Sorry, sorry. Grovel, grovel. I've really been remiss about posting this week. My excuse: with guests due later this month and from then on through October, we're working very hard on the house, continuing to paint walls and stain floors, discovering that drilling into stone walls to install curtain rods takes time and unpacking boxes that we packed over a year ago. That last job is genuinely fun. It's like Christmas. You feel the package, make a few guesses-- "the small table that used to be behind the sofa?"--then unwrap it. So far, everything has survived its trans-Atlantic journey although we have yet to find where the moving men hid the pendulum for the wall clock.
Meanwhile, excavations are underway on the terrace but I'll save that till I have shots to go with it. For those who can't wait: The apricot tree is no more because, as it is rumoured to do each year, it produced four apricots which plummeted to the ground and were eaten by snails before we could get to them. The small formal hedges are no more, although their component parts are in a sort of way-station on the eastern border (which makes them sound like Soviet era refugees).
So.... flashback to last Friday. The first Friday of July, ergo the village's first night market of the season. Flags and shields had gone up on the plane trees a few days before. By Friday evening, the main street was blocked off, tables and benches set up. By 8 p.m., it was packed. Stalls sold food. Mexican food. Asian food. Magret of duck, frites and that lethal mixture of equal parts garlic and parsley called persillade. There were moules. There were snails. There were little Camemberts to cook whole over the charcoal barbecue which is also where you take the steak or fat chops or sturdy saucisses you buy from the butcher's van (which also sold chocolate mousse).
The owner of the boulangerie was there, so we could buy baguettes for general plate-wiping and food-accompanying and to dip in the unctuous melted Camembert. Sylvie from the post office was there too making the most of a captive and well-fuelled (at four euros a bottle) audience to sell bundles of pre-stamped envelopes with pictures of Léran and last year's night market on them. And this little citrus-yellow Citroen was there looking particularly photogenic.