A Travellerspoint blog

This Little Piggy Went to Market ~ Monsempron-Libos 27 Jan

Food, glorious food!!

all seasons in one day 4 °C

It's STILL bloody cold here in Salles, but I shall not moan...Zani will really have a dig at me, cos I always brag about loving winter ;D

It's Thursday and that means market day...yaaaay!! One of my favourite activities cos it's the chance to check out some more food! Today I came back with a real good booty...chanterelle 'shrooms, the MOST delicious croissant a l'amande I have EVER eaten - it absoultely oozes marzipan and is fully covered with slivers of almond - some more adventurous cheese - Bethmale, from the Pyrenees - a good, solid home-baked bread with a lovely hard crust, fennel to braise, garden greens, and a lovely warm hat to keep my frozen ears on my head.
Not for the faint-hearted!!! Brains!!! They sold out in a flash, so they must be good....but moi??? Non, merci!!
The other day I went to the market in Villereal - bigger than our local one, a good vegetable & fruit stall and these yummy Italian biscuits - all variants on my favourite, almond, except for the little tube which is filled with a lemon mousse. Quite scrumptious!

I have never had a problem with preparing a really good, balanced, nutritious meal just for one, and here alone in France is no exception. Love the colours....and it tasted pretty awesome...herring salad, braised fennel and mushrooms.

Not many outdoor tasks to do in this cold, so the furniture inside is very clean and shiny!! Nonetheless I have been weeding the pumpkin patch...back-breaking...the ground is iced for the 1st 4 to 5cm, so I had to pour boiling water on just to get the soil loose. But it's getting there, and I have some very enthusiastic helpers in Speckled Brown Hen and Missy...I had a good chuckle cos the brown hen gets quite close to me..we have a good understanding of each others boundaries..now and again Missy comes and interferes...she always pecks Brown on the head and chases her especially if she sees there is a good hunting ground that she wants for herself. Well, Brown found a delicious fat grub and ran off with it, most chuffed with herself. Mistake!!! This caught Missy's attention and a battle for the bug ensued! Missy won....she is the leader, pioneer, brave one always out front...she reminds me of me!! I'm just not that nasty!!

Posted by Gypsy Lee 07:41 Archived in France Comments (0)

Will I Survive a European Winter? Salles 23 Jan

sunny 4 °C

Greetings from a bitterly cold Salles....at least for an African it is!! When we left for Bergerac yesterday at 9am it was minus 5...that is seriously cold! Today at 11am it was minus 4.5 so don't even want to know what it was like first thing in the morning. But I did get some beautiful photos of ice on the windows and car.

Well Ann & Fitz are off gallavanting again, so I remain to take care of the farm and its creatures...have fun you 2 :) I took today off just because its too damn cold to do anything. I did get to the unveiling of the village square's new name at least, and then took a short drive into the countryside of Gavaudun.

I realised that my posting of Death and Life may have been a bit sad for many of you, so I found what I consider to be some of the best medicine to chase the blues and cob-webs...nothing like a good belly laugh...and this brings back so many memories of my little family...every year on 31st Dec we would watch and roll on the floor laughing...I still did this evening! Hope you enjoy it!!

Dinner for One

Posted by Gypsy Lee 11:25 Archived in France Comments (0)

Death....and Life

A dedication to Delta


In the first 2 months of being here in Europe 4 people in my circle of family and close friends passed on, three of whom left a deep ache in my heart. But that is a story to be told by their loved ones.

This week I heard of the 5th death, which came as a shock, but, as many times before, I had a "sense" that something was amiss. My precious, goofy, blonde German Shepherd, Delta, died in December. Her caretaker, a very dear friend, was just not able to tell me right away.

So this blog entry is my dedication to her ~ fearless protector, playful companion and most caring and loving mother to 2 litters of gorgeous pups. My tears fall like rain but I am sure she and Tati, Kazia (my first GSD some 22 years ago), Titan and all the others are having a jol in doggy heaven.

Delta - such a lady

Delta - such a lady


And these beautiful words are for all the many wondrous dogs I have ever had the privilege to share my life with...

She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.
-- Author Unknown

Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
-- Roger Caras

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.
-- Milan Kundera

and on a lighter note

Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.
-- Dave Barry

Thank you Kariena for loving and caring for her while I am about my nomadic travels....and thank you Delta for being you.

And now for life.......

Whilst clearing out the Tile Pile here at Ramon, in Salles, we unearthed about 15 to 20 little salamanders....I got such a fright the first time I saw one of these creatures (on Quinta da Vinha), as they are a very bright green and wriggle a lot when you disturb their hibernation...I thought it was a snake!! Ann and I ever so gently lifted them out of the soil and rehomed them on the bank of the pond...all safe and snug and hopefully warm enough...till spring comes, bringing with it new life....and a chance for them to warm up, flex those muscles and go for a swim!!


Life here is great....sweet and simple...and after a good day's work, we have time to horse around a bit!!


Posted by Gypsy Lee 11:34 Archived in France Comments (0)

Rip 'n Burn ~ Jan 2011

all seasons in one day 14 °C

Ann has been an absolute darling, making sure I have a great French experience. We go off to visit a few local towns, mostly from medieval times. It's a quiet and gentle countrysde. Our sojourn takes us along the Lot River, through Cahors country, which is a wine-making region (but then isn't almost all of France??!!), to Puy-l'Évêque, Montcabriere....and then to the most beautiful little gem nested in a hidden valley, Bonaguil.

Puy-l'Évêque has a medieval city that is quite lovely, but had a feeling of sad neglect, as if the locals didn't really value what they had?? What was most noticeable was the delightful murals.

Montcabriere, also ancient little buildings, but much more loved!
As we trundled along the narrow country roads, we passed this beautiful working farm, complete with barn, chickens, a cat sleeping languidly in the sun, old car, tractor, woodpile...just perfect!

And not long thereafter, the gem of Chateau de Bonaguil....quaint and just fine as a home for me!!

Thanks Ann!!

Oh yes!! Why is this blog page titled Rip'n Burn?? I am teaching Ann a little more about what she can do with her new laptop...one of the things is to rip her music......just sounded like a good title!!

Posted by Gypsy Lee 09:41 Archived in France Comments (0)

Home Alone 3 ~ Salles 11 to 14 Jan 2011


Well my hosts, Fitz and Ann, who are now more like friends, have gone off to the UK for a funeral and have asked me to house-sit for them. For the Lee who is drawing ever closer to being a hermit (but still a sociable one!!) I am looking forward to some time alone....have been with people 24x7 for most of the last 2 years :)

I still have all my tasks to earn my bread and butter, but I can manage my time to suit myself, which is marvellous. And great excitement!! I have a vehicle to use, which I drive back from the airport....my first time on the wrong side of the road....and what a breeze...feels like I have been doing it all my life. Stop along the way at the Chateau de Monbazillac, standing tall and proud on the hilltop in the wine-making region of Bergerac - for a taste of their sweet wine, similar to our Hanepoort.

Couldn't resist this photo....obviously Bigot does not mean the same in France as in South Africa, otherwise he would never have been baptised Christian!!

Thursday I take a leisurely drive to the fresh market in Monsempron-Libos and a slow, winding meander home, via Villeneuve-sur-Lot, to draw cash. Pity the weather is continuously overcast....makes the photos a bit less bright.

I noticed a glorious church up on the hill at St Sylvestre-sur-Lot and thought it worth a visit. What a stunning old place... another medieval village with a view forever. Spent some quiet time in contemplation at the foot of the Cross of Christ. Very peaceful and good food for the soul.

The farmlands along the way with a typical maize storage unit

Had a great meal of salmon with a yummy caper sauce, mushrooms and brocolli with blackbean sauce and of course my 3 cheeses. Times like these that I really miss my loved ones.

How did I spend my last night alone?? Drinking a glass of good red....listening to Deep Purple, Cowboy Junkies, Calexico, Leonard Cohen and others whilst sorting through 6 wooden crates of apples....some of them so rotten I have to wear a leather glove to pick them up...mouldy fruit has never been my strong point!! My days seem to be surrounded by mouldy linen and cartons of apples!! Here in cold, damp France, double-glazing is a must and many of the old homes don't have. So mould on the walls and windows is a problem. I have been unpacking the linen cupboard and fighting the furry, grey stuff!!

And so ends another week in paradise.........sigh

Posted by Gypsy Lee 12:21 Archived in France Comments (0)

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