Fiona Alderman Blogging from Salignac, France


My lovely corner shop called by the old fashioned term of L’Epicier has taken a turn into the modern world.

Run by husband and wife team, Sylvie and Pascal, that I have already spoken about, have decided on a new challenge. The heart of the village is within a few shops here in Salignac and they are precious to us. The butcher, baker, Cafe, farm shop and a supermarket but Proxi, as it is now known, is different. A chain of small commerces like them are run by Proxi with a view to offer the local clientele quality  produce at a reasonable price.  Linked to Carrefour which is a huge supermarket brand, they have decided this is the best way to go forward.

They have been busy all week rearranging the shop to accommodate a new layout, making it more up to date and revamping the exterior too –  with new signs and the Proxi logo. It all looks very smart but has it lost a bit of identity ?

Because Sylvie and Pascal are such characters they have put their personal touches throughout – an antique grandfather clock  ticking away in the corner and photos of Salignac taken in the early 1900’s. Along the top of the central aisle are school class photos of children in the 40’s. A talking point certainly, whilst doing your shopping, you can check if you are in the photos ! Older people I now know here, are proud to show themselves as young children ,unsmiling often, but eager for their futures to begin.

The Magic Slate

Etch A Sketch

Etcha, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you remember, in the dim distance of our childhoods a great toy that looked like a little TV screen? Red with yellow knobs to rotate and create pictures and designs. I loved it.

Well, I have just learnt that the inventor was French. Andre Cassagnes, who was born in 1926, and who has just died in January in Paris.

It was first seen at a games fair in Germany in 1959, and then launched the next year as Etch A Sketch, and in France as Telecran. 100 million copies were sold throughout the world.

How did he design it ? Cassagnes was an electrician by trade, saw that aluminium powder when stuck to glass gave a metallic look.It could be manipulated. Using a stylus you could draw on the surface. With the two buttons you could draw lines and images would appear as if by magic.

When you wanted to erase something, you just gave it a shake and the powder would dissolve the drawing. It was almost the prototype of our modern tablet.

Cassagnes also went on to design modular kites in bright plastic forms . Formidable !!



I am going through photographs just now with a view of having an exhibition of Barry’s work, later on this year hopefully. I am trying to put them into categories but there is such a lot taken over a lifetime. Barry at one point with his family ran a hotel in Nairn, the North of Scotland, and he also continued freelance as a photographer often in local areas around his home.

I believe this one is taken in a garage but it is funny because it shows the humour and play on words that is so good. He has written over the photo, Poor wee thing !! The play on words is alarmed, meaning frightened as well as having an alarm installed.

Miss him.

Fifi’s stories from rural France. February 2023.

Fiona Alderman: La Poste and other French things
Fiona Alderman's Blog: The End of the Holidays

This section: Fiona Alderman blogging from The Salignac Foundation France

Written by :

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.

Comments are closed.

Copyright Glasgow Westend 2009 thru 2017

Contact Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End | About Pat Byrne | Privacy Policy | Design by Jim Byrne Website Design