Fiona Alderman’s Blog: Pictures and Short Stories

Dolls house

Thinking of the last year and all that has happened. I thought I would use this blog to reflect and to go through some photos and a short paragraph on each month.

The first is The Dolls House. I have had this little house for nearly 70 years. I played with it as a child. We brought it to France in 2000 and Barry first had the idea to illuminate it at Christmas.

I repainted it this year and it stands proudly inside the front door, a welcoming sight for passing people and cars going up the hill. It is well known around here !

The Chimney Sweep

the chimney sweep

I managed to get an appointment for the yearly chimney cleaning. It is obligatory here for house insurance in case of fire. We get a certificate to prove it’s been done. The young man came right on the dot of 2pm with all the paraphernalia. Brushes,bags and coverings, and a huge hoover which is turned on and noisily sucks out all the dirt. There was a lot to be done this time. It was cleaned quickly and efficiently, and he even cleared up really well. Until next year !

The Bench

the bench

This year I managed to get a lovely bench put beside the graveside. The Mairie and council workers were inundated ( nicely ) by me every so often to have it done by September and Barry’s birthday. It was , and it is so nice to sit peacefully in this quiet place.

Florence and the goats

the goats

I wrote about Florence  in the summer. My visit to the farm where she runs a busy enterprise with her husband was a delight. The goats are running freely in an open air field and barn with milking procedures regularly. The goat’s cheese made from it is truly delicious.

The Chateau of Salignac


I did more translations for the Chateau owners this year. This was in addition to last year when the proprietor asked me to do an English translation for the visitors. Quite technical this year with references to curtained walls and pieces of armour. It was hard work but enjoyable as I learnt a lot too.

People later said it was good to see a correct English translation for once.<

Summer Festivals

summer festivals

Each year in Salignac we have many fetes and it is an occasion to meet up with people and participate in village life. I showed some of Barry’s photos in a small exhibition in a nearby village too. He had already had an exhibition 11 years previously in their beautiful church. It was a chance to pay homage to him and his work.

Travels with Mr Barry


This was the title I gave to the exhibition of photos at the Mairie of Salignac. Viewed by many tourists and by locals alike. It was a first for me to do but successful I think. I have ideas for future projects too. I will continue to promote all these wonderful images Barry did of around the world.



My little companion throughout. Her welcoming face in the morning is sweet. She sits and waits patiently to be fed. Now on a diet but not too strict, she recently was weighed by the vet. Thinking to myself I don’t think she has lost weight ? In fact yes. Just a little bit, but still. She came home to a treat of some tuna.

Lissajoux joys


Lissajoux is my favourite restaurant in Sarlat which sells the most amazing bread and cakes. Run by Jean and Nicolas they are a great and amusing couple. I was last there on my birthday in August and was warmly welcomed . Just to sit with a coffee and cake and listen to some music which is usually  jazz  is for me Parfait !!

The Vinyl Collection

the vinyl collection

I bought myself a Christmas present of a HiFi system. I can play cassettes, CDs and the most important  for me is vinyl. Ever a fan of course, I hear that it is making a comeback. Did it ever go away ? Not for me. The sound, the careful placing on the turntable and going back in time . Memories.

The last photo

last photo

I took this photo of Barry. Ever the photographer himself he was always seeing something or someone else that took his eye. But once or twice I captured him . I will always love and miss him. Thank you for bringing me to France !

I wish you all a very peaceful and happy New Year wherever you are. Until next time.

Fifi’s stories from rural France. December. 2023.

Fiona Alderman : Greetings from Salignac
Fiona Alderman: November Blues

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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