The 27th is the date of Rouillac market – a date firmly in my calendar. It’s where we bought ‘the girls’ from (liberated!) and it’s also the scene of my 20 euro cheese. The whole town closes down and is filled with stalls, kind of laid out into an order. If you can’t buy it at Rouillac market, it isn’t for sale. Kettles, huge jam pans, massive wooden spoons, shotguns, wood fires, chickens, quail, ducks, pigs, dogs, pigeons, budgies (which my friend John just reminded me are for budgie smuggling when you are wearing speedos) overalls, housecoats, slippers, wellies, copper pans, rotivators, donkeys, shetland ponies, rabbits, sausages, cheese, garlic, onions, haricot beans, potatoes, seeds, plants, herbs, massive granny knickers, thongs, towels with Bob Marley on them, tractors, shutters, pan pipes (why is there always a Peruvian fellow on every market in the world? Is it some kind of profile-raising marketing?!) bread, mice, chestnuts, goji berries, socks, army fatigues, berets, knives, scissors that can cut four things at once, utensils for making julianne vegetables, italian grapes, harem pants (the current french fashion of the moment) and patchwork, plastic tablecloths (de rigeur en France!)
It puts Bury’s ‘world famous’ market to shame.
I fell in love with these Irish setters. I love the Moll, but fluffy dogs are my thing. We had a gorgeous spaniel when I was little and she was the most lovely dog, save the Moll. There were all kinds – bichon frise, shii tzu, Irish setters, Jack Russells, spaniels – could have bought them all! I know the Moll would make a good Nanny dog – she is great with little animals to mother – just as she was with Clinton the Cat.
If I can make a pond or some kind of water feature – for which we have plenty of space! – I’d love some ducks. I’m a sucker for poultry!
Now our lovely ladies are settled, I’d love to add to the flock. I think some little black ones, some lovely white ones – all would add wonderfully to our harem! I think I need to change rabbit auschwitz into a chicken house!!
After having made our way around the market, I was trying to take a picture of a very nice copper selling van. They had a kind of make-shift kitchen, then all the pots and pans. Yet I’d barely snapped it (and it was ruined by my Nana standing in front of the stall gazing aimlessly like a not-right, and my father’s shoulder as he moved in to shepherd her on) when a guy came over, shook his finger and said ‘interdit, forbidden’ – So I launched into a full on assault?
“Pourquoi, vous n’etes pas le Maire.”
Each time, he just kept saying, ‘interdit’
“Mais, c’est une place publique… c’est pas Le Sahara Occidental ou Le Pakistan. Nous sommes pas les muselmans ici… ou les gens avec une objection religeuse”
“Mais, je comprends pas! Pourquoi les photos sont interdit? C’est pas un bâtiment gouvernmental… c’est pas les choses militaires, c’est pas les choses religeuses. C’est une marché et je suis une touriste. Pourquoi?”
Interdit. He then said ‘secte’ – a cult?! Dealing at a market!
I laughed and said it was ‘stupide, une farce, un ridicule’ and he went back to his stall. How utterly ridiculous. I told him he ruined the day for people visiting the market and he was an idiot. He wasn’t the mayor. There’s not a law against it. It’s a public place. We’re not in Western Sahara or Mauritania or even Greece, after it nabbed a busload of British tourists taking pictures in an airport. I think he realised he’d picked on the wrong Englisher today. I told him he hadn’t explained it at all and he was being an idiot. Who the hell would want a picture of my Nana, my dad’s shoulder and a very distant ‘secte’ marchand selling copper pans??!
There’s no way on earth I’d have posted this dreadful photo if it weren’t for that little Hitler trying to control what I take pictures of in public places. Liberté! Anyway, here it is. If you can work out what’s offensive about it, what’s ‘interdit’, send me a postcard. Otherwise, feel free to share in my righteous indignation and also my glee that I was able to put this man right and challenge him with the same fervour I’d have attacked an Englisher on Bury Market who told me not to take a picture of Bury Black Puddings’ stall. What an idiot! I feel like setting up a facebook group!! Maybe I should warn the world about sects selling copper pans. After all, it could be another Jonestown or Waco… and Sarkozy, as you will know, is not fond of people who are uber-religious. It might be a catholic country, but religion isn’t taught in state schools. Hurrah. Schools is for learning, not Catholic values. How I wish that were true in England, where a third of schools are forbidden from telling pupils to use a condom or go on the pill, thus proliferating teenage pregnancy, STDs and lord knows what else. I might write to M. Sarkozy with my concerns about the man next to the copper pan stall on Rouillac market.