Les pauvres marchands. Yesterday, was the marché de noel in my village but at 8.00am a mini blizzard was blowing outside the window. By 10am, there was a thick new layer of snow on the ground. And when I took Biff down to the river it had frozen over (see picture).
The surrounding countryside has been transformed into a winter wonderland by the snow. But it wasn't great for the Christmas market. Not surprisingly, given the treacherous state of the roads, many of the stall holders stayed away. As did most of the customers. So those poor people who did show up stood in the snow and glacial wind all day and from what I hear, takings were very slim.
But at least the local bookshop was busy as people picked up their home made Christmas cakes and took shelter from the icy weather. The other bright spot was the impromptu bar serving vin chaud, set up by Elsa, the proprietor of the organic épicerie. I have nicknamed this the 'hippy corner' of the square, as it is also home to Pascal, the local artist, who had set out brightly painted tables and chairs around the bar. Unfortunately, it was far too cold for anyone to sit on them.
The serial killer meanwhile, ever the opportunist, stood on his hind legs and was about to steal a very expensive cheese from one marchand's table, while my attention was diverted by a neighbour. Fortunately, Jon Wakeman (whom those who have read Tout Sweet will know) was passing by with his local butcher, Jean-Michel, and spotted what my naughty dog was about to do. Otherwise, since the cheese cost €24 for 100g, it could have been a very expensive Sunday.