Tentatively out and about with Tony Goodman

Saint Patrick’s Days

On March 17, the whole world is Irish, as we all know. One of the globe’s greatest Diaspora shamrocks and Guinness can be found in the four corners. A town is not a town unless it has at least one Irish pub. St Patrick’s reptilian rapport is well known, however he is also the patron saint of engineers and Nigeria. Something to keep handy for the next pub quiz.

saint patrick


A solid supporter of all things jazz, Perpignan’s foremost music promoter, Jazzèbre, will be webcasting a concert featuring the Naïssam Jalal Trio’s Quest of the Invisible. Flute, bass and piano. A magical mix of east and west music, touches of Stan Getz, Mozart, and African. Flavours of South American bamboo flutes and haunting minor key Indochinese music.  On line Saturday April 3 at 20h30.


Just this once

Usually I prefer to focus on the important things, exploring our pocket of paradise’s cultural heritage, discovering our wines,  music, our mountains and our sea. However.  The looming problem of UK driver’s licence holders who in good faith refrained from exchanging their licences for a French permis de conduire is causing distress. Lives for some will be almost unbearable. Please consider signing the petition.



Visiting our favourite fishmonger at Sainte Marie Plage, we took a moment to stroll along the beach, paddle in the very chilly water and observe the efforts of a squad of metal detectorists. Well organised, there was one sweeping above the waterline, another just in the waterline and a third who had what appeared to be a mini compressor sitting on a tyre inner tube and around ten feet of garden hose feeding him air as he searched the loose gravel around two meters out from the waterline. Though a gorgeous crisp clear early morning, their grim expressions suggested pickings were slim.

metal detector


An ancient castle, ancient stone lined streets, nooks and crannies. It’s 20 minutes from our door and around 1000 years away. Up behind the castle there is a small private parking area for those who don’t fancy a hike up the hill from the new carpark. Pack a camera and unfortunately a few sandwiches as the superb L’Hostal restaurant may be closed. Any where else in the world, small ancient villages such as these would be considered redundant, not worth maintaining. France’s respect for its patrimony, large and little, is soul nourishing.

Mango, sweet potato and avocado salad

Dice a small sweet potato into thumb sized cubes, roast and allow to cool.

Select a green mango which is just starting to blush, it needs to be firm. Dice into uniform cubes, around half the sized of the roast potato cubes.

Depending on size, dice one or two ripe but firm avocadoes, you want equal proportions of the three ingredients. Look for the local rough skinned hass avocadoes at your weekly market, they work best. Squeeze a little lemon on the avocados cubes to keep them fresh.

Carefully combine the sweet potato, avocado and mango on a small platter. Mingle in a few small spinach leaves or flat parsley and a few thin crescents of red onion. Dress with cider or white wine vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle a few sesame or roasted pumpkin seeds on top.


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