Monday, 27 April 2015

Week18 2015


A top bar hive
We keep bees, and on Wednesday at midday, I was roused from my lunch by the tremendous sound of buzzing.  Rushing out to the garden I was met by a cloud of bees as they were in mid swarm!  The hive had increased in number, causing the queen to lay a queen egg which had now hatched and she had taken half the swarm with her.  This is the way that swarms multiply and now is the time that it is happening. 

The bees that are about to head off with their new queen stock up on a big meal of honey and set out in search of a new home.  At this stage they are not dangerous (nor are you when you’ve just had a giant meal) and will fly to a nearby resting place whilst seeking bees look for a good home.  Bee keepers are all interested as they want this new swarm in their empty hives. 

We currently have 2 empty hives; a traditional square hive and an African top bar hive and are on the lookout for new swarms.  If you find a swarm has arrived in your garden, don’t worry, they’re not dangerous.  They won’t thank you for poking them with a stick, but you can get quite close and they shouldn’t bother you, or be worried by you.  Typically they will be hanging from a branch of a tree or a vine.
Bee suit at the ready...

If you drop me an email, or give me a call, then Tom or another bee-keeping friend will come and take them away and re-home them.  Bees are essential for the survival of our flowering plants and trees. We need to protect them and help them flourish.

Whatever you do this week in the Gironde or Dordogne, have a great week and enjoy the Friday holiday.

Best wishes,
06 30 89 85 36

Week 18 2015

The Foire de Printemps on the Quinconces in Bordeaux runs from 24 April - 10 May.

Monday 27 April

Tuesday 28 April

28 April 20h30 : Big Eyes is showing in VO at La Breche Cinema in Ste Foy.
A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s. Starring Amy Adams, Christoph Walz and Krysten Ritter

Wednesday 29 April

Thursday 30 April

Friday 1 May – Holiday (Journee International du Travail/Labour Day – when no-one works!)

1 May : Flower Market, Arts and Crafts and Vide grenier in Pellegrue

1 May : The Fabulous Flower market and Vide Grenier in St Meard de Gurcon

1 May : Vide grenier in Merignas

1 May : Vide grenier in Villefranche de Longchat

1 May : Vide Grenier in Frontenac

1 May : Fete des Fleures Vide Greniers on the Quais in La Reole

1 May : Brocante Vide Greniers in Moulon

1 – 2 May : Le Club Ephemere at Château La Fleur Picon hosts Tapas and concerts followed by DJs 
from 18h30. Visit their Facebook page for more details

1 -2 May : Craft Market in Lauzun .  Find out more here

1 – 3 May : Portes Ouvertes in St Emilion. A golden opportunity to take a break in the vines and honour the unmissable invitation from the winegrowers of the Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Lussac Saint-Émilion and Puisseguin Saint-Émilion appellations, who are opening their doors from to welcome visitors, share their passion and introduce them to their wines with a tasting. 
1 – 3 May : UDP (L’Union de Producers de Saint Emilion) welcome visitors to their chai with craft exhibitions and stands and produce stalls as well as visits to their cellar and wine tastings.

Saturday 2 May

2 – 9 May : Exhibition ‘Les Femme Pendent la Deuxieme Guerre Mondial’ (Women during WW2) at the Salle Cascante in Castillon.

2 – 3 May : Exhibition ‘Cicatrice de Guerres’ at the Salle Polyvalent next to the river in Flaujagues

2 May : Opening of the Restaurant and Bar at Guingette d’Espiet with a Concert with What the Funk

Sunday 3 May

3 May 9h30 – 17h : Exhibition and Craft Sale in the Salle Communale in Les Salles de Castillon

3 May : Vide Grenier in Lamothe Montravel

3 May : Vide Grenier and Flea market in Saint Etienne de Lisse

3 May : Vide grenier Foire a tout des crampons du vignoble in Saint Magne de Castillon

3 May : Phoenix Home Grown Plant Sale in Lieu dit Vignas, 24600 Vanxains

3 May 15h : The Association for the Restoration of the Church Saint-Etienne of Branne and the City of Branne invite you to a free concert on May, the 3rd at 3 PM at Branne's Church.
The pipe organ and trumpet duo formed by Caroline Dubroca-Chaudru and Yannick Belkanichi, will revisit Bach, Haendel, Vivaldi, Clarke, Delerue, Torelli and Hovhaness.
Opening up of the " Indes Galantes " of J.P. Rameau
Prayer d’Alan Hovhaness
Cantata de Georges Delerue
Gothic minuet of Léon Boellmann
Elegy of G. Thalben-Ball
Grand Chœur de J.J. Beauvarlet-Charpentier
Ave Maria of Caccini

Intermission of 10 mn
Elevation of L.J.A. Lefébure-Wely
Atalanta of Haendel
Concerto en ré majeur of G. Torelli
1st movement of the 3rd Sonate for keyboard layout C.P.E. Bach
Concerto en ré mineur of Vivaldi/Bach
Prelude en sol mineur of D. Buxtehude

Coming up…

And finally…

Bank holidays in May…

The month of May in France is infamous for the number of national holidays that often fall in this month, and this year is no exception.  Be prepared, shops and offices will be closed and public transport will have limited services.

Friday 1 May is La Fête du Travail (Labour Day) or sometimes called La Fête du Muguet (Lily-of-the-valley Day).  It’s a day when the French traditionally campaign for and celebrate workers’ rights, but more easy to spot is the tradition of giving Lily-of-the-valley to loved ones. Historically Charles IX of France was presented with lily-of-the-valley flowers on May 1, 1561. He liked the gift and decided to present lily-of-the-valley flowers to the ladies of his court each year on May 1. By around 1900, men started to present a bouquet of lily-of-the-valley flowers to women to express their affection.

Friday 8 May is WW2 Victory Day.  This day marks the anniversary of the official end of World War II and is a public holiday in France.  Many people attend parades and church services, they also sing patriotic songs and display the French national flag on their homes and public buildings.

Thursday 14 May is Ascension. This holiday marks the day that Jesus ascended to heaven, according to Christian belief.  Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday so many people take a day of their annual leave on Friday and so enjoy a four-day weekend, this is known at the pont (bridge).

Sunday 24 May is Pentecost and is 50 days after Easter Sunday. It marks the Holy Spirit's descent onto Jesus' followers, according to Christian belief.

And finally finally…

Monday 25 May is Pentecost Monday, or Whit Monday and is the day after Pentecost. Pentecost Monday was a public holiday in France until 2005 and again from 2008. The holiday was reintroduced after about 15,000 elderly people died in a heatwave in the summer of 2003. The French government made a commitment to financially support the elderly and people with disabilities by deciding that Pentecost Monday would no longer be a public holiday from 2005 onwards.
The public holiday was replaced with the Day of Solidarity. On this day people worked for no pay. Their wages were collected to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities. However, there were demonstrations and Pentecost Monday became a public holiday again in 2008.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Week 17 2015


Monday Market day in Castillon was a hive of activity, school holidays have started and the rain has stopped.  But I was there for the asparagus.  The white asparagus, with delicate purple tips, have been available for a few weeks, but this week the delicious green asparagus arrived.  Locally they are grown in Blaye and whist we can, we indulge… roasted, steamed and in soups and salads, and possibly my favourite is on the barbeque.

Whatever you eat this week, have a great time in the Dordogne and Gironde regions.
Best wishes,

Week 17 2015

Monday 20 April

20 April 14h : Shaun the Sheep is showing at the Grandecran in Libourne all week at 14h – it doesn’t have words does it?
When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

Tuesday 21 April

Wednesday 22 April

Thursday 23 April

Friday 24 April

24 April : Live music with Boom Shaker in a free concert at La Cave des Chevaliers in Villefrnche de Longchat.

Saturday 25 April

25 April 20h30 : ‘Hommes et Femmes du Landais’ a second performance at the Salle Paul Broca in Ste Foy la Grande,

25 – 26 April : Ste Terre holds their 25th Fete de la Lamproie.  Everything to do with the famous Dordogne ‘fish’ (or is it an eel?)  Last year we bought some delicious Lamproie rillettes. There is a produce market on the Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday, also there are workshops and presentations about the history and cuisine of this rare delicacy. Please see the website and the timetable

Timetable of events in Ste Terre

25 – 26 April : Floralie Guizieroise at St Medard de Guizieres – flowers, plants and garden items at this weekend fete.

Sunday 26 April
Ste Terre also has a flower market

26 April : Brocante and flower market at Ste Terre as part of the Fete de la Lampoire

26 April : Vide Grenier de Montlau at Moulon

26 April : Les Puces de la Bastide at Ste Foy la Grande.  Spread throughout the centre of the town this is a monthly Brocante/flea market.

26 April : Brocante Vide greniers a the Place de la Bastide under the arcades in Sauveterre de Guyenne

26 April : Eymet is having a Fete des Fleurs et des abeilles – a festival of flowers and bees.  Workshops, exhibitions and advice are all available alongside a plant and seed swap.  Plenty to see and do for all the family.

Coming up…

And finally…

The wisteria this year is amazing.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Week 16 2015


We had our very own boat race this weekend.  A whole flotilla of boats of all sizes rowed past our house on Saturday afternoon on a journey from Port Ste Foy to Castillon.  The sun wasn’t shining then, but perfect weather for a long row I should imagine.

If you haven’t been out on the river yet, then take off to one of the boat clubs and have a go, the water’s calm and flows down towards the ocean – very little work necessary… just go with the flow!
Whatever you do this week, have a great time in the Gironde and Dordogne regions.

Best wishes,

Week 16 2015

Shaun the Sheep is showing daily at the Grandecran in Libourne at 14h.

Monday 13 April

Tuesday 14 April

Wednesday 15 April

15 April 15h : Shaun the Sheep is showing at La Breche in Ste Foy – it doesn’t have words does it?
When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

Thursday 16 April

Friday 17 April
17 April 18h15 : Shaun the Sheep is showing at La Breche in Ste Foy

17 April 19h : A Blind Tasting.  The Vitrine du Pays Foyen (Next to the Grand Pineuilh Leclerc) is hosting a Blind Tasting.  Discover your wine without the sense of sight.  Reservations and information 05 57 41 21 79 or €10

Saturday 18 April

18 April 9h - 19h non-stop : Foire aux Vins at Les Guinots in Flaujagues.  Les Guinots has joined forces with Univitis in les Leves and now has a much bigger range of stock.  If the Guinots Rose was your favourite, remember to mention that when you are buying as they have also re-branded some of their lines.

There are some excellent bargains to be found... I'm a big fan of their methode traditionnelle champenoise - perfect as an apero.

18 April 10h – 17h : Marche de Printemps in Bournel 47210

18 April 10h – 18h : March gourmande and artisanal in Frontenac.
18 April 19h30 : Cirque aux Ecuries at Les Gailhards in Les Leves et Thoumeyragues

 18 April : Bal Gascon in Civrac/Dordogne.  Starting in the afternoon at 14h30, learn the dances and then dinner at 19h, followed by an evening dancing all the dances you have learnt – no experience
necessary, just go and have fun.

18 April 20h30 : Batkiff – the 7th drum festival starts with the groups Melting Pot and Stonka playing at the Salle JacquesPrevert in Port Ste Foy.  Continuing on to Sunday at 14h30.

18 – 25 April : Exhibition’Hommes et Femmes du Landais’ at the Salle Pal Broca in Ste Foy la Grande

Sunday 19 April

19 April : Vide Grenier at Lac de la Cadie in Mouliets et Villemartin

19 April : Marche aux fleures and Vide grenier at Duras


19 April : Vide Grenier at Tayac
19 April : Vide Grenier at Marche aux Puces in La Reole at the salle l’amicale laique

19 April 15h : Shaun the Sheep is showing at La Breche in Ste Foy

19 April 15h30 : Jazz Concert featuring Les Tontons Swingers and Les Durs a Cuire at the Salle du Foirail, Duras

Coming up…

20 April 15h : Shaun the Sheep is showing at La Breche in Ste Foy

And finally…

A property For Sale

The property consists of a large gite with 6 rooms + an apartment, cottage with 2 rooms, 2 rooms for a small beauty or welness center, 3 barns and 2 ha of land.
The gîte business is running very well ( +/- 50.000€ / year income ), we are sold out from mid April till mid September

Selling price is 450.000€
We moved back to Belgium and are offering a fair price hoping for a quick sale

Kind regards,
Michel Immerzeel
La Maison dans les Vignes

Michel & Anouk Immerzeel
1, Les Maillets
F - 33220 Riocaud
T. : +33 5 47 84 94 69