November 2010 Archives

Giving thanks for furry things

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We do actually have three beautiful cats - Oscar, Manon and Babu - but this one is a real poser, especially on festive days.

L'Hiver

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Babu is guarding the wood.

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The market is at last stripped of lavender smellies and tack and reduced back to the essentials - cheese, bread, saucisson, chestnuts, eggs and black pudding - and Olivier on the veg stall says hurry hurry, this is the last week for mushrooms..

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The temperature has dropped by fifteen degrees and there's a bonnet of snow on the Mont Ventoux. The garlic is sprouting in the cold earth....

I think winter is here.

Venice

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How hard is it to wheel a box of eggs over a Venetian bridge?

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We had a rainy week in Venice but it suits the city of course to have a liquid grey light. Anyway, nothing could take away the joy of the daily visit to the Rialto market

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Followed by prosecco and sandwichettini at our fave joint, Al Mercà...

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Then LUNCH at the flat on the Giudecca, and some of the best fish I have ever had. San Pietro (Saint Peter's fish), rombo (brill i think), prawns...and all with those greener than green greens the Italians are so good at....this season rape and rucola, but in others cavolo nero and purple sprouting broccoli...

..Which brings me to the sad fact about the Potager du Peintre; that all the lovely seeds brought home from Italy of the above, thought nurtured under cloches and transplanted with love by us, were munched and mangled by a very mean red and black beetle, the only treatment for which, apparently, though organic, has just been taken off the market.

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Hoping for the only other killer of said bĂȘte, the first frost, I have no taken up the last crop, the leeks, and put in a winter garden. Chard (if it survives), spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic and shallots. Plus winter seeding of peas and broad beans. Raphael next door, aged twelve, has, in the absence due to workload of my husband, become my keen assistant.