Saturday, June 16, 2012

French love and conversations

I'm always surprised how quiet the village is, given that people here do love to engage each other in conversation. The voices are more subdued than those of neighbors south of the border, but they surely are numerous and evident. At every juncture.

Stories told, retold. Long stories. Not just hurried exchanges. A day unfolds through the telling of one thing or another. It's hard to replicate if you're not used to it.

(A reminder: if it's in purple, it's me talking.)

Do you have peaches yet?
No, still green. Sorry.
We'll take the apricots then.

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Ed says -- a great peach is better than a great apricot.
Yes, but a great apricot is the only apricot I'll eat with pleasure and here, the apricots are always great.

La Ciboulette has peaches.


They're very very good! Better than great apricots!
I can't agree. I'm loyal to our apricot farmer.

At the bakery, a sigh of relief. We're in time! Not sold out yet!
Do you suppose we should try something else? Like the apple pouches?


Another decision! Only a few apple chaussons left. Fine. Time for a change. But just today!

At the Friday market the produce vendor changes.
I prefer the Tuesday vendor. I don't know why. Better tomatoes maybe, better displays, I can't really place it...
This one seems popular too.
They have an advantage: it's Friday. before the weekend meals. Did you notice how some shoppers dress so well to come to market?

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Conversations. Two women talk.

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A third one comes, kisses, joins in.

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Four guys and a guy dog. More talking.


Elsewhere, two women talk.



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Of course, some express themselves, their love, without words.

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It's all so colorful!  
Paella for dinner, okay? The vendor's here again...


Lunchtime. Gunter and Baerbel knock. May we come in? We have something for you! (Berries, cream, crushed meringue.) For dinner tonight! We're having company, we made extras for you!

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I have never had such nice landlords. Ever! (Ed doesn't count.)

New cheeses for lunch.
I know you don't eat sausage, but just try this one, from today's market. It's with figs.


It's sunny, pleasantly warm. Beach weather.
Should we swim by the small etang?
You know, where we saw the waves yesterday. Just north of Argeles sur Mer. The long strip that runs parallel to the road.  Only you can't see the road because of the small dunes. It's not more than 25 minutes from here. It is quite remarkable how many beach choices we have...

We emerge on a stretch that's completely empty.


To the south and further to the north, windsurfers jump crazily over the choppy waters.
Not for me... You swim. Way too choppy for me! And the wind! I'll be cold! And be careful! I don't want to lose you today to the waves!
Yes gorgeous. (Eye roll) Let's walk up a bit. See that sand lip? Shallow waters. Let's try that.

We pass French love.


...and throw our towels down by the curve of sand. Ed plunges, I watch.


Not for long.
I'm coming in! (What's with me this year?! I can't resist the sea!)


Ed, if you stand on the lip, you get knocked by waves from both sides! 
Yep. Watch your camera. There's a fine spray everywhere.
It's wonderful! The water is warmer than the air!


Superb water play.

Late. Maybe nine, maybe even later.
Could you reheat the paella? (Ed's the microwave hot shot.) I've made a salad of green beans, tomato and endive.


So what do you think of his noodle version of paella? (Chicken, squid, mussels, prawns in a Catalan sauce with noodles. I asked the paella guy if always made it with noodles. No, yesterday it was with rice.)

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Ed and I are often quiet. Interspersed with discussion (inequality is a common theme), or one of us (usually Ed) explaining something (how things work) to the other (usually me). We rarely talk about the past and almost never about the future. And still, our days are built around these small and sometimes not so small exchanges.

What'you reading?
Same book. (Innovator's Dilemma.)

Are you asleep? 
No. Yes. No...