A Splendid Market

Apart from a trip to Lymington Market, I spent most of the day completing the trimming of the photographs for insertion into the second wedding album for Karen and Barry.

We visited the market to allow Flo and Dillon to wander in their own time, while

I photographed some of the activity and Jackie waited in the St Barbe Museum café. As usual, access to the gallery will reveal individual titles.

On their return, our granddaughter and grandson by marriage put in a good gardening stint, including planting, clearing, and sweeping.

This evening we dined on racks of spare ribs in maple syrup sauce on a bed of Jackie’s savoury rice topped with a thick omelette, with which she drank more of the Pinot Grigio, Dillon drank water, and I drank more of the Shiraz Cabernet.

Market Day

Lymington High Street descends a steep incline towards Quay Street at the bottom. The good quality Saturday Market stalls are set up on both sides of the street.

Who would be daft enough to struggle through these throngs up and down the hill combining Christmas shopping with a photographic record of the Saturday before Christmas?

OK, OK, you’ve got me. I did my best not to injure anyone.

Jackie drove me to the main car park from which I walked to the High Street. She drove off elsewhere and we rendezvoused in the same place 50 minutes later. This time span was a test of my knees. I just made it.

If there is a way with the new editor to return to the old jigsaw type galleries, I haven’t found it. The default system crops my pictures ‘for alignment’, it says – in other words to produce uniform sizes which mean I lose parts of my images. If I prevent this, the sizes of my images are altered, leaving gaps as above. Once the galleries are accessed (by clicking on any one in a group), the pictures are fine and can be enlarged in the usual way.

The titles of each of the pictures is given in the galleries. I will let them tell their own stories.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausage casserole; boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots; and tender runner beans. I finished the Saint-Chinian.

More Bastides

Having received no response from the estate agent, I decided to print off, sign, and post the document to the French solicitor complete with the errors. There are only so many times I am prepared to point out mistakes. This meant popping over to Shelly and Ron’s for my signature to be witnessed. Ron performed the task; I e-mailed scanned copies of each signed page to the agent; then posted the original to the solicitor.

the //about-france.com website claims that ‘the “Bastide” towns of southwest France are a growing tourist attraction, and comprise one of the largest collections of well-preserved mediaeval townscapes to be found anywhere in Europe.’ In yesterday’s post I featured

Beaumont 4 9.03

Beaumont-du-Perigord, being a fine example.

Unfortunately I cannot be certain which was the next such town I visited with Maggie and Mike in September 2003, but I think it was Monpazier, founded by the English to keep out the French in 1285. It was to change hands between these two nations several times in the following few decades.

The main feature of a bastide is the central square surrounded by colonnaded arches now housing shops, such as wine merchants and toy suppliers. I enjoyed seeing baskets of diabolos, such as those brought back from holiday by my maternal grandparents.

Colourful market stalls fill the square which is

surrounded by grids of streets linked by narrow alleys or ruelles.

Weathered walls, iron gates, and tended gardens invite attention.

Maggie and Mike 9.03

When we passed a church which had recently held a wedding, my friends thought it would be a good wheeze to pretend it was theirs.

I drank more of the Malbec with our evening meal consisting of Jackie’s chicken chow mein and Tesco’s won tons. Mrs Knight enjoyed her food , and did not imbibe.





The Breadline


This warm and wet afternoon Jackie and I went shopping at Setley Ridge Farm Shop for tomorrow’s provisions.

The amount of rain that has fallen in the last few days was reflected in the pitted car park surfaces. Bedraggled remnants of Christmas decorations partly filled trays left outside.

Inside the attractively laid out shelves displayed bread, biscuits, fruit, vegetables, nuts, drinks, preserves, free range eggs, dates, and much more. Lines of cups fronting pickle jars contained taster samples of the enticing varieties. Even the shoppers’ baskets in the  doorway invited filling with the wholesome provender.

On our return through Brockenhurst we noticed a string of donkeys on the breadline in the garden of Greatham House. A coating of bracken indicated that they had trooped in from the forest for their tea, which, clearly a regular event, was soon provided by the lady of the house.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s splendid steak and mushroom pie, creamy mashed potatoes, and crisp cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots. I drank more of the shiraz cabernet and Becky and Ian drank Encostats de Caiz vinho verde 2016.


Yesterday afternoon I began reading another of Margery’s books, ‘An Incident of the Fingerpost’, by Iain Pears.  This historical novel is going to be difficult to put down.  But I had to, because Mike collected me for a meal at my friends’ home in Eymet.  We dined on avocado; a spare ribs casserole; and ice cream, accompanied by red and white wine and fruit juice.  Before this, we were joined for aperitifs by their friends Oonagh and James who were most amenable.  Afterwards we watched an episode of the English ‘Law and Order’, and Lydie gave my usual hilarious ride home.

Shoppers 2

This morning Maggie and Mike picked me up and drove me to Issigeac for the Sunday market.  This small town of less than 700 inhabitants hosts a rightly popular weekly market.  Hundreds of cars from miles around park wherever they can in and outside the streets. Brillantine Mike led me to an ancient advertisement for Brillantine which he had always wanted to photograph.  I was prevailed upon to do it for him.  We found ourselves confused between Brilliantine and Brylcreem, both of which are hair applications for men.  Presumably Brillantine is the French version of the former.  Forvil is a similar  brand of cosmetics.

Maggie went off shopping whilst Mike accompanied me for a lesson in observation. Cheeses He spotted the cheeses.  Before this the three of us wandered about together and had a coffee. Carver A stone carver overheard Maggie, in her best French, telling us of the Christmas market section.  He interjected, in his best cockney, with: ‘It’s too early for that’.  Outside the festive room, I was greeted by my friend Andie who had stepped out for a fag.  As I had lost her and Keith’s numbers when my contacts disappeared from my Blackberry she gave me her card and encouraged me to bring Jackie for a visit.


BasketsNo market in France is without its Rotisserie selling chickens roasted on spits dripping with their fat.  They are always delicious.

Brass bowlsPrimulasShoppersMelons, carrots, and leeksFine fruit, Umbrellasvegetables, and flowers were on display; as were all kinds of delicacies, bread, cheeses; and artefacts such as baskets, bowls, and brollies.

French and English shoppers thronged the marketplace.

Later, I enjoyed Mo’s spicy pumpkin soup; plump avocados softened by proximity to a banana, the skin of which laid at the base of a rose bush will provide rapid compost; and fried chicken with kouskous.  Dates were my dessert.