Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spotted Out and About Shopping

We have been out and about shopping, normal food shopping, a bit of Christmas present shopping and fresh produce market shopping.  Not bad for a couple who really don’t shop unless absolutely necessary.  Some of the things we have seen tickled me and I thought I would share them with you.

As we are nearing Christmas the shops are digging out their tinsel and doing a bit of festive decorating.  Unfortunately ‘elf-n-safety’ hasn’t really reached France yet so we watched with held breath as the lady from the welcome desk at the local supermarket put her life in the hands of her colleague all for a bit of tinsel. With her fashionably high-heeled boots she was standing on the forks of a forklift pallet mover six feet off the ground while her colleague moved her around the aisles to hang the decorations.  This was carried out during the open hours with the added risk of a trolley driven by a doddery old shopper colliding with the forklift.   I would have taken a photo, but I was afraid the flash would have made her lose concentration and fall, so I refrained.

Browsing the aisles I was easily distracted from the potential disaster of a falling decorator when I noticed the advent calendars – for cats.  At a huge price of 9.99€ your pampered pussies could be the owners of an enormous Gourmet sachet filled advent calendar – purrlease!  I was so shocked by this I forgot to take a photo, sorry.

Now to explain the picture of me with the funniest thing we found so far, an enormous book titled Johnny Hallyday pour les nuls (For Dummies).  The French LOVE Johnny Hallyday and find it very hard to believe us when we tell them he really isn’t that big in the English speaking world.  An extensive search on not only failed to find the English version of this book but also showed most of the books available on Johnny were in French.  I have no idea what they found to fill so many pages, but when I mentioned it to some French friends they solemnly said that he had been around a long time, so there was quite a bit to write about.  I don’t think I will be adding it to my Christmas list.

By far the best shopping experience was wandering around the delicious produce at the Angouleme Fêtes des Gastronomades.  Food and drink producers from all over France gathered in marquees in the streets of the beautiful city of Angouleme.  Their produce on display was a feast for the eyes, and for the mouth as tasting was positively encouraged.  We were tempted by biscuits from Brittany to Provence, local goats cheeses to Basque sheeps cheeses, fresh meats, dried meats, olives, fruits, wine, oils – I could go on.  It was busy but worth a visit especially as entry to all the venues was free.  Despite it being held on a Saturday a month before Christmas the sun was out and we were able to drive into a city centre underground car park without any traffic problems and park for over two hours for 1.50€ - in UK this would have been at least stressful if not impossible.    With Christmas a month today I think I am more prepared than usual, phew.  To see more photos of the food at Gastronomades please take a look at the Facebook page, thanks.

Delicious chocolate orange buns

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