Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Market Day in Gan

Technically I'm supposed to be at the pig farm this week, but I thought that there were only three weeks in the first session instead of four, and scheduled a bunch of doctor's appointments for this week, which I'd originally thought was a week off. Since I worked more than 35 hours last week, and will be working on publicity for the shop this week, I'm not feeling too guilty. Especially since I told Florence that I'd be available on Friday if she needed me, in the event that the weather clears up and Frédéric and Éloi head out into the cornfields again - they're behind schedule this year, what with the late spring, dry summer, and autumn rains - and there's only two people to make all of the pâté and boudin plus deal with customers in the afternoon.

Until then, I'm ticking off things on my to-do list, having accomplished three today: get my annual exam done (sans mammogram, avec [OW OW OW] Pap smear); meet with my new lymphatic massage therapist, who is going to be starting a new treatment that should actually eliminate the congestion in my arm, rather than simply making sure it doesn't get worse; and go to the Wednesday market.

I missed the weekly markets in September, and since then I've either been at school or on the farm. I probably won't get to any other markets this year, but when I'm in Oloron eating with the Bergeras family I don't suffer for lack of garden-fresh food. Though I do tend to double up on the vegetable dishes and take half the quantity of meat that the others do.

I didn't buy much today, just a nice head of cabbage and a bunch of parsley, two big green tomatoes that I'm going to slice and bake plus some ripe ones to slice and eat fresh, a pot of local honey mixed with ground hazelnuts (yum!), and a small roast chicken from the rotisserie stall, the nearly-ubiquitous vendor at farmer's markets in France. I had some of the warm juicy meat for lunch, put the leftovers in the refrigerator, and am making broth out of the bits and bones for vegetable soup tonight.

If I'd brought an empty container I could have gotten my red wine in bulk at the next stand over, where the vendor was pouring it through a funnel into a customer's plastic gallon jug. I also could have bought nonstick pans, soap made out of mare's milk, or fruit from Spain and Morocco. I hope to get to Spain myself someday soon, and would like to visit Morocco, but not by myself.

I will probably be leaving Gan in a few months, since I found out that the last three sessions of class aren't at Montardon but at a place called Etcharry, which is another agricultural school in the mountains northwest of Oloron, about the same distance as Oloron is from Gan, except in the opposite direction. Once again I have discovered that I've rented a room as far away as possible from pretty much every place I need to be. I need to get final verification but I believe I'll be moving permanently (as permanent as I get, in any event) to Florence's house in Agnos for the work weeks and then leaving most of my stuff there for the three two-week sessions at Etcharry, where I can stay en pension. I hope that doesn't involve being in a dorm with a bunch of flighty 18-year-old girls - or worse, boys - but it's better than trying to figure out how to get from Gan to Etcharry and back every day.

That move won't be until February, though, so you can keep sending money and gifts to my current address. At least I hope the move will be in February; there's been no word one way or the other from immigration, so I am still not sure whether my visa has been renewed for another year. In the assumption that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well, I will make and eat my vegetable soup today, and go through the materials I need to review for my school project paper, and be content.

1 comment:

  1. And all this without the gallon jug of red wine. Impressive!