Monday, March 1, 2021


A new sign appears on the town hall notice board. It wasn't there yesterday afternoon so it must have been put up overnight by our new mayor in a bout of nocturnal hyper-activity. The sign is something to do with beetroot propagation and the maintenance of pure varieties. The heavy chicken wire on the village notice board makes reading it rather difficult.  It seems that we live in a region that produces 85% of France's beetroots and is home to 3 of the top 4 global beetroot producers. More than 500 locals work in the beetroot industry. This is a surprise - in the decade we've been here we've never seen a beetroot farm or, come to that, a field of beetroot.

Down to the valley for a long walk. 

Then it's off to the parking lot in the shopping centre for a croissant and a coffee. We actually ask for two croissants and two coffees. Angus rationalizes this by noting that the coffees are very small,  we've come a long way and its all of three weeks since we were last there. Sophie thinks two croissants is a good idea and one that should be part of her daily schedule.  It says something about the lockdown lifestyle that a trip to an empty car park is the highlight of our social calendar. A few early rising shop assistants eye us up warily.

I won't say the shopping centre is quiet but there are two ducks standing enjoying the start of day sunshine.

Sophie soon puts paid to the ducks quiet reveries. The barking starts when she's still thirty yards  from them. This is not a good way to creep up on your prey.

By the time Sophie reaches where the ducks have been they're long gone. 

 Specially paired small plates with your book of choice :


  1. Hari Om
    Mornin' all... and a fine way to begin a new month, with news of croissants and coffe and ducks to bark. I love beetreet. D'ya think the new mayor is pointing folk in the direction of actually getting some planted??? YAM xx

  2. It says something about the lockdown lifestyle in Scotland that looking at a photo of a croissant on some blog from France profonde might be the highlight of the day here...

  3. If you've managed to find croissants and coffee again, things must be looking up!
    Not sure how Inca would react to a couple of ducks either - her hunting skills are only slightly less noisy than Sophie's. I'm slowly teaching her not to bark, or "go for", anything feathered or furred (C-A-T-S!!), and have tried reasoning with her that they are always long gone by the time she's decided to give chase.
    Not sure what's happening here - conflicting information as to when restrictions might be eased - or tightened. Earlier last week local caf├ęs around the beach area were all gearing up to re-open on March 2nd. Lots of activity - chairs and tables set out, pressure washers to the fore and a general air of optimism. On Saturday morning not a table or chair to be seen, and everywhere locked up again. So it doesn't look as though things will back to "normal" tomorrow, as originally planned, though we'll probably go down to check things out. Somewhere I'm sure I read that slight relaxation of restrictions might be considered in May, but surely that can't be right!

  4. Seems like war is being waged on wild beetroot seeds which could contaminate the purity of the commercial crop. Reading between the chicken wire, that is! Beetroot has been negatively in the news here because of the reintroduction of bee-destroying insecticides to protect the English sugar beet crop. Apparently it's either that or killing all wildflowers for a wide buffer zone all around. Funny that the owner of the largest sugar beet producers in England happens to be married to a Conservative MP....
    We were just saying this morning that we didn't think we'd get to France even this autumn, given the virus. Your photos of croissants will have to suffice.

  5. Somehow, a very appropriate post for the first day of March. We took Charlie to puppy kindergarten today and were informed that he suffered from separation anxiety and was unable to play with the other dogs after we left. Another consequence of the pandemic, I guess he's been spending too much time with us. We'll take him back again on Wednesday and see if things improve. The kindergarten is run by the groomers who took care of Cherry, and she loved going there despite being a generally standoffish dog outside the family, so I am hoping Charlie will warm to them as well. We expect the state of emergency will be lifted in Tokyo on Sunday, but the government is hinting that nothing will actually change as a result except that the restaurants may be permitted to stay open an hour longer. A typically Japanese solution.

  6. Beetroot ended up in my vegetable farm-share last year, and I gave them away. My friend (who is a professional baker) used them to make a dark chocolate beet cake with an all natural pink buttercream frosting. The result was a decadent chocolate cake -- Who knew, right?

    By the way, we lost our boy Charlie last week. The end of an era for us.

    1. Bailey Bob Southern DogMarch 1, 2021 at 5:09 PM

      Kim, I know in my heart Charlie was welcomed by his brothers, sisters, and so many friends as he crossed over the rainbow bridge. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.