme political group, led by Maximilien Robespierre. The Montagnards unleashed the infamous ‘Reign of Terror’ in 1793. Revolution and terror over, the Penitents Bleus reformed and occupied the Chapelle once more, and remained until the end of the Second Empire (1870). There are groups of Pentients Bleus still meeting today, notably in Toulouse (Compagnie Royale des Pénitents Bleus de Toulouse).

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Armand Viré Le Musée Archéologique Armand Viré in Luzech is named after the renowned naturalist, prehistorian, caver and founder of the science of biospéléologie (study of cave-dwelling organisms).

There’s a whole new lifestyle ready and waiting for somebody in Luzech

Armand Viré, who was born near Paris in 1869. He married a lady from Moissac and became enamoured with the Quercy region. He spent much of his time in his house at Lacave (Lot), or rather in the caves in, around and under it! At the age of 80 he was injured in an accident whilst climbing out of a cave in Le Bugue (Dordogne) and he never completely recovered. Dying two years later in Moissac.

Are you looking for a whole new life-style? A chance to live in beautiful property and be able to work from home. This lovely home, with a garden bordering the River Lot is within walking distance of Luzech’s amenities and currently operates as a B&B business. There’s also spacious, private, owneraccommodation making this a very attractive life-style prospect. The gardens are beautifully landscaped and include a watering system and a selection of wonderful mature fruit and nut trees.

La Trincade La Trincade is an association based in Luzech that arranges social events and through its group ‘Hand in Hand’, holds regular languageworkshops in both French and English. La Trincade also produces booklets highlighting local walks, these can be found in the Tourist Office, media library and some local shops. You can find out more information from:

Once the local pharmacist’s house, this striking house has been completely renovated and transformed to create a real life-style opportunity, a home with its very own up-and-running business right in the middle of the lovely Lot valley. For those that like a project – there are outbuildings and room for further development. For more information about this property (which could change your life) contact Leggett Immobilier quoting Ref: 72699NK46

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


THIS APRIL’S Transhumance to Luzech Transhumance – has been critical to human survival for millennia. Europeans are no longer nomadic but the practice of walking livestock to fresh ground still has a place (perhaps a growing place) in modern farming. Moving flocks of sheep at a gentle walking pace to fresh pastures has huge advantages for the sheep, the environment and or course the people accompanying then.


he sheep discover fresh and varied vegetation both en-route and in their new pastures. Re-locating also strengthens their immune systems. This movement, with an almost biblical quality, helps preserve traditional landscapes and allows land to rest and re-fresh. As sheep move, particularly in a large flock the land is grazed and cleared, reducing fire-risks and opening paths. Over the centuries these seasonal-movements have gained a ‘festival’ status. Many people accompany the sheep for perhaps the ultimate ramble! An event that’s invigorating for the heart both physically and emotionally. A chance to connect with a tradition that has changed little over thousands of years. A link to our forefathers. Sheep are believed to have an instinct for migration. After the ice-age, as the world started to warm up, wild sheep survived by seeking higher, drier, summer-pastures. They began moving along the same tracks each year, guiding themselves by moon-light. The routes then became embedded in the flocks’ genes/memory. A similar know-how is seen in ‘hefted’ flocks which confine themselves to their own section of any open land. When sheep were domesticated the instinct to migrate remained. In many regions it made sense for shepherds to work with this ‘instinct for survival’ and start to control what happened; this became, what we now call, transhumance. In this region, perhaps the best-known transhumance takes place each April from Rocamadour to Luzech. A relatively new migration enjoying its 10th anniversary this year. From April 10th to April 14th hundreds of Caussenardes sheep will cross the region to spend five months on the higher pastures of the Lot Valley. The route for this migration is about 70km and it’s walked in 5 daily stages. Around 4000 walkers are expected to attend and walk with the sheep. Quite a magnificent sight!

2018 PROGRAMME Tuesday, April 10: Rocamadour - Carlucet (16 km) - Departure from the flats below Rocamadour at 10 am, in the Alzou valley Wednesday, April 11: Carlucet - Frayssinet (14 km) - Departure at 10 am: meeting at the windmill of Lacomté in Carlucet Thursday, April 12: Frayssinet - Gigouzac (13 km) - Departure at 9 am: meeting at Sol del Sartre in Frayssinet Friday, April 13: Gigouzac - Crayssac (13 km) - Departure at 9:30 am: meeting at the village square in Gigouzac Saturday, April 14th: Crayssac - Luzech (12 km) - Departure at 8:30 am: meeting at Mas de Cantarel in Crayssac At each stop the local village will provide a meal for the people arriving. And, again this year, a gourmet market will greet those arriving in Luzech on the Saturday. This will take place in Plane de Blanchard, where several local producers will be present. As well as grilled Quercy lamb, you can try regional specialities such as duck, Rocamadour cheese, Croustilot bread,

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Périgord walnuts and Quercy saffron as well as a selection of local wines. Also, there will be music from the Pyrenean group – Esquierry. People are asked to follow behind the flock and no motorised vehicles or bicycles are allowed. Dogs cannot join the walk and people are asked not to touch the sheep without the permission of the breeders. Horse and donkey carts and pack animals are welcome, but these must be registered in advance. Three horses will be pulling a carriage at the end of the group to pick up and lame ewes or those requiring a rest. Wild camping is not allowed at the overnight stops, but tourist offices can help you find approved sites as well as B & B accommodation. For people with reduced mobility there’s a sedan-type chair (with a central wheel with off road-suspension) available and all those joining the walk are encouraged to help people along the route. At the end of the stages from Tuesday to Friday, the drivers of vehicles (and only them) can be taken back, free of charge, to recover their cars. Simply register your car when you leave it in the morning. On the Saturday there’s a free shuttle – bus that goes back along the route from 15h and is open to all. You can find out more details as they become available from or 06 83 29 62 22 (FR)

With thanks to – M. Abdon Calvo / This event is organised by – l’association des éleveurs « Transhumance en Quercy », l’association des propriétaires de Luzech / Labastide-du-Vert et le Département du Lot. Photo credit – Nelly Blaya/Département du Lot &

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018




Maartje Schlepers has lived in the Lot since April 2014 and is happy to answer your insurance related questions.

Q. I have obtained a Carte Vitale for medical treatment in France. I’m not sure about the rules for the’top-up’ insurance. Before moving to France, I had treatment for cancer which has been in remission for 5 years. If I take out the ‘top-up’ insurance with a Mutuelle will they need all the details of this treatment? Also, will they provide cover if I need further treatment? I am afraid that I do not really understand how it all works. Please could you explain?

A. In France health insurance is regulated within the Sécurité Sociale. There is a division between employees who register with CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie), which also covers the retired and un-employed (for the latter often through CMU – Caisse Maladie Universelle); and the self-employed who register with RSI* (Régime Social des Indépendants). The basic health cover offered through the two principal funds CPAM and RSI) is generally called Sécurité Sociale – often abbreviated to ‘La Sécu’. According to your personal circumstances you need to apply for basic health cover with either CPAM or RSI.* When your application is approved you will receive a social security number and a Carte Vitale; this is the green card that you keep with you and hand to doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, laboratories, dentists, etc., whenever you receive health-care. As a rule, the Sécurité Sociale will reimburse approximately 60 - 70% of your medical expenses but not all the time… The French health system works with standard rates for all treatments which are called tarifs de convention. Most GPs and specialists will charge the standard fixed rate but there are also many that charge more. When this happens, we call this a dépassement, which means that part of the medical expenses will have to come out of your own pocket unless you have a mutuelle (top-up insurance) that will pay more than 100%. Dépassements are very common with dental and eye care. Sécurité Sociale will pay the normal reimbursement (60-70%) for your check-up with the

dentist or your visit to the ophthalmologist. If, however, you need of a new pair of glasses or a dental prosthesis the standard rates as fixed by Sécurité Sociale are very low. You may then only receive a reimbursement of 10% or less. Some doctors and specialists may also charge more than the standard price agreed by Sécurité Sociale. These are often doctors in private clinics or doctors that offer more specialised medical care (homeopathy for example). If you want to find out if your doctor or specialist charges above the normal rates, simply ask if they are conventionné (applying the standard rates) or not. If you need major dental treatment you can ask your dentist for a quote. The quote will show an exact calculation of what the Sécurité Sociale will pay for and if you have a mutuelle you can forward the quote to your insurer who will then calculate what you might expect from them on top of the Sécurité Sociale reimbursement. The optional mutuelle ‘tops up’ the Sécurité Sociale reimbursements, covering the gap of 30 to 40% or more. The only condition is that you have a Sécurité Sociale number and that you reside in France. Many different levels of ‘top up’ insurance are available. Varying from simple hospitalisation cover to very extended-cover with percentages of cover up to 400% or more of the standard rates, including cover for alternative medicine (osteopathy, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, psychologist), cover for a private room in hospital, cover for glasses and more. The percentages shown above a 100% tell you that possible dépassements will be (partly or completely) covered. Where cover is shown as 100% it means that the equivalent of the standard rate is covered and that the mutuelle will not cover beyond that.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


The mutuelle’s premium will depend on your personal situation, the make-up of your family and ages. As you age the premiums increase because the insurance companies consider the risk of illness to be higher. When applying for a mutuelle in addition to your basic health cover through CPAM or RSI* there are generally no medical questionnaires to fill out. You, therefore, do not have to inform the mutuelle of your medical history and you cannot be refused cover. If you have been diagnosed with a chronical disease, then Sécurité Sociale may provide 100% cover for this problem called Affection de Longue Durée (ALD). When you are looking for a mutuelle it may be difficult to choose between the many different levels of cover and options available. It is important not to be blinded by extra options that you may not need, and which will cost you monthly. You should seek advice, think of what you really need and what your budget is, do compare a few quotes. *Although this organisation is now being replaced.

Maartje Schlepers, Assurances Benoit, La Plégade, 46150 Pontcirq, Tel Office 0972468223 (Mon to Thurs) Email: Orias 07005354 - 15005887

Lot of Bibelots

Objets d’occasion Sale of collectables and trinkets Samedi 14h-19h, Dimanche 10h-19h Moulin Bessou - VALPRIONDE 46800 MONTCUQ (easy to locate in the village)

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REMOVALS TO & FROM FRANCE Successful moves to and from France for over 30 years For information and enquiries about rescue dogs – so many dogs desperately looking for their ‘forever’ homes.

Tel: 01622 690653 or 01622 695374 Email:

contact Sue on 05 65 24 53 03 email:

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Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


For all your joinery and internal renovation projects • Made to measure doors and windows in wood, aluminium and PVC • Traditional and electric rolling shutters • Bespoke staircases and joinery projects • Installation of kitchens and bathrooms • Electric gates and garage doors • Balconies, patios and other tiling projects

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The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


english speaking branch

The main local bank in the area, half of the population is banking with us ! Our personal English speaking advisors available 100 % online or at our Rodez private branch. From Mondays to Fridays : from 9 am to 7 pm On Saturdays : from 9 am to 4 pm

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Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Three Score and Ten

by Jeff Price

nightclubs in Middlesbrough to a celebration of the NHS. Each weekly blog also features a YouTube video of the artist that inspired the poem. The blog which is published every Friday morning is quickly building a fan base with over 1,000 followers from as far away as Australia and New Zealand as well as Japan and USA, Jeff even has a fan in Saudi Arabia. Jeff says “I listen to and read a lot of poetry, but I also love to listen to music and over the decades that music has been a backdrop to my life and many of the lyrics and sounds have inspired me as much as poetry and literature. This blog is a celebration of those songs and artists.”

James Sebright Photography 2015

Three Score and Ten is a new blog from Newcastle based writer and stand-up poet Jeff Price who has found a unique way to celebrate his upcoming birthday. Jeff will be familiar to many in the South West of France for his regular performances at the Cafe du Commerce in Lauzerte and at La Sirene in Montaigu de Quercy. In November 2018 Jeff will reach the grand old age of 70. Rather than shrink away and gather dust in a corner, Jeff thought he would do something different to celebrate the inevitable. His plan is to publish over 70 weeks, 70 poems. These poems take as their inspiration 70 songs by 70 different artists or groups. So far Jeff has delivered 40 of the 70 poems, they feature poems influenced by artists such as Loudon Wainwright, Cheap Trick and Donovan and have inspired him to write poems about everything from 1980’s

Visit or contact Jeff on with your email address to get a link every Friday. What people say … “The wordplay of Roger McGough delivered with the voice of a Geordie Adrian Mitchell. Great entertainment - count me in, I’m a fan”. Mike Jones - Quercy Unplugged “Great storytelling and a sharp eye for human foibles with powerful images - Highly recommended” Kate Fox, Poet in Residence on BBC Radio Four’s “Saturday Live” “Everyone needs to read Jeff Price’s blog if you haven’t checked it out already. He’s turning 70, so he’s writing 70 poems in 70 weeks about songs that sum up his life. Moving/laugh-out-loud funny/ proper sharp.” Rowan McCabe Door to Door Poet

Expat Citizen Rights in EU - ‘ECREU’ ECREU is a lobby and self-help group set up to make sure your rights are foremost in the minds of those negotiating your future within the EU. We are working to get British MPs and Brussels representatives on your side and willing to state your case in any discussions and negotiations resulting from the UK’s decision to leave the EU. So if you are concerned for your wellbeing as an expat citizen living in another EU country after Brexit, you will not be alone.

You can join ECREU (no charge) at The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


LAS RAZES Your perfect large gîte

Situated in Verfeil sur Seye, between Najac and St Antonin, Brice and Mark invite you to enjoy their informal restaurant offering fresh food, local wines and a terrace overlooking the village Halle. Meals served midi et soir, Thursday to Sunday, and Monday midi.

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Curry en France Private curry parties or a monthly curry evening in Montcuq at ‘Le Tower Hill’ bar

Catering for birthdays, special occasions or our special service for gîte owners – offer this catered service to your guests. Minimum number of people for catered meals – 10. Please follow our Facebook page for more information and for updates and confirmation of the dates for our monthly Montcuq ‘curry-evening’. Email: for enquiries or bookings or call 0621324775 curryenfrance

Heated Salt Water Pool, 8 en-suite bedrooms. Snooker, table-tennis, wifi, large garden and terraces. Ideal for family get togethers and special events. Also ideal location for people running courses (art, yoga, walking, biking etc.) Convenient for – Lauzerte, Montaigu de Quercy and Montcuq lasrazes lasrazes Las Razes, Touffailles (82190) Tarn et Garonne

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Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


The TheBlevins Blevins The Blevins FranksSpring Spring Franks Franks Spring Seminar Seminar Seminar Our seminar this spring covers the journey of

Our seminar this spring covers the journey of an expatriate’s life in France, from their arrival an life inend France, through to thespring ofcovers theirfrom time here.arrival Ourexpatriate’s seminar this thetheir journey of through to thelife endinofFrance, their time an expatriate’s fromhere. their arrival We look at all the financial aspects they need through to the end of their time here. to plan forthe along the way,aspects including We look at all financial theyresidency, need tax and estate planning, pensions and need to way, including residency, Weplan lookfor at along all thethe financial aspects they investing. Wethe alsoway, provide updates on Brexit, tax and estate planning, pensions and to plan for along including residency, the French tax reforms and UK budget. investing. We also provide updatesand on Brexit, tax and estate planning, pensions the FrenchWe taxalso reforms andupdates UK budget. investing. provide on Brexit, the French tax reforms and UK budget.

Thu 15 Mar

Thu 15Mar Mar Fri 16

Seminars Seminars Seminars



Thu Mar VERS PONT GARD (30) Fri 161519 Mar RÉMY DEDU PROVENCE (13) Mon Mar ST MONACO Fri 1620 Mar ST RÉMY (56) DE PROVENCE (13) Mon 19 Mar MONACO Tue Mar PONTIVY Mon 19 Mar MONACO Wed 21Mar Mar PONTIVY ST HILAIRE DU HARCOUET (50) Tue 20 (56) Wed20 21Mar Mar ST CAHUZAC-SUR-VÈRE (81) Tue PONTIVY (56) Wed 21 Mar HILAIRE DU HARCOUET (50) Thu21 22 Mar Mar CAHUZAC-SUR-VÈRE NIORT (79) DU HARCOUET ST HILAIRE Wed (81) (50) Thu22 22Mar Mar NIORT PENNAUTIER Wed 21 Mar CAHUZAC-SUR-VÈRE (81) Thu (79) (11) Fri 23 Mar Thu 22 Mar


Thu2322Mar Mar Fri


Mon 26 Mar LES ARCS SUR ARGENS (83) Tue 27 Mar

OPIO (06)

Fri 2326 Mar PERPIGNAN (66) Mon Mar LES ARCS SUR ARGENS (83) Tue 17 Apr


Book your seat now

Mon27 26Mar Mar OPIO LES ARCS Tue (06) SUR ARGENS (83)

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Book your seat now Book seat now(No Vert) 0 805your 112 163

Tue 17 Apr LIMOGES (87) Wed 1819 Apr (24) Thur Apr VIGIERS TALLOIRES (74)

website. Keep an eye on our seminar page for further dates and venues.

TALLOIRES Thur 19 Apr BOSSEY (74)(74)

0 805 112 163

(No Vert) on our Online booking is available

Wed VIGIERS (24) Thur 19 Apr Thur18 19Apr Apr AUCH BOSSEY(32) (74) AUCH (32) Thur 19 Apr TALLOIRES Fri 20 Apr SALLANCHES(74) (74)

Thur Apr SALLANCHES BOSSEY (74) (74) Fri 2019 Apr Online booking is available on our website. Keep an eye on our seminar Fri 20 Apr SALLANCHES (74) Online booking is available on our page for further dates and venues. website. Keep an eye on our seminar INTERNATIONAL TA X ADVICE • INVESTMENTS • ESTATE PLANNING • PENSIONS page for further dates and venues.

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 overseas, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the 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 Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – 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 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 overseas, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the 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 Blevins Franks is represented in France by the of following companies: Franks Financial Management Limited and33701 BlevinsMérignac Franks France (BFF). BFFM is authorised and regulated by (register can beGroup consulted on Member ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’sBlevins registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, (BFFM) CS 60073, – RCS SASU BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière theAssurance Financial Conduct Authority in the Professionnelle UK, reference number 179731. is du provided overseas, via the Insurance Mediation Malta, the regulatory system MMA). differs in some respects from et de Responsabilité Civile conformes aux Where articlesadvice L 541-3 Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 andDirective 512-7 dufrom Code des Assurances (assureur 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 Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – 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).

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


CHANGES TO FRENCH TAXATION IN 2018 By Peter Wakelin, Regional Manager, Blevins Franks France The French tax reforms which were first announced last September came into effect on 1st January 2018. They include significant tax benefits for investment assets and income. Here is a summary of the key changes affecting expatriates living in France. Income tax rates

There are no changes to French income tax rates for 2018 (payable on 2017 income). The income tax bands for each rate have, however, been indexed for inflation. For example, last year’s e9,710 nil rate band has increased by e97, and the income threshold for the top 45% rate is up e1,523 to e153,783. NET INCOME SUBJECT TO TAX


Up to e9,807 Nil e9,807

to e27,086 14%


to e72,617 30%


to e153,783 41%

Over e153,783 45% The ‘exceptional tax’ remains in place for 2017 income. This charges an extra 3% or 4% for income over e250,000 and e500,000 respectively, with higher thresholds for families. Income tax is payable on salaries, self-employment income, pensions and rental income (see below for investment income) and you are taxed as a household rather than as an individual. Take advice to make sure you are taking advantage of available tax-efficient structures in France.

opts for the scale rates. However, since this option is irrevocable, it should be used with care.

Contrats d’Assurance-vie This new system also applies to assurance-vie if the total amount invested is more than e150,000 per person. However, note that in this case, it applies to all policies set up on or after 27th September 2017, although the flat rate only applies for withdrawals made after 1st January 2018. For policies set up before 27th September 2017 the old fixed rate system will still be available. If you top it up after this date, the proportion of the gain element relating to the top-up will be subject to the new flat rate of tax. The allowance for policies held for more than eight years stays in place for all policies (e4,600 for individuals and e9,200 for married/PACS couples).

Wealth tax From 1st January 2018, the scope of wealth tax is limited to real estate assets. In fact, the old “ISF” has been replaced by a new tax called “Impôt sur la Fortune Immobilière”. Therefore, any savings and investments, including assurance-vie policies, are now exempt from wealth tax, provided they are not directly invested in property. The majority of previous wealth taxpayers are now exempt.

Social charges

All income is subject to social charges as well as income tax. They increase by 1.7% this year for all types of income, so the rates for 2018 are: 9.7% for employment income; 9.1% for pension income and 17.2% for investment income For the new tax, the previous threshold of e1,300,000 (including rental income). stays in place and the scale rates of wealth tax remain the You do not need to pay social charges on pension income, same as before. The 75% limitation also stays in place. including lump sums, if you have EU Form S1 and/or do not have access to the French Other measures healthcare system. These reforms make this an excellent time to review

Flat tax on investment income

Over recent years, investment income was subject to the income tax scale rates, but this has now changed. From 1st January 2018, investment income is liable to one fixed rate of 30%, regardless of the amount earned. This 30% flat rate includes both the income tax and the social charges – so the income tax part is equal to 12.8%. The assumption is that the ‘flat tax’ will be favourable to taxpayers, since the first tax band is 14%. Households in low-income brackets keep the option to choose progressive income tax rates (otherwise they would pay more tax with the new system). The current abatements on dividend income and gains on share sales (only for small and medium-sized companies) remain in place if the taxpayer

your tax planning. Establish exactly what the changes mean for you, and whether you need to consider re-structuring your assets so that you can take full advantage. Seek personalised, specialist advice, so you can ensure your tax planning is designed around your circumstances and objectives, and you are not paying any more tax than necessary. 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 summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

Keep up to date on the financial issues that may affect you on the Blevins Franks news page at

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Pour une cuisine équitable A lors que nous consacrons de moins en moins de temps à nos repas, la « food » prend paradoxalement une place de plus en plus importante dans notre quotidien, exacerbée par une production télévisuelle débridée sur ce sujet, une littérature abondante et les réseaux sociaux. Ce phénomène devant beaucoup à la mode, il est courant d’entendre depuis quelque temps que la base d’une cuisine de qualité est l’utilisation de bons produits. Le discours du bon, du frais, du circuit-court, enveloppé de mots magiques (authentique, terroir…) et ficelé d’un zeste de french touch nous est servi à toutes les sauces et renforce cet engouement croissant pour la cuisine. Bon début ! Mais le chemin pour produire à la source, puis se procurer et enfin transformer ces « bons » produits est sans aucun doute plus facile à dire qu’à faire… Bien évidemment, comme Chef cuisinier, je suis attentif aux nouvelles tendances de consommation et me trouve pris dans cette évolution. Mais mon constat est que, malgré une bonne volonté générale et des mots rassurants, l’agroalimentaire, l’industrie, le trop sucré, le pré-fabriqué, le surgelé et le sous-vide sont de plus en plus présents dans la consommation de tous les jours… Une telle diversification des produits aboutit pour le consommateur à un fouillis concernant son choix et à une incohérence dans sa façon de se restaurer, avec en prime de sévères répercussions sur sa santé. Trouver un lieu pour se restaurer est aisé, mais connaître la véritable identité d’un restaurant avant d’y avoir mangé ressemble au parcours du combattant. Et même, distinguer le vrai du faux après un repas au restaurant n’est pas toujours évident... Cela malgré un rassurant logo « fait maison » sur le menu ou l’assurance du serveur lorsqu’il répond à votre question sur ce point! Ce monde culinaire aurait-il manifestement (et sciemment ?) perdu la boussole ? A l’opposé, le bio et la biodynamique, bien qu’encore exemplaires dans leur majorité, semblent eux de même inexorablement attirés par les stratégies marketing et business de la grande distribution. Alors que faire ? Capituler ? Se résigner en consommateur qui ne comprend plus ? Non, car la prise de conscience semble prendre le dessus ces derniers temps. Les Français, et c’est là LA bonne nouvelle, rejetteraient de plus en plus les aliments et plats transformés! La méfiance fait maintenant partie de l’achat. Pour se protéger, on exige que l’étiquette renseigne sur tout : la provenance, le contenu exact et le mode de production. Alors, la malbouffe aurait-elle enfin pris quelques plombs dans l’aile ? Si c’est le cas, cuistots et aubergistes de tout poil, profitons-en

pour lui tordre définitivement le cou ! Assurer des produits en direct du terroir est toujours le mot d’ordre des quelques restaurateurs qui croient encore au métier qu’ils ont choisi. Rejoignez-les ! Ils ne sont pas nombreux mais peu importe. Ces irréductibles, on les rencontre surtout dans le monde rural. Notre Camp Retranché Astérix, nous l’avons trouvé nous, mon épouse et moi, à Cajarc dans le Lot au sein d’un patrimoine gastronomique incroyable. Il nous a fallu un peu de temps pour comprendre en détails les fabuleux produits qui nous entourent, pour établir une relation de confiance réelle avec les producteurs, et surtout, pour magnifier le produit sans le trahir. Il a même fallu que j’arrête de fumer pour mieux comprendre la truffe et le safran. Mais ça en a valu le coup! Notre arme principale : la conviction que sans la connaissance du produit, il n’existe pas de belle cuisine. La voie à suivre : une démarche d’équité et un rapport de confiance avec celui qui le crée. Par exemple acheter une bête entière, et la transformer dans le respect du travail de celui qui l’a élevée. La carte de notre restaurant L’Allée des Vignes, alors courte et évolutive, s’adapte au travail des champs, de la pêche et non à celui du congélateur. Elle en devient d’autant plus simple et créative. Elle évite aussi la routine et laisse même entrer l’imprévu, puisé ça et là dans des souvenirs, des voyages et la découverte d’autres cultures. Au total, une « cuisine équitable » qui se veut tout simplement une expérience à partager ensemble, vous et notre équipe.

Claude-Emmanuel Robin Et cette FRENCH PAGE n’étant pas à publication unique, nous attendons que d’autres personnes de langue natale française s’expriment dans cette tribune ! Alors, à vos plumes pour l’édition de Mai, à vos choix de sujets, à vos billets d’humeur ou toute distraction onirique pour ravir nos lecteurs de toutes origines

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


UN BON PRODUIT By choosing what we eat, we choose the world we want to live in.


By Valérie Rousseau

hat and importantly how we eat makes a dramatic difference to both the environment and our health. Achieving optimum nutrition and choosing sustainable, fairly produced food should be equally important. To do this we need to buy as locally and as seasonally as possible. Buying strawberries in December should sound alarm-bells. Something isn’t right! Equally, buying local muddy carrots should reassure us that our food grew in local soil. Healthy eating is all about achieving balance, this includes finding sufficient time for food preparation and communication. Spending time sharing stories and recipes, passing know-how down the generations. Taking the time to prepare fresh-food in a ‘mindful’ manner (not all ‘mindfulness’ needs to be found on a Smart Phone App) ensures a healthier mind and body. Many great family recipes and techniques have been lost to the modern-day rush and clamber for ‘quick food’. In this region of France, we’re lucky to have great local food and quality ingredients on our doorstep. Heroic efforts have gone into identifying quality products and ensuring the protection of the many great terroirs. However, with many of the ready-prepared, mass produced foods increasingly available, Bonne Chance is more appropriate than Bon appétit! Should quality be a luxury? Does eating well have to be expensive? Much depends on how you quantify expense. Buying what appears to be cheap may prove expensive in the larger context when you consider the need for farm subsidies, clearing up diseases caused by factory-farming conditions, ill-heath and damage to the eco-system caused by toxic chemical usage, and so on. The culture of buying-cheap is to the detriment (often critically so) of the people that work to produce the food. Healthy food costs to produce and has a real value, above and beyond the price we pay for it. We should never want to pay less than ‘a fair price’. The quality of food is often inversely proportional to its ‘acceptable’ appearance. People are induced to buy highly polished (and flawless) red tomatoes that may have travelled thousands of miles. These will have passed through many-hands since first being picked in a distant land as green, under-ripe fruit. The real quality of our food is found in a reduced supply chain, the freshly picked (maybe a bit knobbly) red, black, purple or yellow tomato grown in your village.

Everybody’s future is served up on our plate! When we eat we invite the environment, society, culture, health and economy to our table. We will not change the world simply with a fork but every little change makes a difference. There are so many ‘quality labels’. Just what do they all mean? Here are just a few: AMAP (Association pour le Maintien d’une Agriculture Paysanne) is the French organisation that sets the standards for sustainable and fair production of food. LABEL ROUGE Where you see this label you’re assured that the producer adheres to very strict, welfare and production rules. Animal wellbeing being paramount and the use of fully traceable products essential. All growth promotors and antibiotics are prohibited in live-stock. European logo This label indicates (European wide) Organic Farming Certification. This prohibits the use of pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers; ensures the protection of groundwater and the virtually-organic feeding of livestock. It also bans the use of anything Genetically Modified. AB This is a French Organic label for ingredients or processed (cooked products). This requires a greater organic specification in livestock food, for any meat products. The use of anything Genetically Modified is also banned. BLEUBLANC Coeur This important organisation brings together like-minded producers with the same ecological, quality and fairness principles.

Shopping – it’s in the bag! The biodegradable bags in grocery aisles and market stalls are a great step-forward. But, why not take your own and cut down the requirement for new bags altogether? Maybe cloth-bags or even pre-used paper-bags.

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


The Gardner’s Friend We’ve always known that the moon’s progress affects the natural world, so it’s surprising that we don’t (or have forgotten how to) use its influence in gardens. by V Rousseau


he lunar-cycle can appear complex, but it’s possible to find a simple rhythm. We consider, the sun’s position in our gardens, so why not the moon? The waxing moon (new moon to full moon) is when seedlings will thrive as this is when nature’s sap rises and encourages upward growth, the time to plant seeds. Conversely for slow growth, seed during a waning moon (full moon – no moon). During this period the sap descends into the roots and so this is the best time to prune trees, plant rooted plants and fertilise roots. As well as the relatively simple waxing and waning, there’s also the question of the position of the moon in the skies at any one time. Both these constantly changing factors must be considered together. During a lunar-cycle the moon crosses the 12 constellations of the Zodiac (solar system regions and not just astrology terms). Each Zodiac constellation is linked to one of 4 elements: Water, Air, Earth and Fire. Specialised diaries can help you plot the moon’s progress and tell you which elements is in force on any one day. Water/Leaf The moon is passing Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio Time to plant all plants, especially leafy annuals (salads, spinach) and trim hedges or look after indoor plants. Air/Flower The moon is passing Libra, Gemini and Aquarius Time to care for all flowering plants and shrubs, plus vegetables with edible flowers, such as artichoke, cauliflower and broccoli. In a waning moon, move/divide plants, harvest and work the soil. Earth/Root The moon is passing Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn Time to plant all underground vegetables such as

carrots, radish and turnip. The time to root new plants and thin-out and transplant seedlings. Time to harvest, in a waning moon. Fire/Fruit The moon is passing Aries, Leo and Sagittarius Time to plant soft fruits and ‘fruiting’ vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, melons and courgettes; plus, plants grown for their seeds such as peas. Harvest or plant the ‘fruiting’ plants/trees in a waning moon and wait for a waxing moon for beans, peas etc. Before you think you have it all worked out – there’s more! Twice a month the moon crosses the ecliptic (the circular path on the celestial sphere that the sun appears to follow during a year). These two events are called ‘lunar nodes’ and it’s not a time for planting seedlings, harvesting or working the soil. These are gardeners’ rest periods. The ‘apogee’ is when the moon is furthest from the earth, a bad time for seedling as opposed to the ‘perigee’ when the moon is nearest the earth, promoting seedling growth. Many of the vineyards around are very conscious of these changing influences and you can well imagine how important for wine production to get all right. So maybe our potagers could be assisted in the same way. After all, it costs us nothing except perhaps the investment in a good, specialised gardening-diary that will calculate what to do when. Moon Trivia Have you heard of the ‘gibbous moon’? It’s a ¾ moon looking as if it has a hump (gibberosus is the Latin word for humpbacked) occurring when the moon both waxes and wanes.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local




Gardening Property Maintenance Caretaking Entretien-Espaces Verts Petits Bricolages Gardiennage Maison Réveille-Bas, 82150 Montaigu de Quercy 07 80 39 12 19

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Call to arrange a free estimate. Our motto is Small Profits, Quick Returns. Always top quality at a price you can afford! Matt Piper 06 72 56 73 77 or email Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Cydalima perspectalis Box Tree Caterpillar


uxus (box), the ubiquitous small-leaved, evergreen shrub, is loved for its hardness, attractiveness and versatility, adding height and structure to gardens. As a neatly pruned hedge, it creates a formal, elegant tone, edging pathways and parterres. Standard Buxus, symmetrically framing doorways, gives homes an inviting air. With its compact leaves, Buxus is popular for topiary, and is pruned into balls, boxes, pyramids and spirals, or, by the adventurous, used in niwaki (cloud pruning). It is easy, though slow, to grow, but in the last decade, an invasive pest has been introduced to Europe. Cydalima perspectalis, the box tree caterpillar, native to East Asia, which feasts exclusively on Buxus, can destroy this plant at an alarming rate. It becomes active in the spring, so now is the time to be vigilant. Here’s what to look out for and what to do. A moth’s life cycle involves a complete metamorphosis, transforming from egg to larva to pupa and, finally, to adult moth, in four distinct stages. Each stage has a different goal - e.g., larvae need to eat and grow, and adult moths need to find a mate and reproduce. It is when Cydalima perspectalis is at the larvae stage of its life cycle that it causes the damage, though of course, dealing with the pest at any stage of its life cycle is a useful preventative strategy.

the mother moth lays her eggs on Buxus and nothing else, as this is the only leaf that Cydalima perspectalis eats.

Stage three, the pupa (chrysalis)

Each individual ovum measures 1 mm in diameter and is pale yellow and flat. The eggs are laid in clusters of 5 - 20 eggs, which the female moth deposits on the underneath of box leaves, in a translucent, gelatinous mass. She favours leaves at the centre of the plant, as these are safer from predators.

The larvae pupate, amongst the leaves and twigs of the the Buxus plant, forming into a pupa (chrysalis), where their final metamorphosis into a moth occurs. This stage lasts for 10 days. The pupae are actually smaller than the caterpillars, shrinking to 25–30 mm in length. Initially they are green coloured, with browning longitudinal lines, and the pupa gradually becomes more brown. Inside the chrysalis, all of the tissues, limbs and organs of the caterpillar are transforming into the imago, which will be the final stage of the life cycle.

Stage two, the larva (caterpillar)

Stage four, the imago (moth)

The eggs hatch into larvae – caterpillars. The emerging larvae measure 1 - 2 mm in length and are greenishyellow in colour, with a black head. Over the next four weeks, the box tree caterpillar grows up to 4 cm (1 ¼”) long and develops its characteristic stripes along the length of its body - thick black and thin white stripes. The predominant activity of larvae is eating, to fuel their rapid growth. As the eggs hatch, the caterpillars eat the leaves they were born on, and because the caterpillars are too small to travel to a new plant, it is essential that

The imago (adult moth) usually has white wings with a brown border, faintly iridescent, and a white spot on the forewing, but variants can be all brown or all clear. The wingspan is up to 4 cm (1¼in). In this, their final life stage, which last up to two weeks, the imagines devote themselves to reproduction. Cydalima perspectalis can produce up to four generations in a year. Because the caterpillars eat the central foliage first, only moving towards the outer leaves after they defoliate the interior, by the time an unobservant gardener notices

Stage one, the ovum (egg)

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ARBRESERVICES Matt Strawbridge Tree Surgeon Elagueur Arboriste a problem, a lot of damage can have occurred. It is likely that most of the inner leaves will have been stripped bare, leaving behind only leaf skeletons and green balls of frass (excrement). While young larvae feed on the more tender, upper part of the leaf and the delicate new shoots, it is the older larvae who inflict the most damage, devouring all of the leaves and also the bark of the branches. While a plant can recover from defoliation, the destruction of the bark is likely to cause the death of the plant, and therefore early intervention is advisable, with regular inspections of Buxus from April through to October. In addition to looking for the caterpillars and defoliated leaves, inspect Buxus for white webbing, similar to spider webs, as the larvae cover their feeding area with this sticky mesh. There are a number of control measures available to you, manual, biological and chemical. Ideally, nonchemical control will suffice, and catching an infestation early on may allow you to simply remove the ova, larvae or pupae by hand. However, as Buxus comprises of multitudinous small leaves, and is often used extensively in planting schemes, this can be a demanding task. You can cut off any infected material, though with the slow growth rate of Buxus, this can be dispiriting. A simple but effective method is to pressure wash the plants, removing the pests forcibly with a high pressure water spray. Buxus is a sturdy shrub and can withstand the pressure. Alternatively you can use a contact insecticide (meaning it requires direct application, coming into direct contact with the pest) which will need a thorough application, drenching the plant, and applied with sufficient force to penetrate the webbing. Look for products containing pyrethrum, a good choice, as it is organic, consisting of extracts from Chrysanthemum, mixed with colza oil. Synthetic products are available, but not advisable, because of environmental impact, causing harm to beneficial pollinators. Do not spray near flowering plants, and select your spraying time for early morning or early evening, to avoid peak pollinator activity during the day. Another useful product is a pheromone trap, which captures adult males, thus limiting the number of fertile eggs laid. This device contains a lure, to attract the male Cydalima perspectalis moth, and a small amount of water which prevents it from escaping. A pheromone specific to Cydalima perspectalis is used, ensuring

Tours 47340 Cassignas 05 53 95 80 27/ 06 45 25 65 58 SIRET NO. 5025222200004

that beneficial indigenous species are not attracted. As well as reducing further breeding, this device acts as an early warning signal, prompting you to thoroughly inspect your Buxus for ova, larvae and pupae after capturing any imagines. Position traps in early April, replacing the lure every 5 - 6 weeks (depending on the intensity of infestation) until late October. You should receive additional lures with each trap purchased, and can purchase further additional lures for future use. Chill or freeze them until required. They can be purchased in local jardinage shops or online. One trap will typically cover about an acre. Because Cydalima perspectalis has a toxic, unpleasant taste to indigenous European animals, it has no natural predators here in France to keep the population growth sufficiently in check. There is some predation from the Vespa velutina (Asian hornet) found here in South-West France, however, this not a viable solution, as this large, invasive hornet preys on honey bees. The box tree caterpillar, being Asian in origin, favours warmer climates, its preferred temperatures being between 21 - 33 °C. and it is no surprise that it proliferates here, where the shorter winters enable it to achieve up to four generations each year. Unfortunately it is also able to survive temperatures as cold as -30 °C so is able withstand our cold winters. Furthermore, the caterpillars feed on all of the most popular Buxus species of Europe, so the population growth is unlikely to be curtailed by limited food supplies. While Buxus can regrow after some degree of defoliation, repeated, sustained infestations will deplete the vigour of the plant, and, with the already slow growth rate of the Buxus, it can take some time to recover, and the slow growth rate also results in substantial replacement planting costs. As the speed with which the caterpillars devour the plant is so disproportionate to the rate of regrowth, it makes sense to safeguard your Buxus and check plants regularly.

John and Debbie (Le Jardin des Espiemonts) 06 44 23 73 65 lejardindesespiemonts

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Should you choose permanent residence or French citizenship? Once you’ve established residence in France for 5 years, you have the right to apply for a Carte de Séjour Permanent. A French permanent residence permit is bizarrely not permanent – it allows you to stay in France for 10 years. It’s renewable and you will need to reapply; you can’t vote in Presidential elections or hold public office. If you opt to become a French citizen you will also become a citizen of the European Union (EU), with all the accompanying rights (like voting in French Presidential elections). You don’t have to give up your own nationality if you become a French citizen: you can have dual British/French citizenship. Anybody who has lived continuously in France for 5 years may apply for French citizenship “by decree”. Residence requirements: You must be over 18 and have been living in France for five continuous years and prove that you have integrated into the French community by speaking French and having a knowledge of French culture and society and the rights and duties of French citizens. If you live permanently in France (more than 183 days per year) then you are required to register with the French income tax system and complete an annual tax return, even if you still do this in the UK as well. (Contrary to popular belief, if you live here full-time, you cannot choose in which country you prefer to pay your income tax!) Language requirements: You will need at least a little knowledge of French for the carte de séjour but more fluency (level B1) for the citizenship application when an interview in French will take place for approx 15 mins. If you are under 60 you must produce a certificate from an approved training establishment showing that you have sufficient knowledge of the language – i.e. attend a course and pass an exam. If you are over 60 you are exempt from this but must show at the interview when you apply that you have sufficient knowledge of the language. You don’t need to be bilingual – just be able to conduct a simple conversation and answer a few simple questions. In either case you need to be able to show at the interview that you have an appreciation of the history and culture of France. That is set out in a “livret du citoyen” which you can download as a PDF document. Read the livret and make sure you know the names of at least three presidents – Macron, Hollande, and De Gaulle will suffice – plus the name of the current prime minister. And don’t forget the date of the French revolution! Useful Information for applications: Original birth/marriage certificates etc... British nationals can order official duplicates from A number of supporting documents must be provided and may include the following: • Proof of identity • Proof of continuous residency in France

• Proof of resources • Tax returns • Birth and marriage certificates including those of parents It is crucial to source information about the documents required from your local prefecture as lists from the government site and the prefecture site can be quite different. The exact documents required will vary depending on the person’s situation. All documents in a language other than French must be translated by a certified translator. There is also a fee for the administrative procedure, which is paid by purchasing a timbre fiscal (tax stamp) from your local tax office (currently 55 euros). Once the procedure is underway, the French administration has 18 months to respond. Where we can help • Obtaining the correct list of documents for your situation • It is often near impossible to obtain an appointment through the prefecture website. We can help our clients with this through our contacts with the prefecture • Certified translations of all necessary documents • Assistance with the application procedure • Compilation and verification of your dossier The fact that all official translations are completed in-house (we are Certified Translators) means considerable savings for our clients compared with other consultancy services who are forced to outsource all their translation requirements. We have already helped lots of clients to successfully apply for and obtain Carte de Séjour Permanent and Naturalisation. Assistance Franco Anglaise AFA was founded in 2004 to assist English speakers living in France. Benefiting from an excellent reputation, we have helped hundreds of clients with issues as diverse as registration of non-EU vehicles, correct implementation of dual taxation agreements and successful naturalisation applications. David (dual English and French!) and Nicole (French) are both Certified Expert Translators at the Court, which means that our translations are accepted by all French Préfectures. This enables us to offer a one-stop solution to many administrative procedures. Services include: • Certified Translations • Small business registration • French tax return completion • Application for Healthcare • Administrative issues • Language tuition You may contact us to find out more or for a no-obligation quote email: Website:

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


QUERCY OAK Construction & Renovations

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PÉRIGORD & QUERCY’S Annual Shakespearean Tour

Ben Horslen and John Risebero, directors of theatre company Antic Disposition, share their thoughts on the company’s annual tour to Périgord and Quercy, and reveal this year’s production…

This summer, Antic Disposition will be returning to Périgord and Quercy for our fourteenth season of Shakespeare in the sun. Each August, we leave London and bring a company of up to a dozen actors plus a backstage team of five or six down to southwest France for a fortnight’s tour. Like the strolling players of Shakespeare’s day, we strike out from our base on the banks of the River Lot in the beautiful town of Puy l’Evêque to perform each night in a different open-air location, from huge squares in major towns to tiny private gardens in the most secluded villages. We have played in a total of twenty extraordinary locations to over 15,800 people since our first visit in 2005, against the backdrop of vineyards, sunflower fields and beautiful medieval buildings. One of the great joys of the tour is the sense of community we experience each year. We have been welcomed to many of our venues for more than a decade – and are always delighted to see familiar faces in the audience – but we also try to incorporate at least one new venue on every visit. As we set up our stage there in the late afternoon, it’s often under the bemused eyes of locals wondering why on earth an English theatre company has descended on their rural village. But once the sun has gone down and the play has started, we’ll often find many of the same people pausing on the edge of the performance, as they pass by on their evening stroll, becoming part of the scene, just briefly, and enjoying a shared experience with the actors and audience.

This year, we’re delighted to reveal that we’ll be bringing one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, a tale of romance, quick wits and deception – with a sprinkling of magical music to make the night complete. We hope to see you there! Much Ado About Nothing will tour Périgord and Quercy from 1st to 13th August 2018. Tickets go on sale to members of the AD Friends on 7th April, and on general sale on 14th April. For full details, and to join the AD Friends, visit

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Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018

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Tasting the lot has cake and eats it!

A Lot of Baking Cake Club 2018

For those who have never heard of us, we are a constantly expanding (membership not waistband, though some might debate that) group of ladies who meet once a month in each other’s houses and eat cake, drink tea, coffee and tissanes; and chat. All in the name of supporting not only each other but Cancer Support in France. CSF.


ancer Support France, Dordogne Est and Lot was formed in August 2007, to provide support to English speaking people who are affected by cancer. This can be the person directly affected, or their spouse, partner, family or friends. The trained Active Listeners, provide support as required by the client and assessed by our team. This can be by telephone, personal home visits, accompanying hospital appointments, translation and interpreting services. This is free confidential support by men and women, with a sympathetic ear and approach to those affected by cancer. They help find answers to the questions that frequently go unasked during challenging medical appointments. They also have a good knowledge and experience of the health system in France, which can be daunting for those who may not have needed it, prior to being diagnosed with cancer. A Lot of Baking was set up in 2015 as a group for ladies (and gentlemen) to share cake recipes and bakes. In 2016 it was decided that we needed to meet up and share some of the cakes we made, a purpose was required and not just a meeting of chattering ladies! We decided to help CSF, an amazing charity that a few of our group have had help and care from. We ask for those who love baking to make a cake, come along with a copy of the recipe and join in. We hope that each visit you will donate a small amount towards the cakes and tea consumed. Last year we raised an astonishing e1161,50 which we presented to CSF’s President, Heather Moorhead, along with a donated cake, beautifully baked and decorated by, River House Cakes. This year we have already had 2 meetings. We decided last year that each meeting should have a theme to guide us to new recipes and not just our favourites. January’s was ‘detox, diet and reduced fat’. 11 cakes were made and, well…… that meant 11 cakes were tried! They were all delicious, to me,

self-appointed chief taster. I thought that ‘the hummingbird reduced fat cake’ and Julie’s ‘detox cake’ were the best, this time. Valentine was of course the theme for February and Tasting The Lot baked a delicious batch of Valentines cookies (recipe on next page). River House Cakes (a lovely new cake company) made Pink Velvet Cupcakes with strawberry milkshake buttercream. Following is the list of proposed cake themes and the dates for the remaining meetings this year:

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Cherry and Almond Cookies

Ingredients 170g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, 134g granulated sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp almond extract 15ml maraschino cherry juice, 240g plain flour 16 maraschino cherries (drained and chopped)

15 March – Meeting to be held in Prayssac Theme is Easter – bunny, bonnets, chocolate! 12 April – Meeting to be held in Cahors Mad Hatters Tea Party – let your imagination go wild! 17 May – Meeting to be held in Bagat-en-Quercy’s Village Fete – This is likely to be a full day event to coincide with the Royal Wedding the next day. Lots of exciting plans for the day being discussed! A competition or two and handmade goodies. I’m so excited!! We are waiting for suggestions from members for locations for the following: 14 June – World Cup – choose a team in the World Cup from list to be provided nearer the day and let’s have some fun. 12 July – Fruit – any combination of fresh, dried, stewed or tinned. I wonder what will be made? 16 August – ‘Free-From Cakes’ – free from sugar or flour or eggs – you get the idea? 13 September – Vegetables – it’s amazing what vegetables can be used in cakes! 11 October – Halloween – spooky cakes and bakes. 15 November – Show Stopper – Bake Off Mini Competition. 13 December – Christmas – traditional or modern, from various countries, using your Gran’s recipe. If you would like to know more, join our A Lot of Baking site on Facebook or email and we can tell you where we next meet.

Luci Cox

4 oz white chocolate Method Beat the butter on a high speed until creamy, usually about 1 minute. Switch mixer to medium speed and add the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on high, slowly drizzle in 1 tbsp of the cherry juice. Beat for 1 minute on high. Turn the mixer off and pour the flour into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed, then, with the mixer still running on low, add the chopped cherries. Beat just until the cherries are disbursed in the dough. Press the dough down to compact it and tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill until firm, at least 4 hours. If the cookie dough is not sufficiently chilled, your cookies will spread. Preheat oven to 180oC line two baking-sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Shape the cookie dough into balls. Mine were about 1 tbsp of dough per ball. Make sure they’re nice and smooth. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly. Do not overbake. In fact, I only baked mine for 10 minutes. I prefer them a little soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes whilst melting the white chocolate and drizzling over. Eat with a loved one. Last year’s recipes have been compiled into a cookbook to sell in aid of CSF and will be available from 1st April, there are 50 amazing cakes, all tried tested and tasted by A Lot of Baking. From all at Tasting The Lot and A Lot of Baking we wish you a very Happy New Year and happy baking.

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Tasting the lot

in 2 places at once! At last we’re into the New Year! I love the beginning of a new year, a clean page on which to plan a year of exploring these amazing regions. This new year sees the start of a new magazine The Périgord Local, a sister-publication to The Quercy Local. The Quercy shares so many of the same foodstuffs with the Périgord it’s a wonderful opportunity to have a reason to visit and compare flavours.


or those who aren’t terribly familiar with the Périgord’s food, I hope to share, with you, some of my foody notes. Being, Tasting The Lot, food (and wine) are my main interests rather than architecture, walking or literature, although I am a Martin Walker fan! (See p.23) Each area of Périgord has been assigned a descriptive colour. The south-east is called Périgord Noir because of its dense oak forests. The limestone area around the River Isle and Périgueux, (capital of the region), is called Périgord Blanc after the light colour of its rock. Périgord Poupre refers to the south west wine-growing area around Bergerac. And the very green, wooded area and pasturelands to the north is Périgord Vert. I link these colours with food! Black: Prunes and Truffles, and the amazing wild boars that I drive past, always, on my way to somewhere else! White: Ducks! Everywhere! And amazing creamy coloured cheese made by nuns and equally amazing wines, making a pleasing change to the Malbec wine that I do love. Green: Cows and thereby beef! Everywhere, I have driven, in whatever season, so many beautiful palecoloured cattle seem to be grazing. Then there’s the dark-green box-trees, reminding me of the box-wood handle on my father’s favourite knife, made at Nontron. A lovely village with a fascinating history surrounding its knives – the perfect picnic tool. Purple: Grapes! Plums! Wine lovers’ noses! All of which makes me smile as I look at Cyrano. At, Tasting The Lot, we are interested in what grows, in each month, so that we can enjoy it fresh. January: Duck, goose, confit and foie gras. Although these are available all year-round, for me, the run up and aftermath of New Year is centred around recipes for these delicious local treats. February brings the beginning of spring: Lamb. March: goats cheese, April: Garlic, May: Figs, June: Lavender, July: Melons,

August: Prunes, September: Saffron, October: Walnuts, November: Chestnuts, and December is Truffles. As this is a March magazine we are sharing a recipe for goats cheese. So, either Rocamadour cheese for those in the Lot and for people in the Périgord, the same style of cheese, Le Chèvrefeuille, which takes us back to my favourite village of Nontron (and its knives). ( Now, nobody should be afraid of my recipe this month! This ice cream is delicious. It has more of a cheesecake taste than tangy, goats cheese. Try it, it’s local and different. It’s also so much more exciting than just toasting your goats cheese. Although we have to admit that’s fabulous too!

Luci Cox

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


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Roasted Fig and Goat Cheese Ice Cream Ingredients Goat Cheese Ice Cream 225g fresh goat cheese, 360ml thick cream 360ml milk, 85g cup sugar, 10 egg yolks pinch of sea salt, 30ml whisky, optional but it does make ice cream smoother Roasted Fig Compote 225g ripe figs or 200g dried figs soaked overnight in cold tea to plump them up. Make sure you also destalk them. 30ml balsamic vinegar, divided in 2 15g brown sugar Method Crumble the goat cheese into a large bowl. Heat the cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a bare simmer. While the cream warms, whisk together the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Gradually pour the warm cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to cooking over medium heat. Stirring constantly and scraping the bottom as you stir, keep heating the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula (about 5 minutes). Stir in the salt and whisky, to taste, and remove from the heat. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the custard over the bowl of crumbled goat cheese. Gently whisk the goat cheese into the custard until it is smooth. Cool the custard for 15 minutes over an ice bath, stirring frequently. Place everything in the fridge, to finish chilling completely, for at least 3 hours. While the custard cools, make the roasted fig compote. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the tough stems off the figs then slice the figs into quarters. Place the figs in a baking dish and toss with one tablespoon of balsamic

vinegar and brown sugar. Cover the baking dish with foil and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the figs are soft. When cool enough to handle, puree the figs in a food processor or blender with the remaining balsamic vinegar. Put the mixture in a bowl and place in a fridge to cool until ready to mix into ice cream. Begin by freezing a container to put the finished ice cream in. Churn the ice cream custard in an ice cream machine, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop about half of ice cream into the prepared frozen container. Spoon a couple heavy lines of fig compote over the ice cream. Then add the second half of the ice cream. Spoon another couple of heavy lines of fig compote over the ice cream. Then cut through the lines of fig compote, with a spatula or spoon, to spread the streaks of fig compote through the churned ice cream. If you don’t have a fancy ice cream maker (I don’t) place the ice cream mixture in old ice cream container and keep stirring it as it freezes. If you forget to stir, it will form ice crystals and be less creamy. Freeze, serve and enjoy!

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


La Troupe D’Acteurs Du Quercy Babes in the Wood & Robin Hood


he audiences were treated to a great bilingual pantomime during the last weekend of January. Over 300 people saw the performances. They booed the baddies and cheered the goodies and thoroughly enjoyed this year’s show. The company did a super job. The set, costumes, lighting, sound and music, were great. We are indebted to all the helpers off stage as we need many hands to make the pantomime work. So, a huge thank you to everyone who supported us! Our next production will be the farcical Comedy: “Cash on Delivery” by Michael Cooney Friday/Saturday 25th/26th May For tickets: For more information: contact John Blaus: 05 63 05 18 99, Mob: 07 87 65 07 98 We are pleased to welcome anyone interested in joining us, to come and meet us at the Salle de Fêtes in Montaigu de Quercy on Mondays or Wednesdays from 7.30 pm. The Quercy Local • March-April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local



Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018



What if you come across an emergency whilst you are out, or you are unlucky enough to experience one at home? Could you summons help? In a panic your ability to ‘work it out’ may be diminished! If you need to call an ambulance try to make sure you can give location details and as much detail of the situation as you can.

A few useful words and phrases Emergency

Une urgence

Calling an ambulance in France

Help me

Aidez moi

15 – The national emergency number for medical aid in France. It will get you the SAMU service, with an ambulance (Service d’Aide Médical d’Urgence – Medical Emergency Aid Service).

My location is

Ma localité est

Car accident

Accident de voiture

Elderly person

Personne âgée

18 – The general emergency number (like 999 in the UK) which will get you connected to the most appropriate service. 112 – This is the standard European emergency number, you can call this number from anywhere in the European Union countries from your mobile, landline or payphone. 112 Emergency centres can use an interpretation service covering several languages. The European Commission website states that if you are unable to tell the 112 operators where you are they’ll be able to locate you – within a few seconds for fixed calls and up to 30 minutes outside working hours for mobile calls. 114 – Text messaging service if you are deaf or hard of hearing.

Tips • Not sure where you are? Your car’s GPS should show the road number, it can also give the GPS coordinates for your location.

I have had an accident J’ai eu un accident Fallen over

Tombé par dessus


S’est effondré

Need a doctor

Besoin un médécin

Need an ambulance

Besoin une ambulance

Heart attack

Crise cardiaque


Accident vasculaire cerebral

Epileptic seizure

Crise d’épilepsie


Perdre conaissance

Not breathing

Ne respire pas

Very sick

Très malade

I am in labour

Je suis en train d’accoucher



It is very sore here

J’ai très mal ici





A & E department – not all hospitals have them.

• Mobile phones can tell you your location (usually from Google Maps) you should be able to easily send someone your location.

• Have a note of essential medication taken by everyone in the household.

• Next to your home phone keep a note of the road number associated with your house.

• If you have people staying with you make this information available to them.

• You may be competent in French, but is the rest of your household? It maybe you in distress? You may be relying on someone else to get help. Make sure your GP’s contact details are written somewhere clearly. Have a note of the nearest

• Perhaps keep a copy of ‘what to do’ and telephone numbers in your car’s glove-box. • Work out, long before you need to know, how to get your location from your phone and your GPS, learning in a crisis is never good!

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


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

116 000



hen it comes to answering these questions, there are important differences to note between the governing laws of France (Civil Code) and that of English and Wales (Common Law); France being more in line with the rest of Europe. In Continental Europe there’s a ‘Good Samaritan Law’ which is a legal concept rather than a written rule. It has, however, been instrumental in the drafting of the various Civil Codes. To understand its exact meaning, it is necessary to refer to the parable in the New Testament. (Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verses 25–37) In France, (after Emperor Napoleon’s 1804 codification of the legal system) laws exist to encourage (even urge) you to help, assist or rescue people (even in the absence of what in England would be called a, legal duty of care). French Law, can punish (both as a criminal and civil matter) the bystander who, witnesses a dangerous incident and does not intervene, even though to do so would pose no risk to him or a third party. Criminal Code Art 223-6 For example, the photographers who were (rather too quickly) on the scene following the accident that killed Diana, Princess of Wales were investigated for violation of the French law and ‘deliberately failing to provide assistance to a person in danger’. An offence that can carry hefty fines and/or prison sentences. Historically, and somewhat harshly, the French legal system was able to sue a ‘rescuer’ for any damage or injury he caused (even accidentally). However, this harshness was mitigated by the ‘Status of Necessity’ defence which was introduced in 1984. Whereas, the Law of England and Wales states that there’s no

criminal liability for failing to act in the event of another person being in danger. ‘the common law does not impose liability for what are called pure omissions’ (Lord Goff in the House of Lords) In other words, there’s no general duty of care owed by one person to prevent harm occurring to another. So, applying English law, those in the parable who simply passed by the wounded man were entitled to do so. Whatever their moral duty, they were under no legal duty to come to his aid. Whereas, had this been judged under French Law, the passers-by would have potentially offended both the criminal and the civil codes. However, there are important exceptions to the rule of ‘no liability’ for ‘failing to act’ under English Common Law. There’s a (legal) duty to act ‘reasonably’ when a ‘duty of care’ emanates from an existing legal relationship between assister/rescuer and the person requiring assistance. For example, a ‘legal duty of care’ exists between, a parent or child-minder and a child, a police officer and an arrested man, a nurse and a patient or an airline and its passengers. There’s also a duty on aa person who has created the hazard causing the injury; but, we are now straying into the wonderful world of negligence and the law of torts. Put simply, you cannot (even under English Common Law) dig holes in the ground and just wait and watch (not assisting) as people fall into them! Failing to summon help for someone in distress is clearly morally repugnant but here in France it is potentially also a civil and criminal offence; and rightly so. With thanks to John Usher-Davis

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018

Image Credit: The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wijnants (1670)

Could I be sued as a result of giving first aid to a casualty? Perhaps the real question here is – Could I be sued if I do nothing to assist?


Siret: 514 571 157 000 15

A charity dedicated to the welfare of pet & stray cats

Help us to help them! Our General Assembly will be held the 18th of March 2018 in Roquecor where we will present our 2017 annual report. Over 2017, Les amis des chats helped the stray cats in our villages as well as domestic cats. Several articles were published to remember the importance of the sterilisation of stray but also pet cats. Thanks to the motivation of members and helpers of the association our boutiques in Lauzerte and Roquecor, as well as different events contributed to raise significant money for the sterilizations. We are transparent on our finance and actions that will be detailed on the 18th of March so don’t hesitate to take this opportunity to come to know us better and meet members and volunteers of our association. For more information on forthcoming events, please visit Les amis des chats website & our Facebook page.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local




Meet with the client Planning advice Prepare the plan for the garden

Pruning - Felling - Grinding - Clearance Terracing, Retaining-walls and Driveways Paths – Drystone-walls - Borders Ground Preparation (biodiversity) - Planting Soil - Mulching and Organic Fertilizing Property Maintenance

Expert help and advice for the creation and the maintenance of your garden

T. 06 81 99 58 38

We work throughout departments 46, 47 and 82.


Traditional Stonework ~ New and Restoration 82190 Fauroux ~ 06 40 20 68 94 ~ English spoken ~

Orrom Informatique All your Computer, Website & Graphic Design needs English Spoken - Free Quotations Mark Orrom

46700 Puy l’Évêque - 09 67 46 02 63 - 06 42 69 83 92

Si re t: 503806275 0 0 023

Robert Atkinson Work can be seen References available Roofing Stonework Plastering l



Tiling Paving l

Blocking Concreting Door/Window Openings l


Las Razes, Touffailles (82190), 06 02 23 98 51,, Siret: 499 560 654 00026 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Tasting a lot more

Travels to Domme Tasting The Lot, travels around tasting food and wine and encouraging anyone and everyone to try local food and wines. We’ve the phrase ‘what grows together goes together’ etched on our minds. And now Tasting a Lot More has branched out to the Dordogne, Bordeaux and Gaillac regions as a feasting gourmet travel guide! Over the next year, or so, we’ll be travelling around these regions, comparing foodstuffs, wines and regional recipes and of course, sharing as we go.


f course, many people reading this will already be very familiar with virtually all that’s available. However, sometimes it’s nice to try and find new things. I’ve spent over 30 years enjoying the wines of S W France and each trip, whether business or pleasure, has always taught me something new. In this edition we’re staying close to the Lot boundary to visit a region called IGP Périgord, found in the area around the town of Domme. It’s only when you spend time in, or live in a region that you start to discover and appreciate the smaller vineyards. This wine region, is a delight to visit and we would suggest doing so often! Le Vin de Domme et les Vignerons des Coteaux du Céou (24250) IGP Périgord was established on the 31st Dec 2011, from vineyards that had been gradually planted since 1994. These vineyards are planted on the slopes of Céou, a small tributary river of the Dordogne, and at an altitude ranging between 200 and 300 meters. The cooperative winery took its name from this lovely river. The cooperative has brought together winemakers and local-producers who then benefit from shared knowledge and great new cellar facilities and equipment. It’s been the passion and commitment of many local growers that has helped to put Le Vin de Domme back on the wine-lovers map, where it firmly belongs. These vineyards grow many grape varieties 20ha, including Merlot 53%, Cabernet Franc 36%, Malbec 6%, Chardonnay 4%, Sémillon 1%. These lands creep ever so slightly into the Lot region at Salviac. Wine from this region can be traced back to 1118 AD. When the vineyards were planted by the monks. During the middle-ages, in common with most regions of France, wine from Périgord became a very valuable commodity and was soon to be shipped to England, Northern Europe, Russia and Asia. This was despite the

good people of Bordeaux attempting to block the flow of this wine from their city. Around 1880, phylloxera (that vile little louse that has plagued the world since) hit the vines hard and the wine region was reduced from 27 000 ha to nothing. So, to the wines themselves. Which did I prefer? Well, my favourite was the Périgord Noir, unsurprisingly since that was exactly where I was! It was delicious.

The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


It is made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Fermented in stainless steel tanks (this keeps the fermentation inert, meaning that only the flavour of the grapes is in the wine, at this stage). Then malolactic fermentation takes place, this means the harsh malic acids (they taste similar to green apple) are converted to lactic acid, this gives the wine a smoother taste. The wine is kept in stainless steel tanks until April, racked at least twice (racking means taking off the clearer wine from the top of the sediment). Then the wine is placed in 400-litre French Tronçais oak barrels, from the government owned forest in central France. The wine remains in these barrels for 12 months, it’s racked again, if required, and then all the wine is put back in steel tanks again and bottled. If this vineyard’s wine itself was not enough to get you to visit, then how about also viewing Tower of Moncalou, right next door, with offers a magnificent view of the Périgord.

Now a little ‘wine’ Do-it-Yourself

Walnut Leaf Wine

If you fancy making wine yourself at home without all the fabulous equipment found in wineries here is a simple recipe to try. You will need, a demijohn, fermentation lock and a dark place to ferment in! Walnut leaf wine (well we are in walnut country and these leaves make a delicious wine!) 1 good handful of walnut leaves 4.5 litres of water 1.4kg demerara sugar 16oz honey (1 lb jar) Yeast. Dissolve the sugar and honey in boiling water. Put leaves in a bowl and pour on the boiling syrup. Leave for 24 hours, strain and add the yeast to the wine. Follow instructions on packet of yeast bought. Go for a neutral yeast. Ferment in a demijohn or other large wine bottle. Keep an eye on the fermenting lock, make sure you see when the fermentation stops, the bubble will stop popping. Syphon off wine and bottle back into cleaned demijohn. Seal and store for 6 months. Syphon again and bottle seal and store for as long as you can manage before drinking. Make sure you label things, I have many unlabelled bottles! You can follow Tasting The Lot and Tasting A Lot More on Facebook.

Open Weekend – Easter Weekend Le Vin de Domme et les Vignerons des Coteaux du Céou March 31st, and 1st and 2nd April Including an Easter Egg Hunt on the afternoon of Sunday, April 1st. The winery will be open on all 3 days from 10am to 6pm; with free tastings and visits to the cellar. During this event we will be releasing the new vintages: dry rosé Florimont 2017 and the demisec rosé Gourmandise 2017. More information available soon via our website.

Cuvée Solidaire In common with virtually all wine-growers Le Vin de Domme et les Vignerons des Coteaux du Céou’s grape crops were devastated with the Spring Frost of 2017. So, this year they are also going to be offering a Cuvée Solidaire – IGP Perigord red wine (100% Merlot) from the Sigoules cooperative cellar. A rather fruity wine, easy drinking and one for all palates. This will replace some of their red-wine stock, lost to the frost and is a great opportunity to work again with local colleagues and friends.

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018


Summer Work : Mainly, but not exclusively Saturdays, May – September. Help wanted to join a small team looking after, cleaning and preparing a large property (change-overs). Must be very reliable, have high-standards and love working with others. Usually about 4 hours per week. Good rates of pay. Must be able to travel to Touffailles (82190).

Au Pair position August 2018, near Belfort du Quercy (46230) Part-time role for experienced, English and French speaking au pair, looking after 3 children (aged 8,7,5), assisting with meal preparation and some house chores Contact (references required)

CSF DORDOGNE EST ET LOT ASSOCIATION ARE HOLDING A SPRING MARKET SATURDAY APRIL 21ST, 10H:00 - 16H:00 AT L’OSTAL LAVACANTIÈRE 46340 It is proposed to have a variety of stalls:- cakes; plants & flowers; books; soft furnishings; local produce as well as tombola and activities for children. Refreshments will be available throughout the day and there is the possibility to also buy food from Cod en Bleu and La Saucisserie. L’Ostal is situated on the edge of Lavacantière village so there is easy access and excellent parking facilities. Come and help us celebrate Spring and at the same time support our CSF Association which provides help and support to English speaking people living in France affected by cancer.

Charity Shop for good causes – Beauville 47470 Great Annual Book Sale – May 1st Open: Tues/Wed/Fri 2-4pm, Fri/Sun 10-12am, Thurs 3-5pm


The Quercy Local • March - April 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


SUMMER 2018 - BISCARROSSE PLAGE Light, sunny and spacious apartment, with ocean views, sleeps six. To let direct from owner from June 15 to Sept. 15.

Situated in the centre in one of the resort’s best apartment blocks, 150 m from the beach, the second-floor accomm. includes sitting room with two balconies, south & west facing, double bedroom with balcony and two bunk beds. Separate fully equipped kitchen. IT compatible music system. Lift. Parking – one vehicle. Pets allowed. July & August 650e per week June & Sept 550e per week

Call 06 33 65 16 97 / +44 7739 426 884 Eng. spoken.

Reliable, diligent cleaners wanted for Luzech, Sauzet area

Must be available for Saturday changeovers during the months of June to September and have own transport. Please contact Karri at 0646052623 or by e-mail at

Enthusiastic, reliable, friendly person wanted on a part-time basis June to September to work in a swimming pool shop in Gourdon. Must have own transport, full training will be given, would suit a young person seeking a work placement for a stage or indeed anyone who has a people oriented, approachable and friendly outlook.

Please contact Niall at 0615444727 or by e-mail at

Seasonal Cleaner & Gardener May to September 2018, Belfort du Quercy (46230) Cleaning a large countryside property between holiday guests and providing adhoc assistance with maintenance tasks Maintaining a large garden and pool on a weekly basis. Experienced gardeners only. Contact (references required)

If you have excellent written French and English and an eye for detail, please contact We are looking for someone to help with translating property details from English to French and to tidy up existing translations that have been made from French to English. This is part-time and would suit someone freelance. Proximity to our Tournon d’Agenais office would be an advantage.

BIKE REPAIR Small repairs up to full custom builds Cytech certified mechanic with over a decade’s experience Delivery & Collection option Contact us about preparing your gîte bikes for the summer season Based in Touffailles (82190) +33 (0)7 80 52 59 62 VELO PLUS

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • March - April 2018

PISCINES • Conception et realisation de piscines • Spas, Sauna, Hamman

BÂTIMENT GÉNÉRAL • Restauration de bâtiments • Constructions de bâtiments • Assainissement et recuperation d’eau • Amènagements extérieurs

TENNIS • Réalisation et renovation


Paret Neuve 82150 Roquecor Tél: 05 63 95 22 21 Fax: 05 63 95 27 14 Quercy Bleu quercybleu

Profile for The Magazine Production Company

The Quercy Local Issue 33 March - April 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English Speakers’ of the Quercy region of S W France – covering the Lot, Lot et Garonne and Tarn et Garo...

The Quercy Local Issue 33 March - April 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English Speakers’ of the Quercy region of S W France – covering the Lot, Lot et Garonne and Tarn et Garo...