I will be honest and admit that
there isn’t really much about my rural life that could ever be described as
wild, but yesterday came pretty close. With the change from winter to
summertime I lost an hour of my beloved sleep, but there was no chance of a lie-in,
as I was required to perform my civic duty as a councillor at the bureau de
vote from 8 to 10 o’clock, but at least the Maire was generous enough to
provide coffee and croissants. The weather was as dull and damp as it could be and so I returned home to find a dull and fed up husband who needed an outing to cheer him up as even the research on my patisserie purchase had failed to raise a smile (see here).
|Recycling in the garden|
Our local big town was hosting its annual
plant and garden fête that we have visited a number of times over the last ten
years. It isn’t quite Chelsea, but in it’s own small way it offers ideas and
the hope of better weather (it’s always held on a rainy weekend) and gives us
that taste of exciting summer days to come that we desperately need at the end
of winter. We enjoyed a mooch around, took some photos, picked up some flyers
about forthcoming gardening events, bought some seeds and a small plant.
I always come away with big ideas
and this year the living roof fired my imagination. We will need to replace our
canvas pergola soon and I would love a wooden frame with green living roof to
give us a shady spot on the terrace for outdoor dining. It might come to
nothing, but at least the cheerful coloured plant displays lifted our spirits.
|Salon du vin Niort|
We then decided to throw caution
to the wind and have a peek in the exhibition hall next door that was holding a
wine, food and chocolate fête – as if I could have turned my back on that. Our
3€ entry fee gave us a wine tasting glass that we clutched carefully as we
entered and started our tour. Being British, wandering up to strangers and
demanding a free sample of their wine doesn’t come easy, especially when you
glance at the price list and realise that no matter how delicious it is it
won’t be coming home with us. One of the first vintners to offer us a smile and
encourage us to step up with our glasses turned out to be an Englishman from the Domaine du Poujol. His family
have been making wine in the hills above Montpellier for twenty-one years and
we learned a lot from talking to him. We bought a lovely pale rosé and spurred
on with a little wine in our systems moved expertly from region to region
sampling reds and rosés and making a few more reasonably priced purchases along
the way. Not being used to mid-afternoon drinking (honestly) it wasn’t long
before my cheeks were flushed and head slightly spinning. Ade was driving and
sensibly made use of the spittoons provided, but the more I sampled the more it
upset me to throw it away. Thankfully there were food tasters on offer too
including a delicious organic chocolate and hazelnut spread.
|Chocolate at the salon du vin et gastronomie|
|Charcuterie at the salon du vin et gastronomie|
We certainly came home in better
spirits than we left and will now look forward to opening our new bottles, but
I do hate it when an innocent afternoon at a garden show gets hijacked by a
naughty wine fête, don’t you!
|Rosé at the salon du vin et gastronomie|
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