Friday, September 28, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

We can barely find the time to post anything these days.  We've been here, there and everywhere and that included a Transhumance in a neighboring village.  Also a part of that event was a repas and a vide grenier.  A transhumance is the rounding up of sheep or cattle in their summer pastures and moving them down to lower elevation, winter pastures.  It is a celebrated event here in the Ariege.   We attended, along with my sister Peggy and friends Peter and Angela.  Above, Peter is preparing to dig into his first lamb chop and some white beans after the fantastic salad.  We were supposed to have brought our own plates and silverware but we spaced it out.  Angela, thinking on her feet, quickly went out to the vide grenier and bought up five plates and sets of hardware to eat with.  Below, Nancy is giving me her radiant and most sincere smile.

The sheperds had a table of their own, and each table had a pitcher or two of red and a couple of rose.  They also brought along a bottle of homemade peach brandy, or something akin to jet fuel, to share with some of us.  The waitstaff kept refilling the wine pitchers since the lunch took  three and a half hours from start to finish.

The sheep were successfully moved from their old pastures to their new quarters.  A water trailer stood at the ready to provide water and also shade for the hard working border collies.
I marvelled at the two-man chain saw.  It seemed rather out of place and I thought I wouldn't have been surprised to see it in Alaska or British Columbia, but not France.  But there it was at the vide grenier with a bunch of other antique chain saws.  It would have been quite exciting to see it in operation on some towering and large-girthed tree. 

We had a picnic in Camon one bright and sunny day near the old railroad bridge.  Fergus went wading.

Peggy bought a extra large container of cous-cous from this vendor at the Monday Mirepoix market for our dinner that evening. There was some confusion whether we were getting paella or cous-cous, and whatever it was, it was delicious.

We went to Limoux and had coffee and croissants in the warm morning sunshine after a cool rainy evening.  And this is only the beginning, the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.  We've been to an open-air concert and film presentation in Leran with Fraser Anderson and Arlene Bishop singing for us.  We've been invited to dinner, gone out to dinner, out to lunch, hosted a dinner and hosted a lunch.  Whew.

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