Fiona Alderman: Blogging from Rural France – Works in Progress
After a very long winter we are finally into Spring and waking up to the sound of…… machinery. Yes, Salignac is starting to move again with re-openings and renovations. I mentioned last month about the ruined house next to the Convent? After nearly two years of the whole road being blocked and barriers everywhere they have begun something we think!
Of course French time is unusual to say the least and we aren’t sure how long it will take as everyone says something different. We went to a formal meeting for residents last week, meeting the young architect in charge of the project. A complicated business that will take more time and money than was originally planned. The neighbours on either side are particularly concerned obviously as it directly affects them.
The castle too is undergoing changes . A French family own it now and with funding they are gradually renovating it to its former glory.Their son was harnessed up to the crane fixing the tarpaulin on the roof and I watched him in awe swinging from side to side as he attached cables to make it secure.
A National Monument now, that was an imposing fortress in the 100 Years War, fending off the English, it is an important part of history. Visits. are eventually to be planned for the tourists and it will bring back some much needed life to the village.
Lastly, another much loved place in Salignac is the local café , where everyone and everything is discussed! Reopened and modernized a little bit as the young son of the owners now manages it, we have known them and enjoyed many a wine for 18 years now.They have decided to reopen their restaurant too after several years closure, and their famous freshly made pizzas are to be enjoyed soon we think!
This is the affectionate name the French call their funny little car the Citroen. 2CV. A gentleman named Mr. Boulanger first directed the firm. in 1935 with a remit to create something for people with. minimum finances. A few years later the TPV arrived the “toute petite voiture with just one headlight on the front and apparently held together with 4 big screws.
Gradually the form of the now well known. car developed into the”four wheels under an umbrella” shape.
It was said that the farmers who used them at first should. be able to go over a freshly ploughed field with a basket of eggs in the back and not break .any. Flexible suspension was surely needed.
It could carry however 4 people and at a maximum speed of 60miles an hour, it had both low fuel consumption and. maintenance.
It has also had a revival in the modern world, featuring in many films and
even with James Bond in the film ” For your eyes only “ I see a lot of these great cars around here and many friends have them, they love the sound of it chugging along with passers by reacting with a smile!
There is even a club for 2CV enthusiasts who go all around the country to show them proudly in exhibitions.
What’s happening here?
I was out and about the village taking photos, when I saw this. A little house on stilts? I had seen it before in a garden behind the church but who knows. It was being transported somewhere and involved quite a bit of manoeuvring. I should have stayed around to ask someone I suppose.
The French do make everything complicated I find,which is part of their charm.Sometimes it is frustrating though especially the administration. We recently had to go to a new doctor and took along a huge file thinking as always he would surely ask for something we hadn’t brought? However for once it was fine and he hardly looked at it all. Typical.
Some Weird French Words
Just to finish with here are some weird French words that defy translation.
Tonton Archibal meaning something that comes into your head quickly?
Jamesbondesque even I heard? I think meaning strong like Bond!
L’esprit d’escalier? – Down in the dumps.
Chanter en yaourt – funny singing in yogurt literally. Meaning when you sing not knowing all the words so you might just invent a few like in karaoke.🎶
Fifi’s stories from rural France. April 2018.
www.salignacfoundation.com dance and film courses in the Dordogne. SW France
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