Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Discovery of France?

If you are ever looking for an interesting read that will provide a fascinating background to any holiday or life in France then the book to look for is ‘ The Discovery of France’ by Graham Robb (ISBN 978-0-330-42761-6) published by Picador. We have wonderful neighbours and friends here in this small hamlet, it is a community where everyone looks out for each other without interfering in each others lives. Vegetables mysteriously appear on your gate post, eggs from local chickens arrive at the door and when help is required everyone appears to ‘pop’ out of the woodwork with helping hands or equipment. This is rural France as described in the book. In the middle 1800’s when England was in the throes of the industrial revolution this part of France was virtually undiscovered and like many parts of France spoke a dialect that was far from the French we hear today. Our neighbours often speak Berrichonne, a dialect from the past but still very much alive in the Indre.
The Discovery of France

Maureen is having a bumper year with tomatoes from the garden, when available she sometimes puts a few in the gite as part of the 'welcome' pack - the tomatoes are excellent this year.
Last night we went to a Marche Gourmand in Chatillon, an evening of simple no frills quality food, great chat and entertainment. As is often the case long tent type structures were erected with tables for eating plus a variety of stalls selling everything from wine to cheese plus a variety of hot and cold food. Last night we were all in for a treat as the entertainment, three local jazz musicians were simply brilliant. The central player (guitar, violin and clarinet) was influenced by Stephan Grappelli - wonderful!
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Fresh cooked omeletes, fruit tarts and other delights were available from this stall

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A small section of the tent with the jazz muscians to the left.
It was also our friend’s birthday and since Chris has been of considerable assistance to the town he was presented with a gift by the mayor. We eventually left at 01.05am ……yes its late but only because John stayed to help dismantle the tents and return the tables to the town’s store.

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