Saturday, August 18, 2012

There goes the baker with his tray like always....

Our home for the summer
Yes, this little ditty has been stuck in my head over and over as I look out over the town and think, yep, this is just about like the scene in Beauty and the Beast as Belle frolics through her most perfectly provincial town.

Life here is certainly from another world, and it's crazy to think that for only being here a short while, this place feels so much like home. You start to recognize a handful of people walking through town, and they actually stop to chat. We only get about 50% of what they are saying, but a lot of smiling and nodding and adding in a comment here and there seems to move the conversation along alright. Unless you're the British cook who runs the restaurant next door. Then the talking's easy ; ) Some of our favorite characters, though, include Pierre and his little dog Lu who dine at the restaurant next to us everyday for both lunch and dinner. He knows a little English, but mostly speaks slurred French to us as he explained he's a retired engineer who lives in the only other house on the square (besides ours). His little dog follows him around like a little mop, and it's all so precious. Then there's Marcel who apparently lives in the retirement home down the street, fumbling through the square, pants hiked, sometimes sporting a beret (perfect, right?), trying to chat with everyone . He came up to talk to us on our first day in town and spoke the most jumbled language we've ever heard. Adam and I could only stare in disbelief. We later learned from a neighboring American that unfortunately, he's been somewhat slow his whole life, and is really just bumming for a cigarette. The next time he came up to us, we could at least tell him we didn't smoke. Then there's the random guy who stands around in the square by himself, belly hanging out, headphones in, fanny pack in tow, smoking a pipe. Or the guy who always sets us shop near our door on market days to sell sausages and gingerbread. Or the round man who sells all his round cheeses. You could easily make cartoon characters out of all these people.

At the photo exhibit housed in the neighboring town's
Marie (Town Hall). 
On the other hand there's a whole community of English speakers here as well. With the help of our landlords and their American friend down the street, we've met a whole handful of Brits these past couple of weeks who have so welcomely opened their arms to us inviting us over to everything from drinks to dinner to a private opening for a photo exhibit. And with these meetings and chit chat comes the gossip. OH the gossip in town amongst this small group of retirees. She left him for this french guy, so they're no longer friends, or this couple can no longer be around this couple because such-and-such happened in the goes on and on. It's great. One night we had a couple people over to our place for drinks before a play on the square that evening (another post in the making), and with our doors opening out onto the square, all of a sudden we had a few more randoms show up, bring a bottle of wine, and hang out for a bit. We loved it.

Adam and I realize that here we are, meeting all these people who have retired, gutted old boulangeries or farmhouses or whatever, and settled themselves in the beautiful countryside to spend a chunk of their retired days....exploring, cooking, drinking, blogging, photographing, painting, learning a language ....oh wait, kinda like what we're doing now. It's a good exercise to see how others are doing it and to practice ourselves how we really enjoy spending our own time to know how to do it once that concept of a 'job' goes away in the future. The reminder that there really is a whole other life waiting for you beyond your career is inspiring.

Ok, a bit more of life around town.....

Vista of clay tiled roofs speckle the hill. The architecture and vegetation give this
region a  much more Spanish/Italian feel.

Images surrounding the 'Pilgrims Garden' - items to look for along the Compostela Route 

Every Thursday night the town hosts the 'Marche Gourmande' in either the upper square (outside our door) or the lower square (midway down the hill) where food/wine vendors come to sell their wares. A band is usually involved as well which makes the whole atmosphere feel like a french form of Octoberfest. This is a view out our window on one of these Thursdays. 
We have yet to try this stuff. We think it's a plate of snails in cream and truffles cheese sauce? It doesn't look healthy at all so it must be good.

Every Saturday, the 'normal' marche sets up on the square. These are some more sniper views from our window . Needless to say, most any day of the week, there's always something to spy on down below. 

Garlic Guy!

1 comment:

  1. Everything is so jolly!! Super thrilled all is well and you're enjoying the rest of summer!
    Jane & Will