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Fiona Alderman blogging from The Salignac Foundation France

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I want to introduce myself , Fiona Alderman, living in France for the last 14 years and maybe some of you also remember my partner Barry Paton who wrote such wonderful diaries of rural France on the website for many years.

Well we are still here. I wanted to revisit the time here in my way and to go back a bit .” Le temps de vivre” i.e. the time to live. A time to take stock, to see where we are and what we have accomplished equally so .
We run The Salignac Foundation which runs short courses in film and in contemporary dance and we have welcomed people from all over the world.
It has been an amazing experience , both meeting such different “artists” and also it has been an enriching experience working on so many levels. One year there was an ex coach for the Portuguese women’s Olympic athletes , two American film students, a Brazilian university teacher etc. etc . Great stuff!
http://www.salignacfoundation.com/

Fiona Alderman: Quiet times in rural France

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I was walking in the village, and thinking how unusually quiet it was? Particularly so, as all the businesses seemed to have taken their annual holidays at the same time. The butcher, the corner shop, the two cafés and even the doctor were all closed. . Life goes on though. I had spotted a huge […]

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Fiona Alderman blogging from Rural France: Round and around the villages

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It’s another strange month here, why you ask? With unusually wonderful weather, which is very welcome, at the end of October, we haven’t needed to sweep the chimney or gather in the annual wood for the fire – certainly good for the fuel bills! During one weekend here, we havesomething called “Les Rondes des Villages” […]

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Fiona Alderman: One September in Salignac

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Another crazy time here in “sleepy” Salignac. Everyone thinks it’s a doddle living in a beautiful French village but in fact it it’s like everywhere else I think. From shouting neighbours , dogs and cats wandering about, seemingly abandoned even though I know most of where they live , to people taken into the psychiatric […]

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Fiona Alderman blogging from Rural France – An unusual meeting in Salignac

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A strange month this has been. In continuation with the last one with people acting very peculiarly. I met a young man who has brought a bright light to the village – he is an artist and very talented too. He recently painted the shop front of a new boutique called “Senteurs é Moi “ […]

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Fiona Alderman: Blogging from Rural France: Le Tour and the yellow jersey

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Le Tour and the yellow jersey On Tuesday the 11th of July, starting from early in the morning, the crowds came to watch the famous cycle race, Le Tour De France. This year it was in the Dordogne and passed by us by just half an hour. We were going to go but eventually watched […]

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Fiona Alderman: What’s Happening in Salignac

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A green cleaning When people say to us how lovely and quiet living here must be, I laugh and say you are joking! So many different changes from one day to the next. New shops opening including another boulangerie that has created a fuss, neighbours shouting at each other and a lot of uncertainty in […]

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Fiona Alderman’s blog: Two churches – a wedding and a funeral

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It’s been a busy month with one thing and another. We’d been invited to a wedding locally as I mentioned last time. The weather was glorious, sun shining and no rain for a change. At precisely 4pm  the bells of the church sounded and Blandine, the bride , arrived with her sister the bridesmaid. She […]

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Fiona Alderman, blogging from rural France, Two pots in Salignac, Politics and Paris in the Springtime

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Two pots in Salignac I am reading this and thinking have I done this correctly ? The French language versus English and sometimes I look at it and I get confused with the grammar .Let’s go!! Last month I sent a photo of the pots that I didn’t know what they were. I found them […]

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Fiona Alderman: A Spring Wedding in France

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Spring Wedding in France We are very lucky to have been asked to a French wedding next month. It’s the first time for us and we want to be sure we follow the correct procedures. They are a young couple living in the next village. I used to look after their two and a half […]

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Fiona Alderman’s blog: The Muse of St. Germain

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This month on my list of tributes to famous French people, is Juliette Greco. Born in Paris to parents that were often absent because they were affiliated to the Resistance during the War and then captured by the Gestapo, the young Juliette spent much time with her grandparents. After the War however, she was a […]

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Fiona Alderman: Blogging from Rural France in the New Year

New Year in France, A King’s cake Happy New Year to everyone.They say Bonne Année here and always with” et surtout la santé” which means, above all good health. Many people however, have been struck down this holiday season with all sorts of nasty viruses and colds, myself included, that Christmas was spent in a […]

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Fiona Alderman blogging from Rural France: Santons in Salignac

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Santons in Salignac Little clay figures that are made in Provence, a labour of love for the many workers that originated from the first nativity scene, it is believed, created in 1223. Amazing. They were made for Christmas crêches and depicted the general life of a rural Provencal life. The word “santon” means little saint […]

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Fiona Alderman’s blog: No Hallowe’en in France

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No Halloween in France The French really don’t “do” Halloween at all. The vast commercialism in the USA doesn’t happen here . This year for the first time I saw some glimmers of it in our small village.  I received a little note through the door, politely asking would it be okay to knock on […]

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Fiona Alderman Blogging from Rural France: The Colours of the Dordogne

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We live in the Department of The Dordogne (24) in the Aquitaine Region of SW France and in the Perigord Noir!  Still following? It is a lot to take in I know. The word Dordogne means a long river which is a tributary of La Gironde and is made up of a hilly area,with medieval […]

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Fiona Alderman: Blogging from Rural France –The last of the summer sandals

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I have been packing away some of my summer clothes and shoes and looking at my favourites, the espadrilles. So comfortable to wear and they look pretty cool too. I see everyone wearing them, men and women, and their simple but effective shape is most attractive. Originally worn by the peasants in the Pyrenees region […]

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Fiona Alderman ‘Ze French Touch’

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What is it about the French that they have a je­ ne ­sais­ quoi about them ? From early years the children even have a confidence and look that is completely unique to the French. Watching a family with small children in a café, they are all talking animatedly and include the children in conversation […]

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Fiona Alderman: After Brexit, Frexit?

What will be next after the shock of the referendum? A month of talks, deals and political suicides we wonder what is coming here for us in rural France. I have had rousing conversations with French friends who are very well informed on the subject and who wondered if we might return to Scotland. I […]

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Fiona Alderman: Blogging from Rural France, Riots and Renovations

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Riots and renovations France is still under maximum security alert with continued terrorist threats and, because it is also the start of the Euro 2016 football season, tensions are running high. What a month La Belle France is having! Whether it is either strikes, travel disruptions, floods or petrol shortages, we in the South West […]

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Fiona Alderman Blogging from Rural France – What is the MFR?

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A lot of people coming to Salignac wonder what are the buildings called the MFR? I get lots of questions on the topic and it is quite difficult to explain. Firstly it means “ Maison Familiale Rurale” a centre for training, and it is also a holiday residence. It was set up in 1974 as […]

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Fiona Alderman: A Tribute to George Lyle

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Love and Music ­ A tribute to George Lyle My heart is heavy in writing this, as I have just lost a good friend of nearly 30 years, in George Lyle. An amazing double bassist, and certainly well renowned in Scotland, he also played with some of the finest musicians in the country and further […]

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Fiona Alderman blogging from Rural France: Origami and the Giant Teepee

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I was asked recently to be involved in a local event of  “Art pour tous, Tous pour l’art” – in other words art for everyone. It was the first attempt by a new group of artists, dancers,musicians and craftsmen, who have formed a collective association, to promote the arts in a rural environment where cultural […]

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Fiona Alderman Blogging from Rural France: Sylvie’s Last Dance

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Sylvie’s last dance. “The tears of the body” This month, my tribute goes to a French dancer, Sylvie Guillem, also named ”Mademoiselle Non”. A Parisian, who grew up not really wanting to dance, and indeed was training in gymnastics up until she went for an audition at the Paris Opera Ballet. The then director, Claude […]

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Fiona Alderman: Easter Dance Course in France, April, 2016.

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Contemporary Dance Course  (CUNNINGHAM technique) 2nd to 5th April 2016 In the Dordogne (near Sarlat), France Teacher: Fiona Alderman Objectives:      The classes are in Cunningham based technique, which has an accent on balance and proportion, using meticulously placed feet , with an upright open torso. The articulation of the back , using a […]

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Fiona Alderman: A Time for Tati

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Over the Christmas period there was a magnificent season of Jacques Tati films on TV. For those who do not know about him, here is my little potted blog as a fond tribute to this genius. Jacques Tatischeff – as he was born – came from Russian, Dutch and Italian descent. He was to become […]

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Fiona Alderman: A Peaceful Christmas Greeting from Rural France

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A peaceful Christmas greeting After a month’s trouble in France let’s hope that the festive period is calm, wherever we live. Here in rural France life carries on as usual and there are lots of Christmas markets and musical events that have been quietly getting underway. In Salignac, the cluster of fairy lights decorating the […]

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Fiona Alderman: France at War

Before I start my monthly article I must pay my respects to the families and friends of those who have died in the recent Paris attacks. So soon after “Charlie Hebdo” and the country is again reeling with mixed emotions. One of those is undoubtedly fear, which has to be recognized and dealt with. The […]

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Fiona Alderman: The Autumn leaves of France, 2015

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The weather has turned now and it’s nearing the end of October when the clear light is glowing on the falling leaves. I was remembering a song called “The Autumn Leaves “ a jazz classic that I have always loved and which was my grandmother and also my parents’ favourite. I listened to it sung […]

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Fiona Alderman: Blogging from Rural France – An empty Sunday in Salignac

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After the busy summer, Salignac is winding down to the beginning of Autumn and the invasion of retired people coming to stay for a short holiday. Crowds of them have been seen walking up and down the hilly streets clutching maps and guide books. My little “Dutch house” that I look after has some guests […]

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Fiona Alderman: blogging from rural France: A Summer Story

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A Summer Story I live in a small village in the south west of France where in the summer there are several local festivals. Our main one is run by the comité de l’association de Salignac d’ Eyvigues called the C.A.S.E. Set up in 1972, there is a different theme each year, this year it […]

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Fiona Alderman: July News from Rural France

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The time to live – camping in France The French and also the Dutch like to go camping when on holiday, and it is often the cheapest option. Around here there are several campsites and they really do offer great facilities for families. One is called “Le Temps de Vivre” ie the time to live, […]

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