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September - October 2016 Issue 26

uercy Local The

The Region’s FREE magazine in English

Inside – Refugees, Brexit and Bulbs Cakes, Cookery and Chestnuts Democracy, Permaculture and even Downhill Biking

Hearing aid not working?

Relax. It’s being fixed by the experts. If your hearing aid isn’t working look no further than the Hearing Aid Repair Shop. We’ve been fixing any make, any model and any problem since 2002. Contact us today quoting ‘Quercy916’ to get 10% off your first repair.

00 44 1635 48724

Why not rent a bike for your holidays or let us help your guests get out on two wheels! We can deliver (free within a radius) and provide all the necessary accessories. We have our own onsite workshop and a very experienced and particular mechanic. We love good quality bikes and know them when we see them. So we only offer for hire what we would appreciate ourselves. Bikes for Men, Ladies and children available. Adult bikes from 22e per day. (Gîte owners – partner with us – offer our service to your visitors, including on your website and we can promote you as a partner on our website).

We offer a fully-equipped professional workshop deep in the heart of the Quercy countryside. With an experienced Cytech qualified mechanic. No job is too big or too small, from inner-tube replacement to full custom-builds we’re here to help. Collection and return of bikes can be arranged. If you’ve bikes for your gîte or hotel guests then please contact us for a quote for their maintenance. We carry a large range of spares and components – contact us for any advice. Suppliers of Shimano bike parts and TORQ performance/nutrition supplements. Please see our website for a full schedule of service and repair costs.

You can contact us for both Hire and Fixing on Velo Plus, Las Razes, 82190, Touffailles | 07 80 57 81 49

Siret No. 81462583600014


Jérôme de Colonges



SALE OF THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF CHATEAU DE ROUQUETTES Highly decorative objects, paintings and furniture (more than 300 lots)

LOCATION : Château de Rouquettes 32 310 VALENCE SUR BAÏSE VIEWING : Friday 23rd September 10am - Noon and 2pm - 6pm and on the day of the sale from 9.30am - 11.30am.

Caterers in attendance on the sale day


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Letting your property for holidays ?


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Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016



elcome to the 26th edition of this magazine. So much has changed over the summer with the shock of the UK/EU referendum results and the uncertainty that has brought. Yet, defying this monumental political shift, the seasons continue to move on regardless. The sunflowers have been and gone and soon the vines will be ready for harvesting. Nature, it seems, gives not a jot about matters political! However uncertain things may feel for UK citizens living in France and indeed for the UK itself, it’s important to remember that much of the world is crippled with conditions and uncertainties far greater. I hope that you’ll be inspired by the works being undertaken by local people to alleviate some of the suffering in European Refugee Camps (p.6). This edition also includes a regional chestnut fair, a breathtaking bike-race, spring-bulb planting, some great recipes and some thoughts on ‘what is democracy’ after the Brexit vote. The winter edition (last for this year) will be available for the start of November.

Anna Email:



Anglican Church in Cahors




Theatre sans paroles


Le Caillau – another great cake!


Club de Jardinage de Lauzerte


Cancer Support France


Chestnut Fair


Salade Périgourdine aux châtaignes


Quercy Cat Chat


Am Dram, Montaigu de Quercy


Gardening – Spring bulbs


Living with Brexit


Recette de Chef


Quelque mots en Français


No Lycra in Sight – The Megavalanche


Tasting the Lot – Plum Jam


Three local businesses – going strong


Quercy Comment – Democracy and Truth


Art from Bali


Naked Grapes





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 –

Emergency numbers Medical Help/SAMU 15 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:

Police/Police Nationale (Gendarmerie) 17 Fire & Accident/Sapeurs Pompiers


SOS – All Services (calling from a mobile) 112 Child in Danger (child protection) 119 Missing Child

116 000

The Quercy Local 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 elsewhere in their relevant 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. Admin. Valérie Rousseau.


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Visit our website for more information on how we can help you increase your number of bookings. e:      Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


A local response to

global problem Aide et Espoir aux Réfugiés – Help and Hope

The title sums up the aims of our association, newly created in October 2015, by our president, Jacky Malotaux, as a response to the overwhelming situation which had arisen in Greece.


n September 2015 alone, 153,000 men, women and children had arrived on the Greek islands next to Turkey, all with the hope of travelling on to northern Europe. Subsequent retaliative actions by bordering countries resulted in a bottle neck situation

from which there is still no escape. Jacky has seen the reality of the situation, witnessing the arrival of the overcrowded fragile inflatables, and helping those that survived the crossing find desperately needed dry clothes and a blanket. Then, as now, nearly all help and hope is provided by volunteers and the kind donations from caring people in Europe and afar. The total closing of the Greek borders in March means that those people, who had no option but to flee for their lives to escape war and persecution, are now faced with another problem of survival, in camps if they are lucky, or on the streets if not, while they wait for asylum status to be granted. There are many makeshift camps all over the Greek mainland, both set up and run by the Greek army. One of these Ritsona, north of Athens, was visited by Jacky in May. Drinking water was the outstanding need as there were no standpipes and Jacky arrived with over 1000e to spend on bottled water, money provided by Help and Hope/Aide et Espoir aux Réfugiés. The situation in all of these camps is dire.

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Certainly, the residents are luckier than the people sleeping on the streets in that they have a tent over their heads and three insufficient and often unpalatable meals a day provided by the army and handed out by the volunteers. However, the soaring temperatures of the Greek summer, the lack of anything to do, coupled with the slowness of the registration process (over 2 months before it even started) contribute to increasingly frayed tempers, desperation and lack of hope. Now, the volunteers not only provide for the residents physical needs but have also to provide psychological help, listening and talking, lessons and activities for the young. Our association started off with six and now we are about forty strong. Our fundraising started with a dinner party of twenty last January and since then, we have kept up the impetus, a Greek evening with music, a plant sale, an English tea party all of which raised essential funds. Money that Jacky was both able to spend directly on essential items for the refugees whilst in Greece, and also to send to reliable contacts she had made during her various trips in the past year. We have also sent well over 150 boxes of donations, clothes, shoes, medical equipment and first aid both to Greece and to Syria. Our new project is to support a recently restored house in Athens for young mothers with children and orphans. There are very many extremely vulnerable people sleeping on the streets of Athens and this house will give shelter to about 20. The first residents arrived last week. There is also a school room where lessons are already being given. A printer was greatly needed to be able to print documents off the internet and we were very happy to be able to provide a good laser printer, bought online from a Greek shop. Our hope is to be able to follow this lovely project and continue to supply the needs of the school over the long term. We will be visiting the house in September when we return to Greece. Please help us in our efforts, come and join us. Everyone can help someone, it’s little by little that help is given and these people in desperate need realise they are not alone. Be sure not to miss the concert by the pianist Alexandre Bodak on 7 October, in St Bartholemy church, Lauzerte! All profits will go to our association to help refugees. Details will be circulated later. You can find out much more about our activities on our website: email AIDER-HELP AND HOPE, 1 rue du Millial, LAUZERTE 82110 Tel: 0679636201 Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

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

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Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Anglican Church of Midi-Pyrénées & Aude

Update from the Cahors Congregation For detailed information visit our website: All services are held at Centre Paroissial, 75 av J Lurçat, Terre Rouge, 46000 Cahors

A Season of Invitation Harvest Festival – Sunday October 2 at 10am “He 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) 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. It was only in 1843 when the Rev Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service for the harvest at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall offering communion bread made from the first cut of corn. 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 first invitation is for the Harvest Service at Terre Rouge – the English Speaking Anglican Church in Cahors which takes place on Sunday October 2 at 10am and 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.

Ceilidh – Mauroux October 14 at 7pm The second invitation is for this unique and joyous event to be held at the Salle des Fêtes in Mauroux. This is a fundraising event in support of our charities: Smile Train, Cleft Lip and Palate Children’s charity ( and USPG – a church based charity working in direct partnership with Anglican Churches around the world ( Remember Ceilidh Dancing is FUN so don’t worry if you are not sure of the steps, you will soon learn and ‘jig yer way’ around the dance floor until you are breathless! Tickets are e20 per person and include ploughman’s platter & first drink. For reservations and information contact Ann or James on 05 65 36 47 12.

Bible Sunday – October 23 Holy Communion at 10am “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7) This is our third invitation. For centuries, the Bible has been changing the lives of people who encounter it. Bible Sunday is a day on which churches celebrate the continuing impact the Bible has on individuals and communities in the UK, Europe and throughout the world. As an individual it is good to take time and open a Bible and feel the refreshing power of God’s Word and as a group to reflect on why we

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


should trust the Scriptures for wisdom and direction in every aspect of life.

All Saints & All Souls Service – Sunday October 30 at 10am “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 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. The Anglican Church at Terre Rouge in Cahors held this very special service for the first time six years ago and as our fourth invitation we encourage you to come to this service on Sunday October 30. 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 funerals 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.


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BCP Holy Communion Service – Sunday October 30 at 3pm “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. This quarter it will be the Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service much loved for the beauty of its traditional language.

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Our fifth invitation is to join us on Sunday October 30 at 3pm for the BCP Holy Communion Service – a wonderful way to refresh the soul and inform the mind.

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Just what is

Permaculture? PART 1: The Main Principles


he concept of permaculture or ‘permanent agriculture’ is thought to have been developed in Australia in the 1970s, by Bill Mollison*. Traditional agricultural practices were energy-eaters and destroyed both the land and its ecosystems. This led the way for permaculture to be born allowing a new respect for nature and an interest in its ability to provide, for all, sufficiently. Permaculture is clearly a cultivation method but importantly it’s also a philosophy for caring for the Earth, human beings and all other life. This means the equitable sharing of all the planet’s resources including food, habitat and energy sources. It’s this connection between the Earth’s different elements that makes permaculture unique. If you want to adopt ‘permaculture’ into your life then firstly, you need to observe your own environment and see what you can adjust (taking into consideration things like the soil type, climate and wildlife). See what changes would encourage nature to replenish itself (a responsible ecosystem). For example, if you place a chicken coop in your garden you can achieve fertiliser and the chickens will eat any excess of snails and slugs. They will also eat waste and lay eggs in return. Before considering permaculture consider the wind direction and sun direction as well as the availability of

water and ground quality. Plants that need more care should be nearer the house and wherever possible follow the natural designs of Mother Nature. She does know a thing or two! Maybe move away from straight lines, build a spiral garden, or garden beds radiating from a central circle. Sweeps and curves create a softer atmosphere. Leave connecting areas wild to encourage birds and insects and provide wind breaks. Trees provide leaves to help cover the ground and add to your soil quality; they also aid with water drainage and the prevention of soil-erosion. Hard work it may be but remember that simple steps like growing your own food helps to reduce your ecological footprint and preserves natural resources. Importantly, it also feeds your soul! Bare ground has no part in permaculture, nature would cover the ground with plants or dead leaves. Ground cover certainly helps prevent drought as well as feeding the ground with decomposing vegetation. In your garden you can cover bare soil with vegetable tops, straw, wood chippings or dried mown grass. You also need to encourage a healthy number of worms who’ll aerate the soil and help create all-important humus for on-going cultivating success. You also need to consider the root growth of plants, it is quite possible to grow things close to, or under trees, depending on the root depth of each plant, who may take their food at different levels. Ploughing the soil with mechanical cultivators is not usually advisable as it can destroys the life under the soil; digging with a fork is preferable and helps preserve the sub-terrain. Artificial fertilisers should be avoided, plant instead some of nature’s own fertilisers such as clover, vetch or alfalfa... These can either be dug into the ground after flowering or just laid on the soil. Well-rotted horse (or other) manure along with a good compost or crushed horn, will help avoid exhausted ground. There needs to be as much going back into the soil as the ground produces in flowers, food or vegetation. If you spot a pest. Does it need insecticide? Maybe a bit more time spent creating an environment to encourage the pest’s predators is what is needed? Perhaps a pond with insect-eating frogs, or maybe your hens need to be brought closer to help; or you could

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


TAXI ROQUENTIN 05 53 95 95 95 06 81 22 47 89 English Spoken

7/7 24 hrs/24 hrs 3 Cars plant can help another in building a resilient garden, sometimes associating plants is more important than rotating them. There’s is a whole new world out there to learn and understand! Research by Valérie Rousseau Part 2 – Discovering Permaculture in the Quercy region – November Edition *Who was Bill Mollinson? Bill Mollison was born in 1928 in the small fishing village of Stanley, Tasmania, Australia. Bill Mollison left school at the age of 15 to help run the family bakery. He soon went to sea as a shark fisherman ... and until 1954 filled a variety of jobs as a forester, mill-worker, trapper, snarer, tractor-driver and naturalist. Bill joined the CSIRO (Wildlife Survey Section) in 1954 and for the next nine years worked in many remote locations in Australia as a biologist …. In 1963 he spent a year at the Tasmanian Museum in curatorial duties, then returned to field work with the Inland Fisheries Commission surveying the macro-fauna of inland waters and estuaries … of Tasmania. Returning to studies in 1966 ... [and] receiving his degree in biogeography, he was appointed to the University of Tasmania where he later developed the unit of Environmental Psychology. …In 1974, he with David Holmgren developed the beginning of the permaculture concept, leading to the publication of ‘Permaculture One’.

build yourself a special permaculture hen-tractor! Collecting rain water, creating natural ponds and developing water storage tanks is greatly important – it’s our most valuable resource. Which along with careful management can mean that your garden will produce all year, especially important for the vegetable garden. Only cut a few lettuce leaves, if you don’t need a whole plant and leave the roots of cut vegetable plants in place. Why not gather seeds for next year’s planting? The trick to successful permaculture is to observe; spend time watching and understanding before you do anything. ‘The problem is the solution’ is the mantra used by permaculturists. If a weed prospers in your garden, the question is ‘why?’ and ‘what can be learnt from that?’ Consider plant pairing and how one

Since leaving the University in 1978, Bill has devoted all his energies to furthering the system of permaculture and spreading the idea and principles worldwide. … In 1981, Bill Mollison received the Right Livelihood Award (sometimes called the “Alternative Nobel Prize”) for his work in environmental design. Bill Mollison is the founder the first and original Permaculture Institute, which was established in 1979 to teach the practical design of sustainable soil, water, plant, and legal and economic systems to students worldwide. Bill lives in Sisters Beach, Tasmania (Extract from – Tagari means ‘those of us gathered here’ in the Tasmanian Aboriginal language).

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Theatre Sans Paroles

Quercy Gite & Quercy Services Gestion & Gardiennage de Résidences Secondaires Locations Saisonniėres

Marianne Charpentier Property Management & Caretaking Holiday Rentals

06 71 71 77 22

Theatre Sans Paroles, are based In Touffailles (82190), a group of people interested in the process of theatre not simply in performance. We are part of the touffaill’arts association and have been running workshops for limited sessions over the past two years. My name is Olwyn Foot, Troupe teacher and leader. I had made the decision to leave my professional life in the theatre behind when I left England. My work as a director, and animateur was invigorating and exciting, but it was long hours and city based. I needed change. I had worked with various community groups prior to leaving, including a projects with homeless people, disabled people, and for several years, with refugees and asylum seekers. I developed a keen sense of the humanity that linked us all, each one to another, regardless of life experiences and events that change lives forever. My skills were sharpened to produce performances for the professional theatre with people from all walks of life who had stories to tell, basic emotions to share and something to say, with or without words. Theatre can reach out and speak wordlessly…. I arrived in France and it was not long before the creative call was paramount. I remembered the lines written at Plymouth Theatre Royal, TR2, where I’d worked for many years. “Anything can make you look, Only Art can make you see.” The idea was born, the workshops began. The troupe now includes a cross section of nationalities, French, English and Dutch we have worked to hone skills with mask and with music to develop some short pieces of theatre that we would like to present publicly. We propose to invite the public to an Aperitif on Friday September 2nd 18.30h, at Touffailles Salle de Fete, where we will present a few short pieces, with humour and sincerity. We will also be performing at the festival “Place aux Nouvelles” in Lauzerte (82110) on Saturday September 3rd Everyone is welcome to come. If you are interested in joining the workshops later in the year, please tel. 0563 390246

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Restaurant ‘La Sirene’ Place de l’Hotel de Ville Montaigu de Quercy (82150)

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Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


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Holiday listing sites get greedy! If you list your home or gîte for holiday rental or if you book your own holiday this way, get set for significant price rises. Listing sites on the web were once small outfits, often co-ordinated by holiday home owners themselves for the benefit of like-minded people. Recently a trend has developed for these sites to be snapped up by big operators with an eye to squeezing every penny from both owners and their guests.


he latest trend is to charge holiday-makers a booking-fee, perhaps 6% or more of the rental cost. To force the guests into paying this fee the site makes it difficult for the guest to contact the owner directly. This means that owners and guests are not able chat together and ensure that guests are booking the best holiday for them. One holiday listings website which bucks this trend is . Paul Stephenson, a gîte owner himself, recently joined the company to ensure that at least one listings site retained a simple and direct approach. Paul said, “Like many owners, I want to build a relationship with my guests, without the web site getting in the way.

That is what does now, and will continue to do into the future.” He added, “My own small rental business is not my main living, but many owners are people who have retired to France and depend on the income from their holiday rental to supplement their income. The recent sale of Owners Direct to the Expedia group, in particular, and their new fees have left many people very worried. To get a feel for the depth of feeling see TrustPilot or Facebook.” Do please feel free to contact the team at for any advice

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

Lauzerte du 1er au 29 septembre du 4 au 16 octobre


Espace Points de Vue


Maurice CUQUEL



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Expositions d’art contemporain 6, rue de la Barbacane 82 110 LAUZERTE Entrée libre, ouvert tous les jours 10h30 - 12h30 / 15h00 - 18h00

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GRAPH - Lauzerte

© 2016 - GÉO


Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

Chocolate, Pear & Salted Caramel cake


I saw a photo a while ago of a cake similar to this one with whole pears on top and it’s been on my ‘must try’ list ever since. Chocolate and pear are a classic duo, and the addition of salted caramel turns this combination into something quite special. This is the perfect recipe if you have your own pear tree, or maybe have a kind neighbour who will send a basket of pears your way, in return for a slice of cake.

Chocolate, Pear & Salted Caramel cake [serves 16] Method

Ingredients For the cake 280g plain flour 110g cocoa powder 400g caster sugar 1 ½ tsp baking powder 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda 4 eggs 160ml rapeseed oil Double espresso Dash of milk 200ml boiling water For the poached pears 10 pears (the smaller the better) 6 cups of water 2 cups of sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 lemon For the salted caramel 100g butter 100g light brown sugar 100ml cream ½ - 1 tsp good quality sea salt For the butter icing 150g butter at room temperature 250g icing sugar (1/3 of the salted caramel) 2 x 20cm cake tins buttered and lined with greaseproof paper

To make the poached pears: (can be made and put in the fridge a few days ahead)

Place the water and sugar in a large saucepan and heat until boiling. Add in the vanilla extract.Peel the pears (squeezing lemon juice over as you go to avoid discolouring) and put into the poaching liquid. Poach for 30 minutes until tender. Take out the pears and leave the liquid to cool. Put the pears in a sealable container along with the cooled liquid and place in the fridge until needed.

To make the salted caramel: (can be made up to a week ahead and stored in an air tight container in the fridge)

Put the butter in a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the sugar, cream and salt and bring to the boil, then lower the heat slightly and cook for about 5 minutes. Leave to cool and place in a container in the fridge until needed.

To make the chocolate cake: Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. In a large bowl, sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and sugar. Mix together well. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, cooled double espresso and dash of milk. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry and beat with an electric mixer. Finally add the boiling water, mix again (should be a very runny mix) then pour into the prepared cake tins. Bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the caramel butter icing: Put the butter in a bowl or free standing mixer and beat until soft and pale in colour. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy. Add a third of the salted caramel mix (cooled) and beat again until incorporated.

To assemble the cake: Cut each sponge into two. Place the first layer on a cake stand, then spread on some butter icing. Continue until all the layers are done, finishing with butter icing on top. When you’re ready to serve, heat the salted caramel until it’s warm, then drain and pat dry the poached pears. Place the pears on top of the cake then drizzle with the rest of the salted caramel.

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 from September 2016: Restaurant: Lunch every day from 12pm, Dinner Wednesday – Saturday from 7pm (closed Tuesday) Café Atelier: Monday & Wednesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm, Sunday: 12pm - 4pm (closed Tuesday) Le Caillau, 46700 Vire sur Lot. Telephone: 05 65 23 78 04

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


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 (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 English Builder with 23 years experience

Robert Atkinson Estimates freely given Work can be seen References available

Roofing l Stonework l Plastering l Tiling l Paving Blocking l Concreting l Door/Window Openings

Las Razes, Touffailles (82190), 05 63 94 32 80,, Siret: 499 560 654 00026

Au Matou du Montat L’HÔTEL POUR CHATS

Easy access – close to Cahors, Lot

A new modern cattery which offers a high standard of care and accommodation Heated insulated suites each with private outdoor run Webcam access for remote viewing Pheromone release Suites suitable for cats of all ages and abilities Special care for individual needs Vetbed bedding, toys and scratching posts Contact Susan: or 07 81 62 17 29 See our website for more information: The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


Keep it simple – Delivering British Paints in France British Paint, all leading brands delivered in three days to your front door in France Visit our website: Contact: Rob Maiden 01962 714249

Quercy Builders (82150) Stone work and all aspects of renovation Subcontractors to the trade and a professional service to the public References available No obligation quotations 06 52 24 49 95 06 52 49 03 57

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Garden Show Saturday – 24 September 2016, 2pm to 6pm, Salle des Fetes, Lauzerte Join members and friends of the Club de Jardinage de Lauzerte for an afternoon filled with entertainment for the whole family! Entrance is FREE. We would also encourage you to bring along your non-British friends and introduce them to this very traditional British event: * Displays of plants and flowers * Exhibit of garden photos * Ask a garden expert – bring your garden-related queries and problems to our panel of experts. * Children’s corner – including a display of imaginative garden drawings by the 6 + 7 years’ old children of Lauzerte Primary School. * Garden-related items for sale – the proceeds given by commercial participants will go to the Sensory Garden at the Maison de Retraite in Lauzerte. * A tombola * Refreshing tea and delicious home-made cakes and scones For only 50c per entry, you can also enter the following competitions (the children’s competition is free): 1. 5 of the same vegetable 2. 5 of the same fruit 3. 5 mixed vegetables 4. 5 mixed fruit 5. A pumpkin or a squash 6. A display of cut flowers 7. A pot plant 8. A jar of jam or chutney 9. A funny-shaped vegetable 10. Children’s Competition: a decorated flower pot – imagination is given full rein here, with no restrictions at all. A great activity for the summer holidays. 11. The Apple Challenge: a home-made cake or pastry, made with apples, which will be tasted, and judged, by the public! Important note: We would like to encourage as many entries as possible, so please note that the guidelines for the competitions are quite relaxed! 10.00 - 12.00 Reception of entries and displays – the children’s flower pots may be brought in the afternoon before 4pm. 12.00 - 14.00 Judging of competition entries 14.00 SHOW OPENS TO THE PUBLIC 16.00 Judging of the Apple Challenge, the Children’s Flower Pots – and the winning child will choose the Funniest Vegetable/Fruit. 16.30 Prizes awarded 17.00 Auction of vegetables, fruit and flowers that have been donated by competitors. 18.00 Show closes

The Club is a friendly group of people of all ages, nationalities and green-fingered abilities. We meet every second Tuesday in the month, usually at the Salle des Fetes in Lauzerte from 2pm to 4.30pm. Our meetings cater for French and English speakers. Come along and meet us with no obligation – you’ll receive a warm welcome! And if you do then decide to join the Club, our annual subscription is only 10 Euros. Our remaining 2016 Annual Programme is as follows: September 13 – Visit to Jardin de Quercy in Verfeils and to Des Espiemonts Nursery en route home – with lunch in St Antonin Noble Val September 24 – Club Garden Show in Lauzerte – see above* October 11 – Talk on Saffron & Truffles November 8 – Quiz and Chilli night Nov (tba) – La Journee de l’Arbre Nov (tba) – Christmas Table Decorations Workshop December 13 – Club Christmas Lunch Please note: the Annual Programme may be subject to change

If you would like to join in a meeting or to know more about the club generally, please contact our Secretary Pam Westcott: 05 63 94 19 25 or

For further information on the Garden Show or to request an entry form and general advice for the competitions, please contact Ingrid Batty on 05 65 31 91 52 or The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local



Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

Pool design & construction Traditional swimming-pools Liner – reinforced PVC - Automatic water treatment - Automatic cover Automatic cleaning - Heat pump – Equipment - Chemicals


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Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


One man’s epic journey to cross the Lot Department by canoe & cycle – in one day! SEPTEMBER 13TH 2016 Keith Charge is usually seen wearing noir et blanc, the colours of CAB Brive rugby, as he is a stalwart supporter and for the last eight years he has been the ‘Officier de Liaison aupres de la Communaute Brittanique’ for the club. But, this summer he has donned a yellow jersey (not ‘the yellow jersey’!) and can be seen cycling around the Lot and Eastern Dordogne as he commences training for this challenge which is part of the ‘Cancer Support France (CSF) Activity For Life’ week in September.


his is a national event being organised across France by the associations of ‘CSF’ to both fundraise for the training of additional Active Listeners (see www. cancersupportfrance. org for information about ALs and their work) and to raise the profile of the vital work of the charity throughout the country, supporting those Anglophones whose lives have been affected by cancer. Keith is the husband of ‘Dordogne Est & Lot CSF’ President, Julia Hall and like many of you reading this article, both have lost loved ones to cancer. This event means a great deal to them both and their aim is, with your help, to raise funds to be shared between CSF National and your local Association here in ‘The Quercy’. A keen sportsman but never a cyclist, Keith will start his journey at St Sozy where he intends to canoe to Souillac (‘Safaraid’ of Vayrac are very kindly loaning the canoe). From Souillac he will then cycle to Gourdon, Salviac, Montgesty, Rostassac, Castelfranc, AnglarsJuillac, Pescadoires, Puy L’Eveque, Grezels and finally onto Prayssac. He will finish at Chateau Fantou, having canoed 20 kms and cycled at least 100kms. When this campaign was launched, cycling was a way of keeping fit for the “Briviste”, but it is now a serious business and Keith trains 4/5 times per week. Diet is important, so Julia prepares rice and pasta dishes for breakfast, so that he can maximize his endurance. However, she says that she is still not able to convince him that ice cream and beer every day is not on the diet sheet!

CSF would love to see supporters along the route to encourage Keith if he is flagging. First port of call will be the ‘Chapeau Melon’ in Souillac (although Keith will be swapping from canoe to cycle, he will not be stopping for a beer!) Timings are approximate but it’s hoped this will be between 11.00-12.00h. The Siege Social for the Association is at the Marie in Salviac, supporters are invited to meet Committee members there to cheer Keith through the town. Again timings are approximate, 13.30-14.30h. Finally, the famille Aldhuy at Chateau Fantou, together with supporters, will welcome him at the end of this mammoth effort (well, for him maybe not Chris Froome!). Everyone is very welcome and aperos will be served at approximately 18.00-19.00h to celebrate this fund raising achievement! A final comment from Keith... every cyclist is entitled to a wobble! A GOFUNDME site has been launched at www. or cheques (made payable to CSF Dordogne Est & Lot) can be sent to the CSF Treasurer: Mme Suzy Manning, Labrassalie, Francoules 46090. Please include a name and address if a receipt is required. All donations are hugely appreciated – help CSF to be there for those in need of our suppowrt.

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


g s es tin nt né ui e ré cr Ag Py Re es idil Sa M e th



Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

The Quercy Local • May-June 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


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: Or contact Elizabeth Cross on +33(0)788279014 or

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


VILLEFRANCHE DU PERIGORD FETE DE LA CHATAIGNE 15 & 16 October 2016 Villefranche du Périgord is a Bastide village founded in 1261 by Alphonse de Poitiers, the brother of Louis IX. This village lies in the ‘Land of the Chestnut Tree’ in the south easterly region of the Dordogne, bordered by the Lot and the Lot-et-Garonne.


he Chestnut Fair in Villefranche de Perigord is a local ‘institution’ which takes place every 3rd weekend in October. It’s timed to coincide with the end of the chestnut harvest and thereby the peak ‘nut’ sales period. The Fair makes the very best of use of the ancient covered market place which dominates the town square. The number of local chestnut producers has decreased now to about 250. The current production region covers parts of the Haute Vienne, Corrèze, Lot, Dordogne, Lot et Garonne and the Tarn. Chestnut trees prefer acidic, stony ground because whilst the trees require water they also need effective drainage. Harvesting takes place from the beginning of September until the start of November each year. After the harvest is gathered, the crop is sorted and weighed and then either prepared (peeled or cooked) or kept in cold rooms to be prepared and sold later. On the Friday night before the Fair there’s a ‘welcome gathering’ with the telling of French tales, chestnuts are roasted and ‘bourru’ wine is served. Then on the Saturday morning the market starts, offering a great selection of local products; either gastronomic treats or simple daily produce. Many people attend the market to buy some of the lovely ‘cêpes’ that are often laid out on stalls. Most importantly you’ll be able to witness the famous chestnut judging competition where the largest and most perfect specimens are crowned. In the afternoon there are various activities including guided walks to learn about local plantlife. In Le Halle there’s a competition to see who is the best able to handle the traditional tongs used to collect the nuts from the ground. Then later, in the evening, there’s a meal which offers some speciality chestnut dishes and you can take part in traditional dancing with the folk group ‘Les Croquants d’Escornabïou’. On Sunday morning there’s a ritual gathering of the ‘brotherhood’ of la Confrérie de la Châtaigne The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


de Villefranche du Périgord where the brothers wear very specific costumes. You can also watch the creation of a huge omelette; prepared with 35 kgs of Cêpes and 1200 eggs and which can feed up to 400 hungry people. After that, how about watching a chestnut-spitting competition? This is a very serious competition with strict rules. The competition is open to anyone, of any age. This year there’s an 11m record to be beaten. All-in-all it’s possible, in a short weekend, to get a real flavour of this ancient traditional fair and any of the local traditions. Don’t forget to gather a few chestnut products to take home. Things such as chestnut crème, confiture, soup, beer, biscuits, cakes, flour, aperitifs and of course the nuts themselves – either just as they were picked or in jars, toasted or peeled ready for cooking. Three of the main producers and preparers of chestnut products in the region are Domaine de Rapatel, Les Gourmandises de Camille and La Cabane de Marou, watch-out for their products around the town! Away from all the nuts you’ll also find the town a great place to explore, with its typical Dordogne style houses, calmness and a great sense of time-throughthe-ages. You could enjoy a drink at Le Café du Commerce, opposite La Halle or in La Rencontre des Saveurs, in Rue Notre Dame.

Just what is Bo urru win

e? Bourru is a Frenc h term for young wines that haven’t com pleted their ferm entation but are drawn fro m the vat to drink . The name is deriv ed from the type of lip ‘blubbering’ th at can occur due to the high levels of tannins encounter ed when the wine is tasted. The wine contains less alc ohol and has a sli ghtly effervescent natu re.

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


If you find yourself feeling peckish you could pop into Le Goûter de Charlotte and taste their home-made savoury pies, mixed salads or delicious desserts and where you can be sure of a whole-hearted welcome. Then for the very hungry there’s le Restaurant La Bastide or La Petite Auberge (just a little away from the main town) both of which offer typical regional menus. There are a number of shops housing local artists, local products, bric-a-brac and a lovely second hand book shop. To gather more information on the area you can visit the Museum of Traditional Perigord, or call in at the friendly Tourist Office and even visit their ‘La Maison de la Châtaigne’ an interactive space that teaches even more about the favourite local product – the Chestnut. As well as the Chestnut Fair there are other food related treats during the year. For instance, this year, on the 23rd October there’s a Chocolate Festival. Then there are the now-famous mushroom markets, which take place every day during the mushroom growing season. This town was not awarded the title Site Remarquable du Gout for no reason – it’s packed with tasty offerings! Research by Valérie Rousseau

DO YOU KNOW YOUR CHESTNUTS? The actual ‘nuts’ from a sweet chestnut and horse chestnut (conker) tree may look very similar – but here are some facts... l

They are not related to each other. The sweet chestnut has a very spikey/needle-sharp husk and the horse chestnut (conker) has a smoother husk with few prickles.


Sweet chestnuts have a slight tassel on one-side where as horse chestnuts are completely smooth.


The sweet chestnut is healthy and edible, low in fat, high in protein, vitamins and fibre. The horse chestnut


Sweet Chestnuts

Horse Chestnuts

is inedible and very toxic to humans and many animals. After significant preparation it can be made into an animal feed for some but not all breeds.

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


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 instagram: quercyoak Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Salade Périgourdine aux châtaignes [serves 4]

Ingredients A mixture of fresh crispy lettuce (trévise, scarole, frisée etc.) 4 goose (or duck) gizzards finely chopped 100 g dried ham (jambon de pays) cut into slices 100 g crushed Périgord walnuts – for cooking 200 g Périgord chestnuts – cooked in chicken stock and seasoning. Vinaigrette prepared with Violette Moutarde, a nut flavoured vinegar and nut oil. Chopped chives A little duck fat for frying Method Fry the gizzards and walnuts in a pan with a little duck fat. Season the lettuce and arrange on plates. Spread the gizzards and chestnuts, along with the ham, cookedchestnuts and chives.

What is Violette Moutarde? It’s a delicate sweet and spicy mustard sauce, originally from Brive in Western France. It’s ideal served with meats, or as a traditional accompaniment for Périgord sausage, or cheese. To make you will need: 480 ml red wine, 480 ml red grapes (blended), 240 mil port, 240 ml whole grain mustard, 120 ml Dijon mustard Method Bring the wine, grapes and port to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce until the liquid is almost gone and the mixture turns syrupy – 15 to 20 minutes. Purée the mixture in a blender, then pass through a fine sieve. Set aside to cool. Add the mustards and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

A little of the Violette Moutarde’s history... WHEN Elie-Arnaud Denoix and his father, Louis, dusted off the family’s recipe for moutarde violette – mustard mixed with grape must – in 1986, the only other person here in the Limousin region making this ancient preparation was ‘’one very old woman who just made a little bit,’’ Elie-Arnaud Denoix said. ‘’We knew that when she died, that would be it for moutarde violette – unless we started making it again,’’ he said. Given that the word mustard comes from mustum, Latin for grape must, the loss of what was once a standard type of mustard seemed, to Mr. Denoix, both ironic and somewhat poignant. Besides, he’d miss it. At a rustic restaurant near Brive, Mr. Denoix, 46, explained the mustard’s genesis over a traditional lunch of miche (slices of steamed bread) and boiled beef, accompanied by little pots of it. Ground mustard seeds need to be mixed with a liquid for the flavor to bloom and the distinctive heat to be released. While water will work, mixing the seeds with something acidic also acts as a preservative. Grape must (unfermented grape juice), verjuice (the juice of unripe grapes) and vinegar have all served to moisten the seeds since antiquity, though vinegar is the most common, especially in France. But in the Limousin area, and near Bordeaux, grape must was the mixer of choice from the Middle Ages up until the mid-20th century.

‘’Moutarde violette was very fashionable during the belle époque,’’ Mr. Denoix said as he dabbed forkfuls of beef into the purple paste. ‘’But for some reason the demand dropped off in the 50’s, and by the 80’s it was all but forgotten.’’

He brought it back to preserve this regional specialty, and to supply his family and friends. ‘’People, especially older people, often would ask me for it,’’ he said. Other companies have since followed Mr. Denoix’s lead, and now there are several moutarde violette producers in France, concentrated in the Limousin region. Aside from the violet hue, the grape must imparts a fruity sweetness to the mustard. The addition of spices -- including cinnamon and clove -- gives it a complex, haunting flavor. Mr. Denoix coarsely grinds the seeds instead of pulverizing them, so the mustard has a crunchy texture. In Brive and its environs, moutarde violette is mostly eaten like any other mustard, as a condiment with local sausages, hams and pâté, though you’ll also find it used as an ingredient in sauces and vinaigrettes. Extract from an article by Melissa Clark, 19th May, 2004 – The New York Times

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


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Magnum Mentoring - think bigger! Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


ARBRESERVICES Matt Strawbridge Tree Surgeon Elagueur Arboriste

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

TOMCATS Intact male cats have big cheeks and thickenings around the face as a part of their sexual identification, if a male cat is neutered before reaching puberty and before 4 months of age, most likely he will not develop these secondary male sexual characteristics. It may be that the massive face helps in dominance displays to make the male seem bigger they also help to protect him when fighting with competing males. With their big heads and confident swagger, there’s no denying that tomcats have a certain charm. But there’s also no denying that those male hormones cause certain behaviours that are distasteful to most humans and place the cat at great risk of catching and spreading fatal cat viruses as well as becoming lost whilst roaming or being run over. Instinct tells all cats, even house cats, to establish a safe territory to protect their resources these include their food source. This is especially important to unsterilised males that are driven to reproduce and also need a safe territory in order to mate. Tomcats spray to mark their territory, fight to drive away competing males and may roam far from home in search of a mate. Sterilisation does not change a male cat’s personality or temperament, but it does put an end to the spraying, fighting, roaming and therefore diminishing health risks.

If you would like more information please contact Lynn Stone at The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


L’AUBERGE de Miramont

Le village, 82190 Miramont de Quercy A very popular restaurant serving local specialities in a lovely, cosy dining-room and in summer on the beautiful terrace. Great atmosphere and food. Popular for great value lunches and special evening meals.

Reservations recommended. Stephane & Karen look forward to welcoming you.

05 63 94 65 57 06 30 80 55 55 check opening hours

FAMILY BOARDING FOR PETS For dogs, the option of a large indoor or outdoor kennel. Big shady parks where your dog can run around and play-freely, overseen and in complete safety. For cats, cheerfully coloured indoor boxes, complete with off the ground hiding places. During the daytime your pet can take advantage of a playroom and access to an entirely closed and secure, outside garden.

Phone: 06 95 20 92 01 www.figaro Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Mick Bates – Monflanquin (47150) General Electrician

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

Tel. 05 82 95 05 73 Port. 06 27 71 94 51 Refer to this advert to receive a 10%discount

La Troupe D’Acteurs Du Quercy

Autumn approaches... Autumn will soon be on us! When visitors, guests and gîte owners are recovering from the holiday season and the tourists have departed for another year. La Troupe is having an open evening on September 14th at the Salle des Fêtes in Montaigu de Quercy. You are cordially invited to join us at Bring a plate to share and a drink, mingle with the members and find out about the am-dram group. We are currently around 50 members, and we would like to recruit further members to take part -or just help- with the various activities, related to staging a production.

We are also very busy, having great fun rehearsing our autumn production: “The Mystery of Talbot Manor” Are you up for a challenge? Could you solve this scandalous murder? You are invited to an evening’s entertainment at The Salle des Fêtes, Montaigu de Quercy on Friday 30th September. Bring a picnic if you wish, ready to start at 7.00 pm ticket e10. For Saturday 1st October the ticket includes an excellent five course meal at e20, starts at Tables of up to eight in a team. Curtain up Tickets available on the door. Bar.

• Acting, singing, dancing, playing an instrument • Lighting and sound • Making props, designing sets – and their construction • Costume and make up • Stage management • Front of house • Administrator for a production helping to co-ordinate it all Everyone is welcome from absolute beginners, to those with skills and experience. Following straight on, at 7.30pm, there will be the read through for this year’s Pantomime: Sleeping Beauty. All are welcome there is no commitment required, our aim is to have fun. The serious business of Auditions follow a couple of nights later, you are welcome to put your name down for an audition if you feel brave enough!

Reservations: Tel: 05 53 49 19 51

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local

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



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

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

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Metse, Les Espiemonts, 82160, Caylus, Tarn et Garonne Phone: 05 63 64 68 76 Mob: 06 81 76 02 30 Email: 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.

COTE JARDIN COTE COEUR For this our 4th annual event we are glad to be welcoming almost sixty exhibitors! This year our display will include many handicrafts. We have invited talented, local artists to bring and show their works based on both ‘Nature’ and ‘Garden’. There will be many exhibitions by garden nurseries and garden suppliers. This will allow all those with a passion for nature; the artisans, growers and visitors to be able to find new things and learn from the many experts. This region is rich with talented horticultural and traditional artists; this event provides an opportunity to meet them whilst also discovering and enjoying the wonderful Parc du Château de Pompignan. This magnificent staging of all that is good and great with gardens will appeal to both the experienced and the novice gardeners. A truly great place to seek inspiration. During the day there will be several workshops and also relevant discussions taking place, suitable for both children and adults. You can find out exactly what to expect at

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

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


L’ART DES PLANTES Photo de Laurence Mouton et À la Lumière du jour.



16 OCTOBRE 2016


POMPIGNAN EN TARN-ET-GARONNE Restauration et Buvette sur Place De 9h à 18h30. Entrée: 3€/Personne


Spring Flowering Bulbs With autumn just approaching, it may seem too early to be talking about bulbs, the harbingers of spring, but often gardening is about thinking ahead, and now is the time to be planning and planting any new spring flowering bulbs in your garden.


hey are such easy plants to grow – simply plant them and leave them and then enjoy vibrant colour each year, with just a bit of deadheading for ongoing care. They can brighten up your borders, add interest to the bases of trees and shrubs, or be planted in containers, and by carefully selecting varieties you can achieve an ongoing display from very early spring all the way through to summer. It is useful to be clear on the definition of a bulb: a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases, which is the food storage organ of a plant that sees it through dormancy. A true bulb (for example, narcissus, hyacinth or tulip) contains its leaves and flowering parts inside. Some plants, however, have other types of storage organs which closely resemble bulbs; these organs are corms, rhizomes, and tubers, and they are often referred to as bulbs, although, botanically speaking, they are geophytes - plants which form underground storage organs (this includes both true bulbs and corms, rhizomes and tubers). Geophytes all bear close resemblance, with subtle differences. A corm, for instance, (e.g. Crocus and Gladiolus), has its leaf parts on the outside rather than the inside, with internal buds. A rhizome, meanwhile (e.g. Canna Lily and Iris) possesses a growing tip, from which the leaves and buds form. Lastly, a tuber (e.g. anemone, dahlia, ranunculus) has “eyes” that

develop into roots, shoots, leaves, and flowers. They all have similar growing habits, however, and as it is fairly common and convenient to simply group all of these together and call them bulbs, I shall do so throughout this article. One of the easiest things to do with bulbs is to naturalise them. While some people think naturalising means growing bulbs in grass rather than in borders, it actually means growing bulbs as they would grow in the wild, naturally. This can be done in lawns, woodland, orchards, wild flower meadows, and around the bases

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


of trees and shrubs, where, rather than carefully arranging the plants into a formal pattern, you simply scatter the bulbs and plant them where they fall, then allow them to grow and increase in number, undisturbed. The resulting clusters form a carpet of colour, which returns year after year, each year growing and spreading. It’s a great way of providing interest in areas that otherwise might not bloom, especially in places like under deciduous trees, where conditions might be too dry and shady for other plants. Note though that Hybrids do not come true from seed, and are not reliable plants for naturalising for uniform colours. The bulbs will be there for a long time, so it’s important for them to be well spaced, and not too close together, as overcrowding reduces flowering. While this may look a little bare at first, it will fill out, though it takes a bulb between 4-7 years to reach full flowering size from seed, so, as always with garden development, it’s necessary to be somewhat patient. If including bulbs in a border, try to plant in substantial quantities, of half a dozen or more, to achieve an impact. You can make good use of early varieties, such as Galanthus and Scilla, by planting next to late perennials. This will avoid bare patches while the perennials are still dormant, and then, reciprocally, as the perennials begin their new growth, they will cover up the fading foliage of the bulbs. When planting the bulbs, dig the planting holes with a trowel or a bulb planter. The holes should be approximately three times the depth of the bulb. Shallow planting leaves bulbs vulnerable to drying out and to being dug up by squirrels. Break up the plug of soil removed and use this to backfill around the bulb once it is in place. Ensure that your planting area has sufficient drainage. Bulbs do not like winter wet and are not suitable for heavy clay soils. To improve suitability, increase drainage by digging in grit and organic matter. Also ensure that you place bulbs appropriately

for light levels. Narcissus and Crocus will thrive in full sunlight, while Galanthus, Bluebells and Aconites do well in shade. Bulbs can also be grown in containers, and will benefit from a mix of three parts multi-purpose compost and one part grit. The bulbs should be planted at three times their depth, one bulb’s width apart. Ensure that pots don’t dry out, watering when necessary, especially during active growth. For ongoing care, deadhead the spent flowers but leave the leaves to die back naturally. This improves next year’s growth, with a bigger bulb and productive flowering. Bulbs are not prone to too many problems. They can, of course, rot during storage, so discard any soft bulbs during planting. Slugs and snails, the ubiquitous enemy, should be removed (personally, I like to then feed them to my chickens!) Squirrels are particularly fond of tulip and crocus bulbs. Some diseases to be mindful of are viruses in narcissus and tulips, grey mould in Galanthus, Narcissus basal rot, and the fungal disease, tulip fire. If, as sometimes happens, you acquire your new bulbs, full of enthusiasm for planting them, then they somehow remain forgotten somewhere in your potting shed or barn, don’t berate yourself too much. Plant them as soon as possible, even if they have begun sprouting. If you wait until the following autumn so it’s the “correct” time, they will deteriorate further. Some bulbs store better than others, and they might not perform terribly well in their first year, but at least you can give them a chance.

John and Debbie (Le Jardin des Espiemonts), 05 63 64 68 76,

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


LIVING WITH BREXIT We are certainly living in interesting times, as the UK prepares to start a new chapter in its history. This has created uncertainty for British expatriates here in France and elsewhere in the EU. Many moved to France many years ago; they now consider France their permanent home and have no plans to leave.

There are many questions and theories about what will happen next, but the process of exiting the EU will take at least two years, and the UK has yet to invoke Article 50. The rights we have at present will be maintained for this period, and it is possible that there will not be drastic changes here after that. The first big question for expatriates is residency. We can continue to live in France, as we have done for so many years, for at least the next two years and probably a lot longer. After the Brexit terms have been agreed we expect common sense to prevail and new bilateral or multilateral agreements set up to protect the rights of Britons in the EU and EU nationals in the UK. It is very encouraging that the new UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, continues to confirm her commitment to secure the rights of British nationals living in EU countries. French François Hollande has also said that French people in the UK will be able to continue to live and work there, and British people in France can continue to work and spend as much time here as they wish. Healthcare is another concern for expatriates here (although some may also have private health cover). Although we do not know what will happen long-term, the current system should continue to apply for at least the next couple of years until the point where the UK officially leaves the EU. Another concern is how the Brexit vote will hit us financially. We can expect exchange rates to continue to fluctuate for a while. Ideally, the currency of your assets should match the currency of your liabilities. So if you live in France, and your living expenses are in Euro, at least some of your savings and investments should be in Euro. Speak to a financial adviser based here and discuss your aims and circumstances to determine what would be the best solution for you. Investment assets prices can fluctuate in times of uncertainty. It is more important than ever to have suitable asset allocation and diversification in your

portfolio. Many British expatriates lean towards UK investments – corporate bonds issued by UK companies, gilts, UK shares etc. Indeed UK advisers often structure their clients’ portfolios this way but that may not always be the right balance for you. You need to seek expert financial advice from a locally based adviser, to review your portfolio to see if you need more diversification across assets, geographical locations etc. You also want the peace of mind of knowing it is designed around your needs, aims and risk profile. This advice on diversification and suitability equally applies to the underlying investments in your pension funds. Taxation also hits our pockets; will Brexit lead to tax changes? Brexit should have very limited consequences on how you are taxed in France. Local tax rates will generally remain the same for all residents and double tax treaties, such as the one between the UK and France, are independent of the EU, so your existing tax treatment will continue to apply. However there are circumstances where taxation may be affected. For example, UK bonds would become non-EU bonds, and so will not qualify for the beneficial tax treatment given to EU assurance-vie and capital redemption bonds. You may wish to seek professional advice to review your position. In the current climate, you should build a good relationship with an established locally based financial adviser, so they keep you informed of developments that affect you and help you plan if and when you need to make changes to your wealth management. Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

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 ~ ~ Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice. The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


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Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

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Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


RECETTES DE CHEF MEET A LOCAL CHEF AND SHARE ONE OF HIS RECIPES Here we find out about Henri Jean from L’Atrium in Cazes Mondenard in the Tarn et Garonne. Henri Jean lets us in on some of his kitchen’s secrets. CAZES MONDENARD – 05 63 05 16 46

Henri Jean Watrinet is the owner and chef of L’Atrium restaurant in Cazes Mondenard. He originally came from Moselle where he had a restaurant. When he moved to the Tarn et Garonne he became the under-chef at Château de L’Hoste. This was followed by time at the Diana Dea Lodge in St Benoît, Reunion Island (owned by the same family as Château de L’Hoste). When he decided to come back to mainland France he sought a restaurant to buy. Eventually he discovered l’Âtre in Cazes Mondenard. The Town Hall retained ownership of the building but they along with Henri Jean brought a new life to the restaurant. After some renovation and a name change to L’Atrium, Henri Jean was ready to head up this unpretentious but very popular little restaurant. Diners are sure to be impressed by the huge stone fireplace in the back of the dining-room. This huge stone marvel was found in a nearby, ruined mansion and taken back to set in the restaurant. Henri Jean shares one of his favourite lamb recipes with us.

Kampot Pepper – What is this? Kampot Pepper is the first Cambodian product to benefit from the status of Protected Geographical Indication. It gets its name from the stunning southern province of Kampot, bordered on the South by the Siam Gulf. There are only two types of plant, known locally as ‘big leaves’ and ‘little leaves’. All cultivation is done by taking cuttings. Fertilisers are applied all through the year either by the addition of new soil, cow dung or bat dung (guano). In some instances fertiliser is produced from rice field crabs. No chemical fertilisers are allowed. The plants require watering and this is generally done manually from irrigation ponds. Pest control is only allowed by the use of other plants to ‘repulse’ pests. Local knowledge allows for locally grown solutions to all pest issues. Pepper producers come from several generations of pepper planters. They came back to their land after the civil war was over and started to farm pepper using their traditional methods inherited from their ancestors. Producers growing pepper in Kampot today come from several generations of pepper planters. They came back on their land after the civil war was over and started to farm pepper using their traditional methods inherited from their ancestors. These pepper aficionados, proud of their traditional values and definitely looking into the future, protect their ancestor’s know-how, aiming always to make the highest quality pepper. This black pepper delivers a strong but delicate aroma. Its taste, which can range from intensely spicy to mildly sweet, reveals hints of flower, eucalyptus and mint. It suits all kind of dishes and distinguishes itself in particular with grilled fish (and in our case here – lamb).

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Rolled lamb fillet flavoured with thyme flowers and kampot pepper. Served with broad-bean and onion confit, topped with a garlic cream and decorated with red cabbage shavings. Serves 4/5. INGREDIENTS Lamb: • Double, boneless lamb fillet, fat removed, sliced with an envelope like opening. (A helpful butcher should assist with this preparation) • Fresh flowering thyme to taste • 10 kampot pepper seeds crushed Broad Beans: • 500 g peeled broad-beans • 100 g small, white cooked-onions, preserved in olive oil • 1 ‘Granny Smith’ apple peeled and cut into small pieces • 1 finely cut shallot • 500 g cream • Garden herbs including a fresh sage leaf • Butter Garlic Cream: • 1 garlic bulb • 2 fresh bay leaves • 1 sprig of rosemary • 25 cl skimmed milk + 25 cl whole milk + 25 cl fresh cream • Coarse salt and peppershaving of red cabbage for decoration.

METHOD: Lamb: Lay the lamb on a board and add the thyme flowers and crushed kampot peppers. Roll the meat up and tie. S  ear the meat on all sides, then put in the oven at 200°C for 5 - 10 mins as desired. Rest the meat for 10 min, cover with foil. Broad Beans: Oil a pan in your preferred way. Add the butter and shallots to brown. Add the onions, reduce the heat and add the apple for a further 2 minutes. Continuing to stir whilst adding the broad beans. Add the cream, herbs and the finely chopped sage leaf. Taste for seasoning. Leave to simmer until the mixture becomes creamy, do not over thicken. Garlic Cream: Bleach the garlic and bay leaves, 7 times. Put all ingredients in a pan and infuse for 10 min. Put the garlic to one side. Strain the cream to remove the herbs. Mix the cream with the garlic. Pass through a sieve, taste and blend before serving. To serve: Gently arrange the broad bean mixture on each plate in three small portions. Lay a slice of lamb on top of each. Add the garlic cream on top and perhaps a shaving of red cabbage for decoration.

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Gillie and Anthony Pearce Tel 06 23 94 22 or 06 12 51 85 05 Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


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Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


No Lycra in Sight To many people looking in from the outside it would appear the month of July is the sole preserve of the Tour de France in the world of bike riding. This would be a reasonably justified thought given it is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet that attracts millions of live fans and an even bigger TV audience. However, as the peloton of 198 riders (assuming no one abandons) settles into the 2200 mile (roughly) race around this fair land, something far more hectic kicks off down in the Alps. That something is called the Megavalanche which takes place from Alp d’Huez around the 4th-10th of July


ince its inception in 1995 the Megavalanche has attracted thousands of riders each year. It’s the most famous and longest running event of its kind in the world. So what is it? Essentially, it is a Downhill mountain bike race with a twist. A world cup Downhill (DH) race sends riders off individually from the top of the course (which, as the name suggests, runs downhill); they have a finishing time when they cross the line, much like DH skiing. A run will typically last around 5 minutes. Things are a little different at the ‘Mega’. To begin with riders are not sent off individually; this is mass start

event (think back to the glorious days of school crosscountry running and trying not to trip over the smaller kids in front of you). I mean a mass start. Granted, the top qualifiers do go off in waves of 25 but after that it is a free for all with up to 2700 riders. It is a sight to behold. The course itself also differs quite a bit from a typical DH track. The start line is atop the glaciated summit of Le Pic Blanc at 3300m; the finish line is in the valley bottom of Allemont at 720m: that’s a 2580m drop along a 30km course. The fastest riders can get down in just over 38 minutes! This is a serious race course and not for the faint

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


of heart. It takes an incredible amount of skill and fitness to get down. The fact that the first few hundred metres are very steep and often covered in snow should alert you to what lies ahead: multiple sections of very technical, single track, riding as well as heart-in-mouth fast, scary sections. I have many friends who have made the trip over to take part in this race. They have loved every second of it, and why wouldn’t you? After all, if you are going to fall off your bike it’s better to do it in the awe inspiring setting of the Alps, with thousands of others, than on your own into a wet Yorkshire bog. The days before the big race are for practise runs around the area and qualifying races (which are held on a separate, shorter course). There is a kid’s race and a whole mountain bike festival vibe going on. One of the most appealing aspects of the ‘Mega’ is that the “have-a-go heroes” get to ride the same course as the pro riders. Although, the weekend warriors tend to have a few more problems making it down the mountain in one piece, it means just as much. Personal battles and friendly rivalries become the order of the day; trying to beat your own target time whilst not pushing so hard that you end up in a heap or down a ravine. For the majority of the racers, once the finish line is crossed, the positions and times don’t matter (until it’s time to register for the next year’s race). The sheer enjoyment of taking part in such a race is more than enough. Once the beers are flowing and new friends are made, the results don’t matter, that’s what it’s all about. Very, very few people can make a living from riding a bike -- for the rest of us it’s all about having as much fun as possible.

The Megavalanche is an event I would very much like to have a go at before my time is up. One day, I hope to fill this space with a personal account of what will no doubt be likened to an octopus being shot out of a cannon. In the mean time I would encourage you to fire up the old computer and watch some of the YouTube videos around that show this remarkable race in all its glory. Tom, a Yorkshireman here in France, owns and runs, velo plus FIX, a cycle workshop and rental business based in 82190.

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Tasting The Lot An introduction to me, Luci Cox and my food and wine year. Learning and teaching about food and wine matching is my passion. My first love was food, my second was wine! I love growing it, cooking it, eating it and drinking it! Who doesn’t? All I needed was a career that matched my passions.


aving trained at Prue Leith’s cookery school, and working in many glorious food establishments in the UK I had found my perfect job! Working at a wonderful restaurant called The Marsh Goose in Gloucestershire, I started to help with cookery demonstrations and food and wine lectures. Teaching began to take over. Meeting great people who shared my love of food, I decided to travel around the world and learn more. My parents had already bought the house I now live in, I thought I hated France after a bad experience at a school exchange when I was 12, so planned to move to New Zealand to work, as far from France as possible! Coming to visit my parents near Montcuq for a holiday to say good bye before my big trip, oh what a place. I loved the little house they bought in 1990, the

local markets we visited were abundant with produce grown by locals and the trips to places of interest were made all the more interesting by my father’s weird stories about buildings and agriculture, the war and local family dramas and my mother’s obsessive desire to read the local history books to find out more information. I was hooked. I think it was also the bread, cheese and the wine! I still went to New Zealand. I travelled, worked in vineyards, wineries, kitchens, restaurants, tasting rooms, riding stables, orchards, dairy farms and fish farms. I worked for some wonderful wineries in New Zealand, learnt how to grow grapes, prune grapevines, manage vineyards and make wine. I was again totally hooked, but I missed my family. I returned to the UK, and decided to continue with my new found love for NZ, wine.

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I found a course in the UK at Plumpton College where I could study wine making and vineyard management. After working in most Delosperma of the English Red Mountain vineyards, I started to work in Vinopolis, London’s largest event space and wine tasting museum, now sadly closed. Not the best working environment, a huge space under the railway arches of Southwark and London Bridge, no windows and lots of trains rumbling overheard but a fabulous place to try wines from all over the world. I became the manager after a year of working hard and loved the variety of work. From setting up wine tastings on the London Eye to corporate tastings Papaver Royal Wedding Poppy for over 250 people at a time, setting up tastings for the BBC Good Food Show, working with funny wine presenters like Oz Clarke. I love talking about wine! Especially Cahors. In 2004 I started my first Cahors wine tasting in London, not everyone’s favourite wine, but it is one of mine! I started food and wine courses, wine tasting classes and cookery demonstrations in the most beautiful buildings in London. Great fun, great food and wonderful wines! Living in London after the bombs went off, was not for me. I moved back to my parents’ home in The Cotswolds and set up food and wine tasting evenings, lecture lunches and book signing lunches. After a year of Cotswold life, I wanted to move again. I wanted to write about it, grow it, find something nice to drink with it and find a lovely place to eat. I asked my parents if I could move into their house in the Lot for a year. That was 9 years ago! Admittedly I used to go back to the UK a lot as it was a holiday home and my parents were elderly and I loved spending time with them. But sadly over the last year they have both passed away and the house has now become my brother’s and mine. I want to live here permanently. I started, this summer, teaching about the region I love so much and so starts my year of writing about it. I asked Anna if I could write about a year in The Lot. Very kindly she has agreed.

So over the next year I hope to bring you a gourmet calendar. Each edition will bring you foods and wines from around the Quercy and the Lot. These next 2 months is wine!! Oh yes, wonderful Coteaux de Quercy, Vine de Pays du Lot and AOC Cahors. Also my favourite thing about September and October, Harvest food. I have chosen this month to write my favourite wine recipes. The Women’s Institute in Great Britain is a brilliant group of inspirational women, a few years ago they ran a jam competition, I entered 15 different jams, all made from produce grown in The Lot. This recipe was a set recipe, we all entered our jams, and I came 4th! Apparently my label needs to be placed between the seams on the jar! I lost a whole point for that.

Plum and Mulled Wine Jam Ingredients (makes 6lb jam): 1.8 kg red plums, halved and stoned 375ml red wine mulled wine spices (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or whatever you like) piece orange zest, without pith 1.8 kg granulated sugar Method: Put plums and wine in large pan. Place spices and zest in a spice ball or muslin bag and add to pan. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 15-20 mins or until plum skins are soft. Remove spices and add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring to boil and boil rapidly for about 10 mins, or until setting point. Remove any scum. Pour into sterilized jars and seal and label. Happy Harvest! Luci Cox

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

How’s Business?


We’ve asked three of our customers to let us know just how things are going for them. These have been difficult times all over Europe, but things here in Quercy seem to be bucking many of the trends.

The TAXI HM – a regular advertiser in

Quercy Local

for taxis cy Local I have noticed more requests Since I started to advertise in The Quer customers are keen new these rts, airpo use Toulo and to and from both Bergerac followers of the magazine. to take them would appreciate more luxurious cars I knew that many people in the area n. d the regio on journeys to the airport and aroun is developing A4 to offer my clients and business Audi an and XF r Jagua a have I Now that extra ciate appre have who speaking people well. I have met some lovely English er and I enjoy our numb in asing incre are s client king and comfort I provide. My English spea

bit of service growing relationship. 06 23 69 44 52 Mohamed Haryouli

AGENCE NEWTON – a long term advertiser in The Quercy Local Agence Newton is a national online estate agency with its head office based in Brittany. We advertise on all the major British and French property portals. I am a commercial agent based in the beautiful Quercy, having worked within this industry since 2008. The last two years have seen a steady increase in property for sale as well as properties sold and there has been a good influx of Europeans wanting to live in this beautiful region. Last summer saw a great rise in the pound making property in France cheaper for Brits and although the pound has weakened since the Brexit, this is good for Brits wanting to move back meaning they get more when transferre d back into the pound. Our own expansion has also been reflected by recruiting Henry Voice who is based in the Lot et Garonne as well as Sylvia Reading who is based in the Lot. We are on the lookout for more agents based around the Moissac and Auvillar as well as the east Tarn et Garonne, so please get in touch if you are interested in working within this interesting and dynamic industry. Jenny Small – Commercial Agent www.age

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


NOBLE NUPTIALS – appeared in a feature earlier in 2015 Thanks to the feature on ‘Marrying in France,’ back in the MayJune 2015 edition, my wedding seaso n kicked off in May of this year with a fabulous three-day affair in the Miramont-de- Quercy area. A local English family, having read the article, initially contacted me to ask for my advice on the suitability of a gîte they’d already hired as a venue for their daughter’s wedding. Once I’d come up with a rainy day plan as an enormous storm ripped throu (which was just as well, gh the area on the evening of the wedd ing, but, thankfully, had no impact on the celebrations), I helped with the full organisation of legal and religious ceremonies, installation of the déco Sunday brunch. I was also present from r and the 8am on the Friday morning, throu gh to 11pm Sunday to make sure that everything ran smoothly and that the couple could relax and enjoy spending time with famil y and friends. Other weddings this year have most ly come via word of mouth, from peop le who I have worked with before or have been at weddings/events I have who organized in the past. Since the wedd ing in Miramont, I’ve done a Jewish one in an old wine Chai for a couple from San Francisco, two for couples from the UK at the Chateau de la Vere in Larroque, one for a local couple at the Chateau de Cas near St Antonin, an At-Home, eco-friendly wedding in Puycelsi for a couple from the UK who have family over here and a christening in Andillac. By the time this article comes out, I will have delivered anoth er At-Home wedding (marquee in a vineyard with spectacular views and most adorable little church) in the Gailla the c area with a couple who live in the UK, but again have family over here. I am currently working on the finishing touches for this one (electricity, trans port, timing, deliveries) and can’t wait to see it all come together. After that, I’ll be doing a photo shoot, writin g articles for submission to blogs and magazines, working on a new website, as well as continuing to plan for next year’s events.

Hannah Nicolet hannahnicolet@n www.noblenuptial

LES AMIS DES CHATS a charity dedicated to the welfare of pet and stray cats

HELP US TO HELP THEM! Our 2017 calendar is beautifully illustrated by the professional photographer Isabelle Assante who lives in Roquecor ( This artistic calendar is for sale in our boutiques of Roquecor and Lauzerte and via our website. Buying this calendar is a very nice way to support our association. For more information on forthcoming events, please visit Les amis des chats website: and our Facebook page.

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


Quercy Comment Is Truth Requisite in Democracy? “Democracy is a device that insures we are governed no better than we deserve”*


he result of the United Kingdom/European Union referendum was too late for inclusion in the July edition; it’s also now too early to comment on the fall-out. However, undoubtedly there’s been a seismic shift and changes will eventually be seen. So does anything worry me yet? Well, yes; as a strong advocate for due-process and procedural fairness I‘ve found the way the term ’democracy’ has been used to be quite disturbing. In a truly free and democratic society it should not be necessary to keep reminding people of the same. It now seems that anyone who was opposed to the referendum (in the first place) or its result (secondly) is strongly reminded that it was, after-all, ‘democratic’ and they are then accused of (amongst other things) being ‘undemocratic’. So just what is ‘democracy’ and how important is it? Perhaps it’s a convenient term to disguise the misdoings of rulers and governments? The rules of any democratic-process are almost always set by those in over-all power. Could it be that those rules reflect their best chances of maintaining that power? Many elections throughout-the-world are reported as being democratic, when there are, in fact, huge irregularities. In some cases a small step away from the rule of a dictator may seem like a huge leap forward for democracy; whilst others may abhor the remaining deficit. In light of recent events in the United Kingdom, maybe it is time to give some thought to this rather

well-worn ‘democratic’ concept. Firstly, is the meaning of ‘democracy’ so deeply ‘carved in stone’ that it doesn’t evolve and does any evolution generally follow political necessity and manoeuvrings? Secondly, and critically importantly; can there be a true democracy without absolute truthfulness? So does ‘democracy’ evolve? It’s not that long ago that the British parliamentary system disenfranchised women and the property-less. Was that then considered democratic? At this time Britain heralded itself as a bastion of fairness and democratic values. Things moved on. In 2016 and the Scottish Referendum on Independence, it was decided that the fairest approach was to give a vote to 16 and 17 year olds. Was this an attempt at broadening the democratic nature of the vote or merely political expediency? Certainly the same group were not offered a vote in the UK/EU referendum. Can both approaches to enfranchisement be equally democratic? There are other issues here, why not proportional representation? Who draws up and retains the existing constituency boundaries, ensuring that in UK Parliamentary elections, not all votes are equal? Why not allow British citizens, who’ve legally been exercising their right to reside in the European Union for more than 15 years, to vote? Who decides what is democratic? If you’ve followed the arguments surrounding the ‘right to vote’ in the Labour leadership contest, you’ll

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local



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see that there’s been disquiet between the Labour Party National Executive Committee and the Judiciary about who can vote in this leadership contest. The NEC wanting the rules (and at the time of writing, winning the debate) to favour the outcome they desire, i.e., stopping people from voting. Is that democracy? We are bearing witness to ‘democracy’ in action during the election for the next President of the United States of America. Here we see that money and self-interest can potentially buy electoral success. Sometimes the will of the people, or perhaps the choices they are offered, can be perverse. So, without truth can there be ‘democracy’? If a decision is made on the basis of false assertions does it remain ‘democratic’? Consider the democratic verdict of a jury that condemns an innocent man on the basis of false witnesses. Is this innocent man then actually guilty? Do we say he should accept his guilt and serve his sentence? At least with the UK’s judicial system this man would have a right of appeal. Perhaps we should consider whether this right should automatically be available where falsehoods have affected a political outcome? Consider, for a moment, The Iraq Inquiry** which investigated ‘inter alia’ the validity of the statements that informed Parliament’s ‘democratic’ decision, to enter the Iraq War. There’ve been subsequent cries of foul-play and ‘war-crimes’ due to inaccuracies and untruths. So maybe it’s safe to assume that honesty (in decision-making) is only important in the context of historical analysis and with the benefit of hindsight. Maybe at the time of the decision-making political expediency trumps factual accuracy. Nobody seems to be screaming ‘foul’ about the misinformation provided to the voting public in the UK/ EU referendum. The results of the vote could have life-long (or longer) consequences and so the quality of the decision-making has to be critical. Can the vote have been democratic if the evidence given to inform the voters was deliberately erroneous? Why not appeal, as would the wrongly convicted man? Since the referendum almost everyone seems to be saying (notably Politicians*** who vehemently supported the case for ‘remain’) “we must accept this ‘democratic’ decision”. The term ‘democracy’

(as with the term guilty) is subjective and should always and only be viewed in the light of the full facts and circumstances. Never, in my view, accept this term without consideration of the quality of the decision-making. Maybe in years to come and with the benefit of hindsight there’ll be an inquiry into this referendum (lasting years and costing millions) to discover just who misled whom and who dared to besmirch the ethereal notion of ‘democracy’. You can be sure that this will all happen far too late and only when it is politically expedient so to do. The wrong-doers (if so found) will be long-gone. *George Bernard Shaw ** ***A notable exception to this was Ed Miliband MP whilst giving the Tony Benn Memorial Lecture on July 18th this year, on the subject of Brexit. He never said the word ‘democracy’ once. I am still trying to work out for myself – why not!

By A Atkinson If you wish to comment on this – do please email us. We welcome all thoughts and may publish responses in future editions.

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016




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An Exhibition of photos by Lyn Avery based on Bali and its people. The Mairie at St Antonin Noble Val from 22nd October to the 1st of November. Lyn explains her love of the island.

Bali is a beautiful & exotic island renowned for its colourful, vibrant culture, & laidback lifestyle; and it is so much more! The very foundation of the Balinese culture, with its complex traditions, is based in the Hindu religion, which has evolved over the centuries since it came from India, to become Bali’s own unique form of Hinduism. In Bali, all life & all manifestations of life, are considered sacred. Bali life, is a life of constant ceremony & celebration with both simple & opulent offerings being made in countless number to acknowledge & celebrate this ideal. All things are blessed upon their specific day of honour – from motor scooters, to trees, to animals, and to the land they live on. Altars are built everywhere; in homes, in the fields, and of course, in temples. Offerings are made to honour the people’s ancestors, & for the health, safety & happiness of their family. Tradition dictates that ceremonies be performed for each person, celebrating every new phase of their life. Most times this requires a priest presiding over the event, & many more, very special, offerings being made. For the Balinese people, there is a conscious effort to hold Life in its proper balance through ceremony, offerings, & most importantly – personal spiritual alignment. I experience the Balinese people as playful, lighthearted & naturally artistic. In a world that is every day becoming more hurried for everyone, including the Balinese, they continue to project a joyful, relaxed, & loving perspective. My personal conclusion to this, is

that in a world where everything is experienced as an extension of one’s karmic spirituality (sacred), every action & every attitude is actually seen as a form of reverence & prayer. What a wonderful way to live life!” You can contact Lyn on:

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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 – 19 euro for an address in France or 11 euro for elsewhere in Europe.

CHRIS CONNELLY DRONE & GROUND PHOTOGRAPHY Gîtes, Real Estate, Receptions & more 06 95 79 28 77

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016


By Lisa Stanton. Domaine des Sangliers is an independent, organic vineyard located in the hills of picturesque Puy-l’Evêque, one of the best terroirs of the Lot valley. We produce organic AOP Cahors, Vin de Pays du Lot and Vin de France red and rosé wines, and aperitifs. Family run, we personally undertake every step of the wine making process, from pruning to corking, all on the estate. Our aim is to achieve the highest quality product, naturally and ethically produced, at fair prices. For further information please visit our website – or find us on Facebook.

Naked Grapes Fruity Frustration The 2016 viticultural year has been a bit of a nightmare to be honest. A lack of sun in the earlier months, excessive rain, humidity (and let’s not mention the hail or the late frosts!). It all combined to cause a great deal of stress for the vintner. As I write this, the final grape quality is looking good, but it can change in a moment, so I’ll cross my fingers and wait! Time will tell, as they say.

it’s vegetarian wine (no lizards shaken out of their tranquil sunbathing and into a grape collection hopper!). The disadvantage of not using a harvesting machine, is that you need a lot of help. And it takes a little (lot) longer! Fortunately, we have a large family and some wonderful friends, and a fabulous work ethic! Hand-harvesting is a stressful, exhausting, delightful, exciting and special time. Everyone should try it, at least once.

Hands For Harvest

Good Grapes

Harvesting by hand has several advantages: continuous human quality control, gentle handling of the fruit, no foreign bodies (I mean leaves and staples, not Australians), and of course,

Once the sugar and acid levels are at the right balance in the grapes, it’s go, go, go! We start to pick as soon as the dew has dried in the morning. Working one each side of a row, to ensure

The Quercy Local • September-October 2016 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local


ISABEL & DIDIER WEBER Saturday 10h30 /12h30 et de 15h /18h30 Sunday morning 10h30 /13h Et sur rendez vous. 22 bd des thermes - 82 140 Saint Antonin Noble Val Tel: 06 83 15 33 59

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nothing is missed, we work our way systematically through the vineyard. Anything that isn’t good enough to eat doesn’t go into the wine. Bunches are cut with grape scissors, and placed in a special bucket (paying careful attention not to cut any fingers!). When full, the crates are put onto the back of a trailer and driven to the chai (winery). We stop for a rather convivial lunch and glass (or two) of wine (the afternoon requires particularly concentration to avoid the need for plasters!).

Nature At Its Best Natural wine is allowed to ferment with the naturally present sugars and yeasts. Nothing added, nothing taken away. Products are not added to the wine, the key is to start with only good quality fruit, therefore you don’t have to hide any flaws in the product. In short, our wine is just fermented naked grapes! Cheers!

Transformation Times

If we are at the property, we are open (between 2pm and 8pm).

The grapes are put through a de-stalking machine, prior to

However, as we are working across 10 hectares of land and often at

being loaded into the fermentation vats. As we make natural

markets, please call ahead if you want to be certain of a reception!

wine, we don’t add sulphites to kill the indigenous yeasts.

Always drink alcohol responsibly and in moderation; pregnant women

The harvested grapes will spontaneously begin their alcoholic

are advised not to consume alcohol; don’t drink and drive.

fermentation. The skins and pips remain in the liquid, allowing all of the colour, complexity, flavour and tanin to be extracted. Malbec wines are known for their high levels of polyphenols and anti-oxidants, goodness extracted from the grape skins. In a nutshell, this will then be followed by a malolactic fermentation; cold stabilisation and bulk ageing, prior to bottling.

Domaine des Sangliers – Les Sarrades – 46700 – Puy-l’Evêque Kim-Louis & Lisa Stanton – 06 04 03 34 12

Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016



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Las Razes, Touffailles (82190) Tarn et Garonne Published March, May, July, September and November each year The Quercy Local • September-October 2016

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The Quercy Local September-October 2016  

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...

The Quercy Local September-October 2016  

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...