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Monday, November 30, 2009

An autumn dinner and folk music

On Sunday 29 November the Association de Sauvegarde des Monuments et Sites de Catus (ASMSC) held its annual autumn lunch in the village hall in Catus, France. In addition to being a cultural awareness association the ASMSC holds events during the year to raise money for various restoration projects in and around the village. The autumn lunch is one such event for raising funds.

The lunch this year had as its main course cassoulet - a local dish of southern France whose main ingredients are duck, sausage and beans (picture). After a truly magnificent meal prepared by the ladies of the ASMSC we were entertained by a local folk group to some traditional music and dances.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A visit to an old Phosphate Mine

A couple of weeks ago some 20 members of our local rambling group, Les Chemins Verts, went on a day out to visit an old disused Phosphate Mine, the Phosphatières du Cloup d'Aural near Bach, about 20kms from Cahors in the Lot, France.

A number of crevices where the mining used to take place until around the turn of the 20th century are now covered with vegetation, including a variety of species of fern. Our guide took us down into caverns where one can view the remains of prehistoric animals and the walk around the thematic park was most enjoyable and instructional. There are panels illustrating the region's prehistory and the current flora and fauna of the area - a great educational experience for young and old.

There is a good picnic area at the Phosphatières, but it being autumn we had arranged to have lunch at the local auberge in Bach. After a lovely traditional meal it was time to do some more walking! Bach is known locally as an area of wells - we came across one called the puit anglais and a couple of large Roman wells on the outskirts of the village. The walk took us to an unusual lavoir (washing place) locally referred to as the lavoir papillon because of the way the washing stones had been installed.

What a lovely day out in the crisp autumn weather! If you visit this part of the Lot a day out to the Phosphatières du Cloup d'Aural and a stroll around the village of Bach is highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My first blog

I've just joined blogger. The purpose of creating this blogger is to provide news and information and comment on living, tourism, events, happenings, etc. in the Lot dèpartment of south-west France.

My wife and I live in the medieval village of Catus, which is located 15 kms from Cahors, the provincial capital of the Lot. Here we run a gite (self-catering holiday home) - for more information have a look at the Chez Ming Gite website.

NOTE: At the end of this video move your cursor over the video icon of the gite(second from left) and click to view it.

If you'd like to be a contributing author (i.e. write your own blog) on the Chez Ming Blogger rather than just comment on an existing blog please see the bottom of this page.