Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Week 18 2013


We had a lovely visit to Bordeaux on what was certainly the hottest day of the year so far (I hope we’ll have a hotter one!) 
Sunset at the Bourse in Bordeaux

Patricia McBain was our charming and knowledgeable guide who lead us from the Grand Theatre through the streets of Bordeaux and past the one remaining Roman Wall Tower. I’m not going to tell you where it was – you need to take the tour to discover it, along with other beautiful architectural secrets that I never knew Bordeaux held!   

To find out more go to http://www.bordeauxwalkingtours.com/ If you take one of Patricia’s tours please mention my name and tell her that we had a great time.

With Patricia in Bordeaux
There’s so much to do this week, Wednesday offers a host of venues selling plants for the garden and should inspire you to get out with the trowel…

Whatever you do, have a great week,

Best wishes,


PS : Check out the For Sale page as there are some more new items.


Week 18 2013

Monday 29 April

Tuesday 30 April

30 April – 1 May : Salon Art & Vin Gastronomy at St Germain du Puch.  To find out more go to http://www.id2sorties.com/sorties/2130995_salon-art-vin-et-gastronomie.aspx

Wednesday 1 May – Fete du Travail
1 May : Vide Grenier at Castillon la Bataille at Place Champ de Foire. 

1 May : Vide Grenier at Frontenac 33760

1 May : Fete des Fleurs et Vide Grenier on the quais at La Reole 33190

1 May : Vide Grenier at Moulon 33420

1 May : La Charrette Bleu Antique Barn at Velines is holding a Brocante.

1 May : Vide Greniers et Floralie at Saint Meard de Gurcon.  Last year the choice and quality of 
plants was excellent.

1 May : Marche aux fleurs et artisanat at Pellegrue 33790

1 May 20h30 : Promised land  is showing in VO at la Breche Cinema in Ste Foy.
A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.  Starring Matt Damen, Hal Holbrook and Frances McDormand.

Thursday 2 May

2 May 18h : Vernissage for Corynne Montamat’s Exhibition in Branne at the Halte Nautique, Route de Cabara.  Exhibition runs from 1 – 30 May.


Friday 3 May

2 May 19h : Choeur d’Hommes perform Les Amicroches at the Church in Jugazon.  Entrance €12, with a drink at the end.

Saturday 4 May

4 May : Foire aux fleurs et aux miels in Libourne.

4 May : Grand Vide Grenier at the  Place de la Mairie, St Magne de Castillon.

4 May 17h45 : Promised land  is showing in VO at la Breche Cinema in Ste Foy.
A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.  Starring Matt Damen, Hal Holbrook and Frances McDormand.

4 – 19 May : Scen’Arts Exhibition at Salle Cascante in Castillon la Bataille.  15 Artists are featured in the Exhibition.  Vernisage at 18h30.

4 May : Gluten Freaks are playing at LEMB@RZIQUE CAFE - 31, route de Périgueux 24100 LEMBRAS
Tél : 05 53 57 70 53

Free Entrance.
This café is dedicated to music, with a billard pool.

4 May 20h : Dinner/Dance at Lac de la Cadie, Mouliets et Villemartin to open the summer season.  Tickets €25 including a cocktail, the meal with wine and entertainment by Valerie Combard.  For further details go to http://www.lacdelacadie.com/

4 – 5 May : Portes Ouvertes at St Emilion.  2 days to discover the vineyards of St Emilion.  Many of the usually shy and retiring Chateaux open their door to visitors.  Visit http://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com/fr/agenda.html?m=5&id=66 to see the full programme.  Not to be missed it the ‘Diner Vigneron’ held at the Salle des Dominicans.  We went last time and had a wonderful evening with the ceremony of the Jirade as well as the tasting of many delicious St Emilion wines. For more details go to http://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com/reservation/fr/visites/15/76-diner-vigneron-portes-ouvertes-2013.html


4 – 5 May : 22nd Coupe de France Rowing Competition at Dagueys in Libourne.  To see the full agenda and some facts and figures go to http://www.ville-libourne.fr/173-actualites/1025-coupe-de-france-d-aviron-2013.html

Sunday 5 May

5 May : Parcours des Saveurs.  A 15km gourmet walking tour starting in Ste Florence discovering 
wins, honey, beer, ice-cream and much more on the way with a picnic part way through.  

Coming up…

And finally…

May 1 is the Fete du Travail (Labour Day) in France and they celebrate by giving small sprigs Lily of the Valley (muguet).  Apparently the custom dates back to the 16th Century when wedding banns were posted at the beginning of May and wreaths of lily of the valley were hung in the doorways of the brides-to-be. 
Towards the end of the 19th Century the international workers movement took 1st May as their Labour Day and in France the workers and their followers wore lily of the valley to show their support. 
These days, French tradition says that you must offer au moins un brin de muguet (”at least one sprig of Lily of the Valley”) to loved ones on May Day…

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Week 17 2013


Notjustfortheholidays has been on holiday! 

Here are some holiday snaps!  Do you recognise it?  We had a lovely time, though we may have eaten just a little bit too much!

Now we're back, and all set for a busy week.  We're heading into Bordeaux for a walking tour on Thursday - I've never done one before, so, fingers crossed for good weather!

Whatever you do, have a good week,

Best wishes,

Week 17 2013

19 April – 5 May : Foire de Printemps at Bordeaux Quinconces.  Over 200 stands selling all sorts of antiques and collectables, from tiny little nic-nacs to enormous items of furniture.

Monday 22 April

22 April : Emmanuel Rossfelder in Concert  at the Theatre Liburnia, organised by the Rotary Club of Libourne and St Emilion.

Tuesday 23 April

23 April 21h : Rebel without a Cause is playing in VO at the Eden Cinema in Monsegur.
A classic from 1955 starring James Dean. Jim Stark is the new kid in town. He has been in trouble elsewhere; that's why his family has had to move before. Here he hopes to find the love he doesn't get from his middle-class family. Though he finds some of this in his relation with Judy, and a form of it in both Plato's adulation and Ray's real concern for him, Jim must still prove himself to his peers in switchblade knife fights and "chickie" games in which cars race toward a seaside cliff.

Wednesday 24 April

Thursday 25 April

25 – 26 – 27 April : Shakespeare as you have never seen it in France!  MADS presents ‘Codpieces’ by Perry Pontac – a hilarious set of first rate parodies based on three well known Shakespeare plays.  Tickets €10 on Thursday and Friday, €12 including canapés on Saturday.  To find out more go to http://mads-theatre.org/MADS/Events_Bookings.html

Friday 26 April

26 April 20h : ‘Codpieces’ performed by MADS at Issigeac Chateau.

26 – 27 – 28 April : Lamproie en Fete at St Terre.  The annual celebration of all things lamprey.  To find out more, including the menu for the meal go to http://www.jardindelalamproie.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27&Itemid=5

26 – 27 – 28 April : ‘The Show Must Go On’ 3 concerts at the Salle des fetes in Eymet.  Entrance €7.

Saturday 27 April

27 April 10h : In conjunction with the Gironde Horticultural Society, Domaine Franc in St Magne de Castillon is hosting an Open Garden Day.  You are invited to take along plants to swap, or you can just go to look and visit.  There will also be the opportunity to buy plants too.

27 April 19h30 : ‘Codpieces’ performed by MADS at Issigeac Chateau.

27 April 19h : Soiree Marocaine at Harveys restaurant in Moncaret.  To book go to http://harveysmontcaret.blogspot.fr/

27 April : Gluten Freaks will be playing at La Poutre (Steven Francis) in Beaupouyet 24400, Place de la Mairie, telephone 05 53 80 29 54.  They will be there before supper, and play a short set for the aperitif, and after the meal, Off they go !
They have added new songs to their list, and some friends may go by and have a jam with them.

27 – 28 April : Portes Ouvertes Lalande de Pomerol.  To find out more, including who and when go to http://www.lalande-pomerol.com/pdf/portes-ouvertes-2013-lalande-pomerol.pdf

Sunday 28 April

28 April : Vide Grenier at Saint Philippe du Seignal

28 April : Les Puces au Coeur de Bastide in Ste Foy la Grande

28 April : Foire aux Affaires at Montpon.

28 April : The Fete du Lamproie in St Terre continues with a brocante and regional produce market as well as the ‘Repas Gastronomique’ at midday.

Coming up…

And finally…

We ate the most delicious tomato salad whist we were away...
... made from Raf tomatoes.  If you know where I can get the seeds (or even better the plants) for these tomatoes I would be delighted. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Week 16 2013


Hooray, the sun is shining and we’ve been out enjoying the spring weather.  We went over to the Spring market in Pomerol to have a look and get some ideas for the garden.  It was great to be out and about in the 25 degree sunshine!

The bees are settling in, and there’s plenty of activity around the hives.  So far so good…

Keep enjoying the beautiful weather when you are out and about in the Gironde and Dordogne area, and please let me know of any upcoming activities.

Have a good week,

Best wishes,


Week 16 2013

Monday 15 April

Tuesday 16 April

16 April 20h30 : Des Abeilles et des Hommes is showing in French at La Breche cinema in Ste Foy. 
Between 50 and 90% of the world’s bees have disappeared in the last 15 years.  This film explores the problem and tries to discover why.

Wednesday 17 April

Thursday 18 April

Friday 19 April


19 April – 5 May : Foire de Printemps at the Quinconces in Bordeaux.  There is also a Plant fair and a Ham fair at the same venue.  Free entry.  Certainly enough to keep you busy for half a day, if not more…

19 April : Jazz Swing concert by ‘Les Tiller Men’ at the Restaurant NostalgAir, Levignac de Guyenne 47120.  For reservations call 05 53 84 95 21

Saturday 20 April

20 April : Spring Fayre at the Restaurant NostalgAir in Levignac de Guyenne, raising money for Phoenix Association. To find out more on Facebook go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurant-NostalgAir/144018198979490  

20 April 20h : Concert by l’Ecole de la CDC de Castillon-Pujols at the Salle des Fetes in Castillon, entrance €4.

20 - 21 April : Portes Ouvertes and Exhibitions at Chateau les Farcies du Puch, Pecharment, Bergerac.

Sunday 21 April

21 April 9h : Belles de Swing at Golf des Vigiers.

21 April : Brocante vide-greniers Sous les arcades et la place de la république at Sauveterre de Guyenne.


21 April Brocante Vide Grenier de Printemps in the Salle des fetes parking at Coutras.

21 April : Marche Fermier de Printemps, Vide Grenier at Le Pizou 24700

21 April 18h : Traditions 1950’s Jazz Concert at the Salle des Fetes in St Andre et Appelles, 33220.  Organised by the Lions Club ‘Ste Foy la Grande Aquitania’ for their 20th Birthday.  Tickets €12,  reservations 05 57 40 31 56.

Coming up…

And finally…

Whilst visiting the Spring market in Pomerol it was lovely to see that the vines were beginning to shoot, but what are these little capsules added to the vines?  Why are they there and what are they for?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Week 15 2013

Bees moving into the top bar hive.

This week we can start to get our gardens in order for the coming months.  We enlarged our ‘homestead’ by 60,000 this week when we took delivery of 2 swarms of bees, they are currently settling themselves into their new top-bar hives, though the rain showers and heavy winds haven’t made it easy.  Fingers crossed that they will settle in OK.  If you really want to know more about bees, you should contact Sue at http://french-garden.blogspot.fr/

I’m looking forward to a weekend at various plant and antique markets – we’re spoilt for choice, and there’s a weekend of wine in Blaye too.

Whatever you do, have a great week and I look forward to hearing about any upcoming events.  It’s never too late to send in an event, if I can, I’ll add it in even at the very last minute.

Best wishes,

Week 15 2013

Monday 8 April

Tuesday 9 April

Wednesday 10 April

10 April 18h : Vernissage for the artist Bruno Elbert and his exhibition of paintings at the Tourist Ofiice in Branne.  The exhibition runs from 30 March  - 30 April.

Thursday 11 April

A message from Kate Sanders : Pilates class at St Martin, Thursday morning 10.00-11.00. Due to building work at St Martin until the end of 2013, there will be a change of venue for the class. Starting on Thursday 11th April, we will be using the Salle des Fetes at Villefranche de Lonchat (24610). To coincide with this I am introducing a "Special Offer" until the end of June. For anyone who has not been to class for a while and would rather pay per lesson, you may pay E7 instead of E10. This means that if funds are low you will not miss out even if you can only come every few weeks.

11 April 16h30  : a CPR/first aid course. Open to everyone. Free entry. Salle Polyvalente, Mouliets et Villemartin. 
Les élus MSA des cantons de Castillon et de Pujols organisent dans le cadre du projet « un canton / une action », une réunion d'information sur le thème : « les premiers gestes de secours ». 
Tout le monde est concerné : les employeurs de main d'œuvre, les salariés et les exploitants. N'hésitez-pas à en parler autour de vous, cette réunion est également ouverte à un public non agricole.

Friday 12 April

12 -13 -14 April : 28eme Grande Brocante Antiquites in Rauzan.  More than 140 Stalls with antiques and collectables.  Entrance €2.50 for adults, children are free.  Cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain and be ready to haggle.  The stands inside the large hanger often have some incredibly high end antiques, even if they are outside your price range you can still go and look.

12 April 20h15 : Don Carlo is showing at the Grandecran in Libourne.  A Nicholas Hytner production by the Choir and Orchestra from the Royal Opera House.

Saturday 13 April

13 April 19h30 : Soiree dansant at St Vincent de Pertignas at the Salle des fetes.  Tickets €22


13 April 20h : Cirque aux Ecuries at the Poney Club de Ste Foy la Grande,.  To find out who is performing and where, please go to http://cirqueauxecuries.revolublog.com/dimanche-14-avril-le-spectacle-gratuit-c21105558

13 April 20h30 : Concert Harmonie des Deux Vallees.  A 40 piece orchestra will play a collection of jazz, classical music and popular tunes.  Free entry and all welcome.

13 April 20h30 : Cine-Concert.  Film and a Concert at the Espace Culturel d'Eymet.  Reservations 06 86 21 39 42.

13 – 14 April : Printemps des Vins de Blaye. The 19th annual Celebration for the wines from Blaye.  Go to http://printemps.vin-blaye.com/ for more information, and have a look at the little video too – it’s cute!

13 – 14 April : Salon de la maison, du Jardin et Loisirs in Langon.  Visit fetes-foires-salons-langon.fr for more information about this spring fete.

13 – 14 April : Stage de Dance Expression in Castillon.  For more information call Claire on 06 86 11 15 71 or cdmartinet@gmail.com 

13 April – 14 June : Points de vue - Rivages extraordinaires.
Deux communes Quinsac, Camblanes & Meynac.  A variety of events alongside the Garonne.  To see the full programme go to http://www.quinsac33.com/Pages/Pointsdevue.aspx


Sunday 14 April

14 April : Foire aux Œufs et aux poussins at Gensac.  Stock up on your baby chickens.

14 April : Marche du Printemps, (Fleurs – gourmands et Bien etre) at the Salle polyvalente et extérieur in Pomerol 33500. Featuring - des artisans de bouche, des horticulteurs, fleuristes ou tout autre artisan en relation avec la nature, et des artisans de savons, parfums .... et tout ce qui est en rapport avec le bien être.

14 avril : Marché aux fleurs, avec concours de Bonhommes en pots organisé par le Comité des fêtes.  Place du 8 mai place du 8 mai, 33220 Port-Sainte-Foy-et-Ponchapt
Contact pour cet événement : Mairie 05 53 22 24 10

14 April : Vide-greniers at Lac de la Cadie in Mouliets et Villemartin 33350.

14 April : Marche aux fleurs et vide-greniers at Duras

14 April 9h : Balade botanique en Pays d’Eymet.  A guided tour through the countryside discovering edible wild plants.

Coming up…

Hello Everyone,

Just to let you know about the first of 3 Spring Fairs.
This is in aid of Phoenix and is to be held at The Restaurant Nostalg Air in Levignac just the other side of Duras.
As this is only a one short day Fair I will not be carrying a huge amount of stock , my goods as you know are perishable and have a short shelf life with the exception of the rich fruit cake.
So with this in mind please contact me for an order form so as not to disappoint anyone.
Should you wish to order anything then please do so, pop your name on the top of the order form and once you have completed it please send back via email as soon as possible no later than the 12 April with your requirements.
I will have your orders ready for collection on the Saturday .
Should you not be able to make it to the Fair then I will be happy to meet up on the Friday the 19 April or Sunday the 21 April in the Pineuilh shopping centre at an agreed time to enable you to collect and pay for your order. Please state on the email where and when you wish to collect.
If you wish to contact me my number is 0557 46 48 53 and my email is

Many thanks
The Cake fairy

And finally…
The lamb and sausages from Franklins Farm are delicious and have proved popular and so Helen (not me) is looking to extend her deliveries closer to Castillon.  I must say, the lamb shoulder we had from there was truly legendary, but then so are the sausages, and so was the bacon…  Anyway, she sent this message:

Just wanting to ask if there is anywhere in or around Castillon that might be suitable for a drop off point as I could probably add it on to the same day I go to St Méard de Gurcon which is about once a month.
I was thinking a half hour drop off at about 12.15/12.30 on about the second Tuesday of every month.  If you would be interested then please contact me on franklinwz@orange.fr or call 05 53 82 37 71
Kind regards Helen