By Martin Calder
A summer time in Gascony: learning the opposite South of France conjures up the attractions and sounds of the opposite South of France-its powerful spirit of independence, its love of the land, and the easy pleasures within which it revels-with this fascinating fish out of water story a few younger Englishman who spends a unprecedented summer time operating at a Ferme-Auberge in a distant hilltop village in Gascony, the most rural components of Southwest France. it truly is an idyllic land of rolling hills and vast horizons, swathed with vineyards, sunflowers, and pastures. within the tiny hamlet of Peguilhan, Martin Calder is brought to the Gascon lifestyle, operating the fields and shepherding sheep. it really is in Peguilhan that Calder discovers a different and fiercely self sufficient humans. packed with colourful characters and sun-drenched landscapes, this can be a story of 2 amorous affairs: a summer time romance with Calder's fellow stagiere, Anja, and the start of a lifelong love affair with Gascony. alongside how you will meet the charismatic and convivial Jacques-Henri, the hardworking farmer whose relations takes Calder into their domestic and hearts; Pattes, the mischievous and lovely stray puppy who leaves havoc in his wake; Madame Parle-Beaucoup, the city gossip who has a mystery of her personal; and the memorable Monsieur Fustignac, whose satisfaction in his Gascon history is unforgettable. nearly nearly as good as a weekend getaway, A summer time in Gascony: getting to know the opposite South of France is an event you will not are looking to leave out!
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Extra resources for A Summer in Gascony: Discovering the Other South of France
The old map of Gascony gave me a bird’seye view to carry in my mind. I was creating my own map. The landscape varies from the flat, sandy pine forests of the Landes, facing the ocean, through rolling countryside to the foothills of the Pyrenees in the south. In the early part of the year Atlantic breezes reach far inland, bringing nourishing rain. The land is green in spring and dries golden brown in summer, although wetter, greener summers are not unknown. The rivers in the valleys are fed steadily throughout the year with water from the mountains.
The pace at the Auberge was sometimes frenetic, driven by the constant demands of catering for the guests. The slower rhythm of life at the farm was set by the routines of looking after the animals and growing the crops. One day, driving to the farm with Jacques-Henri in the 2CV, I smelled an acrid stench coming from a barn near the road. ’ I asked. ‘Caca d’oie,’ he replied. Goose shit. We were downwind of the goose farm just outside the village. A handmade sign beside the track leading to the goose farm advertised FOIE GRAS – VENTE DIRECTE, with a picture of a happy, smiling goose raising a welcoming wing.
Their numbers swelled daily with reinforcements from the south, and they attempted to cut off the Roman supply routes. Crassus wasted no time in attacking the camp. The Aquitanians resisted fiercely, hurling stones and javelins from their ramparts at the attacking Romans, but they had left the rear entrance to the camp unsecured. A cohort of Roman soldiers made their way inside, unnoticed, while the battle was raging at the other end. The Aquitanians, finding themselves trapped, broke out of the camp in panic and began to run across the plain.