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December – February 2019 Issue 37

uercy Local The

The Region’s FREE magazine in English

& French

The Winter Edition Inside – Christmas Wreaths, Le Langage des Arbres La Guillotine & Olympe de Gouges Cahors Wines, Monastic Cheese Paris en Miniature Winter Birds

Make your garden

a winter wonderland

for wildlife

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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.

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CONTENTS Welcome to the winter edition In this edition you will see that we’ve tried to include a bit more French. We are often asked to do this and although we cannot do everything in two languages, we’ve included some summaries in the alternate. This has seemed like a varied edition, we’ve winter birds, toy museums, Cahors wines, the language of trees, wreath making, a great pie shop, a delicious cake and even a miniature Paris! Valerie Thompson tells us about her travels down the River Dordogne and some of the treasures she found along the way. Then we have a quick look at two ladies from the region who met the notorious ‘guillotine’ – one a serial killer and the other a feminist writer – born before her time and dying for her beliefs. We hope there’s a little of something for everyone!

Bienvenue à l’édition d’hiver Dans cette édition, nous avons essayé d’inclure d’avantage de textes français. Cela nous a été très souvent demandé et, comme nous ne pouvons pas tout publier dans les deux langues, nous nous sommes efforcés d’inclure quelques résumés dès que cela était possible. L’édition que nous vous proposons est très variée : les oiseaux d’hiver, des musées de jouets, les vins de Cahors, le langage des arbres, la fabrication de couronnes, a pie-shop, un délicieux gâteau et même un Paris en miniature ! Valérie Thompson nous raconte son périple le long de la Dordogne et nous parle de certains des trésors qu’elle a trouvés sur son chemin. Puis nous nous intéresserons à deux femmes de notre région dont le destin a croisé la célèbre guillotine ! L’une fut une tueuse en série et l’autre, une écrivaine féministe - en avance sur son époque et morte pour ses convictions. Nous espérons qu’il y en ait pour tous les goûts !

Anna Email:


Club Jardinage - Lauzerte


Christmas Wreath Making


Feeding our Feathered Friends


Update from the Anglican Church - Cahors


Festival International de Guitares


On this day ...


Quercy Cat Chat


Doing a Geographical


Dark Chocolate and Chestnut Cake


Monastic Cheese


Meander Down the Dordogne Valley


UK Investments in France




Sid the Super Spider


Toy Museums


Paris en Miniature


La Noble Pie


La Guillotine


Olympe de Gouges


Aide et Respoir


S W Wines - Cahors - with recipes


Le Langage des Arbres




From our website you can - subscribe to receive the magazine in the post, read the magazines on line, sign up for our newsletter and find our advertising rates. A partir de notre site internet, vous pouvez souscrire pour recevoir notre magazine par la poste, lire nos éditions en ligne, vous enregistrer pour recevoir la newsletter et consulter nos tarifs de publicité. @Perigord_Quercy The Local Magazine - Périgord & Quercy perigordandquercylocals The Quercy Local ISSN: 2116-0392. No part of this publication may be copied, used or reproduced without written consent. No responsibility is accepted for any claim made by advertisers/contributors. Please check that advertisers are appropriately registered. Toute reproduction, utilisation ou copie, même partielles, de cette édition sont interdites sans un accord écrit de la direction du magazine. Nous déclinons toute responsabilité pour les éventuelles réclamations des annonceurs ou intervenants. Merci de vérifier que les annonceurs sont enregistrés convenablement. Propriété et direction : A. ATKINSON, Las Razes, Touffailles (82190) Siret: 518 460 605 00018. Assistée par Valérie Rousseau. Imprimé par - Gráficas Piquer.


Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


The association Les amis des chats welcome you in December in our Christmas Shops. Our charity boutiques in Lauzerte and Roquecor will be decorated and loads of toys, decorations and gifts will be for sale at very low prices as well as our beautiful calendar 2019.

Merry Christmas!!

Check the opening hours on our website: At our November meeting, two members gave us an introduction to straw bale gardening. This is a method that few gardeners here seem to practice and yet it offers many advantages, especially when planting on rock or clay soil which most of us find a challenge! Sneak preview of our early 2019 Programme: Jan 08: Pictorial Quiz Feb 12: AGM + Yvonne Innes on “Fabulous Gardens” Feb tbc Pruning in a member’s garden Mar 12: Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Apr 09: John & Debbie Sargeant of Jardins d’Espiemonts “Companion Planting” + Plant Swap Apr tbc Visit to a Spring Garden Apr 21: Place aux Fleurs, Lauzerte May 08-11: Club trip to Languedoc May 14: Didier Veaux of A la Lumiere du Jour “Roses” Jun 11: Garden Party + Plant Swap Jun tbc Visit to Nurseries in the Lot, with lunch

As we move through autumn and face the coming winter, we looked back over the year at one of our recent meetings and discussed how our gardens have fared: Plants that have struggled: Some tomatoes have suffered from blossom-end rot - largely due to uneven watering, although this can also caused by using a fertilizer that is too rich in nitrogen; Apricots suffered from late frost and also from the ubiquitous peach leaf curl (cloque) - To minimize this remove all dead leaves from beneath the tree and also cut out any affected shoots. Both should be burned. Bouille bordelaise should be applied at leaf fall and at the end of winter. Plants that thrived in members’ gardens have been: peonies, lilac, early peas, sweet peas, geraniums, most tomatoes, grasses, sedums, roses (albeit black spot was rife due to the damp spring), Bramley and other apples, pears and plums, and some raspberries.

Our friendly bi-lingual club meets throughout the year: in the winter months 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, nurseries (and restaurants) that surround us. If you feel you’d like to do the same, why don’t you pop along to one of our meetings? There is no obligation to become a member, you would, however, receive a warm welcome and a cup of tea! Just contact our club secretary, Pam Westcott, who will be delighted to hear from you. Tel: 07 86 40 05 29 or GREEN TIPS: • If you provide seed balls for the birds to enjoy – remove the netting first and then re-use it to help establish small plants when planting up rockeries and wall crevices. •S  hould our readers enjoy a glass or two of the local produce…. collect those corks and use (along with any polystyrene packing) to help drainage in pots. Lighter to lift!

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Christmas Wreath Making


good garden brings you happiness all year round and Christmas is no exception. If you want to avoid the commercialisation of Christmas, with the frenzy of Christmas shopping, nasty plastic nicknacks and artificial decorations, you can look to your garden to provide you with natural resources for creating environmentally friendly decorations and thoughtful gifts. It doesn’t have to be about consumerism, instead you can choose a simpler, more meaningful celebration, reclaiming the joy and the spirit of Christmas, by spending time with family and friends. A quick trip into your garden and local neighbourhood can provide you with all the materials you need for seasonal arts and crafts, creating personal, handmade gifts and beautiful wreaths that can decorate your home and bring festive cheer to your friends, family and neighbours throughout the Christmas period. The wreath, in Christian theology, is a symbol of God, the circular shape, with no beginning and no end, representing life everlasting. Traditionally, for an advent wreath, three candles are placed around the wreath, and another in the middle. The candles are lit successionally throughout the advent period, as a countdown to Christmas, with the centre candle being lit last, at Christmastide, to represent the arrival of Jesus, the light if the world. Holly leaves on the wreath represent the crown of thorns and the red holly berries represent the blood of Christ. If we look beyond Christianity, to pagan traditions, the wreath can be recognised as the wheel of life, a symbol of Yuletide and the Winter Solstice. On this, the shortest day of the year, with the longest, darkest night in the cold depths of winter, the Yuletide wreath represents

the enduring life of the earth, with the evergreen leaves of the wreath triumphing over the winter bleakness, a reminder that new beginnings emerge from darkness. On this day, darkness has reached its peak, and the winter solstice looks towards the return of the sun, celebrating the eternal and divine in nature and offering gifts in the hope of blessings for the forthcoming crops of the new year. In modern, more secular times, the wreath is often simply a decoration, with no symbolism other than being a harbinger of Christmas, and a cheerful way of brightening your door and welcoming visitors to your home. Making your own wreath each year can be a lovely family tradition to start off the festive season. There are no rules when it comes to creating your own wreath and you can be as traditional or avantgarde as you like, using simple colours and textures for sophisticated style or mixing in a riot of colour, shape and form. You can choose the material for your frame – wood, metal, straw etc., making your own or buying one ready-made, but we like to use willow, grapevine and wisteria, recycling these pliable woods, which we have in abundance after autumn pruning.

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Begin by foraging in your garden, and consider joining forces with friends and neighbours to pool resources, for a fun-filled festive activity. The following is a useful, but not exhaustive, list of things you might find in your local environment: Wood: willow, grapevine, wisteria, Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Moss, Berries, Teasels, Conifer clippings, Pine cones, Eucalyptus, Laurel, Physalis, Sage Rosemary, Thyme, Acorns, Twigs. Other items you might find useful are: gloves, secateurs, gardening/ florists’ wire and a glue gun. To make a circular wooden frame for your wreath, select strands of wood that are similar in diameter. Ideally they will be long, thin, pliant and elastic. If you are using freshly harvested wood, it is not necessary to soak and mellow it, as it will be naturally bendy, rather than brittle, though be aware that as it dries it will shrink and the weave may become uneven (though for a rustic wreath, this is not a problem). If your wood has been cut and stored for a time, it will have dried out, and it is useful to treat it to make it more pliable. This will ultimately result in a stronger weave, so it is helpful to use pre-harvested wood if you want to make a sturdy, enduring wreath. Soak your wood in hot water for 24 hours, weighing it down so it’s fully Immersed. Stand the lengths upright and leave to drain before wrapping them in an old towel or rag. The tannins in the wood might stain, so don’t use your best towels and linens, and be careful where you put your bundle, which should be a cool place, so it won’t dry out. Leave the wood wrapped up, allowing the moisture to be retained and evenly distributed – this process is known as mellowing, and it will allow you to weave the strands without them snapping. When you begin weaving, remove one length at a time, to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle. Wind the lengths round in circles, weaving the supple strands around each other and tucking the ends in to secure them. Repeat with multiple strands, to achieve the desired thickness. Obviously, the more strands you use, the sturdier your frame will be, which is good for large wreaths which can be heavily decorated, or

alternatively, use very slender lengths more sparingly for an elegant look. To decorate your wreath, add various greenery such as moss, small branches or leaves of evergreens, plus flowers, fruits, seeds, nuts, berries etc. You can attach your decorations using a glue gun or horticultural or floristry wire, or, our favourite method, for a totally natural wreath, fasten decorations by pushing stems into the weave of your circle and securing them with ivy, long thin strands of which can be wound around your wreath for both functional and aesthetic effect. If you would like to make your own Christmas wreath, but are hesitant to try it all by yourself, or would simply like to work in a group and enjoy a fun day to kick off the festive season, you can join us for a free wreathmaking session at our plant nursery in Caylus. This year, our annual Yuletide workshop is on Saturday 1st December, perfect timing for the beginning of Advent. The session begins at 10 a.m. when we will make our wooden circles with a selection of willow, wisteria and grapevine (which we provide). After that, it’s time to get creative, adding your chosen decorations to create your personal Christmas wreath. We will provide a large variety of decorative flora, but please feel free to do your own foraging to bring extra materials along as well. Don’t worry if you haven’t made a wreath before, we’re on hand the whole time to help you with your masterpiece. We finish off the crafting by 12, at which point we enjoy some seasonal snacks. Again, we will provide plenty of goodies, but please feel free to bring a contribution (though no meat, please). If the weather is nice, we’ll work in the garden, but if not, we’ll take shelter in the barn. All are welcome to attend our Christmas wreath making sessions, which are free of charge. For more information and to book your place, email Debbie on

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

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019

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Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Feeding our feathered friends T he start of winter greets us with sharp, glistening frosts and short, cold days and this can often be the most important time of the year for our garden birds. Harsh weather conditions mean that not only are birds struggling to find enough natural food supplies, but due to the short days, they have less time to find it. Supplementary winter feeding is literally vital for our birds and we can all help by providing a generous supply of high-energy foods; the more diverse the better, as you’re more likely to attract a wider variety of species. Opt for oil-rich, peanuts (ensuring that these are fed from a wire mesh feeder, to prevent choking) and energy packed sunflower seed mixes. For an extra special treat, put out some nutritious peanut cakes, specialist peanut butter for birds or fat balls. These are enormously popular with garden birds and you won’t be disappointed with the number of visitors eager to get a peck at this avian super-food! Vivara has developed a wide variety of bird foods and a range of patented recipes with added seeds and insects. Their special varieties are jam-packed with calories and nutrients and lend themselves to all types of gardens. They also make perfect gifts!

Don’t forget to stock up on multi-packs over winter, you’ll be surprised how well they are received. As well as making big savings when buying in bulk, stocking up will also ensure you are never short of a much-needed hi-energy boost when the weather takes a turn. All products ordered at are delivered to your door in France.

Here are a few tips to help you look after your garden birds this winter: • Introduce a bird table to your garden and put out sunflower hearts, high energy seed mixes and chopped up peanut cakes. • In gardens with big birds or squirrels, use feeders in guardian cages to allow smaller birds to feast in peace. This ensures they have access to food without being challenged by dominant garden visitors. • Offer hanging feeders with perching rings. Unlike traditional straight perches, rings allow birds to feed in their natural position, facing forward. This improves visibility when looking out for predators, which allows them to feel safer and stay at feeders longer; vital when daylight hours are limited, and temperatures are at sub-zero.

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


• Try to avoid disturbing the birds when they are feeding. Winter nights are long and cold so the first and last feeds of the day are vital; try topping up feeders and tables after dark so that the food is ready for them the next morning. • Provide fresh water – tepid if necessary, but never use antifreeze products. • Chop up apples and pears for blackbirds and thrushes. • Hang up fat cakes or rub them into the bark of trees if you have any tree creepers or goldcrests in the area. • Provide winter roost sites for smaller birds by putting up nest boxes; the birds will then use these for breeding in the spring. • Plant berry-bearing trees and shrubs in the garden such as hawthorn, holly, cotoneaster and berberis. Vivara stock a range of bird food, feeders and care products as well as gifts for the home. You can benefit from a 10% discount using the code FRQPL18. Visit or call 0810 1098080 to find out more.

Some key words and phrases glistening frosts gelées scintillantes garden birds oiseaux de jardin natural food supplies aliments naturels high-energy foods aliments riches en énergie wider variety of species plus grande variété d’espèces peanuts les cacahuètes sunflower seed mixes mélanges de graines de tournesol peanut cakes blocs de graisses de cacahuètes perfect gifts cadeaux parfaits stock-up faire le plein high-energy boost boost d’energie a few tips quelques conseils bird table mangeoire temperatures are at sub-zero températures sont à moins de zéro fresh water de l’eau fraiche apples and pears pommes et poires blackbirds and thrushes merles et grives bark of trees écorce d’arbres tree creepers or goldcrests lianes ou cimiers nest boxes nichoirs shrubs les arbustes

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Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019



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You can contact Marianne Charpentier on 06 71 71 77 22 or at You can also visit our website: Mouly Immobilier, 4 Avenue de la Promenade, 46800, Montcuq

Anglican Chaplaincy of Midi-Pyrénées & Aude Update from the Cahors Congregation

All services are held at 10.00am – Centre Paroissial, 75 av J Lurçat, Terre Rouge, 46000 Cahors The liturgical or Church year is divided into several seasons. It begins with Advent, which looks forward to Christmas. So in this edition, we have the end of the Church year and the start of the new Christian year. It is a season of expectation and preparation as the Church looks forward to celebrating the birth of Christ. Although it is a season of preparation, the characteristic note of Advent is expectation rather than penitence. Commercial pressure has made it harder to keep a sense of alert watchfulness in our anticipation of Christmas but, for many Christians, our preparation for the coming of Christ is a powerful reminder of the real meaning of the coming season. In England, Advent falls at the darkest time of the year, and the natural symbols of darkness and light are powerfully at work. Many churches use an ‘Advent wreath’ of candles to mark the four Sundays of Advent, lighting a new candle each week. In the Church of England the first two weeks focus on the patriarchs and prophets who predict humanity’s salvation, then on John the Baptist, then finally on Mary as she prepares to give birth to the Saviour. The celebration of Christ’s coming among us at Christmas (known as the ‘Incarnation’) is much more than the celebration of Jesus’s birth: it reminds us of the central truth that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1.14), fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah (7.14) that ‘a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son.’ One of the challenges for Christians is to continue the celebration of Christmas long after the rest of the world turns its attention elsewhere. Historically, Christmas would have extended at least until the Epiphany (i.e. twelve days).

The Feast of the Epiphany, which always falls on 6 January, marks the beginning of a season which recognizes Jesus to be the Son of God. The word ‘epiphany’ means ‘manifestation’ or ‘appearance’, and the Feast of the Epiphany marks the recognition of the newborn Jesus by the world. Later, the Church remembers the Baptism of Christ by John, when a voice from heaven declares Jesus to be God’s beloved Son. A detailed programme of our services and events can be found on our web site or Chaplaincy of Midi-Pyrénées & Aude Our principal services for this period are listed below, do come and join us. Unless otherwise stated, all these services begin at 10.00a.m. December: 2nd Advent Sunday Christingle, 16th Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, 25th Christmas Day Holy Communion Carol Services: Bétaille 2nd December – 15.30h - Eglise de St Georges, Cahors 9th December – 15.00h - Ecumenical Carol service – Eglise de Sacré Coeur, Castelfranc 21st December – 18.00h Eglise de Notre Dame de l’Assomption To mark Epiphany, there will be a service at Terre Rouge at 10am on Sunday 6th January. Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – 18-25 January. Details of the service at Sacré Coeur, Cahors, will be available from the beginning of December.

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


A look back at one of this summer’s great musical events

Festival International de Guitares et du Vignoble Puy-L’Évêque:18- 21 July The months of preparation by our small team of volunteers were all worth it. The third year of the Le Temps des Guitares festival was indeed the best yet and well over 1100 people attending were testament to this success.

The small town of Puy l’Eveque in the Lot Valley has a medieval centre that cascades down the hill to the river Lot. But not content with relying on this heritage, and the obvious attractions of Cahors wine, walnut orchards and the gastronomic offerings of duck and Cabecou goat cheese, they see their role as cultural leader for the area. The Theatre de Verdure open-air theatre is an ideal spot for all sorts of concerts and theatre, taking 400 or more spectators in a natural courtyard, with the church immediately above to offer a fall-back in case of summer storm. The festival team do a fine job of transforming this site into a colourful village setting with the help of the municipal team, local plant suppliers, caterers, and of course wine makers. Music and wine make a delicious combination. The Artistic Directors and originators of the festival, Olivier Bensa and Cecile Cardinot, recognised top guitarists in France and abroad, set out once again to provide an eclectic mix of styles. With eight different concerts over the four evenings, this was achieved – and then some. The first night saw virtuoso Liat Cohen play some of the classic repertoire from Villa Lobos, Tarrega, and Bach. Followed by Valérie Duchateau with her special show ‘The Guitar sings Barbara’ evoking the 20th century work of Barbara Brodi, the ‘Lady in Black’, who started to compose her own songs

rather than always singing the work of male writers. The guitar did the singing of many recognisable songs, but the poetry was spoken – complete with single rose and a candle. The second night Stephanie Jones, young Australian now furthering her studies in Augsburg, Germany, charmed the audience with Regondi, Piazzolla and William Walton. Her presentation, composure and lightness of touch were delightful. Rarely have the depth and energy of Walton’s Bagatelles been so well conveyed. She was followed by Joseph Tawadros, Egyptian by birth, Australian by education, Londoner by recent adoption, on the Oud. He has played with some greats, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, this time this colourful personality was playing his own special compositions, with passion and some flamboyance, but also with introspection and humour, to great acclaim here too. The third night the hugely talented guitarist Alexandre Bernoud played some of the more recent classics – Albeniz, Barrios, Piris and Martin then some recognisable Roland Dyens arrangements of French songs, which though difficult he made flow so easily, so were very well received. Following him and by way of contrast, the Freres Méduses (Jellyfish Brothers) – Frenchman from Toulouse Benoit Albert, with American

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Randall Avers – wanted to go decidedly off-repertoire with Benoit’s own compositions. Their modern style is technically brilliant but perhaps not such easy listening. But the rain held off. Saturday evening, local heros Bensa-Cardinot started with John Dowland, Olivier on the Lute to Cecile’s lovely pure voice. Then back to guitars with Piazzolla. Their encore was Dowland’s intimate fourhanded lute piece, yes on a single lute, to great delight and amusement. Then Ballaké Sissoko from Mali with his wonderful 21 string Kora. The audience wanted that delicate melody to continue all night, especially one Senegalese lady present who had tears in her eyes. But then this was capped when his new friend Joseph brought his Oud on for a jamming session whose magic was spellbinding. Unplanned but must be repeated! It brought the house down. A grand finale indeed. But how to follow that next July?!

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.

Susan Harrison, Vice President of Le Temps des Guitares Association Festival Le Temps Des Guitares;

Été 2018 La troisième édition du Festival International de Puy-l’Évêque : « cuvée 2018 » a répondu à l’attente de son public et devient un des événements musicaux « phare » de la vallée du Lot et du vignoble. • 4 jours de concerts et d’animations musicales au Théâtre de verdure spécialement aménagé • 10 artistes musiciens de renom international couvrant une large variété de styles • Plus de 1100 spectateurs enthousiastes • 30 bénévoles motivés • Des échanges, des contacts, des découvertes

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

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


On this day ~ January 25th

On this day ~ February 2nd

For Scots, the world-over, this is a very important celebration. On this day in 1759, Robert Burns was born. He was a Scottish poet, widely seen as Scotland’s national poet. Burns Night celebrates his life and works. The 25th of January is not an official holiday in Scotland, but it’s more widely celebrated than Scotland’s ‘official’ national day – St. Andrew’s Day. Robert Burns was born in Scotland into a poor family, but his father ensured that he received a good education. Robert became a keen reader, this was the beginning of his life of poetry. Burns became a farm-worker and whilst he worked, he composed. His first poetry collection was published in 1786 and was immediately successful, he became an important figure in the Romantic movement. Aged only 37, Rabbie (as he was known) died from a rheumatic condition in 1796. His funeral took place 4 days later, the day after his son Maxwell was born. The annual celebration of Burns Night began after his untimely death, when a group of his friends gathered to remember the great poet, on what would have been his birthday. Burns Night festivities involve a specific meal and good, Scottish, single-malt whisky. Importantly the meal includes a Haggis, a dish made from Sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices. It was traditionally served stuffed into the sheep’s stomach; although it’s now common to find artificial coverings. Most importantly, the evenings activities involve poetry. When the Haggis is carved, ‘To a Haggis’ is recited, with its famous line, ‘Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race’. Before the meal another of Burns’ poems, the ‘Selkirk Grace’ is read. Burns Night should end with a rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Now a globally popular song for New Year’s Eve. It was Burns, however, who first wrote down this old Scottish folk song.

Groundhog Day is celebrated in America and Canada but emanates from Europe. It’s not an official holiday but a chance to celebrate traditions with a dose of lighthearted humour. It all started in what is now, modern-day Germany in a period when the worship of animals and nature was prevalent. There are also links to the (pre-Protestant Reformation), Catholic festival of Candlemas – also on February 2nd. Then it wasn’t groundhogs that were the centre of attention. It was badgers! People believed that badgers could predict the coming of spring. Before badgers, it was bears that were the mystical prophets of the season. Predicting the weather was important to people who depended on growing food. That said, it’s not clear that the badger (or even the bear) had any great skill. But, people had to believe in something! People left this part of Europe for new lives in the USA and particularly, Pennsylvania (the centre of Groundhog Day celebrations). These immigrants, even though they knew of the badgers’ fallibility were keen to continue their tradition. Faced with a lack of local badgers, the groundhogs had to step up; becoming synonymous with the 2nd of February ritual.


To a Haggis (verse 1 only) Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin’-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace As lang’s my arm.


So, what happens on Groundhog Day? The official Groundhog Day ceremony takes place at Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania and 1000s of people attend annually. It involves a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. Phil exits his burrow on the morning of the 2nd. If he sees his own shadow (suggesting sunshine) then he will become alarmed and re-enter his burrow for a further 6 weeks, winter is then expected to be similarly delayed. If he exits his burrow and sees no shadow, then spring is on its way! Each weather-predicting groundhog belongs to a regional ‘lodge’. These lodges claim that their groundhogs are over 100 years old! Other weather predicting ‘wild-life’ In French Canada there’s Fred la Marmotte. And, indeed there’s ‘le jour de la marmotte’ on February 2nd. Then in Irish folk tradition on St. Brighid’s Day (1st February), it was seeing a hedgehog that was the harbinger of spring, in Scotland spotting a snake was the cherished sign. The film ‘Groundhog Day’, starring Bill Murray was released in 1993. When a cynical weather reporter gets sent to cover the events of Punxsutawney on February 2nd and end up reliving the same day repeatedly.

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local




Buying or selling a property? We have over 15000 properties for sale on our website, over 20 years experience and a friendly and dedicated team of support staff ensuring clients receive the best possible service. Our professional, fully trained and multi-lingual agents living and working in the region are ready to help. Please contact us on

0800 900 324

or email your local client coordinator Tel: +33(0)5 53 56 62 54

Head Office: 42 Rue de Ribérac 24340 La Rochebeaucourt France

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Bigger is better! Beaux Villages Immobilier has moved into a brand-new home in Montaigu de Quercy. Having grown out of our original office we’ve found bigger, brighter premises facing the market square in the middle of town. This is home to our expert local sales team who are actively looking for new properties for clients viewing now and through to the new year. If you are thinking of selling, drop in for a chat and a coffee. We’re open from 9.30 to 17.30 from Monday to Friday and by appointment at the weekends. Call 08 05 69 23 23. Beaux Villages Immobilier a déménagé dans une toute nouvelle agence à Montaigu de Quercy. Notre équipe s’étant agrandie nous ne tenions plus dans notre petite agence d’origine, nous avons donc trouvé un local plus grand, plus lumineux juste en face de la place du marché.

C’est le centre de ressource de notre équipe d’agents commerciaux locaux qui sont en recherche active de propriétés pour nos clients souhaitant s’installer maintenant ou au cours de l’année prochaine. Nous sommes ouvert de 9h3à à 17h30 du lundi au vendredi et sur rendez-vous le week-end. Pour nous contacter 08 05 69 23 23.


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

THE AGILITY OF THE CAT The cat’s unique combination of balance, coordination, flexibility and strength enables it to explore and exploit its three-dimensional environment, to hunt silently and to escape danger. It also allows the cat to maintain its coat in perfect condition with flexibility to groom itself frequently and efficiently. Cats are physiologically adapted for short frequent bursts of activity rather than prolonged periods. What does this mean for you, the owner? Cats will use all dimensions in the house, so provision of the opportunity to climb is equally important to cats as their floor space. Owners

need to provide opportunities to maintain the cat’s fitness and suppleness with exercise – this should incorporate vertical as well as horizontal space. Until next time ……. If you would like more information, please contact Lynn at

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Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


La Noble Pie

8 Rue de la Pelisserie, 82140, Saint Antonin Noble Val (take away or eat in)



Winter (Nov - May) Sun. 9am-5pm Mon. Tues. & Wed. 12-3pm & 5-8pm Curry Nights – Mon. 6.30 – 8.30pm On the menu:

Pies (baked daily): bœuf bourguignon; chicken curry; cheese & onion; roasted veg, balsamique, honey & goat cheese + weekly specials + vegetable gratin, chutney, soup, bacon & egg roll, desserts (sticky toffee pudding, orange & almond cake, cheesecake)

That’s yer Lot. Walnuts and wine are doing just fine On the banks of the silvery Lot It’s no surprise the fish never rise It really is too blooming hot. Geese we see here are trembling with fear For what will be forced down their necks Foie gras is fine, but isn’t it time The birds took their food in small pecks? Markets are good for buying our food, The cheese is an epicure’s treat. Euros soon go, we wish ‘twere not so, But Brexit has been our defeat. Walnut trees quake when given a shake Show’ring their fruits on the ground. Row upon row the stately trees grow Whilst water jets turn slowly round. Roused from our doze, some mornings we chose To drive to a place of renown. Maybe a church or chateaux high perched, Or quaint little river-side town. Up to the north our neighbour of worth The Dordogne’s much posher than Lot. Brit’s gather there to buy homes and stare. But we think they’ve quite lost the plot. For information and enquiries about rescue dogs – so many dogs desperately looking for their ‘forever’ homes. contact Sue on 05 65 24 53 03 email:

We much prefer the peace we find here On the banks of the silvery Lot. We’ve even thought that maybe we ought To come here two years on the trot. Jeff Burgess of Leamington Spa, UK Jeff spent a holiday this summer at ‘Camping Base Nautique Floiras’ in Anglars-Juillac 46140, run by Eric and Susan. He loved it so much that he penned this lovely poem about the region.

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Ward Poppe + 33.687.67.03.80



Les Huguets 47300 Villeneuve sur Lot

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

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

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DOCUMENT & PHOTO SCANNING Prevent LOSS Backup your photos & documents Secure & efficient Get rid of bulky albums & filing cabinets Images saved to USB or disk For more information call Bruce on

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Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Doing a Geographical If you’re reading this, chances are that you have moved from another country to make a new life in France. You had a dream. At the very least you hoped for better weather, cleaner air, less stress, cheaper wine. Some of us had bigger dreams: starting a business, having time to pursue a passionate interest, writing a book. It takes a lot of courage to move to a new place. So, we can assume you are courageous. Now, I’ll ask you to be honest with yourself, really honest, and ask yourself if there was something or someone that you wanted to get away from.

This is known in therapy-speak as ‘doing a geographical’ – believing that if you go to a new place for a fresh start you will leave your problems behind. Wrong. My mother in law was a champion at doing a geographical. In her 90s she moved 7 times from the south of England to the north to the south. Well, you get the idea. We used to joke that when she died she’d just think she was waiting for her furniture to arrive. The sad truth is that when she died at nearly 100 she still hadn’t found peace. The answer to her unhappiness was within her, not in a new town or flat or landscape. Often the problems that we hoped to leave behind can be made less present in our everyday lives by their physical absence. The Channel is a great psychological barrier. Nevertheless, we are still someone’s child or parent or friend. Distance can’t erase those connections, even if we would like it to. And if you procrastinated in your former life you can be sure that you’ll still be a procrastinator in your new life. Are you still finding reasons for not doing what you came here to do? Still fighting with your partner about the same old things? Still drinking too much, or maybe even a little bit more? Sometimes I help couples who have moved to France and find that their relationship has taken a turn for the worst. Almost without exception this turns out

to be because they believed that moving would fix what wasn’t working between them. And in the excitement of looking forward to a new adventure or a peaceful retirement they have forgotten to consider the possible drawbacks of relocating, particularly relocating to a country where one or both of them don’t speak the language. On top of that there are real drawbacks to upping sticks; moving is stressful, particularly when it involves navigating completely new systems and bureaucracies. It’s not easy to make new friends and losing a long-established social and professional network can throw couples into unexpected chaos when they find themselves having to rely on each other more than usual. As the song tells us, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Couples may find it easier to talk about new plans and projects than to talk about what they’ve lost through moving to another country and about their disappointment when the dreams that fuelled the move fail to materialise. This column will be a regular feature and will aim to address some of those issues. Anne Kearns is a retired psychotherapist and author who enjoys helping couples to navigate the obstacles of the three r’s: relocation, retirement and regret. She is based in Le Vigan and can be contacted at

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Bringing Guests to holiday homes in the area since 1986 “ Come Brexit or high water, we will be here! “ • All administration and marketing

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See the NEW Halcyon Leisure Knowledge Base at www. for Owner & Guest information

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019

G M Construction A skilled and loyal workforce of British & French tradesmen

All aspects of building projects both new and renovation, including project management, swimming pools & ground-works If you are looking for a British/French speaking builder operating in 46, 47, 82 & 24 Contact Greg:

06 37 67 49 89 / 06 76 92 28 68 Siret No:- 50741519800013


Administration & Business Management No contract – just the help you want, when you need it Administration – Invoicing – Event Organisation Help with your French and English Customers Please call me or take a look at my website.

Valérie ROUSSEAU O6 70 64 54 97

Local and convenient – a true village shop

L’Epicerie du Roc 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.

05 63 95 25 78 / 06 82 84 56 30 Delphine and Jean Longueteau

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


• Made to measure doors and windows in wood, aluminium and PVC • Bespoke staircases and joinery projects • Traditional and electric rolling shutters

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The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local






Le Caillau is a 300 year old winery lovingly restored into a restaurant, café and pottery painting atelier. • Our restaurant serves fresh, local, seasonal food • Warm, cosy dining room with open fireplace and views of the vines • Visit our pottery painting atelier, by appointment only, to create your own masterpiece, perfect for a personalised Christmas gift. See our website for more information. LE CAILLAU 46700 VIRE SUR LOT TEL: 05 65 23 78 04 WWW.LECAILLAU.COM FACEBOOK.COM/LECAILLAU INSTAGRAM.COM/LECAILLAU

Restaurant Opening hours until 14th January 2019: MON: 12pm–2pm TUE: CLOSED WED–SAT: 12pm–2pm, 7pm–11pm SUNDAY: 12pm–2pm Pottery Atelier by appointment Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 10am–5pm.

Le Caillau Quercy ad Nov 2018.indd 1

01/11/2018 17:29

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

CHRISTMAS TREES now available For special orders (size or type) please contact us to arrange

Autumn opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 8:30h-12.30h & 14.00h to 18.00h Pépinière La Vida Verda SARL, Guillotes, 82110 Lauzerte 06 88 87 34 08 La Vida Verda Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019



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 July – August 2018 Issue 35

uercy Local uercy Local uercy Local September

– November

2018 Issue

36 The

May – June



Edition The Autumn Inside – Quercy & Côteaux du Clocks, Cheese Almond Cake Saffron and Cabrerets The Village of Loveliness Home Made Festival Parisot Literary Marvellous Mint Harvest Fayre

FREE magazine

The Region’s

in English

Inside – Moissac – a Town of 2 Halves Absinthe, Wine, Roquefort & Donkeys Art, Music, Theater & Local Events Finances after Brexit

Inside – Bees, Glouceste r Old Spots & Microgree ns Wedding Venues, The Pilgrim’s Choice & Cherry Sauce Much Ado About Nothing Caylus & Penne d’Agenais

Open-air Shakespeare in English PAGE 21

1-13 AUG 2018



WHAT DO WE DO? Come along and learn more about the work of your local CSF association

Thursday 6th December 2018 14h00 – 16h00 Salle Basse, Mairie 46340 Salviac We look forward to welcoming you with seasonal refreshments

Please email: to ensure we have enough cake!

2018 Issue

The Region’s FREE magazine in English

The Region’s





FREE magazine

in English



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 4 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. The costs for getting 4 copies sent to you are currently – 20 euro for an address in France or 14 euro for elsewhere in the world.

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local



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

Matt Strawbridge Tree Surgeon Elagueur Arboriste

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. For reservations email or call

Car Repairs and Maintenance ALL MAKES

Mechanical Tyres Breaks Ethanol Conversion Distributors Windscreens DPF Cleaning l




l ZA Saint Roc, 47370, Tournon d’Agenais 06 95 20 63 76 – 06 21 68 34 12 – 09 52 51 35 92 English Spoken

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Las Razes, Touffailles (82190), 06 02 23 98 51,, Siret: 499 560 654 00026 Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Dark Chocolate & Chestnut Cake

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Dark Chocolate & Chestnut Cake

Ingredients: • 250g dark chocolate • 250g unsalted butter room temperature, cut into cubes • 250g peeled cooked chestnuts grated • 75g chestnut flour or ground almonds • 5g salt • 250ml milk • 4 eggs • 125g caster sugar Serve topped with whipped cream or mascarpone and grated chestnuts You will need: • 1 x 20cm spring form cake tin, lined with parchment Method


a wonderful winter resource Did you know? • The sweet chestnut has a spikey, needle-sharp husk called a bur. • The sweet chestnut is healthy and edible, low in fat, high in vitamins (especially C) and fibre. • The sweet chestnut is a useful component in the preparation of gluten-free foods. • The Romans used to eat a ‘chestnut’ porridge before going into battle. • The nut can be eaten raw, boiled, roasted or baked. • The sweet chestnut is not related to the horse chestnut (which is not edible).

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a round 20cm spring form cake tin. 2.  Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl with the butter. 3. Place the chestnuts, salt and milk together in a small pan and warm until just below boiling. 4.  Take off the heat and pour slowly over the chocolate and butter whisking to combine. Set aside to cool. 5. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs whites to soft peaks then slowly add half the caster sugar whilst still whisking until incorporated. Continue for a further 30 seconds, then set aside. 6. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and the other half of the sugar. 7.  Now pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and whisk to combine, then gently mix in the chestnut flour or ground almonds. 8.  Take your whipped egg whites and slowly fold into the chocolate mixture a third at a time. 9. Once all combined pour into the cake tin. 10. Place in your pre-heated oven and bake for between 45 minutes and an hour. 11. Once cooked through, take out of the oven and leave to cool. 12. Serve topped with the whipped cream or mascarpone and extra grated chestnut.

Le Caillau: Nestled in the heart of the Cahors vineyards you’ll find Le Caillau, a family run Restaurant, Café and Pottery Painting Atelier. In 2011, Caroline and Chas Sharp opened the doors of Le Caillau, a renovated 300-year-old winery. Our aim is simple - to produce great quality, simple and tasty food. In our restaurant kitchen our small team creates dishes based on vegetables from our own kitchen garden and local seasonal produce, (with some more exotic ingredients thrown in for variety and a different flavour from traditional Quercy cuisine). From September the Pottery Painting Café will be open by appointment only so if you’d like to get creative just give us a call. Restaurant opening hours until January 2019: Monday: lunch, Tuesday: closed, Wednesday: lunch & dinner, Thursday: lunch & dinner, Friday: lunch & dinner, Saturday: lunch & dinner, Sunday: lunch. In the restaurant, lunch is served between 12pm – 2pm and dinner from 7pm Le Caillau, 46700 Vire sur Lot. Telephone: 05 65 23 78 04 lecaillau lecaillau Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Monastic Cheese & Walnut Liqueur At a time of year when many of us are wandering around with our hands stained an alarming nicotine brown from gathering walnuts, I thought it might be an idea to look at a delicious cheese called Trappe Echourgnac. This cheese, as with so many others in France, has a wonderful history and owes its place on French cheese boards to the efforts of both monks and nuns.

Original production started in 1868 at the Abbaye de la Trappe near Echourgnac which lies about half way between Libourne and Perigueux. The Cistercian monks who founded the abbey were originally from the Abbey of Port du Salut en Mayenne. As part of their mission, they moved to the more remote Echourgnac region with the intention of improving the life of the locals in that area and they brought with them the recipe for another well-known cheese, Port Salut. At the time of their arrival, much of the region around Echourgnac and the neighbouring Fôret de la Double was underdeveloped swampland. In keeping with Cistercian Trappist traditions, they started to drain the swamps and set about training the local peasants to improve grazing and breeding techniques for their cattle. The monks were forced from the Abbaye in 1910 under the harsh anti clerical laws of the early 1900s. It was not until 1923 that cheese making started again. This time at the hands of twenty-six Cistercian nuns who had finally been allowed to return to France after their exile dating back all the way to the French Revolution. They gave the Abbey its current name of Abbaye Notre Dame de Bonne Esperance. It was the nuns that first started to soak the cheese in walnut liqueur which

gives Trappe Echourgnac its dark exterior and unique flavour. Their objective in adding the liqueur to the cheese was twofold; to enhance the flavour while at the same time incorporating another local product, thus creating increased demand for both products. Périgord is renowned for its walnut liqueur and with its addition the cheese gained further popularity. In 2003 the nuns shared their recipe with the monks of Abbaye de Notre Dame de Timodeuc in the hope that the combined efforts of both Abbayes would meet demand. Today demand is so high that it is beyond the production capacity of both Abbayes and so the cheese is produced industrially but to the exact recipe laid down by the nuns. Once the cheese is made it is returned to the Abbaye where the nuns complete the process in a method that remains a closely guarded secret but which we know includes washing in the walnut liqueur prior to curing. The cow’s milk cheeses are sold in small rounds and the outer rind has a distinct brown colour whilst inside, the cheese itself is semi soft with a lighter cream colour. Because of its history it can be labelled as a monastic cheese. Monastic cheeses date back to Trappist monasteries and most have the same semi soft quality to them. Each monastery has its own take on the recipe which provides cheeses that are unique and different from one another. In the case of Trappe Echourgnac, the taste is mild which is not surprising given its Port Salut roots, but the walnut liqueur adds a subtle but very pleasant variation. At the Abbaye, the nuns run a shop that sells both their cheeses and many other locally made delicacies. by Mike Alexander

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


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


Expert help and advice for the creation and the maintenance of your garden We work throughout departments 46, 47 and 82.

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

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Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Valerie – tells us about some of her fascination for France’s many historical intrigues and puzzles. She’s been gradually drawn to the mysteries and long history of mankind along the length of the River Dordogne. Some of her findings are now published in a book.

“From Source to Sea, a Meander Down the Dordogne Valley” By Valerie Thompson About 30 years ago I bought a small, old, stone house in a rural village in the Correze, a backwater of France, about halfway down the Dordogne River. Essential restoration and improvements made the cottage a true ‘home from home’. Some years later I wrote and illustrated a book about the purchase, the journey, the crazy things that rental guests did and about various aspects of the country which fascinated me, including wild flowers, fungi and standing stones. This was published by Leonie Press with the title “The Hidden Triangle”– the description that writer Freda White gave to this remote area in “Three Rivers of France”, which inspired me to search this region for a holiday house. My journey used to include a regular coffee-stop in Chartres, where I became intrigued by the mysteries of the Cathedral. I subsequently wrote an article for Connexion which won me a prize, mentioning the fact that it had been built over a pagan, sacred spring, on an orientation unlike most East/West churches, and that a Black Virgin statue had been found there, thought the present one on display in a side chapel is

a replacement after the original one was lost in a fire. Also, the labyrinth in the floor used to have a metal plate at the centre, engraved with the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. I wondered why such a story was represented in a Cathedral. More puzzling is a hole in a window, through which the sun shines on midsummer’s day, reflecting off a pale stone, set at an angle to all the darker stones around it on the floor. The stained window

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shows Saint Apollonaris, an early martyr, but surely it is a reference to the Greek God Apollo, the sun god. I became fascinated by the whole story of the River Dordogne, which I can just hear splashing over a ridge of stones, which form a set of rapids below the village. For five years a friend and I drove the length of the Dordogne in fits and starts, taking notes and photographs with the idea of writing a second book. This has now been published by, both as an e-book and as a paper-back, and is available from Amazon and other book distributors. My website, gives more information on obtaining it. Again, I have illustrated it with line drawings and included hand-drawn maps, which enliven the text. I wrote about geology, geography, pre-history, the Romans, the Cathars, the Templars, the Hundred Years War, the landscape, legends, religious institutions, castles, churches, towns, villages, industry, what is on, in and over the river and who has lived in the vicinity, but I never dwell too long on any one subject but skip briskly to the next as there is so much to tell. The lovely cover uses a painting called “Fish and Fossil,” appropriate references for a book about the Dordogne, by Glyn Morgan, an artist with whom I worked and who visited my French home several times. One highlight of our researches was the exploration of the history of Brivezac (19120), the tiny village where I own my house. To discover that its abbey was of greater importance in the past than nearby Beaulieu, with its large and solid Abbatiale was a revelation. Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Riverside at Argentat

Youth, Beaulieu Abbatiale porch The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Now there is just a small church with some of its robbed-out stones scattered in the walls of the village barns. The boules pitch is in the former cloisters, though no walls exist. It is believed that a tunnel runs under the hollow church floor to a Renaissance house opposite, thought to have the family home of Jeanne d’Albret , sister of King Francis I of France. The church suffered during the Wars of religion when Saint Fauste’s bones were said to have been “scattered to the winds”. However, its splendid reliquaries survive and are now in pride of place in the Musée de Moyen Age in Paris, where, though the room was officially closed when I visited, I was permitted to look at and photograph the Limoges-enamelled caskets. Another special place was an apparently unimportant village called Mezels (46110), where lepers were allowed to shelter during a time of persecution, and then, when following up the derivation of the name I discovered links with the word ‘mazar’ – a beggingbowl and even with place names in England where lepers had been looked after. Following a small roadside sign I discovered the well, which had been given to the lepers, lower down in the village than the rest, so that they could not pollute the water. On the riverbank they must have built simple benders of branches covered with cloth or animal skins, and fished in the river for sustenance.

Then there was the extraordinary pre-historic site at Sigoniac (24480), discovered by accident by its owner, who had started to dig a path to one side of his house, only to discover a vertical wall, then a ready-made track and another wall the other side. This led to a set of steps designed for descending, left, right, with single stones for each foot. At the bottom, near a spring, he started excavating the crumbling, muddy, stony platform, on which stood his house. Behind this he found three, hidden, round chambers, one with a weird acoustic, another with a still pool of water in the floor, over which celebrants, of whatever cult ceremonies took place there, would have had to step. Lower down the land is a clapper-bridge, of large slabs over a stream. To the left is an overgrown marsh, thick with reeds and willow trees, in which I am sure he will find votive offerings when he has the time to clear the pool. He has created a museum in his house where all his finds are displayed in historic order. I was thrilled to be allowed to handle the polished stone axe heads and Roman objects he has unearthed.

A bit about Valerie Writing is not the only creative activity I have pursued. At nine, I wanted to be an opera singer, not having ever attended an opera, and was desperate to start piano lessons. At Junior School I learnt a great deal about music and could sing from a score without thinking about it. Finally at eleven I was allowed to start piano and achieved grade 4 after two years – grade 8 in six. Before college I studied with a concert pianist. By thirteen I was already composing and have written a Mass and a Requiem, part of which was performed by a London choir, as well as numerous songs and an Ave Verum, sung at a Sunday service at Westminster Abbey. I still sing with a good choir. At Homerton College, Cambridge I studied Music and Art, then taught both in a Secondary School and later Art to adults at Summer Schools and have sold paintings at exhibitions. During my late forties I returned to College to study Interior Design and ran my own business. Other interests include silversmithing, archaeology, antiques, travel, gardening, genealogy, and writing poetry while I have fun with my four grandchildren. The next project- another book, “Symbolic Stones”!

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Concerned about Concerned about your tax position your tax position in France? in France? With expert advice, France can actually be a tax-efficient place to live. With expert advice, France can actually Much depends onplace howtoyou be a tax-efficient live.hold your investments and assets. Blevins Franks Much depends on how you hold your has in-depth knowledge of the local investments and assets. Blevins Franks tax regime and how to use it to your has in-depth knowledge of the local advantage. Our French tax specialists tax regime and how to use it to your can advise you on tax planning solutions, advantage. Our French tax specialists to lower tax for yourself and your heirs. can advise you on tax planning solutions, to lower tax for yourself and your heirs.

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INTERNATIONAL TAX ADVICE • INVESTMENTS • ESTATE PLANNING • PENSIONS Blevins Franks Group is represented in France by the following companies: Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) and Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF). BFFM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as ‘Conseil en Investissements Financiers’ and ‘Courtiers d’Assurance’ Category B (register can be consulted on www. Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: 1 rue Pablo Neruda, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Blevins Franks Civile GroupProfessionnelle is represented conformes in France by thearticles following companies: Franks Financialand Management (BFFM) Franks France MMA). SASU (BFF). is Responsabilité aux L 541-3 du CodeBlevins Monétaire et Financier L512-6 andLimited 512-7 du Codeand desBlevins Assurances (assureur BlevinsBFFM Franks authorised regulated by the Financial Conduct in thetax UK, reference This number 179731. Where is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive Tax Limitedand provides taxation advice; its advisers areAuthority fully qualified specialists. promotion has beenadvice approved and issued by BFFM. or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as ‘Conseil en Investissements Financiers’ and ‘Courtiers d’Assurance’ Category B (register can be consulted on www. Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: 1 rue Pablo Neruda, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA). Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.




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However well we have settled into our new way of life in France, most UK nationals living here continue with some British lifestyle habits. Whether it is a Sunday roast with all the trimmings, watching UK TV channels and sport etc, there are some ties we do not like to lose and we find comfort in familiarity. The same applies for UK investments. You may, for example, have accumulated Premium Bonds, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) etc over the years, or bought shares in UK companies, and prefer to hang on to them because they are familiar and feel like a safe option. But are these suitable investments for your new life in France? In particular, once you take up residence in France, the tax incentives provided by Premium Bonds and ISAs in the UK fall away and all income and gains are subject to tax in France.

Premium bonds, ISAs and other UK investments Premium bonds were launched 60 years ago and today around 21 million people own some. They do not provide any automatic interest earnings or capital growth – which means their value will be eroded over time by inflation – but the possibility of winning a large prize can make them quite appealing. But what are the chances of winning big? According to MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis, you have a one in 45 million chance of winning the jackpot with one National Lottery ticket, but your chance of becoming a millionaire through one single Premium Bond is one in almost 36 billion. If you’re happy to win £25,000 the chances are still one in 2 billion. One key attraction is that they have always been tax free in the UK – they are not tax free if you live in France though. Although betting and gambling winnings are tax-free in France, this does not apply to Premium Bonds since the initial investment is never actually at stake. ISAs too are fully taxable in France in the hands of French residents. This applies to income and gains from cash and share ISAs. You also need to look at your other UK investments, such as shares, unit trusts, OEICs and investment bonds, and consider whether they are the most tax-efficient way of holding your capital. Since January 2018 most investment income is now subject to a flat rate of tax of 30% (inclusive of social charges). This includes income and gains from ISAs and Premium Bond winnings, as well as bank interest, dividends, capital gains made on the disposal of movable assets etc. Low income households can choose to pay tax at normal scale rates of tax instead.

de réference is below e25,000 for an individual or e50,000 for a couple. In the UK long-term residents benefit from a 5% tax-deferred allowance when making withdrawals from UK investment bonds. This does not extend to French residents. The French rules on such income are different so seek advice if you have these bonds. Some expatriates mistakenly think that since ISAs and Premium Bonds are UK investments they do not need to be declared in France. In fact they do, and with global automatic exchange of information now taking place under the Common Reporting Standard, the French tax authorities will be informed about your UK investments.

UK rental income If you are resident in France and rent out property in the UK, under the UK-France double tax treaty, the income will be directly taxed in the UK, since that is where it arises. It is not directly taxed in France but note that you have to include it as part of your taxable income for the year. You then receive a credit equal to the French tax and social charges.

It’s not all about tax There are very tax-efficient investment vehicles available to residents of France. With specialist professional advice, you could enjoy extremely favourable tax treatment on your capital investments, both for yourself today and your heirs in future. Speak to an adviser who can guide you on both UK and French taxation, the interaction between them and tax planning opportunities. Taxation is not the only reason to review your savings and investments, however. You need to ensure they are suitable for your life in France (for example, what currency should they be in?) and your future expectations; your objectives (are you looking for income or growth?); your time horizon and, importantly, your risk tolerance. Too many people have portfolios which were built up over the years and are no longer suitable for them today. You need personalised advice from a locally based adviser like Blevins Franks which provides holistic advice covering investments, tax efficiency and estate planning. The tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been

Note that if you receive interest or dividends from the UK you summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice. must declare the income within 15 days of the end of the month and pay 30% of the amount received by that date. This is then Keep up to date on the financial issues that offset against the tax due on your tax return. This advance may affect you on the Blevins Franks news payment can be avoided where your household’s revenu fiscal page at

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Meet: Chloé Moore from French Business Management

‘A friendly, dynamic, bilingual team, helping you and your business succeed’

CFE TAX Every year we see many questions on the CFE tax in French business groups and on social media. We thought it would be helpful to set out clearly what it is, who pays it and who is exempt. As with everything tax, there are exceptions and complications, this is intended to be a very simplified introduction and we urge you to always seek expert advice when dealing with these matters.

What is it? The CFE tax is one of the two taxes that make up the contribution économique territoriale (CET). The CFE is based on properties used for business which are subject to taxe foncière. This tax is due in every commune or town where the company has premises and grounds. The rate of CFE payable is decided by the commune in which the taxable property is located. The CFE is based on the rental value of the part of the property used by the business. If for example you work from the computer on your kitchen table, it is perfectly acceptable to declare that you work from the ‘coin du table’.

Who has to pay, and how much? The CFE is payable by companies or individuals who are running a business and are not in a salaried position, whatever their activity or regime the business is registered under. Micro-entrepreneurs are not exempt from this tax. When you establish your business you should ensure that you complete form 1447-C-SD (available on the impots.gouv website) and return it to the tax authorities before the 31st December of that year. This is generally sent out automatically upon business registration. New businesses are not subject to the CFE tax in their first year. During their first taxable year they benefit from

a 50% reduction in their tax base. Therefore, if you start a business in 2019 you won’t pay any CFE in 2019 and will only pay 50% in 2020. In certain other cases the tax base may also be reduced, these include; l  A reduction for seasonal businesses, restaurants, cafes etc l A 75% reduction for an Artisan who has one employee, 50% for 2 and 25% for 3 employees if salaries and associated outgoings represent more than 50% of turnover. Apprentices are not counted. There is also a correlation with turnover so if yours differs from the base for calculation you can also ask for an adjustment. Renting, or sub-letting buildings is subject to the CFE with certain exceptions relating to whether the property is furnished or unfurnished. If you are considering letting-out property it may be wise to check whether your property falls into any of the exempt categories with the tax authorities. Please note, CFE does generally apply to gîtes, irrespective of whether you have registered as a business (LMNP System). When the rental value of the property used for business is very low, a minimum contribution is fixed by the commune and will be taken from a range which varies according to the turnover or receipts of the company. For example, a turnover of up to 10,000 e in 2017 was subject to a minimal contribution in a range from 216 e to 514 e depending on what the commune agreed.

How to pay? The bills are only available on-line, therefore business owners should create an ‘espace professionnel’ through their personal on-line tax account. Bills can be paid up to the 15th December each year, either through your on-line tax account, by a one-off payment via Direct Debit or monthly payments taken by Direct Debit. You do not need to make a declaration each year, the bill will be in your on-line account. You must notify your tax office of any changes which may affect the

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


amount of CFE you pay. You must also inform the tax office if you close or sell your business.

Who doesn’t have to pay? Exemptions. There is a long list of possible exemptions, these exemptions can be either permanent or temporary. These include: l Certain agricultural workers l  VDI – vendeurs a domicile independants earning less than 6556 e gross a year l Various artists, painters, authors l Chambres d’hotes (subject to conditions) l Certain artisans (subject to several conditions) l Businesses operating in some rural zones The full list is available on the French Government website. vosdroits/F31913 Finally, some good news for small businesses or those just starting out, from 2019 businesses with a turnover of less than 5 000 e will be exempt from CFE. If you would like to talk to us about CFE, how to register, or apply for an exemption contact: +33 (0)5 53 04 27 80

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Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Great ‘creepy crawly’ Christmas present idea – perfect for the little ones in your life. Jamie is publishing the stories he wrote for his own children.

Sid The Super Spider

Sid The Super Spider is a fun children’s picture book, about a giant talking spider who befriends a boy to negotiate a quieter life in the family shed. This rhyming story has already been a hit with many insect-loving children, and spiderfearing grown-ups too! Released for the first time on the 28th September 2018, it’s the first of five picture books by author Jamie Snape, the rest of which are soon also to be published. Sid The Super Spider is available to buy as a traditional paperback picture book, or as a Kindle ebook on Amazon sites in many countries around the world.

ry, that it’s a myste Mummy says to such a size. How Sid grew

To remember that it’s my home too, As it’s where I spun my web.

Spiders, Tinsel & (just a little) Christmas Magic In Eastern-Europe a legend has ensured the humble spider’s place amid the wonder of local Christmas festivities.


he legend tells of an impoverished widow with three little children. One Christmas Eve, her children were tucked into their beds whilst she quietly cleaned the house. The house was home to several spiders who (avoiding the broom) spent much of the evening hiding in the corner of a room. When she had finished cleaning, the mother gazed at their Christmas tree. She was disappointed that she

could not decorate it to match those that glistened and sparkled in town. She did her best with ribbons and fruit. Truly, the little tree started to look a little more festive. High in a corner a young spider was saddened by the mother’s disappointment and decided to help. Once midnight struck and the mother slept (the broom safely put away), he climbed down and began to spin his web around the tree. Amazed by his enthusiasm, the other spiders joined in the fun. They scurried over the tree, leaping from branch to branch and then back again. Spiders’ webs now covered the whole tree. Later, Santa arrived. He was touched by the young spider’s attempt to help. But, also amused to see a tree draped in webs. He was not sure that the family would appreciate this ‘webbed’ tree. However, the spiders were so pleased with their work. Santa faced a dilemma! There was no point in being Santa, if you could not spread a little magic. So, he removed one of his gloves and waved a magic hand at the tree. All the webs were turned into beautiful shimmering strands of silver. When the children woke, they saw their tree sparking and glittering in the corner of the room. They had never seen such a beautiful tree. Their mother stood amazed, she knew it was a Christmas miracle. From that day, tinsel became a traditional Christmas tree dressing. People who are familiar with the legend still add an ornamental spider to their tree.

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A little look at that seasonal favourite but avoiding the packaged, plastic and overpriced

LA MAISON DU JOUET RUSTIQUE DE PUJOLS Un lieu magique à découvrir

de donner à la commune. Trois ans plus tard, la MJR a déjà reçu plus de 75 000 visiteurs qui repartent tous avec le sourire et l’envie de renouer avec des traditions ludiques datant parfois de plusieurs millénaires. En dehors de la saison estivale, consacrée à l’accueil des touristes, des ateliers sont organisés pour apprendre à fabriquer soi-même des jouets. Chaque année au mois d’août est organisée à Pujols une « Fête du Jouet Rustique » dans le village. L’entrée de la Maison du Jouet Rustique est toujours gratuite, et rien n’est à vendre ! Ceci afin de permettre pour tous le seul plaisir du jeu et de la découverte. * Vous pouvez consulter les horaires d’ouverture de la MJR sur : mjrpujols

Créée en 2015, la Maison du Jouet Rustique (MJR) de Pujols réunit la collection d’un passionné de jouets anciens, traditionnels et populaires qui habite le village : Daniel Descomps. Toute sa vie, ce grand enfant de 77 ans a fait des recherches sur les jeux et jouets du monde entier et de toutes les époques. Dès qu’il en trouve un nouveau, il se dirige vers son atelier pour le fabriquer, parfois en y apportant des modifications ou des améliorations selon les matériaux (naturels ou de récupération) à sa disposition ! Mais il arrive souvent que les jouets créés soient le seul fruit de son imagination, et donnent lieu à de véritables inventions que chacun peut reprendre à son compte en faisant des photos. Ainsi, après des décennies de travail, Daniel a abouti à une collection de près de 350 jouets qu’il a proposé

The House of Rustic Toys is run by the ‘Amis du Jouet Rustique’, a small non-profit association created for that purpose. The members of the association are volunteers who share a love of rustic toys. The space has been made available by the Commune of Pujols. Visitors are usually welcomed by volunteers, but for the past two years, in recognition of the popularity of the MJR, they have been assisted by a National Youth Service worker. Visitors wishing to do so may leave a donation.

Recycling toys, sharing and re-homing We love this idea – and there are many different options all over France. Sadly, in the South West there seems to be nothing outside of Bordeaux. So perhaps a great opportunity exists?

For a great example of what can be done see

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José Montanes tells us – ‘I have always been interested in collectibles. In the 60s, I accompanied my father to the flea market in Place Voltaire in Narbonne. I was interested in postcards and unusual objects and of course, toys. In the 90s, I moved to Gourdon in the Lot and I specialise in dealing in old postcards but also miniature cars, trucks, buses, comic books, old books, antique toys and advertising material. I buy, sell, exchange and value. So, do visit my shop or find me at a local exhibition. I may just what you were looking for. Depuis toujours, je m’intéresse aux objets de collection. Dans les années 60, tous les jeudis, j’accompagnais mon père au Marché aux Puces place Voltaire à Narbonne. Je m’intéressais aux cartes postales et objets insolites et bien sûr, aux jouets.’ Dans les années 90, je m’installais à Gourdon dans le Lot, en tant que brocanteur spécialisé en cartes postales anciennes. Ces locaux plus vastes me permettent de présenter au public un large choix de : miniatures automobiles, camions, bus, bandes dessinées, livres anciens, jouets anciens, objets publicitaires, brocante. Le Bazar est ouvert tous les jours de Juin à Septembre plus les vacances scolaires. Le reste de l’année les après-midis du mardi au samedi ou sur rendez-vous. Venez découvrir et chiner dans ma boutique des objets insolites, des souvenirs d’enfance, des cadeaux originaux pour les petits, pour les grands. On peut me voir aussi sur des salons de la région.


Montauban’s Toy Museum was created by Mr Gerard Misrai, a collector and Mrs Michele Gualino the founder of ‘Irene’s House’ nursery. It opened its doors for the first time in December 2017. With more than 2000 exhibits in 600 m2 of wonderfully organised space you can tell this is the work of a passionate man. The place come alive with Gerard’s stories and (often unusual) anecdotes. What can you expect to see? • Great news for fans of toy trains, there are circuits with trains dating back to the 1930s. • Then there are 100-year old dolls, with tea sets, cradles and even sewing machines. • Toy cars – all types and even a huge working model with a complete engine. • Love the Tour De France? The story of this legendry race is here to see in miniature, the riders, the caravan and even the famous jerseys! • Budding engineers will love the ‘Meccano’ workshop with its wonderful models. In the play area – children can also follow instructions to create their own model. • Model makers can find model sailing ships, monuments and even Montauban Cathedral. • You will find board games and their 1000s of years of history. Did you know Snakes and Ladders dates from Trojan times? • What about the huge toy circus with its big top, caravans and a whole host of animals? • Armies, large and small, lead soldiers, paper soldiers, with the rich colours of Empire to today’s camouflage. • Wooden rocking horses to bring back childhood memories. • There’s a playroom full of games for 3-years upwards, all the games we remember, and thought were long gone. This is such a great way to let today’s children

Suivez mes déplacements sur : 24 Rue du Majou, 46300 Gourdon; bazar des collectionneurs;

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Visitez « Paris » version miniature dans le Tarn et Garonne !

Le Petit-Paris, Paris en miniature.

play as we played in the past. Don’t let them miss the chance to do a little ‘Punch and Judy’. • Birthday parties can be held in the museum. Not just for the young. People of all ages will love the memories this museum evokes. L’enfance est le pays du rêve et les jouets ont une grande importance, l’enfant y est roi. Les jouets font partie de notre patrimoine, de notre histoire commune et sont l’objet d’une culture millénaire. Dans cet espace de près de 600 m2, des vitrines à thèmes, aménagées à hauteur d’enfant abritent des collections de toutes sortes, dont bon nombre sont en mouvement : petits trains roulant sur leurs rails, meccano, soldats de plomb, voitures miniatures, poupées, jeux en bois à manipuler, un théatre de marionnettes et la caravane du tour de France à suivre sur grand écran ! Sans oublier les maquettes de voitures aux bateaux à réaction propulsés par un jet de vapeur d’eau, ou les maquettes de monuments. Les enfants ne seront pas les seuls visiteurs enthousiastes de cet endroit, car les moins jeunes y retrouveront des souvenirs d’enfance dans lesquels la patience, le rêve, l’imaginaire et la création étaient beaucoup plus présents… L’association du musée s’appelle « la cité des enfants ». Elle regroupe à ce jour 70 adhérents, tous bénévoles, dont de nombreux collectionneurs qui participent au bon fonctionnement du musée. Horaires : Mercredi : 14h- 18h, Samedi et Dimanche : 14h-18h, Vacances scolaires : 14h- 18h tous les jours sauf lundi, mardi et jours fériés. 770 Boulevard Blaise Doumerc – 82000 Montauban ; 0563202706 ;

Après plus de 14 ans de travail, Gérard Brion vous ouvre les portes de sa petite capitale installée dans le jardin de ses parents ! Tout commence en 1984, Gérard, alors petit garçon, rêve d’histoire et de chansons. C’est en regardant l’émission de variétés « Champs-Elysées » de Michel Drucker que lui vient l’idée de construire une Tour Eiffel de 3 mètres de haut. Mais le chantier va demander plus de 25 000 heures de travail et de passion, le tout sans jamais connaître le vrai Paris ! Tout y est reconstitué dans les moindres détails : de l’Arc de Triomphe au musée du Louvre, de Notre-Dame en passant par la butte Montmartre et sa célèbre basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Paris est à vos pieds, mais 130 fois plus petit ! Ce chef-d’œuvre de précision représente la plus belle maquette géante de Paris existante au monde dans un jardin. Vous découvrirez lors de votre visite l’incroyable histoire de ce site pour le moins insolite.

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Au programme: Une visite en musique avec des airs de Joséphine Baker, de Maurice Chevalier ou d’Edit Piaf. Sous vos yeux, plus de 40 monuments de Paris en miniature, les Champs-Elysées, la Seine, les fontaines, 400 arbres miniatures avec une vue panoramique imprenable ! Vous découvrirez également une cinquantaine de Monuments de la Petite-France en miniature avec son magnifique Château de Chambord. La collection de dessins et de tableaux du musée du Petit-Louvre, sa vidéo et son petit spectacle « french cancan » du Petit-Moulin Rouge. Pour les fêtes de Noël, Le Petit-Paris est encore plus magique. Le site est équipé de plus d’un kilomètre de guirlande. Le parc est ouvert tous les week-ends et vacances scolaires de l’année de 9h 30 à 12h et de 14h à 19h. Illuminations de Noël de 17h à 19h du samedi 15 décembre au dimanche 13 janvier 2019 inclus. (week-ends et vacances de Noël). After more than 14 years of work, Gérard Brion opened the doors of the miniature ‘capital’ he had installed in his parents’ garden! It all started in 1984, when Gérard, then little boy, found himself dreaming of history and songs. Watching Michel Drucker’s variety show ‘ChampsElysées’ gave him the idea of building a 3-meter high Eiffel Tower. To complete the work on ‘Paris’ his idea Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


would go on to require more than 25,000 hours of work and passion, all of this without ever seeing the real Paris! Everything is recreated in every detail: from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre museum, from Notre Dame to the Montmartre hill and its famous Sacré-Coeur basilica. Paris is at your feet, but 130 times smaller! This precision masterpiece represents the most beautiful, giant, garden-based, model of Paris in the world. A visit will allow you to discover histories both incredible and unusual. During your visit you’ll find: A musical treat with the music of Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier or Edit Piaf. More than 40 miniature monuments of Paris including, the Champs-Elysées, the Seine, the fountains, 400 miniature trees all set in a breathtaking panoramic scene! You will also find around 50 miniature French monuments including the magnificent Château de Chambord. There’s a collection of drawings and paintings in the Petit-Louvre museum and Gérard shows a video with a small ‘French cancan’ show at his Petit-Moulin Rouge. For Christmas, Le Petit-Paris is even more magical. The site is equipped with more than one km of garlands.

The park is open every weekend and school holidays of the year from 9h 30 to 12h and 14h to 19h. Christmas Illuminations from 17h to 19h from Saturday, December 15 to Sunday, January 13, 2019 included. (weekends and Christmas holidays). Tel : 05 63 64 24 80. Le Petit-Paris, 3225 route des Teularios, 82800 VAISSAC

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LAS RAZES Your perfect large gîte

Heated salt water pool, up to 10 (en-suite) bedrooms, snooker, table-tennis, wifi, large garden & terraces Ideal for family get togethers & special events. Also ideal location for people running courses (art, yoga, walking, biking etc.) Convenient for – Lauzerte, Montaigu de Quercy & Montcuq Also, lovely furnished cottage for long and short rentals sleeps 4/6. Available all year from spring 2019. Can be rented with the main house or on its own. lasrazes lasrazes Las Razes - France – Holidays Las Razes, Touffailles (82190) Tarn et Garonne Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019



La Noble Pie

a Noble Pie is a pie shop located in Saint Antonin Noble Val, owned and operated by Benjamin and Tasha Brun. The pair have had varied careers in hospitality. Ben as front of house and Tasha in the all-important kitchen. So, they decided it was time to open their own business. Ben, who was originally from France, and Tasha, who was born in England, had spent many years in New Zealand and Australia (where they met). Having decided to return to France to be closer to family they discovered the beautiful town of Saint Antonin Noble Val. They settled in and soon set about researching the options for a food business. Ben and Tasha’s passion has always been for good, honest uncomplicated food and they wanted to replicate the quick-service style bakeries from overseas. Whilst, at the same time, using the best local produce and traditional French recipes. For example, the most popular pie on the menu year-round is Boeuf Bourguignon. Of course, England, New Zealand and Australia all have a strong pie culture, with thousands of pies produced daily and national pie competitions being taken very seriously. Tasha lived most of her life with this pie ‘culture’. So, this plus her patisserie knowledge meant she could confidently offer pies to a new audience, whilst also satisfying those expats looking for a taste of home. One of the surprisingly difficult aspects of the business has been describing ‘what a pie is’ to French customers. The closest thing in French gastronomy to a pie is a Tourte. However this does not entirely describe the handheld, gravy laden pastries from the UK and antipodes. La Noble Pies’ pastry is hand-made in a shortcrust style (pate sablée in French) but using the best French butter instead of the usual lard. All pie fillings are made in house from fresh ingredients and the type of pies offered varies due to the seasonal produce available. Many customers have offered suggestions for pie fillings and the range now covers curry pies and pasties and there is always a vegetarian option available. La Noble Pie is open year-round and offers home baked cakes and puddings, which change with the seasons; Sticky toffee pudding is proving to be very popular as the weather cools!

La Noble Pie 8 rue de la Pelisserie, 82140 Saint Antonin Noble Val 0770042583, La Noble Pie, Opening hours: June to October: Every day from 11am to 6pm. Winter: Sunday to Wednesday, 12 to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm

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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

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Siret No 48495504200011 Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


la guillotine Did you know that there was a Dr. Guillotin? By A Atkinson Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin opposed the death sentence. Seeking an improvement to its inevitable continuation he suggested a new method of execution. One that would end the class-divide which saw the poor being destined to hang (at the very least), whereas the rich might afforded a swift swordsman.


he doctor felt that if heads had to be removed it should be quick and without the scope for human error. Once his idea was approved, he oversaw the design of a prototype, built by another French doctor, Antoine Louis and constructed by a German, harpsichord maker called Tobias Schmidt. The new ‘instrument’ was first used in 1792. Much to the horror of Dr. Guillotin, this device took his name. His family tried and failed to stop their name being attached to the ‘killing machine’. The guillotine was not truly a new idea. Beheading equipment had existed since the Middle Ages. There had been Germany’s ‘planke’; England’s sliding axe, known as a Halifax Gibbet; Italy’s ‘Mannia’ and even the ‘Scottish Maiden’. During the Reign of Terror (following the Revolution) the new ‘guillotine’ was rarely out of use. It’s introduction and the demise of even more barbaric executions, upset the crowds. Some of the entertainment value had been lost with this swift decapitator. People came in droves to La Place de la Revolution to watch executions, they wrote songs, sold souvenirs, printed programmes and even dined at a nearby restaurant. The most famous audience members were the ‘Tricoteuses’ a cheery group of women who knitted between beheadings! Often the condemned would also play to the audience, dance to their death or issue sarcastic quips. Children attended and there were even miniature guillotines sold for the beheading of dolls and small mammals! Dining tables of the well-to-do were often resplendent with a scaled-down device for slicing vegetables and bread. Executions were spectacles and the executioners became celebrities. The role of executioner was usually a family business. Perhaps the most famous ‘family firm’ was the Sanson family, who served for many generations up to 1847, executing thousands of the guilty (and less so). This dynasty dispatched King Louis XV1 and Marie Antoinette.

‘The Great Sanson’ as he was known, otherwise CharlesHenri Sanson, (Royal Executioner of France, High Executioner of Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin the First French Republic) began his career, aged 15 in 1754. He served King Louis XV1 and then the Republic. At the start of his working life he oversaw, strangulations, burnings, hanging drawing and quarterings, and so the advent of the guillotine must have seemed like a technological advancement. Denied the respect and the civil-inclusion he felt executioners were due, Sanson (a learned man) petitioned the new Republic, asking that executioners be given full rights as citizens. He was successful. Icons of their time, executioners influenced fashion and even inspired tattoos among the criminal classes. By the end of the 18th century, this public fascination had declined. Public beheadings continued in France until 1939. The guillotine was responsible for, perhaps, as many deaths in Germany during the 1930s as in the French Revolution. Hitler made the guillotine the state’s method of execution in 1930 and 20 were installed across Germany. Records show that 16,500 people (generally members of the resistance and political opponents) were guillotined. The guillotine remained France’s state method of capital punishment into the late 20th century. When convicted murderer, Hamida Djandoubi became the last person to meet the ‘National Razor’ in 1977. The guillotine’s 189-year reign officially came to an end in September 1981, when France abolished capital punishment for good.

Saviez-vous qu’il existe un Docteur Guillotin ?


e Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin était même opposé à la peine de mort. Souhaitant néanmoins contribuer

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


à une méthode d’exécution rapide pour laquelle l’erreur humaine n’aurait pas de conséquence désastreuse, et surtout, afin que la peine capitale soit la même pour tous, quels que soient le rang social ou le forfait (l’accusation) des condamnés, il proposa une machine de décapitation qui sera mise au point en 1792 par un autre docteur Antoine Louis.

Contre sa volonté, la machine finale portera le nom de guillotine. L’idée de cette machine n’était pourtant pas nouvelle, car d’autres “tranche-têtes” existaient depuis le Moyen âge et dans toute l’Europe, tels que le gibet d’Halifax, par exemple… Pendant le règne de la Terreur, sous la Révolution, la guillotine ne manquera pas d’ouvrages ; et le peuple viendra fréquemment assister aux exécutions comme distractions ! Les bourreaux deviendront des célébrités, telle la famille SANSON qui officia pendant plusieurs générations et décapita Louis XVI et Marie Antoinette. La guillotine sera l’outil français d’exécution de la peine capitale jusqu’en 1981, date d’abolition de celle-ci. Et le criminel Hamida Djandoubi restera le dernier à subir le “rasoir national”.

Two women from the SW of France who were guillotined. One charged with hideous

crimes, that find her among the annals of ‘serial-killers’. Then, a lady now venerated but who lived and died, before the world was ready for her passion, energy and foresight.


irstly, the tragic and macabre case of Sophie Gautié Bouyou, who at 44 years old was executed by guillotine. This was the penultimate public guillotining in France and took place in Le Bourg (46120) in the Lot. As is often the case, the truth about the extent of her crimes may never be known. Sophie had lost one husband and was remarried. She ran the village inn and appeared to not enjoy the responsibility of being a mother. She’d had a son with her first husband who was married with a child, Elisa. Sophie disliked her daughter-in-law. When her son developed tuberculosis, Sophie was worried about the likelihood of Elisa, rather than herself, inheriting from him. It was, therefore, important that Elisa did not survive her father. Whilst attending her father’s deathbed Elisa died in Sophie’s arms. An autopsy showed three needles (two darning and one knitting) in the child’s body. At this point people realised that 7 of Sophie’s children had not lived to see their first birthday. As recently as two months before Sophie’s youngest daughter had died, aged only 38 days. A subsequent exhumation showed that the small body had been pierced by 4 needles. She was charged with murdering 7 of her children and her granddaughter. Sophie admitted to the two latest

deaths, but always denied being responsible for the other 6 children’s deaths. The Court, in Cahors, did not believe her, not did they accept her plea in mitigation for the admitted crimes. So, even though she claimed that she’d been ‘blinded with rage’ believing that her daughter-in-law was having an affair with her husband. She was sentenced to death. Suspicion remained that her first husband’s death may well have been poisoning. On Jan 4th, 1876, the prisoner left Cahors and made the 9-hour journey back to the village of Le Bourg. She travelled with two priests and appeared calm and accepting; perhaps expecting the sentence would be commuted. Several thousand people gathered to watch as she was guillotined outside her village home.


ophie Gautié, épouse Bouyou, a vécu dans le village de Le Bourg (Lot), il y a plus de 140 ans. Jolie et propriétaire d’une auberge, on lui reconnaît des aventures, et surtout le rejet d’être mère. Des questions se posent lorsque 7 de ses nouveauxnés n’atteignent pas l’âge d’un an, et que sa petite-fille meurt subitement. L’enquête finira par l’exhumation des petits corps dont les autopsies fourniront la preuve qu’on leur a enfoncé mortellement des aiguilles à tricoter dans le corps. Sophie Bouyou ne reconnaîtra que deux de ses crimes mais sera néanmoins reconnue coupable d’infanticide sur huit nourrissons et guillotinée le 4 janvier 1876. C’est l’avant-dernière femme exécutée en public en France.

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


The second of our ‘guillotined’ ladies and quite a different story! Olympe de Gouges. A daughter of Quercy, guillotined for her social and political beliefs.

‘Her voice went unheeded, her character was besmirched: …. the ideas, passion, humour, intelligence, courage and astonishing energy of this most underrated writer whose vision is still so relevant today.’ Clarissa Palmer,


orn Marie Gouze in 1748 to a lower ‘bourgeois’ family in Montauban (then Quercy, now Tarn et Garonne). Marie believed herself to be the illegitimate daughter of Jean-Jacques Lefranc, Marquis de Pompignan; he never acknowledged her. As a teenager and against her will, she was married. Later, in a semi-autobiographical novel, Olympe revealed how she’d found her husband repugnant and neither wealthy nor well-born! A year later she was widowed and in 1770 she moved to Paris, along with her son. She never remarried, declaring the institution a ‘tomb of trust and love’. Furthermore, being married prohibited her from the freedom to write and edit. In Paris she was supported by Jacques Biétrix de Rozières, a closeness that survived the tumultuous years ahead. Olympe and Jacques established a theatre group and circulated in artistic and philosophical groups. Olympe was an outspoken campaigner for human rights. Among her championed causes were, better rights for illegitimate children, greater fairness for women in divorce, improved maternity conditions, an end to capital punishment, the right to trial by jury and the fairer distribution of wealth. However, she is best remembered for her two greatest concern; the plight of slaves in the French Colonies and the plight of women in French society. These struggles created many enemies. Her writings, such as the book ‘Réflexions sur les Hommes Négres’ and the play ‘l’Esclavage des Noirs’, (staged at the famous Comédie-Française in 1785 but sabotaged by the slave-trade lobby) brought her into the public arena and alarmed the establishment. Olympe viewed the possibility of a French revolution with hope, but she became disenchanted when it became clear that the Revolution’s égalité (equal rights) did not extend to women. 1791, in response to the Assemblée Nationale Constituante’s ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen’ (Déclaration des droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen), Olympe wrote the ‘Déclaration des droits de la Femme et de la Citoyenne’ (Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen). She followed this with her work ‘Contrat Social’ (Social Contract) a

reference to the major work by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Here, Olympe’s writing proposed an institution of marriage based upon gender equality. Olympe opposed the death penalty and the execution of Louis XVI, even though she was (contrary to what many of her enemies reported) – a supporter of the notion of Revolution. When Louis was put on trial, she wrote offering to defend him. In her letter she argued that he was guilty as a king, but innocent as a man, and that he should be exiled rather than executed. Those with power were concerned about this ‘outspoken’ women. Unsurprisingly, she was arrested in 1793. She spent three months in jail trying to defend herself. The judge having denied her a lawyer; believing that she could defend herself. She was sentenced to death on 3rd November and was guillotined the next day. Her execution was used as a warning to other politically active women. Olympe faded into obscurity after her death. She was remembered again in the 1980s when she was the

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


subject of a biography by Olivier Blanc. Then in 2004, a square in Paris was proclaimed ‘Place Olympe de Gouges’, the ceremony included the reading of an excerpt from Olympe’s ‘Declaration of the Rights of Women’. More locally, Montauban has a school and theatre named after Olympe. In March each year the town commemorates the life and works of its daughter. In 2019 on March 6th the Theatre Olympe de Gouges will present a performance about her extraordinary story. This lady was ahead of her time and a victim of the time she lived. She was falsely accused, misunderstood and labelled an agitator. She paid the inevitable price for, metaphorically, putting her head above the parapet. Was it all a waste of time? Well no, she started wearing a path. A path, that had she lived today, would have seen her publishing, speaking, blogging and being inevitably all over social-media. Progress indeed but let’s not forget that still today woman in the public eye with opinions often inspire hatred and mistrust and are themselves subject to ridicule and threat. So, there’s still a bit more of this path to walk. By A Atkinson

Née à Montauban en 1748, humaniste et visionnaire, OLYMPE DE GOUGES est considérée comme une pionnière du féminisme français et une des grandes figures de la Révolution française. Toute sa vie, elle affichera ses idées progressistes en se dressant contre l’abolition de l’esclavage et de la peine de mort, l’hygiène publique (elle demandait la creation de maternités), la solidarité, l’instruction et surtout l’égalité politique et civique entre hommes et femmes. Idées qu’elle diffusera à travers l’écriture de pièces de théatre, affiches, textes et livres qui dérangeront à l’extrême les protagonistes de la Révolution, et surtout les Jacobins, dont la haine lui vaudra la guillotine le 2 novembre 1793. Chaque année au mois de mars, depuis 2006, la ville de Montauban rend hommage à Olympe de Gouges pour célébrer son engagement humaniste dans la liberté de chacun en accueillant des femmes qui tracent encore aujourd’hui leur route à travers un obscurantisme souvent misogyne et indifférent, pour un monde plus juste et plus fraternel : des artistes, auteures, musiciennes, journalistes, de tous pays ....

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


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Aide et espoir aux Réfugiés Help & Hope

As I am writing this our association is passing it’s third anniversary. I wish I had the time to describe even a small amount of all we have been able to do during these years to help people fleeing their homes, all thanks to the wonderful support we have had locally here in and around Lauzerte. In France, in Greece, and more recently in Irak, we have been constantly volunteering and sending and delivering donations. In Lauzerte, we have been able to welcome and lodge no less than five families, asylum seekers. We help people come to France legally and safely by applying for asylum visas, we guarantee financial and administrative aid. But to get a visa accorded we need an offer of housing for the time it takes to get the asylum claim completed, which can be up to a year. In July, we were absolutely delighted to welcome our latest guests, a young couple just 21 years old with a little boy, 2years old, to a flat loaned by a kind Lauzerte family, These young people are Yézidies of Irak, a group that has been persecuted throughout the ages for

their belief, an ancient monotheistic religion which has certain resemblances to the Christian faith. During the last terrible persecution by ISIS in 2014 their villages were flattened, their men killed, and their women abducted. After fleeing to the Shingal mountain, our guests had been living in tents ever since with the terror of new attacks ever present. We have a larger family waiting for 10 months in Irak, so if you have an empty house and you’d like to help, please don’t hesitate to contact us! The winter collect of clothes is under way, but please only men’s clothes or shoes, small and medium sizes, in good condition and clean! Although there are as many women and children in the camps in Greece, and more arriving every day, there is always a good supply of donations of these articles and we can’t take any more at present. However, money is needed even more than second hand clothes to provide for people who have not only lost everything but are often living in terrible conditions. Thanks to the energy of our members and to the kindness of many musicians we have been able to hold many concerts and have thus been able to supply many much-needed things including sanitary pads, nappies, underpants, socks, shoes, jackets, and much food. We have also been helping to restore a beauty salon in Athens to help refugees through a training program, including language lessons, to find work. Wishing a wonderful festive season to everyone, and if you can spare a little for the less fortunate, please remember our registered association, (which is completely volunteer run without expense accounts!) Jacky Malotaux, présidente. (donations deductible from income tax: if you are a french or british tax payer, a donation of 100e will only cost you 34e).

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Tasting the lot


Which wines to drink on cold nights! Let’s start with a bottle (or two) of Cahors Welcome to winter 2018. There is something rather nice about planning warming meals, Christmas and New Year celebrations and then for me finding new wines to make the celebrations all that more special.


ost-harvest has been the best time to travel around the region tasting new wines from old favourite vineyards and trying an awful lot of new wines. I was incredibly fortunate in October to join the South African blind wine-tasting champions at a training session with the fabulous Malbec grape. My friend Anita is the captain of South Africa’s finest wine tasters! The International Championships were held in Beziers and Belgium won 144 points, beating France by 29 points, South Africa came 10th with 105 points and UK a shocking 20th with only 63 points! For the training session we met the day before the competition in the Malbec lounge in Cahors, organised by the lovely Jean Vincent Ridon who had taken the team to meet as many winemakers and owners as he could in the Cahors region and then they tasted 12 different Malbecs from the Cahors AOP region. After discussing the good and the bad of each bottle there were 4 favourites.

My favourite was La Berangeraie, Cuvee Maurin 2015 from Grezels (46700). One of the loveliest vineyards in the region. It started in 1971, when Cahors received its AOP status. The derelict buildings were turned into a marvellous winery and the vineyards brought back to life. A family business from the start this vineyard and its wines should most definitely be on everyone’s Christmas list! My 2nd favourite was Vendemia, from Lo Domeni, Caillac (46140). A delicious wine from this relatively new winery north of the River Lot. Pierre has been the owner since 2004. The grapevines are, in some parts, over 40 years old. The vineyard is 6ha in size and well worth a visit. There are a range of delicious wines to choose from, something to suit every palate. For me, I have bought quite a few bottles of Vendemia for Christmas and New Year drinking as it goes fantastically with duck and venison (both on the menu this winter)! My suggestion for anyone that feels they have already tried everything is, Les Laquets from Domaine

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


And now … 2 meaty recipes making the best of the great Cahors wine (and then a naughty dessert – also using lovely local goodies)

Cosse et Maisonneuve. Run by two talented oenologists and winemakers: Matthieu Cosse and Catherine Maisonneuve. Matthieu (winemaker) is a graduate of the Institute of Enology in Bordeaux, and Catherine (oenologist) holds a BTS viticulture and oenology in Blanquefort. 15 years ago, they took over a 5-hectare estate in Prayssac (46220), a short distance from Cahors. It had been planted with Malbec vines (average age of the vines is 55 years). They set out to make wines that are the antithesis of the rustic image of Cahors. Their very first vintage was a cuvée called Les Laquets, this was the wine we tried but they have also expanded their range, creating separate cuvées to reflect the identity of the different terroirs of the estate. There is now a total of 17 hectares of vines planted predominantly with Malbec with a little Merlot and Tannat. The vineyard is biodynamic, and the wines are big and bold. I loved them. Thank you My final Christmas wine suggestion from this tasting was Cuvee Clos des Pradelles, Domaine Campoy from Flaujac- Poujols (46090). This wine was delicious, and we felt that it could be drunk at any time. Especially as we were drinking it early in the morning! It was beautifully made with 100% Malbec grape. This represents just a small selection of fabulous wines for Winter, Christmas, New Year and into Spring that are available from this lovely wine region. If you would like some more ideas, then please check out Tasting The Lot. Throughout the year we taste wines from around the South West. Before I go and tidy up my wine store – there are a few extra suggestions – places to visit and buy for the winter season. Domaine du Garinet and Maison Neuve in Le Boulvé (46800), Hauts St George and any of the Georges Vigouroux collection (46000) and my favourite fall-back wine is Chateau Eugenie in Albas (46140). I particularly love their sparkling! Tasting The Lot can help organise wine tasting parties or food and wine evenings for Christmas or birthday presents, hen parties, ice breakers or in your holiday home for clients for 2019. All food and wine will be provided.


Venison meatballs with Cahors wine sauce & pasta

Ingredients For the meatballs 2 free-range eggs, 125ml milk, 450gr minced venison steak, 200gr breadcrumbs, 75gr parmesan, grated, 1 garlic clove finely chopped, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp juniper berries (toasted, crushed and added for and extra flavour, but can be optional) For the sauce 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 stick celery finely chopped, 4 garlic cloves finely chopped, 150gr tomato purée, 450ml Cahors red wine, 450ml pint chicken stock, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary Method For the meatballs, beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add the minced venison, breadcrumbs, parmesan and garlic and mix well. Mould the meatball mixture into balls, each the size of a golf ball. Place the meatballs onto a plate or tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the meatballs from the fridge and place into a hot frying pan. Fry for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown all over. For the sauce, heat the oil in a separate frying pan. Fry the onion, celery and garlic for 5-6 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 7-8 minutes, until the sauce is thick and deep red in colour. Add the wine, chicken stock and rosemary and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the meatballs are completely cooked through. To serve, place a generous portion of cooked spaghetti into each serving bowl. Spoon over equal amounts of the meatballs and sauce, and finish with grated parmesan. This dish goes fantastically with Mike and Sue Spring’s Domaine du Garinet Fut de Chene 2008 or Hauts St George 2015.

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Wild boar, Cahors wine & juniper berry pie saucepan over the boiling plate. Add the olive oil, then fry the wild boar pieces for 3-4minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove the browned wild boar from the saucepan and set aside in a warm dish. Add the pancetta/ bacon to the dish the wild boar was cooked in. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until some of the fat is released from the meat. Add the shallots, carrots and mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the bay leaves and parsley sprigs (if you chose to do so). Then return the boar pieces to the pan. Add the flour and stir well until it coats all the ingredients. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to the boil. Transfer to the simmering plate and simmer the mixture until the volume of liquid has reduced by a quarter, about 15-20 minutes. Add the beef stock, then cover the casserole dish with a lid. Ingredients For the meatballs Plain flour, for dusting, 500g ready-made all-butter puff pastry, 1 free range egg, beaten Pie filling ingredients 1kg wild boar shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into large pieces, Salt and freshly ground pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil, 175g pancetta or streaky bacon cut into lardons, 225g small shallots, peeled and left whole, 400g carrots, peeled, roughly-chopped, 175g chestnut mushrooms, 2 bay leaves, parsley sprigs (optional), 2 tbsp plain flour, 200ml Cahors wine (I bought some fantastic wine by the litre in the market hall in centre of Cahors), 650ml beef stock, 6 juniper berries crushed Method Season the pieces of wild boar shoulder with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large

Simmer gently for two hours, stirring occasionally, (I normally place my casserole dish on the top of the log burner for the afternoon) until the boar is very tender. Transfer the cooked pie filling to a pie dish and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling mixture to cool. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 0.5cm thickness. Brush the rim and outside edge of the filled pie dish with beaten egg, then lay the pastry over the top of the dish. Press the edges of the pastry down to reach down the sides of the pie dish, then trim any excess. If desired, use any trimmings to decorate the top of the pie. Brush the pastry all over with the remaining beaten egg, then cut a small cross in the centre of the pastry using a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape. Transfer the pie to the roasting oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden-brown and the filling is piping hot. Serve with delicious parsnip mash and green beans and perhaps a fabulous wine from Château Eugenie, Albas.

Sloe gin and juniper jelly & homemade ice-cream For the jellies 600ml apple juice, 300ml sloe gin, 3 strips orange rind, 4 juniper berries - bruised, juice of 1 lemon, 75g granulated sugar, 9 small leaves gelatine (about 18g) For the ice cream 300ml milk, 115g caster sugar, 3 egg yolks, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 450ml sour cream or crème fraiche, 4 tbsp lemon juice Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Method To make the jelly, put all the ingredients except the gelatine in a pan and bring to just below the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer on a very low heat for five minutes. Set aside for 20 minutes. Put the gelatine in a dish and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for about three minutes. This amount makes for quite a soft set. If you are planning to turn out the jellies, use an extra leaf. Reheat the apple juice to warm and strain into a jug. Gently squeeze out the water from the gelatine leaves and add them to the warm liquid, stirring to dissolve. Divide between six glasses or pudding moulds and leave to cool. Refrigerate the jellies to set them – at least six hours. To make the ice cream heat the milk with half of the sugar, stirring to dissolve. With an electric beater, whisk the rest of the sugar with the egg yolks until creamy-white and foamy. Bring the milk to scalding point again, add the vanilla and pour the milk on to the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Put in a heavybottomed pan or a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat gently to thicken, stirring all the time. The mixture must not overheat, or the eggs will scramble. Run your finger across the back of the spoon; if it leaves a path in the mixture, the custard is ready. Immediately pour into a bowl sitting in some cold water and leave to cool. When the custard is cold, stir in the sour cream and lemon juice and either churn in an ice-cream machine, or put in a broad, shallow box and freeze until set, stirring occasionally so you don’t get ice crystals. About 6 hours until set.

Expat Radio is an online digital radio station for English speakers with a diverse array of programming with eclectic music, topics, interviews, competitions, news and politics. The goal is to offer a little bit of home, some nostalgia and all-round radio entertainment.

Founder, Dave Hailwood, believes it’s essential for a radio station to engage with listeners by hosting shows that appeal to everyone. Whatever your personal taste in music, be it rock, dance, hip-hop, disco, motown, country, northern soul, classical or golden oldies, you can be sure to find something you like. Charles Hanson is joining Dave once a month to do valuations and to talk to expats who send in the photos of antiques they’d like valuing and even sending to auction. Rosemary Conley will be continuing her health and fitness show in September. She would like listeners to get in touch regarding a healthy lifestyle and to ask her any questions you may have regarding diets or fitness regimes.


A very Happy Christmas and New Year from Luci xx 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

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


LeLangage des Arbres Si lors d’une balade en forêt, vous vous êtes arrêtés devant une souche d’arbre mort présentant des repousses bien vertes, alors c’est que vous savez déjà qu’il suffit souvent d’observer pour comprendre…


e récentes observations et expériences scientifiques ont permis de mettre en avant un système de communication entre les végétaux. Elles ont amené à revoir nos connaissances et peut-être pourront-elles faire changer nos choix de société (mécanisation, industrialisation, sédentarisation) et prendre conscience des effets désastreux de l’urbanisation sur la faune, la flore, l’eau, l’air et la terre.

RESEAU Savez-vous que les racines d’un arbre occupe un espace 2 à 4 fois plus vaste que la surface de sa ramure externe (le houppier) ? Il en résulte un entrelacement des ramifications souterraines qui crée autant de points de contact et d’échange entre les arbres. C’est là qu’un réseau de champignons intervient, car ils garantissent la continuité de la transmission. En transmettant les signaux d’un arbre à un autre, ils concourent à l’échange d’informations. Ainsi les plantes communiquent entre elles via ce réseau « internet » de champignons qu’on nomme « Wood Wide Web » qui permet aussi de distribuer la nourriture. C’est notamment Suzanne Simard, de l’université de Colombie Britannique, qui a découvert cette relation entre les racines et des champignons, que l’on nomme la mycorhize. Le réseau est composé de minces filets de champignons que l’on appelle mycélium et qui va transporter l’eau et d’autres éléments chimiques sous la terre, autour de l’arbre partenaire, jusqu’à rejoindre le réseau voisin et constituer un immense maillage souterrain. C’est une association gagnant-gagnant : les champignons mycorhiziens aident l’arbre à obtenir les sels minéraux dont il a besoin (le phosphore et l’azote) tout en le protégeant d’attaques parasitaires alors qu’ils exigent en échange une rançon sous forme de sucres et glucides que l’arbre leur reverse ! Ce réseau permet surtout aux arbres de s’entraider dans leur croissance et épanouissement. Suzanne Simard a été la première à montrer que les arbres primaires, ou arbres-mères, vont gérer la diffusion de substances envers de jeunes plants afin de pallier

un manque de lumière, ou les prévenir d’un danger environnemental. Cette « alimentation maternelle » synchronisée aux besoins permettrait la survie à une majorité de jeunes plants connectés à ce réseau fongique pour bénéficier de ses réserves. Les arbres-mères ne nourrissent d’ailleurs pas seulement les enfants-arbres, mais aussi les arbres voisins qui peuvent avoir besoin d’un soutien pour leur développement, à charge de revanche bien entendu. Cet échange de substances nutritives est toujours équitable car les arbres, d’une même espèce, sont capables de connaître les besoins de chacun et de diffuser les substances en conséquence. C’est donc une entraide, on prend soin les uns des autres. Ce rééquilibrage s’effectue là aussi par les racines et pourrait être assimilé à un service d’aide sociale !

Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


Pour en revenir à cette vieille souche qui reverdit, l’explication se trouve dans ce même réseau qui prend soin d’un arbre « dit mort » et le nourrit de substances chimiques pour lui permettre de rester « vivante ». Bien évidemment, une forêt plantée de la main de l’homme ne permettra pas de tels échanges : les racines des arbres ont été coupées pour permettre leur réimplantation et leur durée de vie, avant abattage, trop courte pour laisser le temps à un réseau fongique efficace de se mettre en place…

ODEURS Le langage se fait aussi par les odeurs : pour se protéger des prédateurs mangeurs de feuilles (les girafes sur les acacias ou les chevreuils sur des chênes, par exemple), les arbres augmentent la teneur en substances toxiques de leurs feuilles, ce qui indispose les gourmands. Si une chenille plante ses mandibules dans une feuille, alors le tissu végétal se modifie : il émet des signaux électriques qui, en se propageant d’1 cm par minute, indiquent à l’arbre la fabrication d’anticorps. Selon le danger ou l’attaque, les substances odorantes sont différentes et permettent aux arbres de se prévenir entre eux. Les insectes sont identifiés grâce à leurs salives distinctes (sens du goût) et les végétaux sont même capables de produire des substances qui attirent les prédateurs des agresseurs et ainsi s’en débarrasser. Même si la vitesse de réaction (transmission chimique) à l’intérieur est un peu lente, la propagation des odeurs dans les airs s’ajoute et indique le danger aux parties aériennes, distantes tout au plus de 100m du tronc de l’arbre. Bien évidemment, l’information est aussitôt transmise aux arbres voisins par le réseau racineschampignons pour qu’ils préparent également leur défense. Signaux chimiques, électriques, olfactifs, hormonaux, …. Les végétaux savent donc bien communiquer entre eux pour se défendre en force !

SONS Des scientifiques, mais aussi les personnes en lien avec la nature comme des gardes forestiers, ont su prendre

le temps et accepter de remettre en cause leurs connaissances pour avancer dans la compréhension des plantes – et surtout des arbres de la forêt. Ils ont constaté que des sons (vibrations) étaient émis par les plantes, grâce à l’enregistrement de basses fréquences par des capteurs. Ces vibrations seraient notamment perçues par beaucoup d’insectes qui recevraient le message pour venir recueillir du nectar, par exemple. Comme tout être vivant, la plante a une activité électrique qui varie en fonction de l’environnement Les plantes produisent des sons que nous ne pouvons pas percevoir. Ils servent à stimuler les chaines protéiniques pour réagir à la température, éloigner ou attirer les insectes : cette science s’appelle la génodique. On place des électrodes sur une feuille et sur une racine. En captant les différences de potentiel entre les deux points, on obtient une ondulation électrique qu’on transforme en son. Cette mélodie (protéodie) peut faire ensuite varier la croissance de la plante ou combattre une maladie. L’étude de la vie secrète des arbres est patiemment racontée par Peter Wohlleben dans un livre qui nous oblige à revoir la forêt et nous rapprocher de la nature pour mieux la comprendre. Respecter une gestion raisonnée de la forêt pour ne pas puiser dans son écosystème plus que nécessaire, réinstaurer le débardage animal qui, contrairement à l’utilisation des machines, ne compacte pas la terre et n’en détruit pas les précieux réseaux d’échange et de transmission permettrait à la forêt de conserver son rôle protecteur contre les risques ou catastrophes naturelles, ainsi que son rôle bienfaitrice d’ondes calmantes, délassantes ou énergétiques qu’elle transmet aux humains qui la parcourent* Si les arbres parlaient, ils nous diraient : « Laissez-nous tranquilles ! »… *Des études ont mis en avant le Syndrome du « Nature Deficit Disorder » ou syndrome du manque de nature : les effets d’une vie privée de nature démontrés sur des personnes qui passent trop de temps dans des locaux ou véhicules : de graves déséquilibres (problème d’attention, obésité, anxiété, dépression, …) sont apparus qui pourtant pourraient tout simplement être évités en passant plus de temps à l’extérieur, que ce soit pour se promener, faire du sport, éduquer, …. et contribuer à la prévention du mal-être, ainsi qu’à la guérison de certaines pathologies. Il est donc sérieux et mesurable, en termes de santé publique et à l’échelle individuelle de penser à inclure la nature dans son quotidien *Richard Louv « Last Child in the Woods »

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local

TheLanguage ofTrees A summary

Tree roots occupy a space 2-4 x as large as their canopy. The intertwining roots create a www (Wood Wide Web) allowing interaction between trees. They transmit messages and nutrition using not only the roots but also a network of fungi, known as mycorrhiza. In exchange for sugar and carbohydrates these fungi create and extend the network. Mother trees can send nutrition to their offspring, to compensate for her shadow. This feeding ensures the survival of most seedlings located on the network. Mature trees do not only support their ‘young’ they also assist neighbouring trees, often enabling the survival of an otherwise dying tree. Trees re-planted by man do not have this ability, their uprooting ends their involvement with a network. Trees also use odours/toxicity to protect themselves from predators (such as oak from hungry deer). Caterpillars chewing triggers electrical signals from the leaves, requesting that the tree increases its production of antibodies. Releasing odours also warns other trees and can be used to attract the natural predators of unwelcome insects. Scientists have discovered that trees emit sounds (vibrations). These detectable messages can be used to communicate with insects and stimulate responses to heat and other environmental changes and disease. ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben asks us to rethink forests altogether, recommended for further reading. Text and photos by Valérie Rousseau


Bon Coeur

Charity Boutique

Beauville 47470, Sous les Cornières, Place de la Mairie


For Sale: books, clothes, brocante & jewellery in aid of mainly local good causes (for both people and animals) and all run by volunteers. Donations always welcome. Mardi, Mercredi, Vendredi – 14h00 – 16h00 Jeudi – 15h00 – 17h00 Vendredi & Dimanche 10h00 – 12h00

Shut from 24th Dec to 5th Jan or if weather is bad Bon Coeur 06 89 53 24 78

Fripaffaires is an association which raises money for Médecins sans Frontières and Restos du Coeur by selling second hand goods. Our shop is in Parisot (82160) next to the Pôle Medical. In the last edition we mentioned our forthcoming fashion show on 28th September. It was a wonderful event with over 150 people turning up to join in the fun. We took the opportunity to present two cheques, each for 4000 euros to MSF and RDC which means we have now raised a total of 33000 euros since we opened in March 2016. We are keen to make it to 40000 ideally by our 3rd anniversary.

To do this we need your support and we look forward to welcoming you to our shop in Parisot and hopefully to see you at the Christmas Market at Caylus on 8th December where we will have a stand. We will be offering some Christmas cheer on Friday 21st December and Saturday 22nd with extended opening hours on Saturday. People are very generous with their donations so you never know what you might find so pop in to find a bargain and share a coffee with us. We also accept donations during opening hours.

Our opening times and details of our events are on Fripaffaires de Parisot. Published March, June, September and December each year. The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019


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




“A fantastic service from beginning to end! I cannot praise or recommend them enough, a great professional service delivered by friendly, helpful people. You can safely book this company with confidence!”

Operating since 2005 and now in all areas of France


Phone: 05 55 76 31 59; Mobile: 06 37 52 84 77

The Quercy Local • December 2018 - February 2019 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local

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 37 December 2018 - February 2019  

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 37 December 2018 - February 2019  

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...