Blogs, bridges and summer

Welcome to our Blog ! Lalinde and our surrounding district is VERY BUSY in summer, every day there is a massive choice of events to enjoy such as evening street dinners, live music, art displays, medieval re-enactments, fabulous morning markets, choral singing in some of the beautiful and ancient churches of our area, classical music at a Chateau, Sundays are great for Vide grenier’s ( empty attic / garage sale events in village squares ). During the week you don’t need to look far for a Brocante or Antique Fair, there are literally  100’s of local vineyards offering free sampling, you could visit  a duck farm to buy foie gras, buy goat cheese from a farmer, visit one of the many Chateaux open to the public, many with beautiful gardens. This region of the Dordogne is the former home of Cro-Magnon man, their stunning cave drawings can be seen in many of the limestone caves dotted throughout the region….. Saturday is wedding day, church wedding have no legal standing in France. The wedding is always held at the Mayor’s office then a church service is a personal choice. Living opposite St Pierre, the church of Lalinde, we get to share and enjoy some fabulous weddings from the very countryfied to the most formal high brow events, all a joy to watch. St Pierre has a nice & rich bell tone which is very easy on the ear AND the last evening peal is at 22:00 and first morning peal at 07:00, all part of our service to ensure a restful night !

 

The olde and new

Progress

Friday, 17:00, August 5th, the official laying of the plaque for the opening of the Pont de Lalinde after a full rebuild and refurbishment. The bridge re-opened as planned on 18th June after a 10 week contract which widened the bridge by 6.5 metres, as you can see it was raining !

Our 1st rain in 3 months, bad timing !Old bones, new clothes

Our first rain in 3 months after a searingy hot spring, our local politicians and officials where all on site with their speeches to celebrate the opening of the bridge, but mother nature had other plans and the opening was  a very prompt and speech free event !

Wonders of modern engineering

Old bones, new clothes

The Pont de Lalinde  opened in 1881 in the days of horse and cart and was able to be widened to support 2 lane traffic without any structural strengthening, what a compliment to the engineering and design standards of the late 1800’s. Although our house over looks over the bridge, the ” white noise ” from the river flow and small rapids under the bridge cancels out most of the traffic noise. Unfortunately ” white noise ” will never mask the noise of young French teenagers on their 49cc scooters and motorbikes, one of the few scourges of French village life !

 

Lalinde Lions Club Annual Wine Festival – August 5th > 7th 2011 

Friday night, Saturday and Sunday,  the Lalinde  Lions Annual Wine Festival is in full swing. Over 70 wine makers and traders in partnership with Lions France host a weekend wine, food and entertainment festival in various parts of our region. This year’s goal  is to raise 15,000€ towards local Lion supported charities. The traditional music of our region has very strong Basque and Celtic roots. The Banda playing beside us is Basque style and perhaps the origin of the American Marching Bands, plenty of brass and drums with a very upbeat theme.  Any decent event in the Dorodgne/ Aquitaine starts and finishes with one of the many local  ” Banda ” bands celebrating the occasion. Our local ” Bordelais ” music has a Celtic theme with bag pipes, tin flute, fore arm drum, violin, viola, perhaps a small bass along with a variety of mandolin type string instruments.  Lalinde hosts this fun event every year on the first weekend of August. Lions is a great way for the local French, Dutch, Belgium and British community to work together and build friendships. Apart from the actual members, their partners and friends all pitch in to set up the marquess, tents, tables and chairs and man the kitchen which turns out 1000’s of meals over the weekend. The roast pork starts cooking at 07:00 in prepartion for serving at 19:00, slowly grilled with oak firewood and basted lovingly all day.  Other regulars on the menu include magret de canard ( duck breast ), confit de canard( twice cooked duck legs ) bavette ( beef brisket ), entrecote ( NY Cut / striploin ), saucisse…it’s a bit tough being a vegetarian at this sort of  event, canteloupe / rock melon is always available, often served with local dried ham and crepes and cheese always on tap to finish off the meal…..along with a fabulous selection of wine from local rose or red starting at  around 4€ to the finest Burgundy,  Gigondas or Champagne. These events are an important part of the local social calendar with young and old all turning out to celebrate the summer, enjoy the music and fellowship and catch up with old friends. For community leaders it’s a time to meet the locals in an informal setting, listen to a few gripes, firm up some electoral support and keep in the public eye. To the right our local Lalinde Mayor (Maire Péris) is working the crowd. Lalinde is the main village in the Canton of Lalinde which has 17 villages comprising the Canton. Maire Péris is an elected official, but also a  full time salaried Mayor with the other villages having local a local Mayor who generally also holds a full time job. For most government administrative paper work, the Lalinde Mairie ( Mayor’s office or Town Hall ) can process this paperwork including passports, births and deaths etc. The Commune and the Mairie is a very strong part of the local community.

 

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