Sunday, June 7, 2015

Beaumont Du Perigord - Our Local Town

Beaumont du Perigord is our nearest town, about five minutes drive from where we are staying.  It is one of the dozens of “bastides” in the area.   A bastide means it was built as a fortified walled town, probably in the 1200’s, to protect its inhabitants. It is very picturesque and quite small.  As with all the villages and towns we have discovered, the church (catholic, of course) is the focal point, a magnificent building, inside and out.  In the evening from our house, we can hear the church bells ringing insistently through the countryside.

There is a central market square where the weekly market is held every Tuesday.  There are stalls with fresh produce, fish, meat, fruits and vegetables, handcrafted jewelry, summery clothes and floppy straw hats, baskets, fresh honey and other items right off the local farms.

Here at this market, I have sourced my fruit & veg man who has tables of vibrant colorful produce tempting me to buy more than I actually need, especially as his prices are ridiculously cheap.  I am trying to buy small amounts and go shopping every day or two so I can buy a fresh baquette or two each day, cheese, pate, and other local specialties to try out.  Monday is a closed day in the town (and Sunday) and shops are closed for a long lunch hour from 12:30 to 3pm.

The streets are pretty and clean, the pale stone buildings gleam in the sunshine and flowers and vines add vibrancy to the quiet streets.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sunday Market In Medieval Issigeac!

The girls and I were delighted when our landlady informed us that there was a Sunday market in the nearby village of Issigeac.  What a great way to launch our first full day in France!!!!  We got up to a hot sunny morning, got dressed and headed off to one of the best and biggest markets in the area.  We were lucky to source a parking space right away and headed down the streets of this medieval village filled with stalls and people in the picturesque streets with a beautiful old church as a centerpiece.  There were so many different stalls from huge varieties of fresh fruit & veg, meats, pastries, hot food (even one selling Chinese food!), wine, clothes, shoes, jewelry, crafts, souvenirs, etc. Lots of interesting stuff!!!  I went to take a picture of a stall with ladies handbags and the man from the stall jumped out from behind a table so fast he nearly knocked me down to shout “no, no!!!!”(…..must be knockoffs of designer goods!!!) We stocked up on fruit and vegetables, bought some pastries to try, some chicken lo mein, and a chicken & veg pie!  A French street musician’s songs drifted through the market, adding the perfect atmosphere to this wonderful part of French culture myself, Jess and Blue immersed ourselves in with pure joy!

The beautiful church reigning over the action!

The Market Music!

Who knew there were so many different olives?

This is only a small portion of the huge market that took up many streets!

Blue and Jess in Issigeac heading for Sunday Market

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BACK AGAIN!!!!! Return to France!

Following three surgeries, the sale of our USA farmette, and an international move, the girls and I have finally returned to France!!!  I feel, for the first time ever, both physically and emotionally depleted from various goings-on in the last 6 months and am not in my normal “full throttle, I can tackle anything, nothing phases me” mode.  I am hoping this journey to France will help me recharge, gain momentum, find direction, and feel less like a lost soul.  No better place to relax and rejuvenate than soaking in the beauty and peace of the unspoiled French countryside and no better way to strengthen oneself than with my two girlies, Jess and Blue, infusing energy, life and smiles into me!!!!! 

Blue and Jess excited to be on first walk around the farm

Before we had to make our unscheduled departure from the Dordogne (due to an unexpected medical diagnosis for me), we had settled into a residence a half an hour directly north of Bergerac.  This time around, we are staying in a place a half hour east of Bergerac.  It will give us a chance to explore another area while being near enough our old “neighborhood” to revisit our favorite haunts.  Our previous villa was on a huge historical estate and was a large residence with extra bedrooms booked with the intention that friends and family could come visit us and experience some of France with us.  Alas, that wasn’t to be…….(perhaps another time!)

Our French stay this time we already know to be only several weeks long as we will be returning to Donegal, Ireland for the summer so it will just be the girls and I initially and the last 10 days my husband Donald has been talked into coming over to join us and see what all the fuss is about how magnifique France is!  We are staying in a 17th century farmhouse "Cantegrive" on 50 pastoral acres.  As we were traveling from Donegal, I was delighted to find that Ryanair had flights from Derry to London Stansted and a connecting one from Stansted to Bergerac.  The warm air and gentle breeze enveloped us as we walked down the steps from the plane.  I had left my car parked at Bergerac Airport all that time and was seriously considering have a car rental booked as a backup plan in case the Peugeot wouldn’t start and the girls and I were stranded at the airport.  My hubby assured me that it would definitely start so I hoped for the best…..and the car started on the first turn. (Gotta love Peugeots: reliable, nippy, economical!!!!)  Bergerac has very reasonable long term car parking rates but as it happened, I couldn’t find my ticket so paid the lost ticket fee of €100, reattached my faithful Garmin navigator to the window and we were on our way to rekindling our French adventure!!!!! 


 We are so glad to be back and more than ready for more Fairytales From France!!!!!!

Walking in sunshine!!!!