Now what? Life in rural Ariege

Burblings about adjusting to life in the deep south west of France or "la France profonde" as they call it here and the challenges of restoring a ramshackle collection of tumbledown buildings. I mainly write about local festivals, events and celebrations and, most of all, the weekly ritual of combing vide greniers and brocantes for pre-loved vintage treasures.

24 September 2011

The garlic man

I realised a few days ago just how attuned I am now to life in this tiny village in South West France. At about 10am on Tuesdays the calm is shattered by a long, loud blast on the car horn of the mobile Charcuterie van who rounds the treacherous bend around the art gallery at high speed before screeching into the village car park. Once there he jumps out and flings open the side of his van and impatiently waits for the eldery village ladies to appear. 

Last Tuesday however there was a different sound. Definitely a car horn but quieter, more hesitant and definitely made by a slower moving vehicle. I peered curiously out of the front of the house and saw the garlic man pull onto La Terrase and open the boot of his car to display his wares.

The garlic man (on the left) is discussing this year's new crop of purple garlic with my next door neighbour, Yvan. He has come from Gers and the boot of his car is set up with a mini display of shallots, honey and lots of garlic in bunches and plaits.

My neighbour prods, sniffs and handles the beautiful plump bulbs of garlic while moaning about his failed crop. He is oh so French. Eventually he moves away bidding the garlic man a cheery "bonne journee" without buying any. At last I can select a plait and a bag of shallots. Now, where shall I hang it?

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