By Martin Calder
A summer season in Gascony: getting to know the opposite South of France conjures up the attractions and sounds of the opposite South of France-its robust spirit of independence, its love of the land, and the easy pleasures during which it revels-with this fascinating fish out of water story a couple of younger Englishman who spends a unprecedented summer time operating at a Ferme-Auberge in a distant hilltop village in Gascony, essentially the most rural components of Southwest France. it really is an idyllic land of rolling hills and huge 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's in Peguilhan that Calder discovers a different and fiercely self sustaining humans. packed with colourful characters and sun-drenched landscapes, it is a story of 2 amorous affairs: a summer season 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 family members takes Calder into their domestic and hearts; Pattes, the mischievous and cute 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 delight in his Gascon historical past is unforgettable. virtually pretty much as good as a weekend getaway, A summer time in Gascony: researching the opposite South of France is an event you will not are looking to pass over!
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Extra info for A Summer in Gascony: Discovering the Other South of France
Their natural affinities lay to the south, with the kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon. The Gascon chiefs went across the Pyrenees to find a leader. In 864, Sans-Mittara, the youngest son of the Prince of Navarre, was elected Duke of Gascony. The name Sans in Gascon is the equivalent of Sancho in Spanish. The epithet Mittara meant ‘the terrible’. So Sancho-the-Terrible, a character shrouded in mystery, was the first of the hereditary Dukes of Gascony. His son and the next Duke of Gascony was Garcia-Sans, followed by Sans-Garcia.
Mealtimes with David were bizarrely entertaining. The Cazagnacs, like other southern French families, ate all the courses of their meal from the same plate, wiping it clean with a hunk of bread between dishes. Picture the sequence at dinner. We would have a plate of potage, thick vegetable soup with small pieces of duck. We sopped up the soup with bread. Then we might have a slice of tart, with salad and peppery green Puy lentils. We cleaned our plates again with bread. Finally, as the culmination of the meal, we ate our gigot of lamb.
In his view Gascons were fickle and inclined to follow – or rebel against – the master of the moment, as it suited them. Gascons had to use their wits and seize the moment in order to survive. Throughout the centuries the Gascon land, although pleasant, has never been easy to cultivate. In many ways life on the land has always been tough. The Gascon farmer is often at the mercy of the elements, whether he is a shepherd on the high mountain pastures, a cowherd in the foothills, a vine grower on the lower hills or an arable farmer down on the plain.
A Summer in Gascony: Discovering the Other South of France by Martin Calder