Around and about with Tony Goodman

Rugby World Cup

The TV’s valves have been running red hot, could have cooked a full English on top during the FRA V WAL match. Lashed it down as it was jumping sideways when the big lads exchanged pleasantries. Neck hair raising hakas. Lovely free flowing play. Mysterious penalties. Tears. The final will be on TF1 2nd November at a very civilised 10 am.


The human voice is an extraordinary musical instrument. As explained to me its possible to teach anyone to sing yet impossible to teach everyone how to sing well. It’s a gift.

On Friday we attended the Chateau L’Esparrou sponsored concert of Berlioz Les Nuits d’Été, at the Theatre Jean Piat. Supported by Pre-Raphaelite inspired back drop optics, Julia Deit-Ferrand (Mezzo-Soprano) was spellbinding, magical.


Jean Vigo’s festival continues. Mizoguchi’s L’Intendant Sansho (Sansho the Bailiff) is a classic tale of hope and the enduring belief in basic human rights. Take tissues. 6€, 7.10pm. 29th October Cinémathèque Euro-Régionale Arsenal – 1 rue Jean Vielledent, Perpignan


The Metropolitan Opera of New York is broadcasting performances of their 2019 – 2020 season to Cinema Castillet and Megacastillet.

Thursday afternoon we settled in to a performance of Puccini’s Turandot. The production was created by the late Franco Zephirelli, soprano Christine Goerke tenor Yusef Eyvazov lived and breathed their roles. Rich and powerful with a plot that always resonates.

Treats to come include Manon, Madame Butterfly, The Flying Dutchman and Tosca. Tickets are 20€.

Tax Time

Our neighbour Vivian, aware last year we did not receive our notification and worried we may again incur an unjust penalty charge was kind enough to remind us the due date for the Taxe Fonciere was 15th October.  Very useful as this year’s notice was also conspicuous by its absence.

A quick phone call to the Centre des Finances Publiques 04 68 66 41 41 and Robyn’s very good French saw the problem solved. Thought it may be useful to others to pass this on.


Chateau Les Pins 2013

Patience exhausted, we broached the last bottle of this fantastic red and it was well worth the wait. The trinity of grenache, mouvedre and syrah in the hands of a master always works well. Deep lush aroma. Glass clinging leather, smooth forest fruit.

Could have even enjoyed another year or two however sometimes life’s just too short. Proved perfect for Foie Gras and sweet onion relish followed by a rich roast duck.

Buy direct form the cellar or from selected caves. 15 – 16€. Serve 15°C.

Roast Duck

Duck around twice the weight as a chicken to feed the same number of guests.

Clean thoroughly, pour a cup of boiling water over the breast skin before drying well. Plenty of salt and pepper. Clementine quarters into the cavity.

A low to medium oven for at least three hours. Check every 30 minutes and drain off oil when the tide gets high. Don’t discard the fat, filter and keep in the fridge for future roasted potatoes.

When the skin is tanned and taut, rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes or so.

Pour off most of the remaining fat before deglazing the pan with a glass of vin doux from somewhere like Rivesaltes’s Arnaud de Villeneuve.

Serve with fresh local autumnal vegetables.

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