Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DEATH



So Monsieur Herpin died. At a very premature age of 56 it most definitely was a sudden death, I was able to ascertain. 
Two days after I had my last and as usual very short conversation with him on July 5th, he passed away in his shop. He was the owner and dog groomer who's Salon is across from our house in Jarnac. Many mornings when I enjoyed my second or third coffee and heard the distinct ding dong of his shop bell, I'd look out the window and watch him take care of another dog dropped of by a local dog owner for a trim or bath. A calm, gentle man.

Miss Emily had her nails done by M. Herpin a few times. Never her favorite thing to do, she was actually very well behaved when he treated her. A bachelor, he seemed to have a great feeling for animals. In the years living here, I have seen him smile exactly once, which was when he asked me if I have any plans for my retail space and I jokingly replied (in french) that I plan to open a cat grooming business, only to realize that the french word for cat grooming could have a funny double meaning. 

When I first saw the sign in the window a couple of weeks ago, I was certain that his mother passed and he'd had enough of Jarnac and moved away. Not until two days ago, when I saw a truck remove a brand new fridge and then Googled his business, did I realize that he passed on. 

May he arrive well on the other side and continue to clip Emily's nails.



THE VIEW FROM OUR LIVING ROOM

SAD

MISS EMILY 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

LA FOIRE IN ROUILLAC



All is well in La France Profonde when you visit a town fair such as this monthly event in Rouillac, a short 15 minutes from Jarnac. Held the 27th of every month, rain, shine or snow, it's one giant mixed market where you'll find all sorts of things from the usual fresh legumes, sausages or cheeses to clothing and shoes and lots and lots of crap from China.
What sets a market like this apart from a Farmers' Market aside of size is that you can even procure some livestock, such as rabbits, all different breeds of chickens, ducks and geese. I've seen rabbits, pigeons and even singing birds. There were a couple of dog vendors too, one had cats on offer as well. One guy had some pigs in a crate, but they caused such a racket when he tried to get one out....I took a picture inside. Poor pigs.

The market takes over the whole town, streets are lined with the old trucks many of which have slide out extensions to enlarge the vending space for their fashionable wares. It's a lifestyle for these vendors, most definitely most know each other judging by seeing the same vendors in Jarnac and Cognac at our much smaller Fair. Some of these trucks are converted RVs from the 1970's which sort of gives you an idea how long some vendors have been at the circus of selling around the greater region of southwest France.

I had a coffee at a local Bar before starting my excursion and overheard a town elder express that when he was young there were 17(!) Cafes in town. Now there are four. I am not saying it's because their coffee sucks, but did the town's population shrink by that much or did habits change to that extend? Not sure. 
Some of the vendors have a great sense of humor, when I asked one of them if I may take an image of his seedling truck, he said of course, if I buy his business. Just put the seeds on the Internet, you'll make a fortune, he told me. Ehm, thanks. 
Another guy, selling a clever thing to extract juice from citrus fruits without the pits and such, was really really funny. I call him the sit down comedian. The jokes he cracked about his (not present) wife alone made some men buy this tool for 3.00. A smart man. 

I watched a lady haggle over two really fluffy birds, I think the are called silk chickens, when I asked the vendor what to do with such a pretty bird, he explained it's for pleasure and not for eating. Their skin and meat is black., but their feathers are fluffy grey and white.

Here is a good three minute video that gives a good impression with sound and sight what this market is all about.
And here are some pictures.


15 MINUTES FROM  

JARNAC

8.30 AM STILL SETTING UP

TIME TO BUY A HAT?


LUNCH MENU SET UP 

CHEESE OF COURSE

NOT THAT GOOD 

IS THAT A GOOD PRICE?

ALL THE DRIED FRUITS

YELLOW PINE SALT

FRESH EEL, NOT FROM A FARM, CAUGHT WILD

ABOUT 20 OYSTERS FOR SIX EUROS


 MADE IN FRANCE
 DONNER LES BLEUS - PUT ON THE COVERALL

NOT A BARGAIN

IT'S A TRAY, IT'S A BOWL

BREAD STACKS

THE EXCITING PART

SINGING UP A STORM

RODENTS

60.00 FOR THE PAIR

THE HUMBLE BEGINNING OF A WINTER JACKET?

NEW COOKWARE MADE OF SOMETHING  I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE SAID

STRAIGHT FROM  THE NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

VINTAGE GLASS SETS


AN HOUR INTO WALKING, THESE START TO LOOK GREAT FOR LUNCH

QUAILS

LE COQ

COACHING THE NEXT GENERATION OF VENDORS


MARKETING IDEA: TIFFANY EGGS

WELL. NOT THESE. THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP


300.00 FOR JACK

FOR SHOW


DASS SCHWEINCHEN


NOT THE RUBBER KIND OF DUCKS. 1.00 EURO EACH

THIS WAS A VERY BUSY VENDOR



950.00 EACH. THE MOST EXPENSIVE ANIMAL AT THE MARKET

A PRETTY PIGEON?

THAT LADY BOUGHT TWO, MAYBE BECAUSE THEY MATCH HER OUTFIT?

GET IN THE BOX, YOU BEASTS

NOT A COSTCO CHICKEN

MORE SAUSAGES

DIFFERENT CHALOTTES

THAT'S MY KIND OF LUNCH

RED NOUGAT


THE LOCAL HOME DEPOT

FRANCE. THE EPICENTER OF FASHION

PACKED BY 10 AM

I CAN JUST IMAGINE THE INSIDE

WILL ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS

NOT A BAD IDEA

VENDOR OF THE MONTH - HE WAS SO FUNNY

THESE TRUCKS ARE ACTUALLY VERY COOL

 BULBS & SEEDS. BUSINESS FOR SALE


CLOCK REPAIR 

SALAD SHOOTS

NOT MUCH CHANGES IN FRANCE

THE HARDWARE TRUCKS



VERY POPULAR LINE WITH LADIES OF A CERTAIN AGE

IMAGINE. SHOES. ALL YOUR LIFE. AL BUNDY?

WINE INCLUDED

A CONVERTED RV

AND BACK TO JARNAC FOR A SWIM BEFORE NOON