Monday, June 7, 2021


Six am on a Monday morning in June. Dog and master are up and about. They have been for some time. Half an hour ago dog heard a C-A-T outside the front door and felt it necessary to let everyone know that there was some serious malfeasance afoot. 

At this early hour the only village life is a particularly noisy cuckoo enjoying the sunrise. The cuckoo  repeats his line twelve times, pauses and then does his start of day routine all over again. We head off down the ox track to the stream. Sophie has a long , noisy drink before heading back up the hill through the long grass.

This morning we drive to the greengrocers for the first time in a year. Despite the early hour there is a queue of people waiting outside. Shopping habits have changed due to the pandemic. Looking at this mornings age profile we can assume that shoppers of a 'certain age' are getting up an hour earlier to avoid the crowds. Everyone is wearing a mask although three of my fellow shoppers are of the 'wear it over the mouth, not the nose' variety. We head straight for the white asparagus.

Peaches appear. They look the part but are as hard as iron. Still too early in the season.

I've given up listening to France Inter on the radio in the mornings. To appeal to a younger audience the presenters have developed an enforced enthusiasm that sets your teeth on edge. They have a heartiness that seems 'pharmaceutically' enhanced. This was the song du jour on the inanity free Toulouse station that we now listen to - a toe tapping start to the day :

The last place in London where you can buy those things that every other shop in the UK no longer stocks :


  1. I had just been thinking how much I've missed your photos from the greengrocers!

  2. Those rock hard peaches make excellent pie.

  3. Rock hard peaches here too - more use as cricket balls!
    The second link to the shop - how many of those items have we consigned to the dustbin as rubbish, when we cleared parents' houses out? Little did we know they would one day be worth a small fortune.

  4. I agree, France Inter is getting quite difficult to listen to. I now restrict myself to selected podcasts which are going to be state-sponsored enthusiasm free, including the wonderful Sur les Epaules de Darwin. Would you mind sharing your inanity-free Toulouse radio station name? I could do with a tranquil background listen.

  5. PS - sadly the Edinburgh brush specialist in Victoria Street off the Grassmarket, Robert Cresser, has now closed. Said to be the inspiration for the broomstick shop in Harry Potter.

    1. What a shame. We used to have a flat in Ramsey Gardens and they did made to measure door mats.

  6. Always good to have a dog who will warn you of malfeasance afoot.
    In the UK, cuckoos are apparently in decline. Although part of me suspects that those counting the birds might not have ventured as far north as Loch Torridon, where there is always a healthy (if noise can be a guide to health) population!

  7. I've never heard a cuckoo at dawn, except for the one who regularly popped out of my grandmothers clock on the hour. And speaking of my gram, thank you for the wonderful link to all things now quite "hard to find". Looking through all of the well made gadgets and notions was like a walk down memory lane. Will definitely be placing an order very soon.

  8. Hari OM
    Ah, the marchand de l├ęgumes!!! For me, a greater appeal than the boulangerie...

    One of the things while watching the tennis from Paris that strikes very strongly, is the number of player's support team members wearing their masks very lazily. Not only is it not a good look but also a very poor example to set... YAM xx

  9. White asparagus and Marseilles soap——two items with which I was vaguely familiar, or completely unfamiliar. Greengrocers in France are so much more colorful than elsewhere. The first photo, at 6 am, is quite lovely.