Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Balmy summer nights in France

Living in France we tend to get so occupied in work, schools and business that we forget why we came here in the first place, so it’s nice occasionally to do something that reminds us why we are here.
Villereal summertime night market (marché nocturne)
This week the holidaymakers were still playing happily in the pool when we set off for the local food market for an evening of music, dancing and wine. Perfect!

These evening markets are held all over France during the summer and are a very pleasant way to get out and about, eat local food cheaply (pizza slices are available if you don’t like a foie gras salad or local lamb with cold lentils), and drink a bit too much wine from a local vineyard, with hundreds of like-minded people – both locals and visitors – all generally having a good time.
Enthusiastic locals dress up in period costume and dance and sing for everyone’s entertainment, which also adds to the general atmosphere. Some people even plan their whole visit to the region to consist of days spent around the pool followed by a night market in a different town each evening, which sounds like a suitably relaxing way to explore.
Unfortunately there is a price to pay the day after. Drinking too much cheap wine (at three euros a bottle who can resist!) isn’t always a good idea, and the following morning it took me a while to find the strength to go to clean the pool.
I had forgotten what happens to a pool when several teenagers pass an hour or two slapping sun lotion all over themselves, running through the newly cut grass, and jumping into the pool, over and over.
I could barely see the water for the grass cuttings floating in ‘sun cream oil slicks’ across the surface, and when I did manage to clear the floating debris it was only to find that the bottom of the pool looked as if someone had unrolled a hay bale in the water.
Ah, the happy hours I spend cleaning it, knowing full well the same process will be repeated every day the sun comes out…

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