“To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, home again, home again, jiggety-jig” – remember that old nursery rhyme? It sprung to mind as the children and I headed off to a nearby farmers market last Sunday. The girls were drawn like magnets to the baby chicks, the ducklings and rabbits; little did they know they were intended for the pot rather than as pets. I didn’t see any pigs for sale but I am sure, had I made enquiries, I could have bought one, but I really don’t want a pig! This was a far cry from the usual weekly market where we buy our fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and cheese – the typical French market where the locals buy so much of their food every day. No, this was, as the name suggests, a real ‘Farmers’ market, in every sense of the word. The morning was neither sunny nor particularly warm but that had not deterred most of the locals who came from miles around. A huge undercover area had been set up for lunch. Two young lads were grilling vast slabs of meat on the barbecue and the tables were quickly filling up as lunchtime approached. We started at the plant stand where I bought lots of small geraniums for the garden before quickly moving on to local honey. We were offered so many different varieties to taste – sunflower honey, wild-flower honey, honey of the forest; nothing is ever hurried, everything is considered and discussed before a decision is made and there is no pressure to buy which in a strange way makes me buy more! Local organic strawberries were our next purchase, along with spring onions and asparagus; I was definitely getting hungry! We passed on the cognac tasting (the girls are a little young!) but there were plenty of people sampling, drinking and buying; chatting and telling stories, it was all so convivial. We had arranged to meet our good friends, Penny and Adrian, here at the market and they were quite adamant that we really needed a pair of ducks to add to our menagerie at home. I couldn’t even imagine going home and telling Roddy that we had come back with two more feathered friends, but they just laughed and Adrian said he knew a good lawyer! And so before I knew quite what was happening, two ducklings, not more than a few weeks old, were chosen and put into a cardboard box as a very belated house-warming present!
Back home and the sun decided to make it’s first appearance of the day – lunch on the terrace and a bottle of bubbly, if we needed an excuse then it had to be celebrating that Roddy loved the ducklings and the divorce lawyer was not needed! Adrian and Millie set about making a temporary outdoor run for our new acquisitions, complete with an old borrowed paddling-pool from our lovely neighbour. The ducklings are still too young to roam free (which is the long term plan, of course) but for the time-being I wouldn’t trust our dear nearly fully-grown kittens, Rory and Clara, until the birds are much bigger. Surprisingly Clara, who is a real hunter, has no interest in them, but Rory is intrigued. I don’t think he wants to hurt them, he just wants to play, but to him playing is all about teeth and claws; this is a great game with Bentley, but I’m not so sure it would be so good with two young ducklings, so we’re taking no chances.
So without further ado let me introduce you to the latest members of our family who Penny and Adrian baptized after themselves – I give you Penny and Adrian!
p.s. do make sure you have your volume turned up, the sound of them drinking is adorable!
If I was to tell you that they are even worse for wasting time, would you believe me ?