September-November 2017 Issue 31
uercy Local The
The Region’s FREE magazine in English
Inside – Alpacas Dunes & Cajarc Fig & Honey Cupcakes Beers, Books, Bastides & Bay Leaves
CANCER SUPPORT FRANCE
Support for English-speaking people touched by cancer in France National Helpline: 0800 240 200 www.cancersupportfrance.org Dordogne Est & Lot: 06 35 90 03 41 Lot & Garonne: 06 70 64 68 82
THE FURNITURE ROOM Vintage English and French furniture
as well as home accessories, soft furnishings and gifts Do come along and browse our current selection and remember we can source particular pieces for you Please join us for mulled wine and to view our seasonal display and special Christmas offers on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th November between 11am and 6pm
Open Wednesday afternoons from 2 – 6pm. Or, by appointment Contact Sue on: 05 63 95 29 31 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information Follow us on The Furniture Room France – to see what we stock, and to find about new items and about special open-days. Lamoulère, Lauzerte 82110 (just off the D34)
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 3
VENTE VÉHICULES NEUFS ET OCCASIONS RÉPARATION – ENTRETIEN TOUTES MARQUES CARROSSERIE – PEINTURE POSE PARE BRISE CLIMATISATION – DÉPANNAGE “A votre service depuis plus de 40 ans”
2 Great New Models now available Contact us now to arrange a Free Test Drive
Specialist holiday home rental agency with 25 years experience in the area Personal service for Owners, Caretakers, Property Managers & Guests Fast friendly response to all enquiries Global marketing and strong repeat customer base How do we diﬀer?
- One package price to Guests with no hidden extras - Full payment to Owners a month before Guests arrive - All administra�on including Security deposits on behalf of Owners - Personal approach to Owners and Guests alike - No up front charges for Owners: Commission on bookings only
For a no obliga�on discussion please contact Halcyon Leisure
Bringing Owners the benefit of 25 years experience of letting holiday homes throughout Quercy & Lot
+44 (0)1 46 03 02 00 www.halcyonleisure.com email@example.com @HolHomesFrance on Twi�er for news
Follow our Facebook page for Guest informa�on & oﬀers
Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
4 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Welcome to our autumn edition! There are two main things that have become ‘crystal clear’ whilst putting this edition together. Firstly, is just how many clever and interesting people we have living among us. This magazine is packed with talented folk, great businesses, self-less charity work, interesting ideas and most of all, a determination to make things succeed. No region, however beautiful, can survive without the courage and energy shown by the type of individuals we have between these pages. Secondly, it has to be history. Personally, I find it enthralling to glimpse into all that the region has born witness to over the centuries. It’s always hard to only be able to include a few lines about things that would fill volumes! We’ve included some information about the lovely villages of Dunes and Cajarc which, we hope you’ll find interesting. We’ll also be including two new locations in our next edition. So, if you want to see us to include somewhere you know or live – then let us know. Maybe places that really know how to celebrate Christmas! The next edition will be out for the start of December. In the meantime you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram or via our website. As always we ask you to please support our advertisers whenever possible. Books www.quercylocal.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
to win p39 & p47 QL
Gardening – Hostas Club de Jardinage – Lauzerte Ecole de Trompes Inter-Groupes Singers are Jolly People School Insurance Anglican Church – Cahors It is all in the Genes Fears and Phobias Twilight Retirement for Dogs A Concierge Service Alpacas on the Lot Mexican Food on Wheels Fantastic Vintage Furniture What I Learnt from Learning a Language Book – Landsliding by Mandy Jameson Book – My Good Life by Janine Marsh Blevins Franks – Financial Matters Fig and Honey Cupcakes La Ronde des Bastides Tasting the Lot Am Dram – Montaigu de Quercy Three Local Brewers Version Originale La Reine Margot – French Page Dunes – Tarn et Garonne Cajarc – Lot L’Allee des Vignes –- Restaurant Green Cleaning
p.8 p.10 p.16 p.18 p.24 p.26 p.34 p.36 p.38 p.40 p.41 p.42 p.43 p.44 p.46 p.47 p.51 p.52 p.56 p.60 p.62 p.64 p.68 p.71 p.72 p.75 p.78 p.80
From our website you can - Subscribe to receive the magazine directly to your home, read the magazines on line, sign up for our newsletter, add your business to our free on-line directory and find our advertising rates. You can also follow us on twitter @QuercyLocal or ‘like’ us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/quercy.local or Instagram - thequercylocal
The Quercy Local ISSN: 2116-0392. No part of this publication may be copied, used or reproduced without the written consent of the proprietor. No responsibility is accepted for any claim made by advertisers. All content accepted and printed in good faith. Please check that all advertisers are registered businesses in France or in their home country. The Quercy Local is owned and managed by A Atkinson (Las Razes, Touffailles,( 82190) Siret: 518 460 605 00018. It’s produced by the Magazine Production Company, West Sussex, UK. Printed by Gráficas Piquer. French admin. Valérie Rousseau.
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 5
Do you have a beautiful home that could be the setting for an amazing holiday? With over 12 years personal experience, owning, managing and marketing holiday homes, we have all the skills, knowledge and passion needed to make your holiday home rental a real success. Using beautiful photography and strategic marketing we make sure that your home stands out from the crowd. If you are interested in letting your home for the first time or would like to increase the income you are already receiving, please get in touch for a no obligation chat.
A big thank you to all of our homeowners for your commitment and continued support, and a very special welcome to all of our new homes who have joined the homes 2 holidays family for 2018. We're working tirelessly to make sure that 2018 is another big success. Sent with love from team
Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
6 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
CHATEAU DE L’HOSTE
HOSTELLERIE DE CHARME - RESTAURANT - BAR A VIN
For a romantic lunch or dinner on the terrasse or a glass of wine at the « Wine Bar » Wine Bar
The RESTAURANT Menu Terroir and à la Carte from 35€ to 50€ Open daily for lunch and dinner
A choice of wine by glass (from 3 to 5€)
New Le Bistrot de Stéphanie
open from Monday to Saturday 18h30 to 21h A formula “Table d’Hôte”at the Wine Bar
(except Monday and Tuesday-Saturday lunch)
Every day’s suggestion of a two courses
every Thursday from 18 to 19h
menu at 18€ (cheese or dessert at 6 €) open from Monday to Saturday 18h30 to 21h
Choice of tapas on Thursday
Book your table : 05 63 95 25 61 – email@example.com
Situated nearby Roquecor – Saint Beauzeil (D656 road Agen-Cahors) - www.chateaudelhoste.com
GRENIER AUX ARTISTES Art Gallery in Roquecor open from Tuesday to Sunday morning www.grenier-aux-artistes.com The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 7
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, www.ironwoodmotif.com SIRET: 481 198 638 00019 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
8 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Versatile, easy to grow Hostas are available in thousands of varieties. Primarily grown for their interesting foliage, in a range of different sizes, shapes and colours, hostas also produce attractive white and blue summer flowers, many of which are fragrant. They are useful plants, with their resilience in shady spots, and their size range means you can be sure to find the perfect plant for your desired place, be it for a small gap in a rockery, or a specimen plant in a large garden. This diverse plant family covers such a huge span of sizes, you can choose from a miniature variety, at just 4” tall, through to a giant hosta, which can reach an enormous 48”/ 4ft in height and 6ft in width. The giant hostas are really useful if you’re looking for large plants to fill a big garden, and can be used around the bases of trees, to create leafy avenues, or to brighten up a dull corner etc. Their foliage colours, a myriad of green, white, blue, gold and variegated patterns, lift the shady spaces that they thrive in; all varieties are shade loving and some varieties are also sun tolerant. If you’re looking to add some big, beautiful planting to your garden, it’s worth considering some of the following giant hosta varieties.
Blue Angel - 32” high and 70” wide. Silvery, blue-green leaves and white to pale lavender flowers. The largest of the blue hostas. The Quercy Local • September - November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 9 Great Expectations
Dream Weaver - 30” high 72” wide. Variegated leaves, wide blue-green border and creamy-white centre. White flowers. Empress Wu - up to 48”/4 feet high and 72” wide. Dark green leaves, up to 24”/2 foot in length. Pale lavender flowers. The largest of all the hostas, this is a mighty plant and is named after the only ever female Chinese empress. Gentle Giant - up to 46” high and 70” wide. Upright, blue-green leaves, cupped and corrugated. Lavender flowers. One of the best blue hostas for sun tolerance. Great Expectations - up to 20” tall and 40” wide. Variegated leaves, blue-green border and yellow centre that fades to white. White flowers. Paradigm - up to 22” high and 48” wide. Variegated golden leaves with a wide blue-green margin with streaks merging into the centre. Late spring sunshine intensifies the variegation. Lavender flowers. Sagae - up to 31” tall and 70” wide. Upright variegated leaves, blue with wavy white margins. Lavender flowers. Sun tolerant. Sum and Substance - 32” high and 72” wide. Large green/ golden leaves, with the colour depending on light levels. White flowers. Victory - 35” high and 70” wide. Large, variegated, shiny, heart-shaped leaves, green, with wavy cream margins. White flowers. For giant hostas to reach their full potential, choose their locations wisely. They favour a deep, rich soil, so improve sandy or clay soils before planting. Pay attention to spacing and avoid overcrowding. Giant hostas have greater water requirements than smaller varieties and you need to be aware that if planting near to big trees you will need to water them more often, as the tree roots compete for water and nutrients. Greater exposure to sun also increases
Sum and Substance
water requirements, but in both instances, mulching the surrounding area with garden compost or leaf mould will help with water retention as well as improving soil fertility.
While smaller varieties can be prone to slug and snail damage, the large, thick leaves of the big plants are much more resistant, and the usual precautions for fresh planting and new spring shoots should be sufficient. The plants take approximately five years to reach full size, with foliage dying back each winter and re-growing in the spring. You can divide them in the autumn or the spring, but this isn’t necessary on a regular basis, and, if planted with sufficient growing space, they can be left undisturbed for years, thus making a lovely low maintenance, high impact plant.
John and Debbie (Le Jardin des Espiemonts) firstname.lastname@example.org, 05 63 64 68 76, www.lejardindesespiemonts.fr
Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September - November 2017
10 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
ARBRESERVICES Matt Strawbridge Tree Surgeon Elagueur Arboriste
The Year Of The BUG!! You may love or hate these little beasties, but there is no denying that they each have a role to play and are very much a part of the gardening scene. The Club de Jardinage de Lauzerte has declared 2017 to be the year of the bug and, as such, our September 17th Garden Show at Lauzerte Salle des Fêtes will have a bit of a creepy-crawly theme. Some bugs are welcome in our gardens, some cause a sigh of despair, some are beautiful, some cause a squeal and a shudder – but all are fascinating, and the photos that members have taken of these visitors will be displayed at the Show. The lovely bugs that you see crawling, flying or dangling around this page are courtesy of the children of Lauzerte primary school, whose drawings will also be on display. The show will take place between 14h – 18h on Sunday, 17 September and entry is free. There will be more stands than ever this year and, in addition to the above, will feature: a Floral Display, Children’s Corner with Free Face Painting, Ask a Garden Expert, Plants and Garden-Related Items for Sale, Tombola, and the ever-popular Tea Shop with Homemade Cakes and Scones.
Tours 47340 Cassignas 05 53 95 80 27/ 06 45 25 65 58 email@example.com www.arbreservices.com SIRET NO. 5025222200004
7. A pot plant 8. A basket of mixed garden produce 9. Preserves – jam or chutney 10. A funny-shaped vegetable or fruit 11. The plum/prune challenge – a homemade cake or pastry made with plums or prunes which will be tasted and judged by the public. 12. Children’s Competitions – a drawing or painting of an insect/bug, and a home-made model of an insect/bug – these may be created beforehand or at the show. Entries for Classes 1-11 may be brought to the venue on Saturday, 16th September between 3pm-5pm or on the morning of the show before 12 noon. The children’s bugs in Class 12 may accompany them to the show… For more information, please contact Ingrid Batty on 05 63 31 91 52 or firstname.lastname@example.org Here is the current remainder of our 2017 Annual Programme: Sept 12 “Carnivorous Plants” Talk by M. Damien Hubaut Sept 17 Portes Ouvertes/Garden Show, Salle des Fêtes, Lauzerte Oct 10 “A Presentation on Permaculture” Nov 14 “Indoor Plants / Patio Plants” Talk by Marie from Jardins de Moissac Nov * CJL Stand at “La Journee de l’Arbre” Dec 12 A Really Delicious Club Christmas Lunch * Date to be confirmed
As always, we would be delighted to welcome you, with no obligation, at one of our meetings detailed in the above programme. During the cooler months we meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Salle des Fêtes in Lauzerte, from 2pm – 4.30pm. Our meetings cater for both French and English speakers and the annual Now is the time to start planning your entries for fee is only 10 euros. If you’d like to come along, do the competitions to be held. The classes will be: contact our Secretary, Pam Westcott, who will be 1. Five of the same – root vegetables delighted to hear from you: 05 63 94 19 25 2. Five of the same – other vegetables or email@example.com. 3. Five of the same – tomatoes, chillies, peppers 4. Five of the same – fruit (These 4 classes should contain the same variety of veg/ fruit which should be of similar size and appearance) 5. A pumpkin or squash – judged on condition 6. A display of cut flowers The Quercy Local • September - November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 11
Everything for your garden, your swimming pool and your pets. Also, great regional products and decorations – lots of gift ideas! La Pépinière 82110 LAUZERTE 05 63 29 00 98 firstname.lastname@example.org les jardins d’aulery
Trust MARK For – Grass Cutting, Strimming, Hedge /Tree Trimming, Log Cutting/ Splitting, Power Washing, Window Cleaning, Painting/Sanding/ Varnishing (Doors, Windows & Shutters). Pool and Gutter cleaning, General Maintenance and Labouring, Routine Property Checks. Reasonable rates – please email Mark on: email@example.com M.W Garden Services & Residential Property Maintenance (47370)
Bob, van Leeuwe Siret. 823 903 117 00013
Gardening, landscaping, tree felling & logging Entretien spaces verts et abattage bucheronnage
Paysagesfirstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 06 89 27 30 96 ‘Les-2-Lacs’, Beauville, 47470
Siret: 514 571 157 000 15 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
Photo de Circaterra Céramique
12 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Restauration et buvette sur place 9h - 18h / Entrée 3€ par personne The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 13
LANDSCAPE DESIGN Meet with the client Visit the site Prepare the plan for the garden
SERVICES WE OFFER
We can simply do ‘the planning’ for you or go on to also create your garden
Pruning - Felling - Grinding - Clearance Terracing, Retaining-walls and Driveways Paths – Drystone-walls - Borders Ground Preparation (biodiversity) - Planting Soil - Mulching and Organic Fertilizing Property Maintenance
www.concepteur-paysagiste.fr We work throughout departments 46, 47 and 82.
T. 06 81 99 58 38
THE RED CROSS of Verdun sur Garonne invites you to their 5th annual Côté Jardin Côté Coeur in the wonderful grounds of Château de Pompignan on Sunday the 15th October 9am - 6.30pm. The Red Cross, which is rooted in the life of the region, supports the local artisans, artists, horticulturalists and designers by involving around 60 of them in the day’s events and they contribute a richness and an inevitable success to this popular event. Whilst wandering amongst the exhibits and stalls there’ll be a great opportunity for visitors to learn about permaculture and to improve their understanding of garden biodiversity. There will be lots to discover and delight you at this ‘Gardens and all that goes with them’ event. You can find out more on www.cotejardincotecoeur.fr. There will be catering on site. Entrance: 3 euros per adult. Free for children up to 18. Funds raised will go to support the Red Cross.
Château de Pompignan, 82170 Pompignan
Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
14 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Open Gardens in the western Lot area The people of the Lot are now getting to know about the Open Gardens scheme, set up 4 years ago on the model of the National Garden Scheme. This year across France there were record numbers of people visiting a record number of gardens. The scheme has managed to reduce running costs and increase publicity, such that they are well on the way to achieving record sums of money for the chosen charities. Here in the Lot there were six gardens open – in Prayssac and Grezels in mid-May, in Cazes (Duravel) and St Caprais at the beginning of June, then near Montclera mid-June. Then at St Germain du Bel Air at the beginning of July. The weather for the first two weekend was rather mixed but turnout was good on
the Sundays enabling healthy cheques to be sent to the OG headquarters. There may be other gardens opening in the autumn – keep an eye on the www.opengarden.eu website for information updates. And if you would be interested in also opening your garden to the public to raise money for very worthwhile charities then you can either go through the website or contact Susan on 0608 863355 or email@example.com. Looking forward to seeing you next spring, if not before!
Metse, Les Espiemonts, 82160, Caylus, Tarn et Garonne Phone: 05 63 64 68 76 Mob: 06 81 76 02 30 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.lejardindesespiemonts.fr 44°16'12.15"N 1°44'0.92"E Perennial and Alpine growers. Small, specialist nursery. Open Mondays 10 – 4. Visits on other days by appointment.
SARL TAXI OCCITANIE Séverine DALPOZO
2 large, air-conditioned cars, one for 7 and one for 5 people. Service to and from stations and airports Also ‘medical’ transport – Conventionné assurance maladie Child seats and wheelchair access 24 hrs / 7 days – Any distance
Mob: 06.32.10.63.36 Tel: 05.63.04.20.19 email: email@example.com Based – 82200 MONTESQUIEU
The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 15
CHRIS CONNELLY DRONE & GROUND PHOTOGRAPHY Gîtes, Real Estate, Receptions & more
www.chrisconnelly.fr 06 95 79 28 77
16 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Traditional Stonework ~ New and Restoration 82190 Fauroux ~ 06 40 20 68 94 ~ English spoken ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecole de Trompes Inter-Groupes
L’E.T.I.G., Ecole de Trompes Inter-Groupes was formed in 2009. This Quercy based association has a reach far beyond the region itself. Its mission is to train new horn players, they regularly work with more than 10 regional bands and over 40 individual players. The association is based in Saint Amans de Pellagal (Tarn et Garonne) but their teaching reaches groups of players from all over the South of France, from the Auvergne to Perpignan. Considerable effort is made to encourage young people using traditional teaching methods passed down by a team of instructors; including Roland Burgniard, a founder member of the horn-group ‘Trompe de Chasse’. Teaching is done both individually and in groups, and the learning method focuses on the pleasure of playing, without force and being perfectly relaxed, almost the methods used in yoga. So if you’re interested, why not find out more and maybe try this very unusual instrument? This Ecole de Trompes offers a friendly environment, one that encourages friendship and pride in achievement. The ETIG also takes part in concerts, including a very memorable one held at Saint Amans de Pellagal in 2012 which, for over three hours, brought together around 1,500 spectators. All different horn music was played including an appearance by some Alpine horns.
This first concert has been followed by as many as two more every year. The horn players’ colourful coats and outfits make these events quite a spectacle. The horn playing students also join some of the instructors in a musical group, called ‘Les Echos du Val Garonne’ which meets every month in Saint Amans de Pellagal. This group is made up of friends who enjoy spending time and learning together; as well as performing in concerts and competitions. Increasingly the group finds that they are performing alongside different musical instruments (including organs), alone or with other horns and including polyphonic songs in their constantly renewing programme. Les Echos du Val Garonne’s next performance will be in Montauban on November 18, 2017, at the Cathedral. There will be a large concert with a choir, several groups of horns and an organist. To book, please contact M Roland BURGNIARD on 06 81 99 58 38 or call the Mairie in Saint Amans de Pellagal on +33 5 63 94 75 65. So if you get a chance please go along – the group looks forward to perhaps seeing you there! You can find out more at – www.facebook.com/etig82 www.facebook.com/pg/val.garonne82
The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 17
SAT CONSTRUCTION (82150)
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: email@example.com Siret: 802 145 706 00015 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
18 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
SINGERS ARE JOLLY PEOPLE!
inging is good for your health. As a vocal coach, that’s easy for me to say as singing is my passion and, for me, a mental, physical and spiritual need. But if you have ever sung in a choir, a vocal group, a church or a football stadium, you know what I am talking about. Singing makes you smile. Singing makes you stand tall and proud. Singing gives you energy, radiance. It is good for you. Why is that? The fact that singers are jolly people (quote my first singing teacher, the awesome Canadian vocalist Janice Jackson), is partly because of deep breathing and the circulation of oxygen in our bloodstream. If you sing, you automatically submit to the impulse of breathing more deeply. And as we normally – in our daily, stressful lives – tend to take shallow breaths only, we immediately feel the effect of three or more deep breaths in a row. One of the main effects is that you feel more relaxed, more at ease. Research links music (in an experiment one group only listened to music and another group actually sang together) with the production of endorphins, those substances made in the brain and released into the body to make you feel happy. It turns out that listening to music makes the listener happy, but those in the research group that had sung together had way more endorphines measured in their blood! A more spiritual explanation of why singing together is so beneficial is this: singing together, and even more so singing in two parts or more rather than in unison, makes us feel connected at a very deep level. Singing together is a communication form which functions on a level that is very different from just talking together.
The German poet Heinrich Heine said: ‘Music begins where words stop.’ Perhaps that sense of connection is comparable to the howling of a pack of wolves. Making a noise on a high level of tonal vibration, no words needed, probably makes the participants feel connected, or safe, or relaxed, or all of those things. To me, it is nothing less than magical. I experience this every time I work with vocal groups, be it a choir or individual singers participating in workshops or singing classes. Any differences in age, talent, education, beliefs, they fall away. Before the day is over, people who never met before are enjoying a relationship which is natural, spontaneous, loving. And they know nothing about each other, except that they love singing! When people sing together, the only thing one really needs from the other is the voice. When that voice has resounded, with its own personal beauty – be it high or low, bright or dark, unusual or ordinary – all feel good ingredients are there. So go for it. Even if you think your voice is nothing special. If you love to sing, you’ve got to go out there. Go sing and share your voice. There are other voices out there waiting to blend with yours.
Anke de Bruijn is a singing teacher & choir leader in the Bouriane. www.musiquelot.com (singing workshops and choirs in the Lot/Périgord) and www.singingholidaysfrance.com (singing holidays for choristers from all over the world)
The Quercy Local • September - November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
20 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
Pool design & construction Traditional swimming-pools Liner – reinforced PVC - Automatic water treatment - Automatic cover Automatic cleaning - Heat pump – Equipment - Chemicals
EURL Jean-Luc RIVIERE
Swimming-pool renovation Liner replacement
Maintenance & reparation
Building Work Heating
30, avenue Louis Resses – 82150 MONTAIGU DE QUERCY Tél : 05 63 95 32 77 – email : firstname.lastname@example.org
22 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST
Buying or selling a property?
We hav over 16 e 00 propert 0 i experience and a for sale es on friendly and dedicated our websit e We have over 20 years
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: 0033(0)5 53 56 62 54 Head Office: 42 Rue de Ribérac 24340 La Rochebeaucourt France
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 23
Beauville 47470, Sous les Cornières, Place de la Mairie
Les amis des chats – a charity dedicated to the welfare of pet and stray cats. Help us to help them!
Our charity shops in Lauzerte and Roquecor are opened and welcome you. You will find books, clothes and bric à brac at very low prices! And if you have some free hours, we would greatly appreciate your support as a helper in our boutique
Books, clothes, brocante, jewellery in aid of mainly local good causes all run by volunteers. Raising money both for people and animals. Donations welcome too.
10, rue de la Mairie (opposite the Mairie) Wednesday- 3.00 - 5.00 pm, Thursday- 3.00 - 5.00 pm Friday- 3.00 - 5.00 pm, Saturday- 10.00 - 12.00 pm
Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi & Vendredi :1400 - 1600 Vendredi & Dimanche : 1000 - 1200 Les dons sont très bienvenus Contact- email@example.com; Bon Coeur
Scenic viewpoint (behind the Place de la Mairie) Tuesday - 10.00 - 12.30 pm, Thursday - 2.00 - 4.00 pm Friday - 2.00 - 4.00 pm, Sunday - 10.00 - 12.30 pm www.les-amis-des-chats.com Soon our Calendar 2018 will be for sale, don’t miss it!
BEAUTIFUL CHALK BASED PAINT
Beautiful chalk based paint, 150 stunning colours, paint for every project, easy to use. Ideal for painting furniture and so much more. Regular workshops now taking place. For more details about the range please call: Resa on 06 40 05 85 00 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.chalk-paints.com
Safe Hands Haulage is a professional, competitive, full registered and insured company offering a wide range of transportation services. Full and part loads including complete house moves throughout Europe. We have many different types of vehicles in order to transport household belongings, building material, tools and vehicles.
Please contact Jon on Jon@SafeHandsHaulage.com (from UK) 00 33 5 53 79 26 48 (in France) 05 53 79 26 48 Mobile (from UK) 00 33 6 50 54 86 80 (in France) 06 50 54 86 80
www.safehandshaulage.com Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
24 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
NEED HELP WITH YOUR INSURANCE?
Maartje Schlepers has lived in the Lot since April 2014 and is happy to answer your insurance related questions.
’est la Rentrée! With these words we know it’s time for children to go back to school. The end of summer is approaching and another schoolyear is about to start. Parents will soon be asked to subscribe to a school insurance policy. Many parents wonder what it’s all about, what it actually covers… and is it obligatory? A short explanation: School insurance covers the damage/injury students may cause to others but it also covers damage students may themselves suffer. It has a double function, covering both legal liabilities and personal injury. If, during school hours, a student accidentally hurts another student or causes damage to the property of another student this should be covered by the legal liability element (responsabilité civile vie privée) of the parents, under their household insurance policy. So people may feel that they are being asked to pay twice for the same cover. For activities taking place during statutory school hours (as defined by the State) there is no obligation to take out school insurance. For example, if the school organises a museum trip or swimming lessons during school hours there is no compulsion to have extra insurance to cover these events. It is however compulsory to have this insurance in place for extracurricular (periscolaire) events and those out of statutory school hours. Therefore, unless your child has lunch at home (lunchtime is not classed as school hours), never participates in periscolaire activities, excursions or events organized by the local community and does not take the school bus, it is necessary to take out a policy that will cover the child during official school hours and beyond.
It’s important to understand that the extra school insurance suggested at the start of the year also protects the child if they are hurt in the event of an accident. The personal injury element of the policy may pay out medical expenses as well as expenses in case of (permanent) invalidity. In a ‘worst-case scenario’ funeral expenses. Personal injury cover is not provided on a normal household policy. However, it is similar to the cover given by a GAV (Garantie des Accidents de la Vie – please see my article in the May 2017 edition). It’s possible to take out a policy that covers a child for 12 months, including the holidays. This very complete option, is generally called assurance extra-scolaire. This extra school insurance policy is usually offered through the school at the start of the schoolyear. However, it may be more sensible to include this cover on your household policy. This is often the cheapest solution and you are more likely to be able tailor the policy to your needs, dovetailing it with the cover you already have in place. The premium for this cover varies from one company to another but the minimum annual-premium starts at around 10 euro per child/schoolyear with the possibility of extending the cover, for example, with the extra-scolaire cover. Maartje Schlepers, Assurances Benoit, La Plégade, 46150 Pontcirq, Tel Office 0972468223 (Mon to Thurs) Email: email@example.com, Orias 07005354 - 15005887
THE QUERCY LOCAL â€˘ 25
QUERCY OAK Construction & Renovations
A friendly, reliable service with many years experience in all aspects of the building industry. All projects undertaken, completed to the highest standard. General building, All aspects of carpentry, New build, Complete renovations & conversions, Timber frame houses, Refurbishments, Green oak framing, Roofing & insulation, Hardwood flooring & tiling, Bespoke joinery including staircases. And much more...
Please call us today for an estimate or quotation 07 80 58 39 60 mob 06 75 51 89 13 mob firstname.lastname@example.org http://greyrobert4.wixsite.com/quercy-oak instagram: quercyoak Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local â€˘ September-November 2017
26 • ADVERTORIAL
CHARACTER MOULIN EMBRACES THE NEW CHAPTER IN ITS HISTORY
Le Moulin de Jouenery et Spa offers accommodation and spa facilities in a beautiful 17th century house, almost a diminutive castle, close to Brassac and welcomes visitors all year round. André Claveau the famous 1950s singer and winner of The Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 previously called this moulin his home. The property became a Chambres d’Hôtes in the 2000s before being completely renovated in 2016. Dominique and Sandrine Cambron fell in love with Le Moulin and its surrounding area as it reminded her of many lovely places they’d visited worldwide and they wanted to share its particular restful and comfortable qualities with others. You’ll struggle not to be seduced by this lovely green and tranquil place. Set amongst mature trees Le Moulin offers 6 guest bedrooms overlooking the garden or the pretty little River Seoune running through the garden. Each room’s decoration is inspired by
places such as Venice, Brooklyn or Bali and for more practical comforts there are private bathrooms and wifi. Outside you’ll find a private-beach along the river bank. Somewhere to enjoy the calm and listen to the river’s whisper. Le Moulin also houses a lovely indoor swimming pool which with the Spa is open to non-residents from Monday to Friday you can reserve a massage. Residents can pre-order a wonderful selection of cold, local delicacies for a light lunch or supper. Or they may wish to try some of the restaurants in the local area. If you live (or are staying) locally then remember the Spa and Indoor Pool is open to you – reservation required.
Moulin de Jouenery et Spa, Lieu Dit de Jouenery, 82190 BRASSAC; +33 5 63 32 09 31; email@example.com; Facebook - Moulin de Jouenery et Spa; TripAdvisor www.moulindejouenery.fr The Quercy Local • September - November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 27
KINGS CAR TRANSPORT UK/EU DESTINATIONS
Specialising in Classic Car Transport
firstname.lastname@example.org Beaminster, Dorset DT8 3FG 0044 (0)7735 406924
Quercy Builders (82150)
Stone work and all aspects of renovation Subcontractors to the trade and a professional service to the public References available No obligation quotations
email@example.com www.quercybuilders.com 06 52 49 03 57 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
28 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Anglican Chaplaincy of Midi-Pyrénées & Aude Update from the Cahors Congregation
For detailed information visit our website: www.churchinmidipa.org All services are held at Centre Paroissial, 75 av J Lurçat, Terre Rouge, 46000 Cahors The Great British Breakfast – Saturday September 30 – chez Gill and David Back by popular request, this fundraising event will be held in their wonderful home in Martignac, Puy L’Evêque. There will be four sittings as usual: 08h30, 09h45, 11h00, 12h15 and there are still a few places left. Participation fee is e20 for a “Full English” with juices, coffee, tea, toast, marmalade, etc., etc. For all details contact Gill and David or visit our website.
This quarter, the Morning Prayer will be replaced by a Holy Communion service.
The Harvest Festival – Sunday October 1 at 10am “Jesus told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2)
The history says that All Souls’ Day was first instituted at the monastery in Cluny in 998 AD by its Abbot Odilo to mark the day of observation for the restless souls that have not purged their sins fully yet seek the beatific vision. Some churches in the UK including the Anglican Church hold special services with music and prayers to honour and remember the departed.
Celebrating Harvest Festival in churches is a relatively recent practice. It was originally a pagan festival celebrated on the night of the Harvest Moon – the night nearest the autumnal equinox. In medieval England, Lammas Day was celebrated on 1st August as a thanksgiving for the first fruits of the harvest; bread made with the new wheat was offered at the Mass and solemnly blessed. In 1843 the Rev Robert Hawker revived this custom when he invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service for the harvest at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Popular Victorian hymns such as “We plough the fields and scatter”, “Come ye thankful people, come” and “All things bright and beautiful” were usually sung during the service. This idea of harvest festival became the annual custom when churches were decorated with home-grown produce for the Harvest Festival service. The Harvest Service at Terre Rouge will be followed by a bring-and-share-lunch. All are welcome and, being in France, we celebrate the wine harvest too! Our donations of food and produce go to Restos du coeur - the homeless charity in Cahors. Holy Communion Service at 10am & Evening Prayer at 3pm on Sunday October 29 “In the night I remember your name, O Lord, and I will keep your law.” (Psalm 119:55) Each time there are five Sundays in a month – four times a year – there is an evening service at 3pm at Terre Rouge in addition to the morning service at 10am.
All Saints & All Souls Service – Sunday November 5 at 10am Jesus said to them “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
The Anglican Church at Terre Rouge in Cahors held this very special service for the first time seven years ago and we invite and encourage you to come and celebrate with us on Sunday November 5 at 10 am. At first people thought the service would be unbearably sad - in reality, there was joy and emotion as we prayed and remembered our loved ones. During the service we name aloud all those whose funeral had been held in the chaplaincy in the last ten years and those whom members of the congregation wish to remember. Every name is represented by a white rose to symbolise peace. These white roses are then placed in a large container holding a single red rose to symbolise the love of Christ. After the service, relatives and friends are invited to take the white roses to be kept and dried as a memoire. Remembrance Holy Communion – Sunday November 12 at 10am Each year we hold a traditional Remembrance service with the two minutes silence, the last post and the laying of the wreath. Visit our website for more information on this and all forthcoming services and events: www.churchinmidipa.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.englishbuilderinfrance.com Siret No:- 50741519800013
30 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
r e s ta u r a n t
26 boulevard des Fossés - 82270 Montpezat-de-Quercy
Great food and wine served in the 05pretty historical Montpezat de Quercy 63 30 74 and 25 www.lacantinadecarcin.fr
During September: Friday Night Happy Hour between 6.30 and 7.30 pm. September is also a celebration of the joy of sea-food with a Sushi Bar, Oysters and shellfish. Every Sunday afternoon there will be activities for children – including puppets and clowns. For more details and to find out about what is happening in October and November please follow on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/lacantinadecarcin/
r e s ta u r a n t
26 boulevard des Fossés - 82270 Montpezat-de-Quercy 05 63 30 74 25 www.lacantinadecarcin.fr
Administration & Business Management Could your business run more efficiently with the help of an independent assistant handling your paperwork and your French and English customers? No contract – just working when you need help. Leaving you free to concentrate on your business. Please call me or take a look at my website.
Valérie ROUSSEAU O6 70 64 54 97
email@example.com vgr-secretariat.com The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 31
CRAFTS, ART GALLERY, GIFTS, DECORATIVE PIECES FOR THE HOME AND GOURMET GROCERIES Montpez’art which opened this summer is proud to host regular monthly art exhibitions – each with its own enjoyable vernissage. So please feel welcome to come along and take a look. There’s also a great selection of decorative pieces, crafts, regional speciality foods and lovely gifts. As we head towards the present buying season – here’s an ideal ‘local’ place to shop. Starting soon: painting and sculpture (and other) courses/lessons for both adults and children and all skill levels. Do contact Pauline for more information – keep an eye on the Facebook page. Everyone welcome to come and browse... Pauline and Sylvie, 1 boulevard des fossés, 82270 Montpezat de Quercy 0563306584 firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/montpezart/
english speaking branch
The main local bank in the area, half of the population is banking with us ! Our personal English speaking advisors available 100 % online or at our Rodez private branch. From Mondays to Fridays : from 9 am to 7 pm On Saturdays : from 9 am to 4 pm
Join us : +0033 (0)5 65 75 75 33 - e-mail : email@example.com www.cadirect.ca-nmp.net/en
www.ca-nmp.fr maquette pub Anglaise 148.5x105 V3.indd 1
32 • ADVERTORIAL
Life is brief – so take care of yourself! There’s a new ‘Institut de Beauté’ in the little village of Roquecor (82150). This great new venture is tucked away from the main road. You simply turn down the small street next to the left of the Art Gallery on the main street through the village. There’s plenty of parking in the village and if you have not explored Roquecor before, it’s worth having a little look around – don’t forget the view-point just behind the Mairie. Marie-Pierre, Beauty Therapist, has found a wonderful new life for a very old building. Marie-Pierre originates from the Basque Country where she was the manager of the Basque Coast – Thalassotherapy Centre. She’d always loved the Quercy Blanc region, and the village of Roquecor in particular. It was not, therefore, a difficult decision to make a change and put her skills and knowledge into the challenge of creating ‘L’Instant Cosy’ a lovely little centre of ‘beauty and well-being’ right in the heart of her favourite village. Amongst the treatments you can arrange are facials, body treatments, hair removal and manicures. As well as Ayurvedic and Californian Massages, Plantar Reflexology and head massages. Maybe after the rigours of summer what you need is one of Marie-Pierre’s ‘Cosy Afternoons’ where you arrange the treatments you want and combine them with a quiet ‘tea-break’ maybe even in the Institute’s peaceful little garden. Little businesses like this one, in Quercy villages and towns, are essential to everyone’s way of life – please try to support local business. Marie-Pierre Doyen, L’Instant Cosy, Rue De La Fontaine, Roquecor 82150 Tel: 09 53 03 56 59:07 82 54 48 90 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 33
Welcome to Caussade the city of hat making Welcome to the hat shop and hat-blocker workshop located at the historic centre of Caussade in a 13thC house The shop displays hats from Caussade and also original designer creations. Do come along and enjoy our showroom and exhibition of hats
Opening hours for shop: Mon: 9am ~ 1pm, Wed: 2pm ~ 6pm (summer), Thurs, Fri and Sat: 2pm ~ 7pm Visit the ‘Hat Blocker’ workshop and discover how the hats ‘blocks’ are made from conception to the very last touches – all by hand
Visits: Monday afternoons from June to October at 2pm Duration 1 hr, tariff 4e
Reservation & information: Tourist Office, Caussade 05 63 26 04 04 Hats Blocks Laforest, 37 rue de la république 82300 Caussade - 06 59 25 23 53 email@example.com Hats Blocks-Laforest
Auberge de Miramont David & Karine look forward to welcoming you
Tapas Evening on the first Friday of each month. Opening Hours: September: Lunches ~ Monday to Saturday. Evenings ~ Thursday to Saturday October onwards: Lunches ~ Monday to Saturday. Evenings ~ Friday & Saturday
Catering for Special Events. 05 63 94 65 57 firstname.lastname@example.org auberge de miramont Miramont de Quercy (82190) Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
34 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
IT IS ALL IN THE GENES, PHILOSOPHY AND ANTIBIOTICS One of the challenges of any new series of articles on medicine is not what to include but how to start. Which reminds me that with medicine perhaps the easiest decision is usually to start treatment. Once started it is a harder decision to decide when to stop or withdraw treatment, particularly when faced with end of life decisions.
am reminded of this when reading about the ordeal of Charlie Gard in the UK. This case of an unfortunate baby paralysed and brain damaged by a rare genetic disorder has sadly, at the time of writing, come to a close. Over the past 20 years the sophisticated technology of neonatal intensive care has saved the lives of countless babies who would have otherwise have perished. Yet we fail, as a society, to keep up with these ‘advances’ both morally and ethically. So the struggle continues to keep pace with what is possible and to decide what is futile. Having witnessed such tragedies, paediatricians are reluctant to struggle to keep alive ‘those like Charlie’ when there is no reasonable chance of recovery. A similar moral (and legal) challenge arises when a loved one, has made it known beforehand their wish not to be kept alive; but is unable to make that final decision because of being on a life support machine. So the decision then rests with their wife/husband/parent. They will then make a decision about what they think is in their partners/child’s ‘best interest’, which may not be the same thing as following a decision which the patient may or may not have made. Now to genetics. Not a day goes by, it seems, without news of yet another discovery of the impact our genes have on us. A new study from Lausanne in Switzerland has identified a total of 16 genetic markers that dictate how long a person will live. Of these, 14 are completely new discoveries. There is also a move across Europe to offer cancer patients complete genetic sequencing. Humans have about 20,000 genes - bits of DNA code or instructions that control how our body works. Tiny errors in this code can lead to cancer and other illnesses. Sometimes they are inherited and sometimes these errors can occur in previously healthy cells. The availability of this information throws up enormous challenges about how we view personal medical information. For example a proven hereditary error in our genetic sequencing may seem to be private information. However, that error could have an impact on other people in our family group; so confidential
medical information becomes potentially essential information on others. So a legal and ethical question could be - Who owns that information? It could be that there is a significant difference between information and data. Information is a collection of data that has been interpreted. Therefore data does not necessarily become personal or private until it has been interpreted. However, it is also information that other people may have an interest in. It is the sharing or genetic data or inheritance of the genes themselves that links people together. This does make it more difficult to fit into the more traditional model of ‘medical-in-confidence’. The Human Genetics Commission states that “in a spirit of genetic solidarity and altruism, the disclosure of sensitive genetic information may occasionally be justified.” This is where the benefit of disclosure outweighs an individual’s right to privacy. So potentially a patient loses their claim that for their privacy and confidentiality to be protected, they have to share the information. We may have to overcome our distrust of keeping our private medical information confidential. As more genetic advances unfold we have to equip ourselves with a more philosophical approach about how we are treated as patients. I have been studying, with admiration, some exam papers for medical students in France. In their second year they study, and are examined in, philosophy along with more traditional medical subjects. This is now standard in the UK but without the examination. My reaction was “thank goodness I was spared this torment when I was training.”
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 35
I mean, can you imagine having to sit down one sunny morning in June after an anatomy paper and spend four hours developing an exhaustive coherent argument around the subject – Is truth preferable to peace? Or, does power exists without violence? Or can one be right in spite of the facts? Perhaps you might choose the alternative option – to write a commentary on a text. In which case here is a bit of Spinoza’s 1670 Tractatus Theologico-Politicus? Do you see what I mean? Why this emphasis on philosophy? The French are clear in what they want their doctors to be. The purpose of teaching philosophy was and remains theoretically, to the French – to complete the education of young men and women and permit them to think widely. To be able to see universal arguments about individuals and society. Finding ways, hopefully, to understand that, for instance, the last second of a man’s life has as much significance as all that went before. Finally, it is not only a challenge to start an article but also to finish it. I am helped by one study completed in Europe about the current advice given to patients that they should fully complete any course of antibiotics. The study argues that there is not enough evidence to back the idea that stopping antibiotics early encourages antibiotic resistance. Instead they suggest more studies need to be done to see if other strategies, such as stopping treatment as soon as you feeling better might cut antibiotic use. However, family physicians urge people not to change their behaviour in the face of just this one study. It is important, they say, that patients have a clear message – always take the full course of antibiotics. In other words, take them until they are finished. That is still the current advice – but watch this space.
PROPERTY SUVEYORS available in 24 hours Lead – Asbestos – Termite – Electricity - Gas Energy performance – Surface area – Natural hazard
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Place de le Croix – 82150 Roquecor General supplies, Bread, Newsagents, Postal Point We also stock a supply of British products and a great selection of wines from local producers
Local and convenient – a true village shop 05 63 95 25 78 / 06 82 84 56 30 firstname.lastname@example.org (SARL Lacroixroc) Delphine and Jean Longueteau
By John Usher Davis, a Quercy resident, is an Intensive Care specialist, John served in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines providing forward operating facilities in war zones and at sea. After 18 years John went on to manage highly specialised Intensive Care Units and Special Care Baby Units within the UK and abroad. John has completed an MBA at the University of Exeter and a MA from Kings College London in Medical Ethics and Medical Law. www.usherdavis.com
U.K./France van deliveries U.K./France van deliveries
La Cuisine de Karla
Fourgon Conclusions Ltd.
Fourgon Conclusions Ltd. Tel: 0044 7841 220 980
e-mail: email@example.com www.fourgonconlusions.co.uk
For all your catering needs up to 50 pers.
Tel: 0044 7841 220 980
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Karla Wagenar Email: email@example.com Lieu-dit Monbran 82150 Montaigu de Quercy www.fourgonconlusions.co.uk
0563045517 or 0628147136 Albertenkarla@gmail.com
36 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Fears & Phobias A
phobia is similar to a fear with one key difference: the anxiety they experience is so strong that it interferes with their quality of life and/ or their ability to function. They will spend an inordinate amount of time ensuring they do not encounter their phobia, avoiding places and activities – anything that could trigger their deepest fear. Irena-Marie is an Advanced Practitioner Therapist and BWRT® Master Coach who works with individuals experiencing challenging situations in their life: “Surprisingly phobias are relatively easy to remove in just one single session, sometimes two. All the client needs to know is how they’d prefer to feel, and we work on that. “Fears can be more complex as it can involve a number of different issues. Some people don’t even know what their specific fear is, only that it’s an underlying feeling that’s always with them. Using a combination of therapeutic techniques clients can start to reshape their present - and future”, says Irena-Marie. As phobias are based on anxieties and fears that are quite personal, other people can find it difficult to empathise. Irena-Marie explains: “Living with a phobia is very disempowering because people feel they are at fault, that it’s silly and they should simply stop and take control! When faced with their specific phobia they go into ‘freeze’, ‘flight’ or ‘fight’ mode and this occurs 1/3 of a second BEFORE they are consciously aware of it. It’s a reaction to a perceived danger. Imagine a golf ball heading straight in your direction. Your instinctive reaction is to avoid contact, as it will hurt. It’s a danger to your safety. This is the same instinctive reaction that occurs when experiencing a phobia – it happens before conscious thought.” A phobia can develop during childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. They’re often linked to a perceived frightening event or stressful situation. Some people remember when it all began, some don’t. Irena-Marie explains: “It’s not necessary to
remember when the initial fear began. More often than not it’s something so insignificant that’s gathered similar experiences, each one more impactful, that’s eventually snowballed into a phobia. “Living with a fear or phobia that interferes with your life is simply not necessary. Besides life’s too short! The past can influence how we confidently face the future, or it can be a thing that holds us back from being able to do what we really want”. Common phobias might relate to specific things – like animals (insects, snakes, rodents), the environment (water, heights, darkness), situations (the dentist, lifts) and the body (blood, vomit). There are also more ‘complex’ phobias like social phobia (or social anxiety) and agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces or other environments). Phobia symptoms might include a pounding heart, sweating, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy, a fear of losing control and feelings of being detached from your body. Those with acute fears experience symptoms very similar. If you would like to obtain a free ‘relaxation audio’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a copy. Please note that the relaxation audio will not stop a phobia, it is simply a relaxation tool. If you would like some advice on a phobia or specific fear/s please email and request a ‘chat’ with Irena-Marie. To find out more visit http://www.focus-hypnotherapy.com/ or http://www.irena-mariemakowska.com/ Irena-Marie works 1-2-1 with children aged seven upwards, adolescents and adults – as well as running group workshops for individuals and companies.
SARL TOUBELMONT Your local professional contact with Environmental Warranties (Qualisol, Qualipac, Qualibois, Qualibat) A WELL-KNOWN LOCAL FIRM WITH A GREAT REPUTATION
SWIMMING POOLS Since 2004 TOUBELMONT has specialised in the quality design, construction and landscaping of swimming pools, spa and saunas. Supplying and fitting pool-liners, water-treatment equipment, automatic pool covers and heating solutions. We are happy to guide you to help you achieve your project, provide maintenance and an after-sales service. We offer you a professional, quality service with a ten-year guarantee. For more information or to make an appointment please contact us.
LANDSCAPING The creation and maintenance of landscaped areas. Including grass-cutting, turf laying (either real or synthetic).
BUILDING Restoration of stone buildings, including re-jointing. Drainage both new and renewal. Electrical and plumbing work either new or renewal. Heating: including renewable energy (Red Label), boilers, fuel, gas, wood, granules, heat pumps, air conditioning and solar.
Laveroque 82150 BELVEZE TĂŠl. 05 63 94 30 51- Port. 06 70 72 37 75 email@example.com www.sarl-toubelmont.fr
38 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
The Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs is no ordinary refuge. Nestled in the verdant countryside of the French Perigord Vert, this family home is an oasis of love and tranquillity where the old, sick, lame and unwanted come to spend their final years, months or days, with all that a dog needs to make him or her as well and as comfortable as possible. It’s about having the best of life to the very moment of crossing the Rainbow Bridge, ensuring that a dog’s last memory is of being loved.
hen Mike and Leeanne Whitley left the rat race over fifteen years ago, seeking a quieter pace of life in France, little did they realise that they would find their true calling in life, tackling head-on the shocking reality of the life of an older dog. The couple brought with them their three golden retrievers, Abby, Kizzy and Teg, who were already in their teens. Over the years, the two older dogs passed on and they quickly realised that Teg was mourning the loss of her friends. So began the search for a new friend, an older dog, and the discovery that life for an old, abandoned dog in the many local refuges was not good. Older dogs tend to be overlooked for rehoming, and many suffer a premature end. What’s more, not all refuges have a policy of no euthanasia. There are also a large number of dogs who are simply abandoned when the cost of their medical treatment becomes too much, or when their elderly owner dies, or goes into a home, and the family don’t want to, or cannot take on the responsibility of their pet. There was no shortage of suitable companions for Teg. Over the next few years, Mike and Leeanne took in a number of dogs, young and old, sick and mistreated. They settled on taking in older dogs, whose need was greatest, and the concept of a retirement home for dogs was born. The number of dogs gradually increased and eventually Twilight outgrew its semi-detached village house and it was time to move to the current base, an isolated, rural, detached house with large grounds for the dogs to run about and play. But this is no typical dog refuge. This is Mike and Leeanne’s family home, and all the dogs live inside, as members of a large doggy family. The house has been adapted to suit the needs of the dogs – in the Whitley household the dogs come first! There are ramps, sofas, beds, a washroom with special dog bath, quiet areas, warm log fires in winter, sunny decking and a lovely fenced two-and-a-half hectare field in which to run, bark, sniff or simply relax and enjoy the fresh air.
At any one time Twilight looks after, on average, thirty dogs. Illnesses and disabilities are cared for with first-class medical treatment, and every dog knows love right to the end. In the last nine years, Twilight has cared for around three hundred dogs. This fantastic work is completely voluntary and has taken over the lives of the couple, who are supported by a team of volunteers. No one who has ever visited Twilight can fail to be moved by the dogs’ stories and by the calm,
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 39
Mick Bates – Monflanquin (47150) General Electrician
Certified & Registered Business in France for all Electrical Works | New & Renovation Works Plumbing | All works guaranteed | Free quotation
Tel. 05 82 95 05 73 Port. 06 27 71 94 51 firstname.lastname@example.org Refer to this advert to receive a 10%discount
loving kindness they all receive. Twilight’s philosophy is that no dog should die alone. Leeanne and Mike work selflessly to provide love, companionship, pain relief, medical care, good food and the freedom to be the doggie that every dog deserves to be, to every dog that passes through Twilight’s doors. In Leeanne’s words: ‘We do what we do for the love of the dogs. Twilight is self-funding, and the support we receive means we can take in and save more old dogs, give them the quality of food and medical support they need, and most importantly provide the dignity and help they might need in their ageing or sick years, and even help them to pass across the Rainbow Bridge.’ Twilightdogshome www.twilightchiens.com
Introducing the Twilight biography ‘Paws Before Bedtime – the story of Twilight the retirement home for dogs’ written by Liz Brown. A high quality professionally printed paperback of 260 pages, illustrated with over 200 colour photographs. It costs e15, or can be posted to any address in France for e20. 100% of the profits goes to the Twilight dogs. The Quercy Local has purchased 5 copies of this book and is offering them as prizes for 5 readers. Simply visit the Twilight Facebook page and/or website and email us with the name of this little poppet. Closing date – 30th October 2017.
What’s my name? The first 5 people to email the correct name to email@example.com (remember to include your postal address in France) will receive a copy of the book. Twilight needs your help – you can find out how to donate on their website. Or for a very quick and simple solution just use Paypal to send money directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, this way the Association are not charged any fees.
40 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Introducing four real local ladies We just love to hear about new ventures, great ideas and people finding brilliant ways to bring vibrancy and difference to the region. Here we meet 4 ladies that have recently started up businesses. Businesses that are a little different and that have come from a deep-passion and some incredible flare. Just the sort of people that this magazine celebrates!
A first – a Concierge Service Meet Nadège! Nadège recently, and very imaginatively, set up a Concierge Service based in Cahors. People are familiar with such service in large cities but Nadège’s dream was to create a business that would allow her to build upon her love for her adopted home-town of Cahors, its region and the life-style it offered. Nadège was originally from Toulouse but moved to the Lot with her work. Nadège had worked for the ‘Department of the Lot’ for 4 years when she realised it was time for a new challenge, one that would put her joy at her new surroundings to good use. What could be more enjoyable than helping other people enjoy their time in the region? Having found somewhere she truly loved she wanted to be able to help promote it and share it with as many others as possible. Firstly, she did some research which confirmed that there was no Concierge Service in the region and that such services outside of large cities were only just being considered. So Nadège had found the perfect adventure on which to embark. One that would allow her to work with new ideas, develop new contacts and discover even more about the area; Lot of Plaisirs was born. So who is the service aimed at? Well, firstly, there are people wanting to visit the area for whom Nadège can help find accommodation, including those coming for celebrations and parties. As lives become more stressful people often want to go on holiday after having passed all the organising to someone else. Someone who’ll do the research for them, arrange deliveries of things, such as typical local produce (and know where to find the best). They may want advice on excursions and
someone to handle the bookings. Or even someone to arrange for massages or spa treatments. So that their holiday can commence the minute they arrive and they don’t have to spend precious days working things out. Restaurant prepared meals can be delivered – even for people holidaying in boats on the river Lot. Nadège can also help with arranging child-minding,
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pet-sitting, hire of medical equipment, arranging repairs, fridge filling, haircuts and of course suggestions and reservations at great restaurants and local events. What Nadège does is offer a personalised service, she’s not a travel agency. She listens to what people want to achieve in the region and then suggests ways of doing this and then she can take over arranging everything. So any list of services she provides isn’t exhaustive – it’s just an indication. Then, secondly, there are the absent property owners for whom her service includes the checking-on, care and management of their homes, the meeting and greeting of guests, laundry, cleaning and sorting out issues with pools. As well as obviously offering concierge services to any of the property’s visitors. Nadège launched this business at the start of 2016. It was an original idea and one takes a lot of drive and enthusiasm. If you’d like to offer her services to your gîte guests or perhaps you’ve a service that would partner well with her activities – do contact Nadège. Successful local enterprise is good for everyone. Nadège Ropert;email@example.com; 06 38 91 89 26; www.lotofpaisirs.fr; Lot Of Plaisirs
Alpacas on the Lot Meet Dita! Dita is Dutch and has spent many years in New Zealand discovering a real love of Alpacas and running an alpaca stud (plus crops of kiwi and passion fruit) with her husband Willem. Just over 18 months ago they returned to Europe. 36 alpacas made the long flight to France with them, to set up a stud in the Lot and Garonne. They now have a growing herd of ‘black’ Alpacas near Tremons. Dita has also opened a small shop on the farm selling alpaca related products including wool. Breeding alpacas and processing their fleeces is not your typical new business venture. However, it does seem particularly attractive – so attractive that we had to go along from the office to see for ourselves. Dita explained that they now have 67 (and rising) animals. Amongst them are 11 stud males and currently 15 ‘cria’ (baby alpaca). Alpacas (vicugna pacos) originate from South America and are part of the camel family. They are social, non-aggressive animals that are very hardy to all weathers – originating as they do from mountain terrain. You can keep alpacas in this region at about 10 per
hectare. Their gestation period is 11-12 months. They generally give birth in daylight hours and on fine days. Alpacas make good mothers and feed their cria for about 6 months, then mothers and crias are separated. Alpacas form strong family groups and easily recognise their off-spring. This stud sells alpacas across Europe (which they also did from New Zealand). All the births are registered and top quality alpacas don’t come cheap. Dita specialises in alpacas with black fleeces. However, even two black alpacas occasionally produce a brown or fawn coloured cria. Which, although extremely beautiful, won’t be kept for breeding at this stud, but sold on to other breeders or as pets. Alpacas should not be kept alone – a minimum of 2. Dita has the fleeces spun into knitting wool and also felted to make a sew-able fabric. An average alpaca fleece, which is shorn once a year, weighs 4 – 5 kilos. Of this about 2.5- 3 kilos is suitable for spinning and the remainder goes for felting. Alpaca wool is amongst the finest and warmest wool in the world. The quality of the fleece is essential for choosing good breeding animals. March next year some of Dita’s animals are going to a show at St-Yrieix-la-Perche (87500). It is hoped that this will be the start of another successful showing career, just as she enjoyed in New Zealand. A field full of alpacas has to be one of the most smile-inducing sights possible. During the summer
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when there are lots of babies around the joy is only enhanced. So if ever you need cheering up, or to get some some alpaca wool – this is the place to go. At the Quercy Local we love to find such diverse and interesting things going on. This is definitely somewhere to visit. Dita Albas, Alpagas Vallée du Lot, Moudoulens, 47140 Tremons; 06 85 85 10 54; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.alpagasvalleedulot.com; alpagas vallée du lot / sunsetestate alpaca stud
Mexican (and other) food on wheels Meet Joanne! After nine months of planning, French paperwork (!!) and converting a beautiful 1980’s Estafette for her new life as Estabuffette, Joanne Schofield’s dream has become a reality when Estabuffette debuted on the 16th July in Verfeil-sur-Seye. A British citizen, born in Canada and moving from Cornwall to Verfeil in July 2014, Joanne dived into the amazing wealth and variety of food in this area. Joanne explains that ‘With wonderful markets, restaurants and roadside cafes, it seemed to me that the food truck phenomenon had not yet arrived. The pizza, crepe, paella and fish and chip vans were few and far between. Menus tended to be a bit disappointing and somewhat lack lustre given the huge success of food trucks in other countries that serve what the French call ‘gourmand’ food. With a love of authentic Mexican food Joanne chose this as her mainstay for Estabuffette. If anyone does
not like the unique flavours of Mexico, then there are other choices made from a variety of fillings to suit any preference; vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or meat. The two main items on the menu are tortilla wraps (mais or flour tortilla) and tapas. All Joanne’s food is hand-made, ingredients locally sourced and seasonal whenever possible. Drinks include old-fashioned lemonade, iced tea, coffee/tea and tisane. Desserts vary (tarte au citron, biscuits, cupcakes) and fresh fruit glace, in a Mr. Freeze type tube!’ How wonderful does Joanne’s mobile food service look? It is great to see an old vehicle find a whole new purpose and Joanne’s original business idea can only spread joy and deliciousness across the region. Hours of opening are: Every Tuesday and Wednesday from Noon to 2.30pm and 7.30pm to 9.30pm until the end of this year. Place Courte Boulle, Verfeil. Table service or takeaway available. Summer menu (July – October) Winter menu (October-March). Private functions catered for. Follow Joanne on estabuffette; email@example.com
The Quercy Local • September - November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
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Fantastic Vintage Furniture Meet Sue! Sue moved to France in 2006 taking on, a not insubstantial, property (near Lauzerte) in need of love and attention. Previously and for many years, Sue and her partner Paul had been in the restaurant business in Cheshire; so moving to France was a real ‘lifechanger’ for the pair. Sue, who’s an obvious eye for style and interiors found that the main problem with sorting out their home was that it was very difficult to source good, relevant, solid furniture. So the idea was born – The Furniture Room. Specialising in vintage furniture, this is not just a shop – indeed it is only open to the public for browsing on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm – 6pm or by appointment. Or you can attend one of Sue’s ‘Browse’ (sometimes with wine) dos. You can find details of upcoming events on The Furniture Room’s Facebook page. Importantly, Sue can also source items for you, so if you’ve a need for something specific for a special place do give Sue a call. The furniture is sourced, half and half, between the United Kingdom and here in France with the help of Sue’s friends Julia and Alan, also from Cheshire. Items are renovated as necessary and painted, using Farrow and Ball paints, where appropriate. The furniture in Sue’s Furniture Room are pieces with great character crying out for a place in the many lovely old houses around the region. As well as furniture Sue has also sourced some great accessories from cushions, storage and wine boxes, signs, hooks, brackets and lovely gift ideas for any ‘home-lover’. There’s to be two pre-Christmas open days on the 9th and 10th of November – a great chance to get some ideas together for gifts or a treat for yourself and even enjoy a very early festive drink. To ensure that you get details of this please visit and like The Furniture Room’s Facebook page so that details of events and new stock are sent your way. With the obvious risk of repeating ourselves. This magazine exists to support and share information about businesses such as these. We love initiative and we hope that all our readers realise that enterprise like this gives the region we love – added depth, joy and character. Contact Sue Jackson on: 05 63 95 29 31 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Lamoulére, Lauzerte 82110 (right turn off the D34). Follow us on The Furniture Room France Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
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What I learnt from learning a language by Ian Gibbs (writer, trainer and coach – living in Spain)
What is the secret to learning a new language? What is it the expert polyglots know that the rest of us don’t?
o answer these questions for myself, at the beginning of this year I decided to take all the answers different experts were coming up with (such as Benny Lewis, Gabriel Wyner, Matthew Youlden, Tim Doner...) and trying them out for myself. My objective was to try to learn Catalan in six months or to be more specific – to go from near zero (my level Dec 2016) to reasonable fluency by the end of June 2017. Not as impressive as those ‘learn-tospeak-a-foreign-language-in-a-week’ books. But trust me, no-one, absolutely no-one can learn to speak a language fluently in just 168 hours. Anyone who tries to persuade you otherwise is talking nonsense. I’m sorry, but it’s true. For me, ‘reasonably fluent’ is being able to converse in normal situations without having to resort to a dictionary, or gesticulating like a clown or saying “Oh, hang on, I know it, I know it, don’t tell me...” every other sentence. I decided to achieve this by taking the experts’ advice and carrying it out by using my own ‘power of perseverance’, i.e. by doing a little something every morning, every commute, every tea-break, every mealtime, every bedtime, every whenever-I-cansqueeze-it-in. I have found this to be a most powerfully effective method. Doing a little often has a satisfying tendency to soon build up to become a lot. After the six months I sat my intermediate exam (which I’m told, in other circumstances would have taken me two years of study to pass) and I also gave a ten-minute presentation in Catalan without notes, which was essentially the contents of this article you’re reading now. Even if I say so myself, I think learning a language so quickly is a pretty impressive achievement, especially as I have a full time job, two kids and a wife to attend to. For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to go into too much detail about all the tricks, tips and techniques I discovered. But I would like to cover my top three, partly because they worked brilliantly for me but also because... well, we’ll get to that in a moment.
But first the top three: 1 – Theory & Practice: If you’ve learnt to drive, you’ll know that passing your test has two parts: the theory and the practice. Furthermore, we are very clear in distinguishing between the two. If you’re practicing your hill-start and you stall, you don’t immediately react saying “oh, that was rubbish. I must go back to my books and study how to do a hill-start”. No, what you say is “oh, that was rubbish. I’ll practice it again until I get it right”. However, with language we don’t have it so clear. I have a friend whose learning English. She could speak to me in English if she wanted but she insists she’s not ready yet. She says she’ll start speaking to me in English when she’s studied a bit more. But do you spot the mistake? She’s confusing theory with practice. The only way to get better at speaking is to practice speaking. This is the single biggest factor regarding language acquisition which we get wrong. To rectify it, spend much more time speaking (and listening) than on reading and studying. 2 – Embarrassment: the main reason why we don’t practice as much as we should is due to embarrassment. We’re embarrassed to make mistakes, we’re embarrassed to sound like a wally,
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we’re embarrassed to venture out of our comfort zone in broad daylight. This is why kids learn languages so effortlessly, they don’t get embarrassed. If children can do it, so can you. Accept the unavoidable fact that you’re going to make mistakes. Accept that, for a few months, you’re going to sound like a cross between Tarzan and Forrest Gump and get over it. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll start making progress and impressing your friends and neighbours who’ll be amazed by how much you’re learning. 3 – A Clear Objective: When I started in January I set myself two objectives. I enrolled to sit my Catalan exam and I also promised to give a ten-minute presentation in front of my peers on how I had managed to learn the language so quickly (in Catalan of course!). Both of these were clearly defined both by capabilities and by timeframe. Without these goals, I wouldn’t have felt a quarter of the motivation to practise. Left to my own feeble willpower and my pathetically predictable repertoire of excuses, I’d have easily rationalised why not making the effort was acceptable. But I didn’t have the option to think up an excuse. My objectives were set, not only in my eyes but also in those of my friends and family as I’d publicly declared my objectives when I started and nobody wants to be seen as a loser by their friends and family, do they? It is these three factors that helped me learn to speak Catalan in half a year – something my friends and family can all testify to. But the interesting thing is that if you reconsider each of these three factors above, none of them are intrinsically to do with learning a language. In fact, it doesn’t matter what skill you’re trying to learn – from playing the piano to playing tennis, from touch typing to public speaking. These three factors are just as important because they apply to learning any skill. So here’s my challenge to you: think about what skill you might be trying to improve at the moment and consider whether you’re focussing enough on practice, whether you’re allowing embarrassment to hinder your progress and whether you have at least one specific and time-dependent objective. Because if you can restructure your study strategy to incorporate these three factors you just might find your goal starts to become a reality faster than you ever thought possible. All the best and happy persevering! Ian’s brilliant book ‘The Sorites Principle: How to harness the power of perseverance’ can be bought as a download or paperback from Amazon – strongly recommended.
Quercy Counselling English-speaking counselling and psychological services on all manner of issues. Based in Belveze, we offer services face-to-face, via telephone and Skype. For more information please see the website: www.quercycounselling.com Or contact Elizabeth Cross on +33(0)788279014 or email@example.com
Property Management, Caretaking & Holiday Lettings around Montcuq Marianne Charpentier www.quercygite.com Part French, 16 years experience with owners, artisans & tenants. firstname.lastname@example.org
06 71 71 77 22
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Autumn reading suggestions If darker evenings mean more chance to get on with reading books then you may like a couple of suggestions. Both Mandy Jameson and Janine Marsh have found themselves in France and authors. Maybe as well as offering a good read they may also offer some inspiration!
by Mandy Jameson
Available in paperback and on Kindle A pacey thriller about relationships and secrets, Landsliding is a gripping read from first page to last, with tension mounting to the totally unexpected end. The plot sweeps the reader along at breakneck speed through clever twists and turns, with sympathies veering from one character to another as the narrative unfolds. Julia and Brendan are trying to reconstruct their lives after failed relationships but neither is honest with the other about the past. Julia’s priority is her son Matty, while Brendan is keen to create a fresh start and erase painful memories from his earlier life. In telling their story, the author raises interesting questions about honesty, truth and guilt, with telling observations about the compromises made when relationships are formed. The reader gradually realises both characters are hiding major events from when they were much younger – and, as the novel progresses, those secrets collide with a terrible inevitability. WARNING: with more than its fair share of suspense and surprise, Landsliding is impossible to put down and may result in household chores remaining un-tackled!
About Mandy Mandy Jameson has lived in Parisot (82) for nine years with husband Ian – who built her pigeonnier-style writing studio in the garden – and daughter Susannah, a languages student. Landsliding is her first novel. She’s a member of the prolific Parisot Writing Group which boasts other published authors as well as short story and flash fiction winners. Says Mandy: ‘Being part of the group is invaluable. At times, writing Landsliding, I felt like giving up – but the encouragement of my fellow members meant I couldn’t. They wouldn’t let me! ‘The ten of us meet regularly to discuss our writing and give moral support when needed. Writing can be a lonely business so it’s helpful having like-minded friends – we all trust each other 100%.’ ‘And,’ she adds, ‘we don’t only talk about writing. Every now and then we have special group meals that involve frightening amounts of food – and maybe a few bottles of wine too.’ Mandy is working on her next novel which again highlights the theme of secrets and relationships. Meanwhile she’s delighted with reactions to Landsliding: ‘It’s great that people are enjoying it so much and want to talk about the characters as if they’re real!’ Landsliding is available: • in paperback (9e) by emailing Mandy at email@example.com • on Kindle through amazon.co.uk (£4.99) or amazon.fr (5.89e)
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My Good Life by Janine Marsh Available in paperback Sometimes plans to live in France don’t follow a smooth path. Take me. I didn’t want to move here at all. I wanted to stay in London where I had a comfy office job, and retire to France when the time was right – many years down the line. My husband wanted a chance to change our busy lives and to renovate our infrequent holiday bolthole, a run-down old farmhouse in rural Hauts de France. I must confess, I wasn’t at all sure it was the right thing to do, but we moved on a sunny autumn day. Soon after, the weather turned so cold I dreamed of divorce and returning to civilisation. But we made it through the winter and things started to look up. Six months in and I returned to London. My dad was ill and needed help. He was the reason in a way that I was in France in the first place. When my mum died, my dad drowned his sorrows in whisky. I took him on a day trip to Calais to buy wine, I thought it must be better than the hard stuff. I ended up buying a house on that trip, totally unplanned. It cost less than a Hermès Birkin handbag and it was, said everyone who saw it a true “house of horrors”. It had dirt floors, corrugated iron doors, broken windows and holes galore, but for me it was love at first sight. For two years my life was on hold while I helped look after my dad. I’d sit there quietly scribbling as he napped in the day, about my dreams for life in France, the people I met, the places I saw. When he woke he’d ask me to read my stories to him. “You’re good at it” he said, “you should write a book”. Later, when he was sadly no longer with us and I was back in France, renovating and breaking fingers and toes on breeze blocks, finding orphan ducklings, taking
in stray dogs and cats, learning the art of small steps to a new life, getting to know the quirky neighbours and discovering the culture of France, his words returned to me. My husband built me a website and I called it The Good Life France, a nod to our plans to live a sustainable life style. It was a way to keep in touch with friends and family but to my surprise, my audience grew bigger, with more than a million page views per month. One day, a publisher contacted me and said, “you should write a book”. So, I did! “My Good Life in France: in Pursuit of the Rural Dream”, the true tales of my rollercoaster ride through a new culture – “surprising, charming and not the least bit baffling”. Available from Amazon, good book shops and outlets (Michael O’Mara Books: ISBN-13: 9781782437321) Win one of two copies of My Good Life in France by Janine Marsh, it’s the perfect read for autumn nights with a chocolat chaud or a sundowner! Simply make sure you have ‘liked’ this magazine on Quercy Local. You will then receive details of a caption competition appearing at the start of October.
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PENSION ‘Bonnes Vacances’
Peaceful Cattery 5 spacious heated pens No dogs boarded TLC ensures ‘happy cats’ Per night: 1 cat 8e, 2 cats 10e, 3 cats 12e or 4 cats 14e
Lavolvene, Belveze 82150 firstname.lastname@example.org Please call me for more info or to arrange a visit
Here are a couple of the most popular questions posed by cat lovers and a quick insight into normal cat behaviour.
05 63 94 38 47 06 43 53 04 52 (mb)
14th ARTSauzet with 7 artists ARTSauzet Exhibition will take place in Sauzet for 6 days at the beginning of November (Wed 31st Oct-Sun 5th Nov)
Seven artists will be present and will explain processes for jewellery, ceramics, raku, painting, drawing etc... Open : 3pm-7pm - Lou Faouré Gallery 214 Grand’Rue - 46140 Sauzet www.artsauzet.org - 06 12 27 35 58
WHY DO CATS PURR? Purring is an extraordinary sound and it isn’t exactly clear how cats do it. Not only domestic cats purr – many of the larger members of the cat family can also generate this vibration. The behaviour stems from kitten hood, as the mother returns to the den and quietly signals (to avoid attracting attention from predators) that all is OK by purring to her kittens, they in turn suckle and purr at the same time. Cats will also purr when they are sick or injured; there are various theories for this – the frequency of the purr in sick animals differs from the healthy purr and it may have healing properties or it may be self-soothing when the cat feels at its most vulnerable.
WHY DO CATS RUB ROUND THEIR OWNERS’ LEGS? A cat lives in a world where smell is vitally important. All creatures within its social group, as well as objects, will be anointed with its unique smell using scent glands in its face, body and tail. When your cat rubs round your legs to greet you it is doing the same as it would in greeting another cat by mutual rubbing of the face and body. As your face is a little too far away your cat will, for convenience, use your leg. Some cats really try to make the effort and stand on their hind legs to attempt a head butt on a body part as near to their owner’s face as they can manage. Once you have been suitably rubbed your cat will then take himself off to groom his body and check out your scent.
Until next time... If you would like more information please contact Lynn Stone at www.chatsduquercy.com
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 49
Robert Atkinson Work can be seen References available Roofing Stonework Plastering l
Tiling Paving l
Blocking Concreting Door/Window Openings l
Las Razes, Touffailles (82190), 06 02 23 98 51, email@example.com, Siret: 499 560 654 00026 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
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The Blevins Franks Autumn Seminars Brexit, Macron, Healthcare, Pensions, Inheritance Planning, Timing, Tax, Markets… What to consider in moving to, staying in or leaving France. Book your seat now
05 53 63 49 19
Tue 17 Oct ANGOULÊME Mercure Hôtel de France Wed 18 Oct BERGERAC Château des Vigiers Thur 19 Oct CAHORS Hôtel Terminus Timing for all seminars 10.30 for 11am start, until 12.30pm
firstname.lastname@example.org Online booking is also available from our website
TA X A DV ICE • I N V E STM ENTS • E STAT E PL A N NI NG • 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 overseas, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as “Conseil en Investissements Financiers” and “Courtiers d’Assurance” Category B (register can be consulted on www.orias.fr). Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA).
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GOVERNMENTS CASH IN ON OFFSHORE TAX EVASION CRACKDOWN The UK tax office has reaped the rewards of its latest measures to tackle tax fraud. The past tax year netted HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) £29 billion from tax evasion investigations, helping boost its overall revenue by 7%. HMRC puts part of this success down to using their “full powers” to uncover secret offshore accounts. Over £2 billion was collected by “cracking down on people who think they can hide money offshore” they said, adding, “there are no safe havens”. For expatriates – who are likely to have financial interests overseas and need cross-border tax planning – this heightened scrutiny is an extra incentive to get your tax affairs in order.
The new cross-country transparency
One of HMRC’s methods for uncovering global tax evasion was co-operation from overseas tax authorities. Over five years it has nearly doubled its requests to foreign governments for information on offshore accounts – totalling 1,096 in 2016. International data sharing is about to get easier with the new ‘automatic exchange of information’ regime. Last year, over 50 countries – including Portugal, Spain, France, Cyprus and Malta – started collecting information on their taxpayers’ assets and income. By September, this data will automatically flow between these countries, enabling local tax offices to verify whether taxpayers have made accurate declarations on their tax returns. In 2018, another 50 countries, including Switzerland and Monaco, will do the same. They will have access to contact details and information about accounts and investment income earned over the year, such as interest, dividends, income from certain insurance contracts and annuities. Account balances are also reported, as are gross proceeds from the sale of financial assets. So if you live in France and have assets elsewhere – whether they are investments in the Isle of Man, Swiss bank accounts or just UK property or pension funds – your local tax authorities will know about them. Even if they have no reason to question your tax situation, they will automatically receive information on your overseas accounts, structures, trusts and investments.
Should you be worried?
These measures are designed to catch out those who are deliberately committing tax fraud or incorrectly declaring themselves and their income and assets. There should be little to worry about if your tax planning is in order and you are declaring your finances correctly.
However, if you live in France and have assets or receive income abroad, it may be hard to determine what you should be declaring and where tax is due. If you are tax resident in France, you are liable to French tax on your worldwide income, gains and wealth. This includes most income that is also taxed elsewhere. In any case, cross-border taxation is complex; getting it wrong may be easier than you think and could result in costly fines and even prosecution. Take extra care to make sure your tax planning is above board and legitimately protects your wealth and income.
Careful tax planning
The first thing you need to do is make sure your arrangements are fully compliant in France and anywhere else you have income, assets or heirs. Second, your tax planning should suit your particular aims and circumstances, and work beneficially in both France and the UK. A mistake many British expatriates make, for example, is assuming ISAs remain tax-efficient – once you are no longer UK resident, they lose their tax-free status and the interest is usually taxable overseas. On the other hand, tax-efficient investment wrappers offered through a French-compliant bond could legitimately reduce tax on savings and investments. While some structures can seem similar, however, their tax benefits can vary significantly so explore your options. Finally, make sure you are declaring your finances and taxes correctly in each country. Some British expatriates wrongly believe that if income is taxable in the UK – like rental income, pensions and ISAs – they do not have to declare it in France. Even if you declare income and pay tax in the UK, you may still need to report it here. It is your responsibility to regularly check you have declared all your tax liabilities and bring your tax affairs up to date if necessary. If you have not been following the rules correctly, you should rectify your position as soon as possible. With today’s scrutiny of tax evasion, it is more important than ever to take time over your financial planning. While France can be a very tax-efficient place to live for expatriates, you need specialist, up-to-date knowledge of local, UK and international tax regimes to achieve the best results. An adviser with cross-border expertise can help you enjoy favourable tax treatment while offering peace of mind that you are meeting your tax obligations, here and in the UK.
Peter Wakelin, Regional Manager of Blevins Franks France part of the Blevins Franks Group the leading international tax and wealth management advisers to UK nationals living in Europe, with decades of experience advising British expatriates moving to and living in France. Telephone 05 56 34 75 51 ~ email@example.com ~ www.blevinsfranks.com All information in this article is based on Blevins Franks’ understanding of legislation and taxation practice at the time of writing; this may change in the future. It should not be construed as providing personalised taxation, investment or pension advice. You should take personalised advice for your circumstances. Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
Honey & Fig Cupcakes
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Honey & Fig Cupcakes Ingredients Makes 8 large cupcakes Cupcake ingredients: • 125g butter at room temperature • 75g light brown sugar • 50g honey • 2 eggs • 125g self raising flour • ½ teaspoon mixed spice Topping: • 1 small tub of mascarpone • 4 figs • honey to drizzle • chopped pistachios You will need: • A 12-hole muffin tray with 8 paper muffin cases Method For the honey cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 180°C /360°F. Add all the cupcake ingredients into a free standing mixer or large bowl: the butter, sugar, honey, eggs, self-raising flour (sifted) and mixed spice. Whisk together until smooth. Carefully fill the paper cases until two thirds-full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they spring back when touched. Leave to cool, transferring to a wire rack when cool enough to handle.
To decorate: Cut the fresh figs in half lengthways. Place a spoon full of mascarpone on each cupcake, then top with half a fig. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle over some chopped pistachios.
Le Caillau: Nestled in the heart of the Cahors vineyards you’ll find Le Caillau is 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). Our Café and Pottery Painting Atelier is perfect for an afternoon getaway, whether you’re after a coffee and slice of homemade cake (lemon drizzle and coffee and walnut are some of our customers’ favourites), or you’re feeling artistic and decide to get creative by painting some pottery. Opening Hours September – December Monday: 10am - 5pm, Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm and 7pm - 11pm Sunday: 12pm - 4pm, Lunch is served between 12pm – 2.30pm and dinner from 7pm Le Caillau, 46700 Vire sur Lot. Telephone: 05 65 23 78 04 www.lecaillau.com facebook.com/lecaillau twitter.com/lecaillau Instagram.com/lecaillau Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September - November 2017
54 • ADVERTORIAL
LEARN FRENCH ‘À LA CARTE’ Living everyday amongst people you don’t share a language and culture with can be very frustrating. As a world traveller myself I’ve experienced how difficult it can be. I started My French Pass in March 2015 having just arrived back from long backpacking trip to Asia.
I’ve been teaching adults for more than 20 years in Paris and I’m a graduate of the Alliance Française in Paris. I’m keen on learning languages as well as passing on my knowledge of my mother-tongue, French. But not just the language but also French culture. Whilst living in Bruniquel and now in St Antonin Noble Val, I noticed that a part of the English-speaking population hadn’t mastered French properly... and that they wanted to do so! Therefore, I created some French workshops and courses suitable for everyone from permanent residents, visitors, beginners and the more advanced. This is done either individually or in groups, at workshops or by Skype.
THE WORKSHOPS INCLUDE French Day: gives you, as a beginner, the keys for managing yourself in France. Helping you with your understanding, speaking and organising, whether at the Town Hall, school, Post Office, market, station or the doctors. You’ll also learn common expressions and start to understand French customs; and how to deal with everyday situations. Everyday situations such as meeting someone and introducing yourself, making an appointment, ordering in a restaurant, booking a show, asking for directions, calling the emergency services, and describing medical symptoms to a doctor.
preparing for a driving test or a citizenship interview, etc. • For visitors: Vocabulary for the travellers (accommodation and restaurant), gastronomical cookery terms, outdoor activities (hiking, water-sports, climbing). • A few interesting ways to learn: – ‘French’n Hike’ Workshop: When the joy of the outdoors, exercise and a picnic is teamed up with the learning of specific vocabulary. – And, for those who love French pastries – ‘French’n Pastry’ Workshop: A chance to learn the technical expressions and vocabulary, studying the recipe while tasting home-made pastries with a cup of tea: Tarte Tatin, Rum Baba, Choux pastry filled with cream, so that you will eventually be able to carry out all the French recipes you fancy! – Or, ‘DIY Pastry’ Workshop: Let’s make delicious French pastries together and learn the vocabulary, the know-how and get little tips of French pastry-making. French Chat: If you have a medium level of spoken French, then you can become more spontaneous and fluent. I’ll correct your main grammar and pronunciation mistakes, to help you to be understood and to improve your comprehension. You’ll increase your understanding of French and France whilst learning numerous common expressions. When you leave you will get a summary of the grammatical points studied so you can practice on your own. The made to measure, group or private workshops usually take place within 30 km of St Antonin Noble Val. Some group workshops could also be organised weekly. Please contact me to plan a programme to meet your needs. Marie Claude LAFITOLE; www.myfrenchpass.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; My French Pass; 06.84.18.86.35
French Tech: focuses on more technical language, with reference to specific documents and vocabulary. • For residents: Welcoming tourists; administrative tasks, building works, medical appointments, car maintenance, The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 55
Restaurant Le Moulin de Dausse
Le Bourg, Dausse
56 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Speciality Food Shop, Café & Themed Evenings Here it is – all under one roof – a shop selling virtually every fine food and delicatessen treat in France. Including many from the Perigord/Dordogne/Quercy regions – including truffles & chestnuts. Local produce, delicatessen, wines, beers – café serving, coffees, teas, chocolate, juices, crêpes and local ice-creams. 9am-1pm & 3pm- 7pm: Tues to Sat and 9am-1pm: Sunday (summer also Mon & Sun afternoons). Themed evenings every 2nd & 4th Friday of the month. Reservations: 05.53.31.61.60 or 06.82.56.04.64 email@example.com www.larencontredessaveurs.com La Rencontre des Saveurs; La Rencontre des Saveurs, Rue Notre-Dame, 24550 Villefranche-du-Périgord
La Ronde des Bastides ‘LA RONDE DES BASTIDES’ a one-off event. Discovering and learning about Les Bastides du Sud-Ouest – the towns of both yesteryears and today.
his year, on the 29th, 30th of September and 1st of October it is the celebration of the ‘Ronde des Bastides’. Back in 2015 it was decided by the La Fédération Régionale des Bastides d’Aquitaine that there should be an event in 2017 to promote a greater understanding of the history, development and the roll played by bastides. Four towns agreed to work in union to bring together some of the best examples of typical bastides. Two from the Lot et Garonne, Monflanquin and Villeréal and two from the Dordogne, Monpazier and Villefranche-du-Périgord.
What is a bastide? The Bastides du Sud-Ouest are towns and villages built between 1220 and 1370. There are a number of things that define a bastide. • There would be founding moment often this was a siege between a feudal lord and a powerful religious figure. • It would need to be built with a central place in which to hold markets • The town is set out as a grid with intersecting streets. • A ‘Charte de Coutumes’ would be granted giving both legal and financial rights to people living in the town. There are (or were) over 320 bastides in the South West of France. Many have lost their identifying features over time and with urban development. It is important to realise that these (usually) hill-top towns and villages are not simply labelled ‘bastides’ as a handy, tourist-marketing device. These stunningly beautiful, solid-stone urbanisations oversaw huge changes to life in France. They had to full-fill criteria to entitle them to the name ‘bastide’. They played a part
in reforming the tax laws, some would say that it was an attempt at early social engineering and that they oversaw the start in the decline in feudalism. Extremely solid and in elevated positions, the protective bastide fortifications bore witness to violent struggles between different armies, religions and nations, not least the many English troops constantly deployed in the region during the 100 years’ war. The part, in the developments of these strongholds, played by the English armies and the convoluted history between the French and English Royalty, can never be overestimated. There’s so much about the development of ‘bastides’ that is worthy of mentioning and further reading – sadly more than we can include in this piece. It’s all fascinating, with story lines that could out-do any script-writer’s imagination. Why not delve into the past of your nearest bastide and get a real flavour of what went before. You could always let us know about it. Anyway back to this autumn’s celebrations: On the Friday September 29th and Saturday 30th there are many exhibitions, talks and museum entries to give access to well-researched history about the development of bastides. You can find the complete programme here; https://rdbf2017. wixsite.com/rondebastidesenfete/programme. Then on Sunday 1st October, each of the 4 bastides taking part are holding events reflecting their own specialisms and interests. You can contact/visit the Tourist Offices for more information – English is usually spoken.
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 57
This town holds its medieval history very dear. There are many events each year, often in full costume. However, on this occasion Monflanquin is celebrating a link between its own 13th century history and a famous video escape game. For lovers of escape games or those that would just like to have a go – then this is your chance. They will be fastened in a room with clues (based on the medieval bastide) to help get you free! People are encouraged to visit the museum and then at 4pm join in a guided tour with Janouille, Monflanquin’s famous (and very popular) troubadour. There’ll be exhibitions on ‘Architecture and Patrimony’, theatre and music to enjoy along with a special ‘Ronde des Bastides’ meal.
This bastide has long been associated with art and crafts. So it will come as no surprise that on this Sunday there will be 23 workshops welcoming people to see and meet many different arts and artists. You can also find out more about the town with one of the guided tours. For lovers of orientation there’ll be a chance to test your skills within the bastide itself. The newly opened, Museum Bastideum will enable visitors to try out the 30 old traditional-games, visit the medieval garden, and even try archery on a 3D target.
58 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
The bastide had a strong equestrian link and is also celebrating its 750th anniversary this year. There’s been a huge amount of research and gathering of documents in relation to the creation and development of this town. This has involved tracking down and examining papers and maps from all over Europe. You can now visit an exhibition that brings all this information together. There’ll also be guided tours of the town, its buildings and remarkable gardens. On Saturday 30th there will also be displays of horse related crafts and a gathering /show of up-to 150 horses and riders in the afternoon.
VILLEFRANCHE DU PERIGORD Credit OT
This bastide has a huge reputation for fine local food products such as chestnut and cêpes and has earned the title ‘Site remarquable du goût’. So here there will be a concentration on all matters ‘edible’. Meals will be served at lunchtime on both the Saturday and Sunday. There’ll be guided tours of the town and the Chestnut Museum will be open and ready for visitors. You can meet local producers and craftsmen on the Sunday morning market as well as enjoy theatre and music. At 3pm there’ll be a talk on ‘architecture and the renowned 19th century architect Paul Abadie’ who worked in the region.
Credit OT PdC
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 59
Visiting Villefrance-du-Périgord? then look out for -
Le goûter de Charlotte
Sylvie and Hervé Rodot look forward to welcoming you to their lovely restaurant where the dining room has a bit of a train theme; or to their floral terrace for a lovely summer meal. The restaurant is about 800m outside the medieval village of Issigeac in lovely leafy countryside.
Home-cooked food using local produce in a welcoming and friendly environment Gourmet/local produce for sale
Closed on Thursdays and Sundays Rue Notre-Dame, 24550 Villefranche-du-Périgord; 05 53 29 45 71 Le goûter de Charlotte
VILLEFRANCHE du Périgord
N GO U R M A O L La Châtaigne SAs’habille de Chocolat
in English Inside The Region’s FREE magazine –
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uercy Local March - April
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uercy cal Local uercy Lo Inside – Blocker Meet – a Hat Distiller Surviving a Stroke & a Whisky and win Tickets for Richard III Issigeac Discover – t de Quercy & Montpeza to Escape to! Find – Places Events, Galleries, Plus – Summer ing & Wine-Tast Cherry Cake
Opening Hours: 12h15 – 13h45 19h15 – 20h45 Open all year and every day except (all day) Thursday and Sunday evening You are advised to call and make a reservation Le Relais de l’Ancienne Gare - Sylvie & Hervé Rodot - Route d’Eymet - 24560 Issigeac 05 53 58 70 29 firstname.lastname@example.org www.relais-anciennegare.com
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Your copy of The Quercy Local can be delivered to your home in France or elsewhere in Europe. If you would like to get the next 5 copies of the magazine delivered directly to your home in France or another address in Europe 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 5 copies sent to you are currently – 20 euro for an address in France or 12 euro for elsewhere in Europe.
60 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Tasting the lot
Autumn is on its way let’s get replanting! I am sure many of you like me have lost box trees to the dreaded caterpillar! Wretched things. For me, though, I have turned this into a culinary plus. I am replanting with Bay trees (Laurus nobilis) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and lavender (Lavendula). All herbs I use a lot in my cooking.
am a keen amateur gardener with limited gardening knowledge outside the plants in my own garden. Inheriting a rather nice garden from my parents, most of the plants are courtesy of my mother’s innate ability to take a cutting from others wondrous shrubs with or without permission!! Or a seed head as she is passing, none of the plants in our garden are known by their actual name, which makes asking questions about them very difficult, as no one knows who Mrs Fry, Raymond Cyster, Aunt Eda, Nickynackynoo, Aunty Adrienne, Becheberie, Charlecote Park or Wendy actually are! After losing 6 almost 8ft tall topiary bushes, 20 box trees and countless little ones, I decided to dig up the smaller trees and replant with bay. I know it will take just as long to replace with small trees but I think bay is more useful whilst they are growing. As I am not a qualified gardener I have taken the growing information straight from the RHS website… Common name Bay tree, sweet bay, bay laurel Botanical name Laurus nobilis Group Evergreen shrub Flowering time Spring Planting time April to September Height and Spread Up to 7.5m (23ft) unless clipped Aspect Full sun or partial shade Hardiness Generally hardy to -5°C (23°F) but can withstand lower temperatures in sheltered positions. Bay is hardier when planted in the ground Difficulty Easy
My tree that I planted 27 years ago came from Woolworths in Crouch End! It was £1. Now it is over 14ft tall and is wonderful shade, a great source of flavour and decorations at Christmas! I have been experimenting with recipes this year, culinary therapy is another of my favourite things along the Tasting The Lot life, finding out from books like Culpepper and some old Quercy recipe book I found in the house when we arrived, I love finding out why things have been planted, why they thrive and if they are good for us. Whoever first put a bay leaf into food… I thank them wholeheartedly! For more information regarding wine tastings at home please contact email@example.com or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Happy harvesting
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 61
Bay Leaf Spiced Jelly
Bay Leaf, Lemon Curd & Mascarpone Parfait Another late summer recipe I love! Ingredients Bay Leaf Jelly: 2 bay leaves, 5g gelatine granules, 2 drops green food colouring, 125ml cream, Lemon Curd, 4 lemons, juice and rind, 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk, 75g caster sugar, 100g butter, at room temperature
Toasted almond biscuit layer: 50g Milk Arrowroot biscuit, crushed, 30g unsalted butter, 30g flaked almonds, 5g brown sugar
Mascarpone layer: 120g mascarpone cheese, 2.5ml extra virgin olive oil, pinch ground black pepper
1kg cooking apple, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 star anise,
Bay Leaf Jelly Place the bay leaves and cream in a saucepan on medium heat. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat. Add the gelatine and food colouring. Stir well. Once the gelatine has dissolved, transfer to a shallow lined container and refrigerate for 2 hours.
15 cloves, half nutmeg, grated, 4 allspice berries, 1 blade mace, or ¼ tsp ground mace, 4 long pieces orange peel, 8 bay leaves, 450g jam sugar, 100ml cider vinegar Method Wash and cut up the apples into small chunks, leaving the peel and cores in. Tip the apple into a large pan with the spices, orange peel and bay leaves, reserving 2 star anise, 4 cloves and 2 bay leaves for the jars. Cover with 600ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer with a lid on for 1 1⁄2 hrs. Pour the apple mixture into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with muslin or a J-cloth, suspended over a large bowl. Leave to drip for 2 hrs (until it stops dripping) or overnight. Do not be tempted to push the liquid though the sieve or your jelly will become cloudy. Measure the juice – you should have about 600ml. Pour the liquid into a large pan along with the jam sugar and vinegar. Set over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly. Once dissolved, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 15 mins, or until setting point is reached, skimming away any scum that rises to the surface. Pour jelly into hot sterilised jars and place a star anise, bay leaf and 2 cloves into each jar. Chill for 3-4 hrs or overnight until set.
Lemon Curd Place a heat resistant bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. The saucepan should be on a low heat. Ensure the water does not touch the bowl. Add the sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon rind to the bowl. Once the butter and sugar have completely dissolved, add the eggs. Using a whisk combine the ingredients together. Continue stirring the ingredients until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove the bowl from the heat. Transfer the lemon curd into a sterilized jar and refrigerate for at least an hour. Toasted Almond Biscuit Preheat your oven to 180°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the crushed biscuits and almonds on the greaseproof paper. Scatter the brown sugar and butter on top of the almond biscuit layer. Place in the oven for 5 minutes then toss. Bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Mascarpone layer Mix all the ingredients together and set aside. To Put It Together Place the toasted almond biscuit mix at the base of your serving vessel. Add a layer of mascarpone, followed by the bay leaf jelly, lemon curd and then top with more toasted almonds.
62 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
La Troupe D’Acteurs Du Quercy Are you a Super Sleuth?
f so come to the Salle des Fêtes at Montaigu de Quercy, on September 29th or 30th to put your detective skills to the test. La Troupe d’Acteurs du Quercy are putting on “Return to Talbot Manor” the sequel to last year’s popular Murder Mystery. The action takes place in an old Manor House, miles away from habitation, on top of Dartmoor, surrounded by treacherous marshes and during a violent thunder storm! The audience is cast as a stranded coach party and they are the unwitting witnesses to a foul murder. The cast of characters is as strange as the venue, ranging from a dotty maid and a mentally challenged butler, to the American owner of the Manor and her maniac brother. The German Housekeeper and servants are long time residents and have much to lose if the owner decides to put the property on the market. The psychiatrist who is the head of the local asylum also has an interest in the Manor as a relocation venue for his patients, when the asylum is compulsorily shut in a month’s time. With his trusty henchman he is caring for the maniac brother, who has come for a supervised stay at the manor and who is keen to renew his acquaintance with his sister, the house and his twin brother’s old laboratory. As the tensions mount, trouble is sure to be the outcome.... The whole evening is unpredictable and the weather is appalling, the worst thunder and lightning storm you will ever experience! Be part of the action! Your clever questioning will help to solve this murder, but beware; the action may include you.... On the Friday it’s “bring a picnic night” and on the Saturday, an excellent three course meal (new menu), provided by the renowned Viv Woffinden. If you want to join the Saturday meal, booking is essential by Tuesday 26th September. As a one off event, members of the Troupe are also putting on an evening of script in hand plays on Saturday the 9th of September at the Salle des Fêtes at Montaigu de Quercy. Actors will be reading three short comedy plays: • Last Tango in Little Grimley by David Tristram. A comedy concerning the difficulties that beset an amateur acting group. • A Marriage has Been Arranged by Alfred Sutro a comedy of society • Airfield by Bob Tucker, a comedy about the world of budget travel.
This one night show is a script in hand production with some costumes and props so come with your imagination and be entertained! Our Pantomime in the New Year is “Babes in the Wood” by Tony Wade. Put the dates in your diary: 26th, 27th, 28th January 2018. If you want to help with the production in any capacity: back stage, front of house, technical (sound, lighting, set design, props, costumes) or acting, directing, music or dance, please do contact us – we’d be delighted to hear from you. Why not come along to one of our rehearsals at the Montaigu, Salle dea Fêtes, any Monday or Thursday evening between 7.30 pm-10 pm to find out more. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.la-troupe.org; 05 63 05 18 99
1 7, Boulevar d de la Madeleine, 46300 Gour don - 05 65 37 13 30
Tout pour la Piscine et Spa...
...pools & spas are our passion www.cps-dehor s.fr
64 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
LOCAL BREWING 3 Great ‘Characters’ Producing Local Character Beers You don’t need to be a beer-drinker to know how many local breweries there are around and about. There’s almost no excuse left for drinking beer from large faceless breweries anymore! We could have filled the whole magazine with beer and beer-making in the Quercy region, but we’ve decided to limit ourselves to just three producers. If you think there’s a small brewery out there, that we should have included – let us know – we’re bound to be back- to-beer at some point soon. Our first brewery is in the Lot, Montcuq to be precise. The brewery is called – LA RAPIETTE and it’s owned and run by Stéphane Vettoretti. Brasserie Artisanale de Montcuq - La Rapiette; email@example.com; Brasserie Artisanale de Montcuq - La Rapiette; 06 71 91 85 99 For Stéphane brewing beer was a hobby before his friends convinced him to start to produce beer on a larger scale. He’d been working for a large company for 20 years and was ready for a change, the challenge of creating his own business, one that would have to support him totally. At the time he was 40 years old, so if ever there was a time to take such a leap – that was probably it. It took 2 years to get the project off the ground and he was able to secure premises in Montcuq with the help of the Mayor, M. Lalabarde. The brewery is producing quite large quantities but even then sometimes Stéphane struggles to meet all this orders. He hopes to soon increase production and be able to employ a person to help with the bottling and labelling. One of the most time-consuming elements of the business is arranging deliveries; the job is not over once the beer is make, bottled and labelled it then has to reach the shops and bars. Currently Stéphane delivers to the Lot (Cahors, Gourdon, Prayssac, Luzech) the Tarn et Garonne (Moissac, Castelsaarrasin, Valence d’Agen, Lauzerte) and the Lot et Garonne (Condezaygues, Montayral) It takes about 2 days to prepare, 2 days to brew and then 1 day for bottling, labelling and delivering. Every two weeks Stéphane brews 1000 litres to make his 4 different products. Lager: a light, refreshing, German-style beer. Blonde: with an aromatic hop. Rousse: with a touch of chestnut honey for colour and flavour. Brune: with a touch of caramel and liquorice.
Stéphane and his beers can be found on Prayssac and Montcuq markets but his beers are also in wine shops, grocers and you can also buy directly from his brewery.
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 65
Our second brewery is in the Lot et Garonne, Montrayal (near to Fumel), it’s called – UN TRUC EN PLUS and is owned and run by Sylvain Guilbert Un Truc en Plus; 06 25 71 35 39;
Un Truc en Plus;
Sylvain Guilbert, a kind and humorous man originally from Dunkirk was a home-brewer who dreamt of, then acquired, his own micro-brewery. He knew that the brewery would have to fit around his job as a nurse. So he splits his time between his two callings! Beer is more than a just a drink to Sylvain he sees it as a link to the more pleasant times in people’s lives. He loves that, with his own hands, he has taken something that came from the ground and has created something that people share in their good-times. This type of micro-brewery is a real growth-industry as people switch to ‘real and local’. One day he hopes to make the leap to running the brewery full-time. He’s based in Montayral’s Pépinières d’Entreprises where he’s no room for a shop – just the brewing equipment for now! Sylvain’s logo reflects his dream. It’s a symbol for the 5th element. If there are 4 main elements in the production of beer; water, barley, hops and yeast. This 5th element reflects what Sylvain believes to be the most important element – and something to set him apart from standard beers, the element of a very personal ‘know how’. His classically-styled bottles will look great on the very best-dressed tables.
Sylvain enjoys challenges and trying new recipes as alternatives to the more commercial beers. So ‘watch this space’ as Slyvain is working on his own fruit-based beer. Keen to avoid waste – anything not meeting the rigorous testing is used to make his own ‘beer vinegar’. Slyvain has a vision of one-day being able to also make barley beers and watch it rest in wooden barrels in his own temperate cellar. All this and a plan for a great new lemonade! We hope to hear of some of these developments soon! Un Truc en Plus brews 500 litres of beer every 3 weeks in equipment made by a large Parisian brewer and there are currently three beers to choose from. Chopla: A very refreshing beer, with fine bubbles. A note of citrus and coriander. Mornifle: A strong beer, ideal as an aperitif. Belgian-style with a hint of caramel. (A word meaning – a slap in the face – as you can feel it going down as you drink.) Chistole: A classic blonde beer. You can find these beers in local (to Montrayal) bakers, grocers, restaurants and even the lovely Choc o Lot. Sylvain also has a stall at the Stelsia producers’ market (St Sylvestre sur Lot) on Sunday mornings. You can contact him and find out more via his Facebook page (website coming soon).
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Our third brewery is back in the Lot again but this time near Belfort du Quercy and this time to the MERCHIEN BRASSERIE where we meet a lady brewer! Sarah Meakin brews beer with help from her husband David – who’s also making wine! Merchien Brasserie; Domaine du Merchien; www.merchien.com; 06 16 07 75 39; firstname.lastname@example.org
So the first brew was done with Mark on the end of the phone, email and even Skype; he walked her through it step by step. That was some years ago and now Sarah and the Merchien Brasserie produces five very popular beers.
Domaine du Merchien was already a vineyard. Sarah felt that as they’d the land and David had a great knowledge of cereals from his former career, they could produce the necessary for making beer. She’d never made beer before but why let stop her! They’d not grown wine before arriving in France, many years ago (before the grown-up children were even born). She would learn! There was an initial plan to work alongside someone with experience. However, that didn’t work out, leaving her with a well-equipped brewery and no beer produced. There was a degree of soul searching – to cut her losses or find another way forward. Sarah then remembered that a few years ago they’d had a brewer, called Mark, from the Isles of Scilly with them picking grapes and so with the aid of Google, he was tracked down and he received a call from Sarah looking for help. Brewers, Sarah recounts are generally very willing to help and give advice to one another – perhaps a good thing!
Bière dorée: An English style beer. Bière bronze: An Indian Pale Ale Bière blonde: A light beer – ideal for summer Bière blonde avec safran: As above but with the subtle addition of saffron Bière Noire: A strong rich dark ale Sarah is a regular face on the local markets (in all weathers), summer events and more or less anywhere where people are going to gather to eat and drink locally. You can also visit the brewery to purchase some of the beers – or maybe try some of the wine whilst you are there.
These very individual beers are all the products of peoples’, dreams, struggle and extreme hard work. They make great presents – just a thought if you are soon going to be struggling for ideas for the man or woman who has everything else.
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 67
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68 • THE QUERCY LOCAL
Orrom Informatique All your Computer, Website & Graphic Design needs English Spoken - Free Quotations Mark Orrom
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Version Originale Films in English
Many local cinemas show films in VO (Version Originale). It’s worth following their websites or Facebook pages to see which films are coming and when. We have included a few details of a handful of local ‘picture houses’ that might interest you. CINE LIBERTY – MONTSEMPRON LIBOS 05 53 71 59 20; email@example.com; www.cine-liberty.fr and Cinéma Liberty.
ABC and QUERCY CINEMAS – CAHORS 05 65 30 17 74; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.cinemas-cahors.fr and Les Cinémas de Cahors
The cinema’s website is in French but there is a page entitled ‘English Movies’. The cinema is open every day and all year long. Films are shown as often as possible in VO (any language) and with subtitles. Occasionally there are special events when they invite the filmmakers to present their film. It is possible to download their complete programme of films.
They have got a special programme called CINERAMA which shows ‘Art House’ films in their original language (with French subtitles). There are about 8 films per month (30% Art House) and there is a reduced price. There are special films shown for children. Then there’s a ‘Classic Programme’ called ‘Patrimoine’ which takes one filmmaker a month and shows about 2 or 3 films.
CINEMA LOUIS MALLE – PRAYSSAC 05 65 22 42 20; email@example.com; Cinéma Louis Malle
CINE APOLLO – VALENCE D’AGEN 05 63 39 50 13; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.valencedagen.fr/index.php/cinema-apollo
Around half of their films are classified as ‘Art House’ and they prefer to show films in their original language. They are usually open from Friday to Monday, with 2 afternoon films on Sundays, that’s 3 to 4 different films per week. Their printed programme of films is delivered to the towns of Montcuq, Cazals, Luzech, Touzac and Prayssac.
The ‘blockbuster’ films are shown in French but other films are shown in both French and in the original language (with French subtitles). You can find their programme on the website. ‘Art House’ films make up about 30% of the programme – about 1 per week. Occasionally have events such as wine tasting following a film about wine production and recently, local fireman to discuss aspects of the film ‘les hommes du feu’.
You may also have come across mobile (often open air) cinemas popping up in the villages around and about – these really do provide a great service to rural locations – you can catch up with what is coming and when from these websites: Cine Lot - www.cine-lot.com; Quercimages - www.quercimages.org The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
THE QUERCY LOCAL • 69
A Partir de 30 E HT/m2 Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
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LAS RAZES Your perfect large gîte
www.poorpaws.com 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: email@example.com
Ideal for family get togethers and special events.
Emergency numbers Medical Help/SAMU 15 Out of hours Doctor 3966 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
Heated Salt Water Pool, 8 en-suite bedrooms. Snooker, table-tennis, wifi, large garden and terraces.
Also ideal location for people running courses (art, yoga, walking, biking etc.) Convenient for – Lauzerte, Montaigu de Quercy and Montcuq www.lasrazes.net Instagram lasrazes Twitter lasrazes www.facebook.com/lasrazes.france Las Razes, Touffailles (82190) Tarn et Garonne
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La reine Margot au centre des journees du patrimoine en Quercy ...Local Le hasard des articles de notre édition de Septembre a mis en avant un personnage illustre de l’histoire de France : La Reine MARGOT! En effet, nous l’avons croisée au hasard d’une rue dans le village de Dunes, puis rencontrée dans sa chambre du château de Saint-Projet pour ensuite aller la voir en villégiature dans le château de son ex-époux à Nérac! l’écriture de sa pièce ‘Peines d’amour perdues ‘ en 1595. Entre autres incartades, la légende mènera donc Margot à Dunes (voir article page 58), où le ‘Carrelot des amants’ – petite rue proche de la mairie actuelle – aurait été l’écrin d’une aventure entre Charles de Balzac dit ‘le Bel Entraguel’ et la reine Margot !
Nous profitons donc des deux traditionnelles journées du Patrimoine de septembre 2017 (les 16 et 17 septembre prochain) pour évoquer le destin de cette reine impétueuse et vive qui traversa et séjourna dans notre région entre 1578 et 1585. En espérant que nous vous donnerons l’envie de visiter les lieux où elle a résidé …. Petit rappel historique : Marguerite de Valois – née en 1553 - est la fille du roi Henri II et de Catherine de Médicis. Ses frères seront rois, et, par son mariage avec Henri, roi de Navarre en 1572, elle devint reine de Navarre, puis reine de France en 1589. La Reine MARGOT dans notre région : En 1578, la reine de Navarre transporte sa cour littéraire et artistique à Nérac (47) et, par sa culture, elle y attire les intellectuels – Montaigne y sera invité … Le château de Nérac, édifié au XVè siècle par Alain d’Albret le Grand, résidence principale du couple de Navarre entre 1577 et 1582, sera donc le témoin de cours prestigieuses qui témoigne de l’apogée de la famille d’Albret. Le parc de la Garenne sera aménagé le long de la Baïse pour les promenades inspirées des multiples courtisans ! Aujourd’hui encore, l’aile nord du château abrite les appartements de la reine Margot et on peut y voir des collections du XVIème au XIXème siècle, témoins historiques des facettes de cette cour à la fois politique et religieuse (les guerres entre catholiques et huguenots étant au centre de l’histoire de Marguerite de Valois) La légende de la cour de Navarre est teintée de félicité et de plaisirs et on prêtera à la reine maintes frasques amoureuses qui finiront par inspirer Shakespeare pour
Le départ de la Reine : Cette reine au destin tumultueux, indépendante et libre, choisit, en 1585, de se rebeller et de s’opposer au pouvoir; Elle prend d’abord possession de la Ville d’Agen, dont elle est Comtesse, mais rapidement les Agenais se révoltent et Marguerite doit fuir précipitamment. Dans cette fuite pour rejoindre l’Auvergne, elle sera hébergée au Château de Saint-Projet (82) les 26 et 27 septembre 1985 par le seigneur des lieux. La chambre de la Reine qui fut murée après son départ, resta cachée durant 4 siècles. Décelée lors de restaurations en 1990, elle peut aujourd’hui être visitée afin de pouvoir percer son secret ... www.saint-projet.com: Tel: 0563 65 74 85: Mobile: 06 83 97 19 63
LE CHATEAU DE NERAC. Impasse Henri IV - 47600 Nérac. Tél: 05 53 65 21 11. firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chateauhenriivnerac/about/
Cette « French Page » a été rédigé grâce aux éléments fournis gracieusement par la direction du château de Nérac et par M. Philippe BERGAUL, propriétaire actuel du Château de Saint-Projet que nous remercions. Profitez de ces journées du Patrimoine pour vous rendre dans ces deux châteaux et si vous connaissez d’autres personnages historiques illustres qui ont séjourné dans le Quercy, n’hésitez pas à nous en informer (email@example.com)
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Two Towns A Tale of
Here we take a quick look at two villages which are situated at opposite corners of the region. Cajarc which is situated along-side the river Lot, but firstly, Dunes which is on the western edge of the Tarn et Garonne.
Dunes is a 13th century bastide found in the hills of the valley of the Garonne, close to the Gers and what is Brulhois wine country. Archaeological discoveries have found evidence of human occupation as far back as the 5th century during, what would then have been then, the Wisigothe period. The beauty of the architecture of this small place is under-sold, it has a striking array of half-timbered and stone arcaded properties. The design of the bastide layout is fairly typical with streets radiating out from a central square. The ruin of a tower built by the Knights of the Templar is approximately 5 km from the village and is easily found with the help of regular signs. It has been made into a pretty play/picnic area. Renovation work to the tower was carried out in 1998-9 and this revealed the site of a small castle and coins discovered show a range of dates from the 12th to the middle of the 14th century. There is a well which, according to legend, the Knights Templars jumped into (or were pushed – depending on the legend teller). This well has a diameter of 2.5m and is 10m deep. Lying half-way between Toulouse and Bordeaux the area surrounding Dunes is known as the Pays du Vin Noir (Land of Black Wine). In common with most of the South West of France its vines were destroyed in the mid-19th century by phylloxera. Wines from Côtes du Brulhois were originally used to strengthen Bordeaux wines. There are about 690 acres of vineyards, and these are divided into about 6 private vineyards, but the vast majority of wine is produced by the Vignerons du Brulhois cooperative. Here they produce more than 10,000 hectoliters of wine each year, representing a quarter of what was produced in the pre-phylloxera days. The Quercy Local • September-November 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local
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Léon Lemartin –
extreme aviator and son of Dunes
Emergency numbers Théodore Clovis Edmond Lemartin, known as Léon Lemartin was born in 1883 and died in 1911. Medical Help/SAMU 15 He was born and is buried in Dunes. He was an air-craft Out of hours Doctor 3966 engineer as well as being the world’s first test pilot after being hired by Louis Blériot. He led an extraordinary life Police/Police Nationale (Gendarmerie) 17 both professionally and privately. He was a pioneer of Fire & Accident/Sapeurs Pompiers 18 in passenger carrying flights and tragically was killed an air accident on the 18th June in front of a one million SOS – All Services (calling from a mobile) 112 strong crowd just after take-off at the start of the Paris– London–Paris leg of Le Circuit Européen. Three weeks Child in Danger (child protection) 119 before his death he had reportedly broken the speed Missingflying Child 116 000 record, at 128.418 km/h. All this and a death at 27. Léon Lemartin sounds like such an interesting man, well worth finding out more about. Maybe we will return to his story in a future edition.
It’s a quiet village, worthy of a visit and certainly worthy of consideration of all that had passed before. A few simple notices are located around the square as a gentle reminder of a long and very interesting past. For anyone interested in Occitan Folk ‘dance/music’ then the ‘Journées Occitanes’ will take place in the village on Nov 10,11 and 12th – you can contact the Tourist Office via www.tourisme-tarnetgaronne.fr
The tragedy of June 23rd 1944 The extreme bravery of the French Resistance (Maquis) in this region is often over-looked. Many of the woods and forests that we now pass on ‘tourist-trails’ were the work-places and grave-yards of these bravest of men and women. On the 23rd of June 1944 a unit of approximately 200 German SS were searching in nearby Valence d’Agen for members of the Resistance (13ème Compagnie, cantons de Valence d’Agen et Auvillar referred to also in text as 13e Cie). Two local women denounced the villagers of Dunes as harbouring the Maquis. The Germans entered the village, having caused death and destruction (and their own drunkenness on the way) and rounded up the villagers. 11 men were hanged from the post-office balcony,
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2 shot and one killed with a sabre. These executioners then, amidst their carnage, continued to drink, sing songs and loot the village and its people. The arrival of a motorcycle messenger with orders requiring the SS back in Valence saved the lives of the people of the village of Sistels where the German Unit were heading next. They did manage, however, to take with them, from the village, all that they had plundered with the use of a truck stolen from M. Roubelet whom they had just hung. Carmen Sopetti of Dunes and Marie Bodoira of Malause, the two women who had denounced the villagers were arrested on the 20th of August that year. They were tried by a ‘Conseil de Guerre’ held at Château de Piquecos, near Montauban. Both women were condemned to death and the 13e Cie asked to carry out the sentence. The women were transported back along the route taken by the SS arriving in Dunes and then hanged (not from the balcony as is sometimes reported) but from a plane-tree in the Place Roubelet in front of a large but dignified crowd. Dune’s main square is called the Place des Martyrs to remember this tragic event.
LORDS OF DUNES (BALZAC)
Dunes had its own ‘Nobility’ all with rather close and amorous ties to Royalty. There’s a rather splendid halftimbered house in the square which was the house of the Lords of Dunes. There was Charles de Balzac who was the lover of Queen Margot, wife of Henri IV (see p.71). In 1589 it’s thought that he was involved in the assassination of Henry III. There are many different versions of the lives of these people – some slightly more believable than others. On the whole though they involve plotting, poison, and the pursuit of power. Charles’ niece (Catherine) Henriette de Balzac d’Entragues became, at an early age, a favourite mistress of Henri IV (as her mother Marie Touchet had been of Charles lX). It’s not clear whether she induced the King to a proposal or whether her parents negotiated it. Henri made her the Marquise of Verneuil and promised to marry her if she bore him a son within a year. She quickly fell pregnant but unfortunately she gave birth to a still-born son (some say as a result of a lightning strike to her bedroom) and so the King married Marie de Medicis instead. She continued as the King’s mistress and fell pregnant again at the same time as the Queen. The court, apparently, laid bets on who’d be first to bear a son. Both of them did but Marie’s son was born first. Henriette remained the King’s favourite mistress and bore two further children. For some time her children were raised alongside the Queen’s. Then Henriette’s father was found to have plotted
Catherine Henriette de Balzac d’Entragues
to kill the King’s legitimate heir and her trust was lost. After the discovery of this plot, the relationship between Henriette and the King was very troubled. Ten years later when the King was assassinated she was a prime suspect.
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The second of the two places we are visiting is Cajarc
CAJARC Cajarc’s very own rebel Françoise Sagan
Sagan was born into a wealthy family in Cajarc in 1935. Françoise Quoirez changed her name to Françoise Sagan after a character in Marcel Proust’s ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’. She was always a bookworm and was being expelled from school and then failed her exams at the Sorbonne.
In common with many of our local villages and towns Cajarc (46160) is scattered with evidence of early human occupation; with stone dolmens, gariottes and cave-dwellings. Then as the centuries rolled by, history tells us that this small town, on the River Lot, was constantly over-run by, for example, the Romans, Visigoths and the Francs. This was all before the English came to have a go! Indeed the 100 Year War saw constant incursions by English troops, who failed to occupy the town (largely due to defensive ditch which surrounded it) but they did manage to destroy the bridge and build their own fortifications overlooking the town. Throughout the middle-ages famine, occasional floods, disease and continued civil unrest made life in the town very difficult. Then during the wars of religion Cajarc became a Protestant refuge which brought all sorts of extra and fresh challenges.
She then embarked on a project that would shape the rest of her life: writing her first novel Bonjour Tristesse – a tale of lost youth and betrayal on the French Riviera. This novel won Sagan international acclaim. After a year, an English translation achieved number one spot on the New York Times best-seller list. At 19, Sagan became the youngest author to achieve such a success. In 1958 director Otto Preminger cast Jean Seberg as the lead in his film adaptation. Sagan epitomised Parisian Chic in the 50s and 60s and disrupted most of the social norms. She had two short failed marriages and a life that regularly courted controversy with a love of film-stars, fast cars, gambling and drugs. She loved both men and woman, was never far from a scandal, was convicted of tax fraud and she finally died aged 69 in 2004. About her death, President Jacques Chirac commented that “With her death, France loses one of its most brilliant and sensitive writers – an eminent figure of our literary life.” At her request Sagan was laid to rest in her beloved Cajarc.
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George Pompidou – carried Cajarc in his heart
George Pompidou (President of the Republic from 1969-74) who was originally a local politician and spent much of his time (even once he was President) at the local farm he’d renovated. He came to this corner of France to survive and recover from political turmoil. He was a man that believed in the virtues of working the land and wanted to be seen as a man with his feet firmly on the ground his farm gave him the chance to be this person. Readers may well be familiar with the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Did you know there is also a special Pompidou Centre also close to Cajarc? Both Georges and his wife Claude were great supporters of the Arts and their legacy has been the Maison des Arts Georges et Claude Pompidou (Centre d’Art Contemporain et Résidences Internationales d’Artistes) ww.magp.fr
Prosperity did later arrive with the opening of tanneries, mills and phosphate mines. The river allowed for the transportation of goods and the new trade meant the relaxation of many of the historical economic woes. Cajarc is a halt on the famous pilgrim route ‘Chemin de St Jacques de Compostelle’. Today’s visitors to the town, whether they are pilgrims arriving on foot or those choosing a more leisurely journey, will find a bustling little place with plenty of shops and places to eat. We recommend the restaurant – L’Allee des Vignes – worth a trip just in its own right!
The centre is typically medieval with narrow streets and passageways opening into small squares and with some very pretty stonework and ancient doorways. Along the river there’s a plan d’eau offering all sorts of water-based sports and activities. A great base for canoeing – with trips available from a number of spots along the river. If you are approaching, by car, from along the River Lot (Cahors direction) then the drive itself is very pretty and takes you past the famous village of St Cirq Lapopie and then the very pretty Château de Cénevières (www.chateau-cenevieres.com).
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Saffron Synonymous with Cajarc which, in 2011 was awarded the title ‘Site Remarquable du Goût’
The name Saffron comes from the Arabic word ‘zafaran’ which means yellow and it’s the colour produced from dye which is the official colour of Buddhist robes in India. It’s thought that the saffron crocus originally came from Mesopotamia or perhaps Kashmir. Wherever it started out this golden spice has played a part in the mythical, culinary and medicinal life of almost every civilization since the dawn of time. Centuries ago the production of this valuable spice was prolific in this region of France. However, after the 18th century its production declined. Then in 1997 a number of people got together in the Quercy area to develop and promote Safron de Quercy once more.
There are regular, popular events during the year in Cajarc. Perhaps the largest is the annual Africajarc festival which takes place over a long weekend in July each year. This event first took place in 1999 and was one of the first annual festivals of African Culture in France. Nowadays great names in the world of music, writing, film, dance and theatre come, each summer, to Cajarc, to take part. There are film shows, concerts, craft markets and of course a great selection of African foods. Then there’s the Fête du Safran which this year takes place on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of October (www.safran-du-quercy.com). During this weekend you can visit the growers, find out all about the production method and browse amongst the many products produced using this enigmatic spice. Reason enough to make a trip along the valley and find out a little more about the lovely village of Cajarc.
Producing this spice is a skilled and labour-intensive job. It takes 200 flowers to produce just 1 gram of saffron. The crocus heads are held in the palm of the hand, the stem cut with the fingernails, this action is repeated over and over again. Then the vivid red stigmas are delicately removed and gently dried to produce the valuable ‘red-gold’. Drying out the stigmas produces an intense aroma and during this process the saffron loses 4/5 of its original weight. It is not so difficult to see why this has always been a treasured and very valuable crop. Indeed it is the most expensive spice in the world. Over the years it has been the cause of many an unusual and painful death imposed on merchants who’d added to it, faked it or otherwise messed with the supplies of pure saffron. Remember it may be expensive but you only ever need a very small amount!
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One of Cajarc’s gems! L’Allee des Vignes ~ go on ~ you deserve it! We’re lucky enough to live in a region that produces the best ingredients a chef could wish for. For many of us it was this food and (of course the) wine that attracted us to the region.
e each have our regular, local restaurants and our favourite ‘special’ restaurants. However, surrounded by so much deliciousness it’s easy to become a little blasé about the wonderful food we can and do regularly eat. A recent trip to Cajarc reminded me of how great food, and the passion for it, could make a good day into a great day! In the middle of the village there’s a lovely enclosed terrace in front of an old, renovated presbytery serving the most amazing food and wines. All of this is the work (very hard work) of Claude-Emmanuel and his wife Evgenia. This is L’Allee des Vignes, the culmination of the pair’s years of work and travel, culinary-training and enormous passion. Claude-Emmanuel was born in Nice and is half Mexican. He’d grandparents with a home in the
Quercy region and so spent some of his childhood here. Evgenia is Russian and the couple met when they were both working in London (Evgenia was previously at University in Leeds). They then married in Belgium and began a life pursuing their dream of a restaurant reflecting their combined visions. There was a huge amount of work to do to prepare the old building for ‘opening’ but in 2011 they brought their international worlds together and L’Allee des Vignes opened its doors. It has since forged a great reputation for very fine food, excellent service and a unique style. I ate lunch in the beautifully shaded courtyard. It felt like an oasis from the heat of the day and the quiet bustle of life beyond its walls. The plates of food each looked like works of art, delicate, thoughtthrough and truly delicious.
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Amongst the lovely things I ate this lunchtime was an entrée of Copeaux de foie gras aux graines torréfiées, jaune fermier confit à l’huile d’olive du Lot. Probably one of the prettiest and delightfully enjoyable things I have eaten in many-a-year. It was a shame to destroy the layout of the dish but it ended up being well-worth the artistic destruction. Touches like the very pretty edible flowers and the butter with a little rock-salt on-the-side, ensured that this was something I’ll remember for a long time. This is truly a gastronomique restaurant offering a bistronomique menu at lunch time (Mon-Sat). Then during the evening and Sunday lunchtime, when people generally have a little more time to spend, the menu acknowledges this fact and dining provides a real opportunity for flavours to astonish and culinaryskill to excel. Wine lovers will enjoy the extensive (and wellinformed) choice on offer or you can opt for a small serving of a different wine with each course – advice is given by the professional staff. I had to limit myself and enjoyed only one – a wonderful white wine from just down the road at Gaillac’s Domaine de Pleyjean. Definitely one I’ll be looking out for in the future. So even if Cajarc is not terribly near to you, maybe you deserve a trip out! Maybe a visit to St Cirq Lapopie and then either lunch or dinner at this inspirational restaurant, the brain-child and absolute passion of
these two hard-working and extremely talented (and lovely) people – Claude-Emmanuel and Evgenia. Please check opening hours and call to reserve before travelling. www.alleedesvignes.com by Anna Atkinson
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Green Cleaning Thinking ‘ecology’ will not solve everything but wisdom will!
‘Il n’y a pas de petits gestes pour changer notre monde, exceptés ceux que l’on ne fait pas’ Mère Teresa
e know that reducing waste is good for the planet but what if it also saves money? How about producing your own cleaning products to help reduce environmental damage? Just think of how many plastic containers will be spared from the waste cycle. Waste/packaging is a nightmare – and reducing it doesn’t just relate to cleaning products. See how far you can take it! A challenge – maybe plan your next children’s or even adult party absolutely waste-free! Reducing toxins from your home may well help you feel healthier, wealthier and more responsible; and there’s nothing new about it. Our grandparents used to be masters at it. They’d use products like vinegar to clean windows; a low-cost solution! They were also masters at re-using old tins or bottles; re-labelling and keeping them neatly on store-room shelves. How many people remember seeing this when visiting their grandparents? Something has happened to make us possibly ‘lazy’, certainly extravagant and less creative. We spray, wipe, soak, bleach, and try to kill every bacteria known to man. How sure are we that any of this is not doing harm? Do we truly need deodorizing chemicals in our rooms apart from the release of chemicals into the air generally – what about people with allergies? Here we have some suggestions for producing your own cleaning products. Firstly, you will need a trip to a hardware store for some ingredients (yes that shop that our Grandparents used to frequent). The main ones are sodium bicarbonate, black soap, white vinegar, Marseille’s soap (flakes or bar) plus essential oils. Other items include sodium percarbonate and citric acid. Some of these might sound serious, but they’re natural, however, use them carefully and never add more than is needed. Secondly, you need to find some old containers that can be used again; so tins, glass jars, bottles, plastic containers and old cloths. The more things that can be re-used the better!
Thirdly, time for some chemistry. Please wear gloves and keep children away from your laboratory. It’s best to try to make one product at once and make enough to last you a while. There are many recipes on the internet for products you may wish to make. Here are a few that we’ve already successfully tried. General purpose cleaner No need for different products for each room – honestly. This’ll also do floors and windows. 1 litre water, ½ litre white-wine vinegar; 20 drops of essential oils for scent (or mint leaves, citrus peel). For windows use an old crumpled newspaper before wiping with a soft cloth (perfect use for holey t-shirts) Washing-up liquid For a quick solution – Simply rub your sponge on a bar of soap or add a glass of vinegar to your washing-up bowl. Or, to make a supply of ‘liquid’ 1.5 litre water, 30g soap flakes, 70g black soap, 2 tablespoon sodium crystals, 2 teaspoons baking soda. Boil the ingredients and when cool add 20 drops of essential oil. Place in a recycled container.
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In the Laundry 30 g soap flakes, 15 drops of lavender oil and 1 litre hot water. After dissolving the soap you can add a bit more water. Optionally, you can add 1 tablespoon of sodium crystals. Add ½ glass per washing cycle.
Blocked sinks Put about ¾ of a cup of bicarbonate of soda into the plug-hole and then add a cup of white vinegar. Replace the plug or seal and leave for a couple of hours.
Then to soften your laundry, add ½ glass of vinegar with 5 drops of lemon or lavender oil instead of your usual softener.
A few things to remember • If you’ve an industrial product – use it sparingly. • Dilute washing-up liquid and reduce the detergent in the washing machine. • An excess of foam never helped anything but it has to go somewhere. • Remember that bleach doesn’t clean, yes it kills bacteria but also flora and fauna. • The over-use of impregnated wipes cause pollution problems. Unless you’ve seriously ill people in the house you don’t need ‘killeverything’ wipes. A simple re-usable cloth with home-made cleanser is all that’s required.
For stain removal, scrub with a wet bar of soap before putting in the washing machine. Descaling Toilets Add some citric acid with flour to the toilet bowl. Leave for a few hours, brush and flush! Dust removal Take an old sock, rub it up and down yourself so that it charges with static and then use to dust. The dust will love it! Room perfume Just add a drop of any essential oil (lavender, lemon, eucalyptus) to a pebble and place on a small plate. Or, an old fashioned favourite – open the window!
In the December edition we’ll be trying home-made, chemical free, skin products – so we’re back now to the laboratory!
By Valérie Rousseau
ART GALLERY WITH PERMANENT EXHIBITION OF 30 PAINTERS, SCULPTORS & VISUAL ARTISTS The gallery will be open until the end of October with many different artists’ work on show Wednesday – Sunday 11am/7pm art27galerie - rue du Porche - 82400 MONTJOI edwige capelle - 06.38.93.43.61 www.art27galerie.com art27galerie firstname.lastname@example.org Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Quercy Local • September-November 2017
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E - IC RD V A SER AW NG I N IN W DROP IN AND SEE US IN TOURNON D’AGENAIS OR MONTAIGU DE QUERCY
A free regional magazine for the ‘English Speakers’ of the Quercy region of S W France – covering the Lot, Lot et Garonne and Tarn et Garonn...
Published on Aug 15, 2017
A free regional magazine for the ‘English Speakers’ of the Quercy region of S W France – covering the Lot, Lot et Garonne and Tarn et Garonn...