|Approaching the market - this is just the beginning|
These photos are all taken in the town of Le Bugue in the Perigord. We parked by the river and walked up beside the water to the main street, watching a kingfisher dive and swoop along the way. I thought this square, the first I came too, was the sum total of the market. I was wrong. It went on and on, across both sides of the main square (this is half), into a delightful undercover area and then, to my surprise up a very long street then down to another little stream. A great way to spend a morning!
I was stunned by what I found. I'd thought in terms of food - baguettes, vegetables, cheese and meats. There was all that and far more. There was something for everyone. It seems the locals are quite happy to shop for pots and pans at the market at well as for fresh produce. I got lured in by a guy demonstrating a new kitchen device - not at this stand but at one four deep in passersby. Usually I don't buy those kitsch all-in-one utensils so I gave him a wide berth, but on the way back I paused and got hooked. Now I own a brilliant pair of scissors perfect for chopping parsley, chives and other soft herbs. They look like normal scissors till you open them and see there are 5 blades on each side. Honestly, I can never wait to use them as they make cutting so much fun!
Her'e a stand selling wonderful, wonderful cookware. If I hadn't had the weight restrictions on the flight back to Australia I'd have indulged here, believe me. The colours were terrific in the morning sun and I could see myself using so many of the terrific dishes on display. The fact this was next to a huge stall selling hot food helped too!
There were stalls filled to the brim with clothes. There were shoes, belts and scarves. There was even a stall selling epiphytes - small plants anchored on twisted branches, just perfect for hanging under a pergola. Here's the wonderful stall where I brought my brilliant jacquard tablecloth in summer blues and daffodil yellow. Big enough for our large dining table and cheerful with its lovely pattern to make me feel good whenever I use it. The stall holder had me intrigued with the news my choice was water repellent - demonstrating by tipping water over it before he wrapped it - then tilting it and letting the water slide away. It looked like a simple linen cloth to me!
Here's the last stall we found, tucked away around a corner on the tranquil bank of a stream. I wanted to stay and sift through the pottery, sure I could find a few things that would fit in my bag. They were all so gorgeous and I knew they would work wonderfully in my kitchen. My husband, made of sterner stuff when it comes to markets, just gave me that look and I had to admit he was right. The whole market was one big temptation, but I couldn't take it home with me. Fortunately there was some compensation to be had. On the stroll back to our car we found a lovely little restaurant with a courtyard shaded by a massive plane tree. Perfect on a sunny day. It was just the place to stop and enjoy a restorative coffee before heading off to a lovely spot in the hills for lunch washed down with local wine. Sigh. Is it any wonder this part of France provided inspiration for my latest story?
How about you? Are you a market shopper? Have you ever made a terrific purchase at one that still makes you smile? What do you wish your local market sold that it doesn't? Our local market at home sells mainly food and I wish from time to time it sold the sort of gorgeous handmade crafts that would make gift shopping so much easier.
To celebrate the release of DEFYING HER DESERT DUTY, my French location sheikh story, I'll give away a signed copy of the book to one person who leaves a comment here today.
This month Annie has 3 releases: DEFYING HER DESERT DUTY in the United Kingdom and an anthology: GREEK AFFAIRS: TEMPTED BY THE TYCOON in Australia/New Zealand. In the UK there's also an anthology available from 19th October: SULTRY NIGHTS. If you're after a copy of GREEK AFFAIRS, here's a link to Mills and Boon. If you want free postage on DEFYING HER DESERT DUTY here's a link to The Book Depository.
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