I HAVE already had to make my apologies a couple of times for completely misjudging the distances involved and dropping in on friends 15 to 20 minutes late.
If there is one thing I had forgotten about driving around the twisting, turning roads of the Dordogne it’s that what looks a short hop on a map, turns into quite a drive once en route.
But the warm welcome of the countryside is something that I never forgot, and so over a small coffee I’ve been brought up to speed on what has been happening where the Dordogne meets the Lot and the Lot et Garonne.
Couples have become families, whilst others have split up; shops have opened and restaurants have closed; new buildings have popped up and village squares have received a brush up with new hanging baskets and fresh paintwork on the mairie.
Unfortunately the recession has reached into the countryside with small factories cutting back to a three-day week, and one of the largest employers facing closure.
Whereas in the past it might have been possible to find a new job, maybe in a shop or another factory, these opportunities are not as widespread, so horns are being drawn in and gardens are sprouting veg plots.
One thing that’s not facing difficult times is the flora and fauna of the area, already ticked off the list are three hares, two red squirrels, many orchids and a fox cub.
(Still a bit of a struggle for web access as I continue my search for a place to rent, but hopefully the site will soon be back up and running at full speed.)