Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Every Monday the local paper publishes the week’s menu for the local community schools - presumably so that the parents can plan their evening menus and not accidentally serve foie gras to their child for the second time in one day! I'm just surprised they don't also publish a wine list....!

Blancs de poireaux ou Haricots verts/mais
Fricassee porc/Semoule
Yaourt aromatise – Fruit

Salade Coleslaw ou conconbre vinaigrette
Escalope de dinde/Petits pois
Comte – Compote tous fruits

Salae de coquillettes au thon
Salade de ble provencale
Steak hache de boeuf
Courgettes provencales
Bleu – Fruit de saison

“Lulu au pais de miel”
Melon d’Espagne
Gigot d’agneau
Due carottes/salsifis au miel
Fromage blanc et miel
Tranche de pain d’epices

Terrine de campagne ou Mortadelle volaille
Calamars/Pommes vapeur
Suisse nature – Fruit de saison

Thursday, 13 May 2010

New film set in Pyrenees-Orientales Region

I’ve just been to the cinema to see "J’ai oublie de te dire" (you’ll have to imagine the acute accent over the ‘e’). No, I am not going to change this into a blog for film buffs but just mentioned it because it is filmed here in the Pyrenees-Orientales. In fact the producer lives in Perpignan but I am sure he didn’t choose to film it here just to save money but more because the scenery is very pretty!

There are some lovely images of village life in the foothills of the Pyrenees, a tiny view of the beaches and a good taste of Catalan culture with scenes filmed at Stade Aime Giral (home of the French Rugby Champions l’USAP) together with patriotic Catalan songs such as ‘Tomba, Tomba, Tomba’.

My second biggest disappointment was that for some reason there is no view of the majestic Canigou mountain which dominates the region. My main disappointment was how old Omar Shariff has become - but nevertheless a handsome man for a 110 year old!

Well worth seeing if you like sad films with beautiful scenery!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

It's another Holiday!

France has 11 national holidays every year. In the UK we have a 2 minute silence on Remembrance Day - the French have at least one day off (depending upon what day of the week the 11th November falls on). If a ‘moveable’ Public Holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday then there appears to be very little point in working on the Monday or the Friday! Last week my suspicions were aroused when a sign appeared in the Supermarket window stating that ‘The Supermarket will remain open all day on Saturday’. The Supermarket is, in fact, always open all day on Saturdays so the sign could only mean one thing - yet another public holiday was on the cards even ’though it is only 5 minutes since we commemorated Labour Day (by not labouring at all!).

I had forgotten all about this by Saturday when I drove down to Canet-Plage to wander round the market and spend an hour or two sunbathing by the sea. Much to my surprise, there was a US Army encampment consisting of tents, guns and soldiers dressed in World War II uniforms installed on the beach. This was part of La Fete de la Victoire or V.E. day as we know it. Towards lunchtime there was a procession of army vehicles around the town - jeeps, tanks & lorries filled with very authentic looking soldiers waving flags (and a couple of dogs wearing flags). The military vehicles were followed by a parade of Cadillacs, Limousines & Harley Davidsons which I think was stretching credibility a little! The only problem was that this coincided with the closure of the market so the procession was halted every few minutes while the local gendarme shouted at various traders who were trying to load up their vans & were blocking the road. Vive la France!

If there was a health and safety department in France they would be kept extremely busy - but, as there isn’t, these Festivals can be very exciting. I particularly remember one that was held in the evening in Perpignan which involved horses, fire-eaters etc. parading around the town - with just one gendarme and a whistle to stop the crowds from being burnt alive or trampled underfoot by horses! And I was once in Ceret watching the preparations for the annual bull-running festival - preparations which only seemed to involve setting up temporary bars on trestle-tables on every corner and tying flimsy bits of cardboard to shop-windows….

Apart from the National Holidays they seem also to have a ‘Fete’ for every occasion whether it be religious, cultural or even fruit & vegetable related. I am sorry to say that I have just missed the Artichoke Festival up in the ski-resort of Font Romeu - the mind boggles.

PS. As you may have noticed, I have not written for a while - due to the fact that I have been on holiday….hence the theme!
PPS. My thanks must go to Marie-Louise, a young lady who I met in the crowd who kindly forwarded these pictures to me.