Trash Talk 2: Beyond the Cemetery!

First of all, I have to thank my sister Karen for today’s title. When I posted “Our great garbage switcheroo,” on February 7, she wrote in the Comments section: “You’re talking trash!” To which I replied, “Nice one!”

Second of all, would today’s title be a great name for the sequel to a horror film, or what?

But let’s move to the business at hand: Daglan’s waste disposal system. In the February 7 posting, I showed how the waste disposal area next to our village’s cemetery was being dug out and dramatically re-configured. I went on to write:

I’m not sure, at this point, what use will be made of the space (but of course I’ll keep a beady eye on the situation), but what will disappear are those bins — the heavy green ones for glass, the other green ones for “normal” garbage, and the grey bins with yellow tops for the recyclables, such as paper and cardboard.

Today I visited the scene again with my beady eye (and camera), and low and behold, this is what I found:

So it turns out that the area was dug out and filled with gravel and tamped down. And then a row of the new, modern containers for household waste and various recyclable materials was installed.

The similar containers near the Stade Municipal, which I showed on February 7, are still bearing their “Do not use” stickers, and so are these bins near the cemetery. But sooner or later, somebody’s going to have to peel off the stickers and get these bins into use. Or questions will be asked!

Silly side note: The name of the organization that handles waste removal in our area goes by the initials SICTOM. I have a lot of problem with this acronym, because I always read it as “sitcom,” which of course stands for “situation comedy.” Just one of the challenges of being such a bilingual, multinational chap.

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Valentine’s Day lunch — an encore at LPP

Exactly nine years ago to the day, I posted a piece in this blog about a lunch that my wife Jan and I enjoyed on Valentine’s Day. Here’s my introduction, from February 14, 2011 (and can you believe I’ve been writing this blog for that long?):

We had lunch today (for la St Valentin, or Valentine’s Day) at Le Petit Paris, the excellent restaurant in the centre of Daglan, and mere steps from our house. As I wrote in “Survivors!” just two days ago, the restaurant had been closed for its annual break since last November 14. With that, here’s a visual tour of our meal.

And then I went on to give readers exactly that, with photos of each dish. Which is exactly what I’m going to do now, describing the lunch that Jan and I enjoyed today with friends John and Babs.

To start, here’s today’s special truffle-oriented menu, cutely decorated with little hearts:

Hard to read, but you’ll get the drift.

The special menu for today had a set price of 55 euros — not cheap, but not exorbitant either. One extra (at 9 euros) was the special cocktail, consisting of Champagne with creme de framboise (raspberry liqueur) and vodka, so we all had to have one of those. With the cocktail came a cute little bowl of lentil salad and a fried quail’s egg. Here’s my place setting:

A delicious drink. Really.

Then came a sort of “egg roll” with foie gras in the middle, served with (among other things) a “caviar” of eggplant. Here’s my dish:

What’s wrong with foie gras? Nothing!

Next came an Oriental-styled dish of “wonton” with fresh scallops in the centre, and served with shavings of black (winter) truffles from our region, the Périgord. Here’s my bowl of the goodies:

Minor criticism: I thought the broth needed salt.

For our main course, we had fish — in this case, roast monkfish served with (of course) shavings of black truffle as well as salsify and Jerusalem artichoke. Here’s my dish:

Monkfish is firm and pleasant to eat.

Now we are reaching the end of the meal. In true French style, the cheese comes before the dessert, but Jan was feeling quite full and decided to decline the cheese course. The other three of us took the plunge, and received lovely plates with small chunks of cabicou (a local, soft goat’s cheese) served with minced local walnuts and local black truffle. Here’s my plate:

Our penultimate plate.

And then came dessert, an ice cream served with a sauce of passion fruit and mango, with little puffs of meringue on top. Here’s my serving:

A cold and sweet end to our meal.

The total cost for our lunch — including two bottles of a very pleasant Sancerre and coffees all around — was about 160 euros per couple. We all felt we had good value, and more importantly, a good time with good friends over good food.

And so to all of you out there in Radio Free Daglan land, best wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Food, French food, Holidays in France, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Restaurants in the Dordogne | 9 Comments

Horses and riders, put to the test

Had you been driving south into Daglan from St. Cybranet this morning, as I was, you would have come across this sign at the side of the road, which basically tells drivers to slow down and be careful, for good reason:

Horses and riders ahead!

Yes, it’s a Course d’endurance (or Endurance Course, obviously), which is something I don’t think I’ve ever heard of. (Confession: I’m not a member of the horsey set.) So I drove slowly ahead, and found a fairly massive grouping of cars and trucks and horse trailers and (of course) horses and riders, grouped around the rugby club building at the Stade Municipal. Here’s a look at just some of them:

Gathering near the rugby club building.

And here is a closer view of some of the horses being walked by their riders:

Horses being walked.

Since I hadn’t heard anything about the event, I drove on to our village’s convenience store, the 8 à Huit, to see if it had any publicity posted. As always, there were indeed some posters on the front doors, advertising events like a forthcoming rugby match. But nothing about an endurance course for horses and riders.

Then I tried the Mayor’s office, where any number of posters and official notices are regularly on display. Again, nothing about the endurance course.

At home, I tried the Internet, and still couldn’t find anything current about today’s event. I did learn that at one such event that began a few years ago in the historic village of Monpazier (about an hour’s drive from us), the goal was 160 kilometres in a day, at an average speed of about 20 kilometres an hour.

Maybe this is the kind of event that’s good for horse owners and riders, but not of general interest — that is, not worth publicizing. Still, that seems a bit of a shame to me. Of course, if any of my readers know more details, please add them in the Comments section below. Merci beaucoup!


Posted in Life in southwest France, Sports, Sports in the Dordogne | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A February harbinger of spring (2020)

Today was grey and drizzly and frankly fairly miserable, but there is no question we’re getting on the road to spring.

On a drive to Sarlat for an errand this afternoon, we came upon this lovely row of trees — in full flower. Have a look:

Pretty in pink.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Our great garbage switcheroo

Disposing of garbage and recyclable materials in Daglan is getting a new, modern look. I realize that this won’t be of immense interest, necessarily, but the information could be useful if you have a holiday home in our area, or are planning to rent a property here in the months ahead.

Those of you familiar with the village will know that the largest repository for garbage (and so on, including glass jars and bottles) has been tucked away near the cemetery. Well, that collection point is being buried (ouch). Here’s how the work looked yesterday:

Our big dig.

I’m not sure, at this point, what use will be made of the space (but of course I’ll keep a beady eye on the situation), but what will disappear are those bins — the heavy green ones for glass, the other green ones for “normal” garbage, and the grey bins with yellow tops for the recyclables, such as paper and cardboard.

So, what’s taking the place of the bins? Big, heavy, rather industrial-looking bins — small versions of the kind of tanks you see at oil refineries. And where are they going? Well, right here:

That’s the rugby pitch in the background.

In other words, the containers are set in a rather dramatic row not far from the Stade Municipal, where rugby is played. (In case you weren’t aware of it, people in the Greater Daglan Area are rugby-mad.)

As of now, there are stickers on all the bins with the words NE PAS UTILISER (that is, DO NOT USE), which seems somewhat self-defeating. But I’m sure someone will remove the stickers before too long.

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Late-breaking news: the Mayor’s speech

It’s been a bit more than a full week since my wife Jan and I, and a whole bunch of other people, headed to Daglan’s community hall (la Salle des fêtes) for the annual review of village life by our Mayor. A combination of factors, including of course laziness, has delayed this report.

In any case, I’ll begin by reporting that there is nothing dramatic to report. In his presentation, Mayor Pascal Dussol used a series of slides to display some of the projects completed in 2019, and to highlight activities ranging from our annual August festival to the relatively recent Christmas market (or Marché de Noël). Most of these, of course, were  covered in exhaustive detail in Radio Free Daglan in 2019.

It was interesting that the meeting was kicked off by another official — the Mayor of Domme, Jean-Claude Cassagnole, who heads up the Communauté de communes de Domme-Villefranche du Périgord. (Try saying that quickly, five times!) Anyway, as the name suggests, it’s a collection of smaller communities, and includes Daglan. At last count, there were just under 9,000 inhabitants in the communauté. Here’s M. Cassagnole at the microphone, with Mayor Dussol standing by:

Two Mayors, with lots to say.

Late in his remarks, Mayor Dussol did acknowledge that his council is hoping that Daglan will earn a third flower (out of a possible four) in the Villages Fleuri program. Here’s some background, from my posting of April 13, 2018:

To refresh you, the Villes et Villages Fleuri competition is a national program created in 1959. Over the years, the program has evolved. While the name suggests that villages like Daglan are full of flowers — which is true — it also signifies that the village is generally trying to improve the local environment and encourage a high quality of life for residents.

Cities and villages which qualify can be awarded from one to four flowers, which are displayed on signs as you enter the community. When Daglan was first recognized, we had one flower on our signs. And now, we have two flowers on each of the signs posted at the three main entrances to the village.

Here’s a slide showing some of the efforts that were made in 2019 — planting of yet more flowering trees and shrubs at the various entrances to the village:

The plants just keep on coming.

In case you were wondering (and I was), lagerstroemia refers to flowering plants sometimes called lilas des Indes (lilacs of India). Apparently they are grown all over France now.

Each year at this event, we are impressed by how well-attended it is. Here’s a photo that shows some of the crowd, after the speeches and presentations were concluded:

Our village hall was full to over-flowing.

To encourage people to stay and chat, refreshments are offered — like this tray of pizza squares (which were pretty tasty, I have to say):

Pizza anyone? Yes, please!

To cap off the evening, a multi-course complimentary dinner was provided to anyone who wanted to stay. (No reservations required.) Jan and I have our major meal of the day at lunch, so we didn’t linger for the dinner. But we heard from a friend afterwards that the dinner — featuring roast suckling pig — was delicious. Not bad for a little village, eh?


Posted in French government and politics, Life in southwest France | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

State of the Village Address

Now I could have called this posting “The Mayor’s Speech,” echoing the title of that (very good) film “The King’s Speech.” But then you might have thought that Daglan’s Mayor is struggling with some sort of stammering problem, which he isn’t. So “State of the Village” it is.

Actually, the “State of the Village Address” (as I call it) was described as “la traditionnelle cérémonie des vœux” on a nicely printed card that was inserted in our mailbox recently. It said that Daglan’s Mayor and the entire municipal council have invited us to go to the village’s salle des fêtes, or community hall, on Friday, January 10, beginning at 7 p.m.

My wife Jan and I have been to this annual event several times before, and believe me, it’s not just an occasion for standing around awkwardly and having a glass of wine. The event actually gives a chance to the Mayor (Pascal Dussol) to present a rather detailed explanation of what happened in the village during the past year, and what’s planned for the new year. It’s well done, illustrated by a series of slides, and a great chance to get up to date on village life.

So if you live in Daglan or one of our outlying hamlets, do try to attend. It’s a good way to kick off a bonne année.

Posted in French government and politics, Life in southwest France | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments