Fiona Alderman Blogging from Rural France: A Winter Tale From France

December, 2021

For the first time in many years , Salignac held a Christmas Market , drawing many people together to enjoy a little good cheer at the end of a difficult year.

It took many days of preparation, with our local council workers up ladders and cranes to attach pretty garlands and  fairy lights making the village look really special. The Ancient Halle was used too,  with gorgeous food and craft stalls, mulled wine and cold beers served and even an oyster bar with fragrant plates of freshly cooked dishes.

There were donkeys for the children to ride, accompanied by their owner, around the cobbled streets and Pere Noel even paid us a visit! I saw him when I went up the road and nearly laughed because he had a huge log basket on his back. Full of goodies for the children but he even stopped to give me something. I explained that I liked his choice of bag as I had just recently bought myself one to carry the logs. He wandered off, bemused?

I bought a beer and a chocolate crepe and sat down to watch everything, saying Bonjour to many people I knew. Everyone seemed happy to be outside with little restriction and I listened to music playing through the amplifier in the trees. Flower of Scotland, of all things, at one point, which made me shed a little nostalgic tear.
The Mayor wove through the crowd, stopping and chatting, asking if we had enjoyed the day… Next year it will be bigger and better he told me!

More of Diaghilev and the Legacy beyond


After last months blog about Diaghilev I wanted to share a bit more about this astonishing part of dance history.

It was a period of time that was unique and which has influenced dance even today with new versions of choreography made then. There are 200 versions of  the ballet

The Rite of Spring danced around the world and music scores by Stravinsky are still being played in Concert halls everywhere.

Diaghilev himself lived through the First World War and then became exiled from the  Bolshevik regime in a harsh civil war that nearly destroyed his artistic vision and his Ballets Russes.

By 1920 they were based in Monte Carlo and performing in London for extensive seasons which would provide some financial stability. New ideas were enforced in terms of design, choreography and costumes. Exotic designs by Leon Bakst, bright Art Nouveau colours by Picasso, Matisse and Braque, modern costumes for Le Train Bleu by Coco Chanel and choreographers such as Massine, Nijinska, the sister of the virtuoso dancer Nijinsky, and the young George Balanchine who himself would go on to have an illustrious career in New York and found his own company.
Diaghilev loved the avant garde and modernity but he himself lived with few possessions preferring to live simply in hotel rooms. Sadly he died of diabetes complications in 1929 but his name continues forever and his legacy today is very important .

A Short Tale

a short tale

A quick note from Missy, who was bestowed with gifts at Christmas from friends and neighbours. This little cat is well known not only here, but in the world now through this website and far beyond.

Mr Lacombe has gone visiting his family for Christmas so she can’t get caught in his garage, which is good!

I wish you all a very peaceful end of the year and hope for a better New Year.

Fifi’s Stories from rural France
December 2021.

Fiona Alderman blogging from Rural France: A New Day and a New Year
Fiona Alderman Blog: One Year On

This section: Fiona Alderman blogging from The Salignac Foundation France

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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