Added on Monday 29 Aug 2005
As August is usually our busiest time of the year, this update is a little late this month. We have just completed a Dance for Camera workshop with two American students. As always, these are all completely different events for us and we learn just as much from our students as they, hopefully, learn from us. We have had several students from the US in the past and we have noticed that they all have a particular way of interpreting dance. This manifests itself as a much slower style of movement than we are used to seeing in Europe. The recent students ideas involved a lot of falling asleep and rolling around the ground, which was all very interesting, and we/they manage to shoot almost 5 hours of footage.
Shooting in a woodland location with lots of dappled sunshine it all had a kind of fairytale look about it and as they had considerable expertise in using cameras it made my job a lot easier in that respect. Because of the time taken to shoot all the material, and that they have access to edit facilities back in the States, no editing was done here so we will be interested to see their version when they have completed it all. It was, however, a very successful week for all of us and we wish them well with their project.
Sadly, because of the London bombings in July, we have had several cancellations from some students based in England who where being wary of travel from, or through, London. This is all very understandable but has been a great disappointment to us recently. We do, however have some enquiries for September and October, which we hope, will come to fruition.
As my car was still in the garage at the time, Fiona decided to have a small soiree on the balcony of our next-door neighbours house to celebrate her birthday. This was quite an important one for her but I refrain from telling you because I am afraid of being hit by her!
Arthur and Valerie, our neighbours, were away in Cyprus at the time and as we were looking after their cat and house we had invited about twelve friends for an aperitif on the balcony, which was to be followed by us going out for a meal at the local restaurant. The balcony has a stunning view of the chateau and the hills and valley beyond and really is a superb location for such an event. The evening started at 5pm on a beautiful sunny day and our friends started arriving and the drinks started flowing. With many gifts and bouquets of flowers for Fiona, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves; Fiona seemed to be in her element in such a setting. I used my camera and software to take a panorama picture of the proceedings, which, hopefully shows the happy atmosphere. (I really am impressed with this software!). As people left we prepared ourselves to go for our meal at about 9pm at the Caf? del la Place. I had spoken to Phillippe, the proprietor, earlier to book a table for us and he certainly did us proud and, eventually, when I tried to pay, Phillipe insisted that there was no charge and it was "on the house". All very nice and unexpected and a perfect ending to a very relaxed evening. For Fiona to be surrounded by good friends, a perfect setting, beautiful weather and a nice meal in one of our favourite places was all a bonus. It was wonderful to see Fiona so happy.
During the summer months there is a wonderful market in the square every Friday evening but this year the tourist board became much more involved by arranging each week a different theme. With demonstrations and animations about all the local produce, nuts, cheeses, wines, honeys and the like, all followed by a local band, who couldn't keep in tune! and free local wine from a huge barrel on a cart in the square it has proved to be a great success this year. It certainly livens the village up on a Friday night with many locals and tourists alike flocking about. Another summer attraction that is held every year in Salignac is the ancient f?te held at the foot of the chateau. This has many stalls showing the traditions and produce of The Perigord Noir. This year Fiona was involved as a volunteer worker as a "meet and greet" person at the entrance gate wearing the traditional costume of the region, bonnet, long skirt and an apron. Working a long day in the sunshine it was very tiring for her but was more than made up for in the evening with a wonderful meal prepared by the local butcher. Through this Fiona has made even more friends who appreciate her involvement in local events.
Once again I have had problems with my car with a last minute dash to the controle technique in Sarlat and the authorities have somehow lost our Carte Grise (log book) somewhere between Perigreux and Sarlat in the last two months and no one seems to be able to tell me where to find it. As it is a legal requirement to carry this document at all times in the car, this is proving to be a slight problem. Just after I wrote this paragraph, we went into Sarlat to try and trace the document and discovered from the Gendarmerie that the law has recently been changed (without them being told I may add!) so we have had to do another application through the Prefecture. Maybe in another month?s time I'll get it???????..
Rural France? I love it.
? Barry Paton August 2005.