Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Christmas market.

The Christmas market in the local town is now in full swing. Being a French Christmas market there is a preponderance of stalls selling foie gras, candied fruit, cheese, and oysters with the occassional purveyor of festive headscarves, hand carved childrens toys, 'novelty' woollen hats, and for some peculiarly French reason, hunting knives, thrown in for good measure. All in all a rather happy and cheerful event but completely impractical as a source of presents for the family.

As we wandered contentedly around, 'the font' and I were suddenly gripped with a sense of panic. The move has made us blissfully oblivious to the approach of the festive season which we realise is now just over three weeks away . Naturally, we have done nothing, and I mean nothing to prepare for it. It's not just that beds need to be made and the table set - we first need to find where the sheets have been stored and the glasses and cutlery put away.

Madame Bay is here to 'do the house' early this week. She arrived at seven thirty prompt in an eye catching multi-coloured number with the hallmark swag of chiffon wrapped luxuriantly around her shoulders. After the customary ' Oh Monsieur Ongoose' and the emotional embrace she sailed serenely off to find the vacuum cleaner followed by trailing strands of chiffon and a somewhat suspicious Digby.

It transpires that Madame Bay and her husband are going to New York for Christmas. Monsieur Bay is a retired Gendarme of gentle and retiring disposition (could he be otherwise married to Madame Bay?) and they are going as part of a tour organized by the Retired Gendarmes Association. This will be their first visit to America and their knowledge of New York, ( in common with the Gendarme septuagenarians travelling with them ), is largely derived from watching Jack McCoy in Law and Order. Regaled by a nighly feast of television mayhem their view of Manhattan is consequently somewhat imbalanced. This morning 'the font' has had to reassure Madame Bay that it is extremely unlikely that she will be caught in the cross fire of crack dealing mobsters on East 56th. I'm less convinced by 'the fonts' assertion that the water in NY is drinkable.


  1. Happy Holidays to you all...just stopping in to say HI...busy, busy...

  2. The market looks like a fun place to visit, even if the presents aren't practical!

    Madame Bay gives me the giggles!

  3. And are the mice still there this morning??

    I have decided that I'd rather read the descriptions of Madame Bay than to see her picture - I am enjoying the picture that I have created in my mind.

  4. Welcome back! I'm glad that your move is complete, even if you're still trying to find the sheets!

    I had a good chuckle about Madame Bay!

  5. oh yeah and the water in NY would make me nervous also. :)

  6. hI thERE!!!! this post has made me laugh OUTLOUD!!! i AM SOOOO glad to have you and the boys back! i have hit a few other of the posts, the speedbump made me laugh?!!! but usually at work and no time to really comment. i am going back to catch up.and now you are back in my blogroll where i can be more frequent! ... here is to hoping you two and the boys have a happy holiday!

  7. Long ago when I was young the water in N Y was not good!!! They say it is much better now that they redid the whole water lines. When you find out let us know O. K.??
    I love open markets!!!
    Come and see us some time.
    Bambi, Happy and Mom, (Fern)

  8. Pinkie misses the xmas market but not the oysters apparently. Sounds like xmas in Europe is a wonderful affair. Shame we most likely will never find out unless pinkie decides to pack us up and go back. Grandma on skype the other day said we could hunt their neighbours' cats and get to chase the deer out of their backyard...it all sounds very tempting...