Fiona Alderman: Blogging from Salignac – Out of Confinement

first para confinement salignac
Well, we are all excited here in sunny Salignac that slowly we are coming out of the long lockdown. Our local Cafe de la Place, Le Tabac/Cafe des Voyageurs is putting out the tables and chairs on the terraces again after many months of closure. For French people, their way of life is based around cafe society, meeting people and discussing life and all its intricacies. Inside eateries though are still not opening until next month but it is a start.
Another shop which has remained open all this time, for essential shopping, has been L’Epicier, our local corner shop and also a source of daily chat and gossip. The two owners, Sylvie and Pascal, are a lovely couple and they work all hours to serve us, plus running deliveries all over the place. I have  to use the shop often at the end of the day, when I have run out of something!
This shop sells everything: food, clothing, haberdashery items,  newspapers and magazines and a very good wine stock too. They even have a photo booth for passport photos which is very handy.
Vaccinations too have been completed for us, and thankfully we had a local centre to go to. Efficient and with our local nurses on board, which certainly helps, I went recently for my second dose of the Moderna vaccine, I know all the people in our local medical centre, so its very sociable. Bonjour Fiona CA VA? The last time, I got my certificate, and was cheerily told, you can now go to the ” boite de nuit ” ie the nightclub or in my aged state the disco!! I did laugh though.

Our Chateau in Salignac

chateau 2nd

Will they, won’t they? That is the question, if it will reopen this month. However, due to administrative problems and strict security regulations, we now don’t know when. In a recent article in the local press, it was meant to be the 22nd of May. That was certainly meant to be this year!  However, during this time I was asked by the owners if I would correct a text in English for them. This is for the guided visits for English tourists. I was delighted to be asked and certainly learnt more on the history of the Chateau. I didn’t know that during the French Revolution, the building was invaded by the village population and all documents and archives were burnt on the local square. Therefore, a lot of knowledge has been lost to complete the picture for today’s owners.
There was formerly a large Chapel attached with another tower which collapsed, never to be rebuilt. The castle was developed much later on in the 1920’s, at great expense, and this form is the one we mainly see today.  Majestic, it towers over the village of Salignac and still makes my heart beat a little faster thinking of its tumultuous past.
So, after 30 years, Mr Mme.Starkmann and their family are going to open the huge arched doors and welcome back interested people from all over the world, keen to see the developments and restorations made by them in the last 15 years. I am very lucky to live just beside it and to know the family.
Let’s hope we have a good summer season!

Tales of Missy

tales of missy

Yes, our cat is quite a character. Happy to be here with us and a source of great comfort and unconditional love. She enjoys going to see our neighbour too – sitting beside the birdbox or waiting for his leftovers at lunch. She seems to know the time he has finished, around 1pm, and will wait patiently by the gate in anticipation!
I asked him one day, jokingly, what had been on the Menu that day? He replied ooh c’etait la blanquette de veau ” A stew with veal, quite a delicacy here. She liked it, of course.
Another day it was pasta, non, sausage with herbs, non, but boeuf bourgignon, oui!!!
She is quite the “saucy” little one. She has her little bowl, on the terrace of his house and we have a daily chat about Le Menu du jour. Funny.
That’s all for this month. Keep safe and well.
May 2021 Fifi’s Stories from rural France.
Salignac Foundation. Short courses in dance and film. Perhaps resuming this summer.
Fiona Alderman Blog: The Reopening of the Chateau
Fiona Alderman blogging from rural France - New Mayor

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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