|Keith Godard's pencil sketch, left; final rendition for the map, right|
Anyway, despite the unpromising air of abandonment appertaining as we parked by the ancient arcade in the square, we persevered and took ourselves down the stately main street. A small boulangerie was open and aglow inside with provender, local jams, sweetmeats and similar, and there we did secure three fine croissants (two for me as I am beyond caring about restraint). Then out into the chill dank air until a bar we espied. At least the overhead lights were on and the door unlocked but no customers or patron in evidence whatsoever. Until the latter staggered through a back door carrying logs and kindling, apologies, had got in late. No sooner than he had arrived, like moths to a flame they came – the men who frequent the bar of a morning. Each one acknowledged us the obvious strangers and shook hands with all the other customers, each in turn.
Well the coffee was good, the croissants top grade and the bar was warming up as the potbelly stove got going, as we also – got going. By now the square where we had left the motor was busy with the comings and goings of the school run and traffic had begun to filter down the streets and lanes of the town. We strolled around a bit and took the odd snap . . . climbed into the vehicle, with comments that we must come again on a less grey day and take a proper look around . . . and drove on.
If I had read the article before leaving Sablet we might have tried to buy a copy of the map produced by artist/designer Keith Godard while in Villefranche-du-Périgord. A chance missed but nowhere seemed open so we would have probably drawn a blank . . . nevertheless we were rather surprised at the coincidence, wondering if the presence of the article in the car had caused us to deviate into the town, subconsciously, as it were . . .
codicil – we come again
It's September 2017 and we are en route to Sablet via a stop over in Cahors. It is a sunny and warm afternoon as we approach Villefranche-du-Périgord so we think the tourist office might be on stream, and there may be a chance they still have the work of Keith Godard for sale. And sure enough they are and they do. So for the outlay of some ten euros we now have his rendition of V-du-P, clip-framed and on the wall at Sablet, my rather poor reproduction of which is displayed below. As a map it has its limitations but the drawing produces a very clear sense of the place. There isn't really much need for a street plan, we visited most of the streets in a half hour stroll. The town incidentally looked charming in the early autumn sunlight although the cafe in which we dispatched our croissants in November 2016 was closed, so we took refreshment instead under the bunting in the town square . . . most pleasant.