The health benefits of a bilingual brain

by Steve Martindale

There are many good reasons to learn a second language, whatever your age. If you are young, studying more than one language can create job opportunities in an increasingly globalised world; if you are older and move abroad, then speaking the local tongue will enhance your experience on a social and cultural level. But there is also one added benefit that more and more studies are highlighting: speaking more than one language can stave off the effects of dementia.

The brain is a complex organ and the causes of dementia are still not fully understood, but there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that polyglots will develop the disease later in life than those who only speak one language.

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The Wines of Bergerac – Organic wines

by Martin Walker

This is a nervous time for winemakers, scanning the skies and weather forecasts for these last weeks before the harvest. After a very wet May and June and a hot, dry summer they now hope for some late decent rains before dry weather for picking the grapes. Above all they pray for none of the hail storms that can devastate an entire vineyard in minutes. It is always a gamble, to pick a little early and avoid the risk of hail, or to hang on for those extra few days for the full ripening.

But many of them in the Bergerac will be facing another dilemma, whether or not to join the growing local trend towards organic wines. There are now more than 2,000 organic vineyards in the world and over 900 are in France, but that still accounts for only four in every hundred French vineyards. Along with Alsace, the Bergerac has the most of all the French regions and more and more of our local winemakers see it as a useful and beneficial way of making the Bergerac distinct.

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