Thundering cows

We are home. After driving more than seven hours from Avignon to Florence yesterday, we are a bit tired and taking it easy today.


Hmmm, in spite of having unsubscribed to all of my daily e-newsletters, during Charolaismy absence I received almost 200 e-mails (GULP!). How did that happen??? Well, it is going to take me a while to sort through everything, so if you are eager to hear from me, please send me a new message, and I will do my best to answer ASAP. Thanks!


I have decided to write my holiday stories without following any particular chronological order. If a photo reminds me of an amusing episode, then that is what I will write about, so please be prepared for a bit of jumping back and forth between Burgundy, Lyon and Provence. Ah, I should mention that I took almost 2,000 photos…but I promise I won’t publish all of them (hehe)!


I took the above photo of a Charolais cow and her calves in a field near the self-catering cottage, or gîte, where we spent the first ten days of our holiday in Burgundy. Our cottage was located in a quaint little village called La Motte-Ternant, whose only store, a minuscule but well-stocked Depot de pain, La Motte-Ternantdépôt de pain, was open from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (the sign can be enlarged by clicking on it, by the way). Rather odd store hours, eh. We soon came to rely on the dépôt‘s manager, a very cheerful and simpatico Dutchman who also runs the local campground and is full of great advice on things to do, places to go and so on. His weather forecasts really helped us plan our day trips. Merci, Robert!


But let me get back to the cows for a second. Last Saturday (August 23rd), as we were leaving La Motte-Ternant on our way to Lyon, the second “leg” of our journey, we were stopped by an elderly man waving his cane in the middle of a deserted country road. I rolled down my window, and he explained (in very fast French, mamma mia!) that his family was moving their herd of cows from one pasture to another, so we simply had to wait or else…!


With no herd in sight and not the slightest noise to be heard, we were a bit puzzled, I confess. But we had no choice. As we waited for the herd to materialize, Thundering herdI had a little friendly chat with our charming monsieur. And sure enough, as promised, about five minutes later a small herd appeared around the bend.


As you can see from the photo I took (one of many), the cows thundered (okay, ambled) straight toward us before being led into a pasture on the left side of the road about a metre or so from our car. If monsieur hadn’t stopped us, I hate to think how the car would have fared…! We thanked him and sped off toward Lyon.


End of Chapter One!


  1. Dear Margaret,

    I have some comments on curcumin and using the comments feature on your ‘blogroll’ is the only means I can find of contacting you via your website.

    For about two years, a pinkish, raised spot was developing on my scalp. I didn’t really become concerned until about a month and a half ago, mid-July, 2008, as it had increased in size at a greater rate, to more than 6mm across and with raised edges, and become rough to the touch within the previous four months or so.

    I am male, 47 years old, athletic, in very good health, no serious health problems until now, tan easily, have burned only a few times in life and am not fair-skinned, have a full head of hair. So I don’t quite fit the profile of someone with melanoma. Nevertheless it looked like it could be some kind of skin cancer, or pre-cancerous condition.

    At the time I became concerned and started researching what the spot could be, something in my intuition or the voice of God said, ‘turmeric’. Obviously this led to the discovery of curcumin, Dr. Aggarwal’s research at the M.D. Anderson Center and to your blog.

    This was my regime from mid-July to now: I started topically applying turmeric, in vitamin E oil to the spot for about a week. After more reading, I realized it might be better to ingest it. Next regime: each morning, I started taking one, slightly rounded teaspoon of turmeric in about 12 oz. of whole milk heated together in a microwave long enough to make it hot but not too hot to drink. Most of the time, I would add Ovaltine after heating. Each evening I would either repeat the morning dose and mixture, but without Ovaltine.

    By the way, I love the taste of turmeric in warm milk; it’s a pleasure.

    I did this for about a week and a half until I received a bottle of 1000mg crushable caplets, not capsules, of the Super Curcumin C3 complex from I also ordered their AC3 Max Curcumin Derma Cream.

    I contacted Sabinsa about their formulation in bulk but was told they did not sell in bulk. I believe you had on your blog a contact at Sabinsa for bulk purchases but I can no longer find it.

    My regime with the caplet: Mornings – 3 caplet/3 grams; Evenings – 3 caplet/3 grams.
    Why three grams? It seemed to equal about a teaspoon.
    As for administration:
    Mornings, I tried crushing the caplet but this was messy enough for me to try simply preparing the milk & Ovaltine and then chewing each caplet thoroughly with a mouthful of the milk.
    Evenings, milk with no Ovaltine again, or chewing with cheese, whole milk yogurt, fatty meats.
    Curcumin in warm milk is also very pleasant and much milder than turmeric. Often I’d start chewing a caplet before taking in any milk or cheese, etc., and it was not unpleasant. The caplets also dissolve very readily if left on the tongue for a few minutes.
    I applied the cream to the spot sometimes twice per day, most often once, as it would remain through swimming, etc.

    The result is that the spot has virtually vanished. There is no more pinkish discoloration, the raised edges vanished the last time I felt a rough spot was five days ago. The only evidence I can feel is an area of skin slightly thicker than the rest of my scalp.

    So far, I have had absolutely no negative reactions to the turmeric, curcumin caplets or cream. Some curcumin may have come through the skin as there was a bit of color inside the shoulders and collars of my shirts. It also could have migrated from the cream on my scalp, but the pattern on most of the shirts doesn’t seem to accord with this.

    I never even had time to see a dermatologist, which now I regret, though the prospect of the surgical treatment for melanoma was not pleasant; if the spot were cancer, an area about 4 inches across would have had to be excised. I did take pictures of the spot at the beginning of all this, and will consult with a physician.

    The amount ingested and means of administratin are due to the information on your blog, for which I thank you deeply.

    At this point, I cannot say with any more accuracy what has caused the spot to almost disappear so quickly–in about one month. Was anything happening with just the turmeric in warm whole milk? Was it mainly the cream or mainly the caplets? Obviously, I’m not sure how long to keep up the regime; will consult with a physician for this.

    While I used the ‘Comment’ to contact you, you are free to post portions of this is at your discretion, without my personal details, of course. I would also appreciate hearing any thoughts you have on my experience.

    Many thanks for your work.

    Yours truly,

  2. dear margaret, i just read your comments regarding the lead contamination in the NSI turmeric products. just fyi:

    per phone conversation with a NSI/Vitacost rep today:

    1) As soon as the Consumerlabs report came out about the lead contamination, NSI immediately took the suspect batch (lot #071373) off the market.

    2) They tested that specific lot (same lot as Consumerlabs) several times and found no lead whatsoever.

    3) Vitacost (who owns NSI) contacted Consumerlabs to find out which testing firm Consumerlabs used for finding the lead. Consumerlabs declined to divulge that information.

    4) NSI currently continues to test their turmeric products for lead but none has been found so far. The possibility of an erroneous test result reported by Consumerlabs is considered a possibility.

    5) Anyone who has a turmeric product with the above lot # can return it to NSI/Vitacost for a full refund.

    can you send me a copy of the report? thanks carl

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