Sunday, June 22, 2008

Villereal - 21st June 2008

It was market day again today and as usual on a Saturday morning we went. As it happened, this week, we didn’t need to buy any fruit or vegetables but I did need to go to a couple of other vendors and the bank.
The sun was shining and the temperatures were up into the higher 20’s C (mid 80’s F)

First stop, as usual, was the coffee shop for breakfast

We wandered around looking at the wine stands and the flowers. There are usually between about 6 and 10 different vineyards selling their wine at the market. My friend Bernard doesn’t come to market every week and he wasn’t there this week. However, there are plenty of other vineyards about and the photo shows a different vineyard which makes that same combination of wines that I spoke about recently.

I was unable to take many pictures of fruit and vegetables today which were absolutely stunning as usual. Some regular readers will know that my accomplishments do not yet stretch to mastering the digital camera and today the sun was incredibly bright and all the fruit and vegetable stalls were under deep shade to protect the produce. I tried a couple but even though I remember taking them I cannot even recognise them on my camera!!!! However, these tomatoes, which did come out give you a sense of what it’s like. I’m afraid, to get a more complete picture you’re going to have to come here, or, with a bit of luck, wait till I master the camera!! Don’t hold your breath waiting though.

Several stalls had flowers out in the open and I did manage to get a picture of those.

Then finally I got to Yousef!

Yousef runs a goat farm a few kilometres outside Villereal.

He has invited us to a gourmet market which he is holding at the farm every Wedneday evening through the summer. This sounds very like the one I went to a couple of weeks ago at Clos de Pech Besous. We buy his gorgeous tasting goat’s cheese virtually every week.

One of the great things I like about markets here in France, is that you never quite know what to expect. The markets I go to are village markets. Traditionally, this is where the French housewives would go and buy everything they needed for domestic life. As well as food, in all it’s shades, there are pots and pans, clothes, jewellery, books even watches, sunglasses, thermometers rainfall gauges etc.

This week, this guy had set himself up in a small alley and was weaving baskets. He was selling the ones he was making right there at the market. He made just 3 different designs, all fabulous spiral things and if you wanted one, he wove it, and you popped back and picked it up later.
Now, how simple a form of trading is that?


chaiselongue said...

Great market photos, Ian. I can taste those goats' cheeses and wines! But the dark/light contrasts here in the south do make photography difficult. You have to get closer so that the light meter concentrates on the shaded part.
Looking forward to visiting your area in August.

Kate said...

Well I am looking forward to September! Thanks for giving me a taste of it, Ian.

Kate said...

I use Picasa to do lots of stuff to the photos after I take them because my camera doesn't handle differences in light either. (not enhancememnts so much, just adjustments and cropping etc) But wait until I get my 50th birthday present! Hopefully I will bring it with me and take some great shots in France.

Ian said...

Thanks chaiselongue, I think I have to get a new camera, and maybe Kate won't be the only one sporting a new camera by September!!
Kate, I'm looking forward to showing you everything in September.
I have a serif packaage which allows me to "modify" images which I quite like. The problem is I've recently changed over to a different computer cos my old one is now our main communications server and I've been too lazy to transfer the software yet!!