Fiona Alderman : Greetings from Salignac


A new year and already a lot of changes in the village this month. Simmering undercurrents of discontent within the local council office is putting the Mayor in a very difficult position. Since the end of summer there have been tensions between him and his colleagues leading to him making a complaint to the police.

The opposition party constantly challenge his decisions and it may lead to an election within 90 days. All very turbulent for a small rural village.There have already been many resignations within the council and numerous meetings that have resulted in heated French vocabulary.

I am not exactly sure why. I am not alone either in not beginning to fathom the intricacies of French politics.

Normally at this time there are Fetes des Voeux in most communities with the Mayor wishing his villagers a New Year’s good health and good wishes for the following months.  Drinks and  food are offered which is a nice mark of respect to us all. However this year there seems to be no sign of this gathering?

Next door to the Maire is the Post Office. This is having problems too. It may well close. Already it only has morning openings but this may change completely . Small villages like ours need this service. There was a call to people to come and register their disapproval one Saturday. Many people turned up to sign a petition to stop the closure. When the post office in a small village like ours can’t operate to the maximum we fear for who might be next ?

Two Cafes and one family


We are still lucky to have two Cafes in Salignac. The Cafe de la Place on the square is run by Thibault the son of the owners Cecile and Lilian. It was originally Cecile’s grandmother who ran it and apparently she was quite a character who ran the bar/hotel with a firm hand. There are black and white photos still on the walls of the Cafe at the turn of the 19th century . Men playing boules outside in the dirt and staff in crisp white aprons serving beer on the nearby green.
We came in 2000 when the square had just been tarmaced over and they were replanting trees to the other side. I wish I had seen it before but there are archive postcards online that show a very different picture. There were numerous bars surrounding the square and the middle grassy area was full of children playing and families enjoying a relaxing day.

2nd cafe

The second Cafe is the Tabac and PMU/horse racing / Loto one. Totally different, in both the clientele that go there and the ambiance. A lot of the local workers come here and it is usually male orientated. The bar is run by Cecile and Lilian and they have been there for 10 years. I can’t believe it has been so long ? Time is passing by too quickly.

They put it up for sale last year and it has now been taken over by new people. This will vastly change everything. For them as well as the customers. I have already noticed a few long faces.



My house is over 800 years old and of course repairs are needed periodically. I am now alone in doing a lot of rethinking in terms of what has to be done regarding maintenance. The latest was the gutter at the top of the house. I noticed the door below was looking bad and asked someone

their opinion. The whole thing has escalated and now involves my other neighbours. With all the rain recently it has splashed onto my door but onto the wall involving my next door neighbour. Another neighbour’s chimney is also blocked so he called for a roofer with a cherry picker to come to see his house then look at mine. In theory that’s fine. From something relatively simple I have now been told my roof tiles need replacing too ? Not sure as I can’t see up there and there have been no leaks. I hope it isn’t another scam.

To finish on a lighter note, I have just read in the local newspaper which tells me there is going to be a Ceremonie des Voeux after all on the 29th January. I will be going and shall report the situation in Salignac next month !

My very best wishes to you all for 2024.
Fifi’s stories from rural France.
January 2024
Fiona Alderman's Blog: Salignac or Sillygnac?
Fiona Alderman's Blog: Pictures and Short Stories

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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