I’m rewarded with a double first at Castres market this morning.
Two Spring firsts–though there is nothing spring-like about the weather.
I get there early–battling through a tempest of wind and the rain–determined to avoid last week’s crowds.
“Arrivez avant neuf heure le matin, ça suffit!” [Get there by 9am and you’ll be fine!] was the advice from our neighbor and friend Flo, who has recently taken over her sister’s lovely spice stall on Saturdays.
What a contrast to this morning as I arrive in Place Jean Jaures just before 8.30am, to find the dance of the parapluies in full swing.
Stall holders and punters alike are desperately trying to prevent their umbrellas–large and small–from taking flight while undertaking the normal buying and selling transactions.
With difficulty, I make my way down the line of local vendors–nodding and grimacing the “isn’t this awful!” message, before arriving at my destination.
Opening a conversation with the vendor under these conditions is problematical.
I settle for more nodding and grimacing and secure (ho ho!) my open umbrella under my chin.
With my head looking down at the ground, I reach for my porte monnaie [change purse].
The umbrella is doing its best to turn inside out.
It succeeds–WHOOSH—and I’m involuntarily propelled towards the dry fruit stall–earlier than planned.
I manfully regain control and…
Our newly acquired hen’s guardienne–for ’tis her stall–hands me a carton of six eggs.
Matilde’s first offering under our ownership.
What a thrill!
And to go with them for lunch today–a bunch of the locally-grown ASPARAGUS–FIRST of the season.
As I turn into our driveway 20 minutes later–the sun comes out!