Eating yellow plums straight from the tree

the 7pm poolOh there you are. It’s been days since the last post.

Apologies. Day job, day job. Up too early before it gets too hot (35C by lunchtime) up too late catching up.

And just in case you think all I do is languish in the pool and wandering up to the orchard to pluck ripe fruit, I had best give a good account of myself.

There is a routine to rural life and the most important one is the market day in the closest little town.  For us that’s Thursday.  And in general, things don’t really hot up until 9am. more sunflowers

That gives me time to sit in the cafe; preferably at an outside table, and catch up with my friends. I only see them once a week, so there is always news.

But this week the market was heaving.

They were predicting something around 35C today which is blast furnace hot. And I think everyone wanted to get the marketing out the way and then escape to the shade.

artur on his throneSo no hot chocolate and chat.  But I did get all my chores done and rattled home in an hour. That must be a record. And it included stopping off at the local garage to pick up a couriered item and delivering more flowers.

I had thought of driving straight down to town to do a big grocery shop, but all I wanted to do was have my second market day treat. Back home for a cup of tea with fresh bread (the rye bread from Madame Courtial’s is unsurpassed) and honey.

And take it up to the potting shed and catch up with Artur who would have missed out on his early morning adoring session as I leave so early.

It’s the small routines in life one cherishes. office shelves

The one thing I didn’t have was much time. So standing in the long line at Monsieur Bois’ fruit and vegetable stall I was plotting how much reading and working I needed to do for the rest of the afternoon.

What I didn’t plan on was buying the gorgeous apricots sitting in front of me. I was only buying tomatoes.  M. Bois is a fanatical breeder of wacky tomato varieties.  Bless him. It’s a hard life being a stall holder.  And he is often just on autopilot in the growing season getting his crops harvested, into the van, and up around 5am to set up at the market.

apricotsBut mention you like one of his tomato varieties and his whole face lights up with delight.

And then no matter how long the line, he will chatter for ages about how he selected it and how long he is waiting for it to be a keeper. He needs to breed for four years to be sure the new variety is stable.

The locals learn never to discuss tomatoes with dear M. Bois. greengauge

But there was a keen tourist in front who made the mistake of engaging in the Tomato Discussion.  So the rest of us put down our heavy baskets and rolled the eyes a bit.   And that’s when one of my rolling eyes caught the sight of the apricots.

I only have five jars of apricot jam left from the June session. So despite being way too busy for such fivolities; it was two kilos of apricots please M. Bois, and err, these veg too. (Just saying the word tomato could have set him off again.)

And what of the plums?  Next week I’ll have enough plums to make jam. But for now it’s just a snacking event everytime I walk past.