Added on Saturday 10 Jul 2004
Whilst sitting in the caf? making some notes for this, somewhat belated, update for the diary I reflected on the fact that I was having to use pen and paper instead of the laptop. The reason for this was that our instructions in computer use for our friend Alain has proved more successful than we ever dreamed of and I never get to use the laptop any more. A victim of our own success! I do, however, have a new toy to play with having recently bought a tiny digital camera that I saw advertised in a store in Sarlat. The price was only 15 Euros (about ?10) this included the software and cables and it measures 3 inches x 2 inches. Thinking that this would be a toy and just for fun, I mean how can you expect something at such a price to be anything else? I have since discovered that it produces remarkable pictures, it functions as a web cam and it takes little movie clips as well. Amazing! I have included a few pictures in this article taken with it. I can only assume that there is some sweatshop in China turning out these this at tuppence a time! My favourite tipple at teatime is a pichet of Ros?, very refreshing in the current heat, and this photo illustrates that I really do work very hard in putting these updates together!
On working hard, we have both been very busy over the last month, most recently with a couple of students from Idaho doing a dance for Camera course. This turned out to be very successful and a lot of dance was filmed over the period they were here and they were a delightful couple, always a bonus for us. Curiously though, for Americans? and I know I should not generalise?.they came with all sorts of hi-Tec gadgets but with no means of connecting them to European power sources and this caused a lot of head scratching and adaptation for me. On mentioning this to our next door neighbour, Valerie, the day after they left that she had a collection of US to European adapters as she had lived in the states for some years. I must remember to ask people when we have problems! Fiona has just started driving lessons, a pretty essential skill in this part of the world and we have been busy doing some property management locally. Even though bookings have been much slower this year than before, it is great to be busy again despite the fact that we have had to do a lot of juggling with our time.
In the last week we have had visitors from Glasgow come to see us. Two couples and their respective children arrived in Salignac last weekend, neither of them knew each other even though they live in the west end and this involved a lot of socialising for us, another reason that this update is late! Both couples were most impressed with Salignac, saying that it was not what they expected. I think that they had expected a small, one street hamlet but were delighted with the mediaeval streets and architecture as well as the general buzz in the village despite the considerable lack of tourists this year. Why this should be so no one seems to know but it is very noticeable by everyone here. One couple were staying at the local campsite and when we went for a meal there one evening there only seemed to be about twenty people there, very unusual for July. However, we had several enjoyable meals during the week and it was great to hear Scottish voices here in the village. In between all this, Fiona has been continuing with her driving lessons, we have been doing some property management for a Scot from Edinburgh who plans to retire here in November and preparing a new course in digital editing which starts next month. This is involving some new technology that was delivered last week and means that my head is going to be immersed in the various thick ?destruction? manuals for a while getting to grips with it all. It has been a busy week!
We now have a new address without even moving. Some time ago the local commune decided that every house in the village should have a number as over the years everyone knew where everybody lived, including the postie, but as there has been an influx of incomers recently things were getting a little bit out of hand. I had forgotten about this until two workmen with a ladder appeared, brandishing a drill and a number plaque, at the front door and changed our address from plain rue Fenelon to number 12 rue Fenelon. The easiest change of address I have ever done! There are quite a few other changes taking place in the village as well with the hotel and the campsite changing hands, several old properties now being restored, although I do wish the supermarket would stop changing things around. Almost every supermarket I know seems to have this policy of moving things about just as you are beginning to become familiar with where certain items are. Very curious indeed.
Rural France? I love it.
Barry Paton ? July 2004