After the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Catalan territories of the Vallespir, Conflent, Capcir, the valley of Le Carol, and 33 northern villages of the Cerdagne were transferred to France. The disgruntled Spaniards made regular and damaging raids over the new frontier, and the king’s military engineer Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban designed a new fort at the crossroads of the Conflent, Capcir and Cerdagne to defend the border. Named after King Louis X1V, it is said that he chose the position of Mont Louis based on the good health and fine teeth of the inhabitants of nearby villages!

So far, Jo had figured a great deal in our Ceret story. In the early days, when we couldn’t speak the language and hadn’t a clue how things worked, she’d gone to extraordinary lengths to help us and along the way we’d become firm friends. I thought long and hard about including this part of what happened to her in this blog, but came to the conclusion that she would have preferred to have had her story told. I hope that it will be taken in the spirit in which it is written, a homage to a dear friend.

The affair between the elegant girl from Tallinn and Estonian Eric had, unsurprisingly, come to naught and the love-less, opera-singing soldier man continued to appear at odd intervals at Arthur and Jo’s house to dig out the odd tree root or two.

For those of us fortunate enough to live in this wonderful part of the world, the opportunities for fair weather golf are almost limitless. I mainly concern myself with courses within a fifty kilometre radius south of Perpignan because there really isn’t any need to look further.

¿Hablas español? Flamenco show and all things Spanish in Canet village. Son et lumière (Sat), equestrian flamenco (Sun), stilt walkers, flamenco, jewellery, painting and mask making workshops, rodeo, stands, bodegas….

The day arrived and a group of well-coiffured ladies in their sixties and seventies climbed out of their hire cars. Each had a suitcase large and heavy enough to contain a dead body. After hubby and I had lugged these monstrosities upstairs we welcomed their owners with nibbles and wine and I thought I would take the opportunity to explain a little about Mas Pallagourdi and the area.

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