Fashion, food, friends, fun — success!

Sunday’s special event at Daglan’s Salle des fêtes — the fashion show, English tea, and clothing sale — turned out to be quite the success.

A good time was had by all, as the saying goes, and the volunteers of the Club de l’Amitié Daglanaise (or Daglan Friendship Club) raised nearly 1,000 euros for charity. The room wasn’t completely packed, but there was a good turn-out, with lots of opportunity to chat with friends.

I described the event in “Fashion show and a tea, with some twists,” posted on May 20. So check that out if you’d like to see the details.

And now to the actual event, held yesterday (June 2):

For a start, the setting was just right. At the front of the hall, there were racks and tables full of donated clothing (all of it in good shape; all of it with surprisingly low prices); and at the rear, rows and rows of attractively set tables.

First came the English tea — plates of cakes and scones and delicate sandwiches, and pots of good tea, plus glasses of Prosecco for a couple of euros extra.

And then came the fashion show, featuring six women volunteers, each showing off four different sets of clothes, from pants and jackets to dressy gowns. The models and their clothes were accurately (and sometimes amusingly) introduced in English, and then in French.

I took lots and lots of photos, but in the interests of moving things along, I’ll just give you a taste of the fashion parade — starting with Rosemary:

A good-looking jacket over a simple dress.

One of the livelier models was Teressa, who had travelled here from Scotland to see her friend (and club member) Letitia. Here she is, showing off an outfit and an infectious laugh:

Bright clothing, happy face.

And modelling a beautiful dress (that she subsequently bought) is my wife Jan, looking quite wonderful:

Looking elegant!

Finally, here’s the lineup of all six models, coming out to take their well-deserved bows, with lots of applause:

The models receiving applause.

When the fashion show ended, it was time for people to review the clothing for sale and make their purchases, which they certainly did. Finally, it was time to start the clean-up (which was finished this morning — leaving the Salle des fêtes spot-less).

There was quite a lot of food left over, and it’s shown here on a table in the hall’s kitchen. This will give you some idea of the quality and variety of the cakes that were offered:

Check out all the goodies!

I’ll close this posting with just a few other comments:

The attendees. No one took an accurate count, but I suspect that the attendees were 90% English-speaking and 10% French-speaking. The French residents of Daglan normally like events involving food and drink, but I suspect that the idea of an afternoon tea was a step too far — it’s not part of the culture.

The models. I was quite impressed with how the six volunteer models performed — sauntering along, sometimes twirling around, waving their hats, and generally looking like they were having fun. Who knows? Maybe a few will go professional.

The volunteers. Events like these require a surprisingly large amount of work, and all the women involved should be quite proud of themselves (in addition to feeling  exhausted). With excellent planning at the start, and then solid organization, the event was run like clockwork, and everything from the afternoon tea to the fashion show was first class. Well done, you all!



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A reminder of Sunday’s event

As I write this, on Friday evening, a dedicated group of volunteer women are working away to prepare for a special event to be held in Daglan on Sunday afternoon.

I described it fully in “Fashion show and a tea, with some twists,” so if you missed it, take a look. It was posted just a few days ago, on May 20.

If you’re keen, it would be a good idea to reserve a place. Here’s the scoop, as I wrote in that May 20 posting:

Reservations are recommended, and may be made by phoning either Judith Thomason at 06-71-18-43-55, or Jacqui Lindsey-Smith at 05 – 53 – 29 – 52 – 12.

The event has had some great publicity, including this very smart banner, which is hanging at one of the main entrances to our village:

Your invitation to the event.

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Pop … pop … poppies!

Today has been a national holiday in France (Ascension). Which meant that most businesses have been closed for at least a half day, if not the whole day.

Which meant that the Othentic Spa in Costeraste is closed. Which meant that this morning, I was not able to take part in the vigorous aquagym exercise program in the spa pool, as I do three times a week.

Which meant that, for some exercise, I headed out for a walk with my Nordic walking batons, along the bicycle path that runs all the way north from Daglan to Castelnaud. Which meant that I was able to see this:

Way too many poppies to count.

Yes, spring is when those lovely red poppies start popping up, all over rural France. Often there are just scatterings of them, mixed in with the tall grasses that grow beside our roads. But sometimes you get to see whole fields of them, as I did this morning. A lovely sight!

Posted in Agriculture in the Dordogne, Exercise and fitness, Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France, Walking in the Dordogne | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fashion show and a tea, with some twists

For some weeks now, a group of dedicated female volunteers have been working on a special event to be held in Daglan on Sunday, June 2 — an event built around a fashion show and vintage-clothing sale, with the added bonus of a true afternoon tea, the kind featuring all sorts of goodies.

The event has been organized by a group of the women who belong to the Club de l’Amitié Daglanaise, or the Daglan Friendship Club, including my wife Jan.

So far, the women have not only planned and organized the event but collected a lot of used but well-cared-for clothing (for women, men and children), sorted it, and priced it for sale.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. in the village’s Salle des Fêtes with the fashion show. The entry fee is 7.5 euros, which includes the afternoon tea (including cakes and small sandwiches). Another 2.50-euro contribution will allow the guest to enjoy Prosecco as well as tea.

After the fashion show, attendees will be invited to shop among all the articles for sale. Proceeds from the event are destined for two charities — one being a group that helps people coping with cancer, and the other being an organization that helps refugees.

Reservations are recommended, and may be made by phoning either Judith Thomason at 06-71-18-43-55, or Jacqui Lindsey-Smith at 05 – 53 – 29 – 52 – 12.

In closing, here’s a look at the poster that’s been printed to promote the Salon de la Mode Vintage:

The stylish poster.


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Mowing on a grand scale

As we’re now well and truly into spring, we’ve had weeks and weeks of alternating rain and bright sunshine. And once again, that means we’re into the season of mowing on a grand scale — known in France as fauchage.

During the winter, there’s no sign of fauchage in the Greater Daglan Area, simply because the plant life has generally died back. But in April and certainly in May, plants explode into green life — flowers, shrubs, grass and weeds.

And while much of it is is attractive, the high flowers and grasses alongside our roads can be not only messy-looking but even a bit dangerous — for instance, blocking the view of drivers who must be on the lookout for cyclists.

I’ve written about the practice of fauchage several times — as long ago as October 11, 2010, in the posting “Shave and a fauchage, two bits” — but if you’re new to the GDA, it’s worth a review. Here’s some of what I wrote in that 2010 posting:

On bigger roads, fauchage is usually conducted by a convoy of two, three or even four vehicles. This can include one or two trucks with flashing lights and large signs that read “Danger — Fauchage,” on either side of the … fauchage tractor. The actual trimming is done by rotating blades that can be positioned in any number of ways, to cut grass whether it’s on the flat or on a slope, and to trim shrubs and tree branches that might impair a driver’s vision.

Here’s one of the warning vehicles, as seen through the windshield of my car one recent day as my wife Jan and I drove down into the Céou River valley, on the way into our village:

This is the warning vehicle.

And here’s the fauchage tractor itself, with the whirling blades being tilted upwards:

Trimming along the side of a hill.

And here’s the same machine, trimming shrubs and grasses on the side of a hill:

The blades can be moved into many positions.

What amazes me is the skill of the drivers, who smoothly re-position their blades as they drive along, trimming the grass and weeds while managing to avoid rock outcroppings and tree trunks and other hazards. And one more thing: I love the smell of fresh-cut grass as we drive along our country roads.

Posted in Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France, Weather in the Dordogne | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

V-E Day 2019: The wettest yet

Gloomy weather has often been a feature of Victory in Europe Day (Huit Mai, or Fête de la Victoire) since my wife Jan and I have been attending the solemn ceremony at Daglan’s war memorial.

For instance, some of my previous postings were “V-E Day 2015: Damp but dignified” and “2012: Our damp V-E Day ceremony.”

But today’s ceremony was the wettest yet, and in fact as I write this I can hear the rain beating down on the Velux window above me.

It looked to me like today’s crowd was (perhaps not surprisingly) a bit sparse, compared with the crowds of other years. And because I spent much of the time huddling under my umbrella, I didn’t get the chance to take photos. So I’m afraid you’ll have to consult previous postings if you want to get a sense of how the ceremony looks.

In any event, as always, I’m glad that Jan and I had the chance to honour the sacrifices that so many Europeans — and so many of their Allies — made during that awful war that finally ended 74 years ago.

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It’s not all Michelin stars

Over the years that I’ve been posting this blog, I’ve written countless times about various fine-dining experiences, often at restaurants in France (and elsewhere) with one, two or even three Michelin stars.

So just in case you’ve been wondering — no, all our meals are not at starred restaurants, or even at less glamorous but still fine-dining places. In fact most of our lunches (lunch is the main meal of our day, as opposed to dinner) are at home, featuring food made by either my wife Jan or me.

And when we do go out for lunch, as we did yesterday, it’s often to a restaurant that’s definitely not a fine-dining place — such as the Thai restaurant Sawadee, in Cénac, or the Basque restaurant Le Tournepique, in Castelnaud. Yesterday’s choice was in fact Le Tournepique, and as always, it did not disappoint.

To the surprise of no one (including the hostess, our waitress, and me), Jan had the moules frites, because she always finds the mussels sweet and delicious, and nicely cooked; as for the fries, they are soft on the inside but golden and crispy on the outside, and amazingly hot.

As for me, my choice for plat principal was the Basque omelette, as it often is. It’s perfectly cooked, and I love the rich Basque sauce inside the folded egg mixture — with tomatoes, onions and peppers. It came on a plate that (in my view) had much too much green salad on it; I nibbled at the salad, but devoured the omelette.  And then, just before coffee, I enjoyed the Basque cake. Here’s my main course:

This was salad over-kill.

At this point, I will confess that we are going out again on Friday, to a fine-dining restaurant. With one Michelin star. When you’ve got a good thing going, keep it going.

Posted in Food, French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Restaurants in the Dordogne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments