French country wine: Gaillac Rouge, Domaine Philemon

French country wine

French country wine – winemaker Mathieu Vieules with his Gaillac Rouge made from the Braucol grape variety of SW France

This is how we’ve been buying our wine recently – straight from the barrel at the market. It’s really quite a decent ‘everyday drinking’  dry red wine. Not too strong, a bit tart, with a hint of a peppery flavour.

A dry red wine from the market

A dry red wine from the market – Domaine Philemon, Gaillac rouge

Domaine Philémon is from the Gailliac region of SW France in Villeneuve-sur-Vere a small village on the Vere river. The Vieules family who make it have had a vineyard in Villeneuve since 1804. Today the vineyard is run by Mathieu Vieules who also grows wheat and sunflowers

At the Domaine Philomen vineyard - Google

At the Domaine Philomen vineyard –

Wikipedia says: “Wine expert Jancis Robinson describes the wines made from the Fer grape (known  locally as ‘Braucol’) as “interestingly perfumed” with a rhubarb aroma. The wines are often full-bodied with dark ruby colours and concentrated fruit flavours.” Not bad for 1.70 euro a litre!

French Printing Workshop or ‘Gravure and Impression’

Seeking inspiration...

Seeking inspiration…

In September we went on a free ‘taster’ “Introduction to Printing” workshop at the local library. These workshops have been organised by the French inter library system here in the Tarn et Garonne to introduce the general public to the processes involved in creating a book.

Getting inspiration from books...

Preparing sketches for the print…

Each session is led by an artist with their work usually on exhibition in the library. The artist for this session was Muriel Limonet, she was so helpful, she did a quick demo first on how to use the cutting tools on the square wooden boards, then gave everyone individual tuition and ideas.

Using the roller to ink up the print - artist Muriel Limonet on the left

Using the roller to ink up the print – artist Muriel Limonet on the left

Using simple rollers and pads of ink we were able to print off from our boards and produced some amazing little prints!

Exciting moment -revealing the first impression!

Exciting moment -revealing the first impression!

It was totally absorbing and can be done quite cheaply with no expert equipment required. Just a few different sized cutting tools, printers ink, rollers and bits of plywood.

Inking up the print - Muriel on the left

Inking up the print – Muriel on the left, Jon on the right

The finished results!

The finished results!

Fantastic morning!

Dans le cadre des ateliers “à la découverte des livres” mis en place par la communauté de commune QRGA, l’atelier techniques de “gravure et impression” animé par Muriel Limonet, aura lieu à la médiathèque de Caylus

My French Year – title of a book written in 1917 by Constance Elizabeth Maud

Book written in 1917 during World War I

Book written by Constance Maud in 1917 during World War I

I just found this book on amazon  and here’s me thinking I had an original title for this blog. Constance Elizabeth Maud travelled to France as a delegate of the Red Cross in 1917 during the first World War. Unfortunately I can’t find any photos of her, but have found other World War I images of the Red Cross in France:

Red Cross Train :

Red Cross Train by H Septimus Power : Photo credit Imperial War Museum

Here’s a photo of nurse Mary Vail Andress who was there at the same time as Constance. Photo credit

MaryVail Andress

Constance was one of seven children of a Church of England clergyman, she was brought up in Warwickshire and educated partly in France and Germany; she often used this experience in fiction and non-fiction. She translated the memories (1907) of Mistral. Many of her books, such as Angélique (1912), A Daughter of France (1908), in which a wife returns to her husband, Felicity in France (1906), and An English Girl in Paris (1902), are novels of French life, but No Surrender (1911) is a suffragette novel, which draws on the real-life case of Lady Constance Lytton (1869–1923) and contrasts the upper-class feminist with a range of other suffragettes. Maud also published on music and contributed to Temple Bar. She died in Chelsea.

Saucy French Postcards – Cartes Postales

I found a collection of these postcards at a car boot sale (vide grenier – empty loft) with lots of double entendres about hunting – this one says something along the lines of you hunt the quail …. she the pigeon…….?

This one says something like

Illustrator ‘Farriere’ This one says something like you chase the quail …she the pigeon

Saucy French postcard

Illustrator ‘Farriere’ – something about hunting down evil thoughts!


Too much to translate here!

Illustrator 'Alexandre'

Illustrator ‘Alexandre’

If anyone can help with better translations please let me know! – thanks