Saturday, 3rd January 2015 in France - 2014/15.
Market day in Brignoles. Walked quickly through the still closed chilly streets to a large open square to discover not a flea market but a typical English town market – cheap clothes , handbags and serviceable shoes. The foodie bit, however, was a lot better as they always are. Huge beef tomatoes, intensly aromatic parsley, Corsican clemeantines and several local cheese stalls. I bought a French blue cheese, various small round chevres a tranche of Compte. Then spied a linen stall and brought a yellow and blue tablecloth decorated with olives which fairly shouted ‘Provence.’. Did not feel like sitting over a cup of café noir on my own so walked back through the narrow streets and home.
Later I managed to lure Neil away from the piano with a lunch of tomatoes, avocados, basil and beautiful bread with salty butter. There are many ways to while away the time in france – potagers, antiques, potteries. A couple of years ago I drove all over Northern france looking at the amazing potagers – half work mostly pleasure and this time it was potteries. After about an hour and a half of real driving up and across a range of hills – steep climbs, steeper drops, I Ireached a huge vine growing plateau. Had not been aware of the sun as I was climbing through the forest, but now the warmth was amazing – the vines almost visibly pulling themselves up towards it.
Verages was lunching by the time I got to it but the potteries were open. The first was very classical faience pottery beloved by the French aristocracy. Fell in love with a wide rimmed yellow vase with roses round the top, some stressed white plates and a single pink pottery rose. Tried to ask the potter the history of faience but I think he thought I was chatting him up so we left it at that. Deposited pottery in car and then walked through the town, passing one cafe that was literally throbbing – pop music, chatter, loud exclamations and throaty roars. The rest of the town was completely quiet, the only sound coming from the click clacking of my shoes. There was another pottery – this time typical Provencal – making yellow cups with olives as well as more modern designs and colours catering for the tourist more than the locals. Home to find Neil still struggling with the lyrics but they sounded good . Think the song is almost there so might be able to persuade Neil to leave the house for some exercise tomorrow.