I am sitting here with everyone still asleep listening to the light rain over of the fields and a red squirrel rocking in the hammock. The fields are a perfect Monet with fog playing through the lines of the vineyard. Yesterday was another glorious day in Gascony.
We began with taking the kids to the ancient market at Mezin. It is a small market with fresh vegetables, bread, paella, duck, and other items. Everyone turns out to buy for the week. We ate bread right out of the ovens and incredible plums.
We then went to Nérac, the former home of Henri IV (famous for his opportune conversion to Catholicism and statement that “Paris is well worth a Mass”). This church dominates the small town with a lovely winding green river running through it. We went to the annual Vide-Greniers — a type of giant garage sale held once a year in French towns and cities. Everyone brings out stuff that they want to sale and then buy the stuff their neighbors want to sell. We bought from tins from the eighteenth century from a tin dealer. We then went to the small castle of Henri IV, a fascinating character (and extraordinary womanizer for the pre-Viagra period). Walking along the river with all of the tables of junk and antiques, we came across a beautiful hidden fountain of Fleurette. I had to look up the story but it is found in a poem from the day. It concerns Henry IV who was known to seduce women by the gross. He fell in love one day with a beautiful peasant girl name Fleurette and pledged his ever-lasting love. However, when he was called to be the (unlikely) heir of France, he left her in despair. When he finally returned and begged to see her, he found at their rendezvous a simple rose. Fleurette had drowned herself in the river.
We then returned for lunch to have an assortment of local dishes from couscous to veal. We then returned to the tiny fortified village of Larressingle for wonderful crepes. I have the flambe crepe with Armagnac with some of their (alcohol-laden) apple cider. It was divine. After the kids had a running battle in the drained moat with their wooden swords and shields, we came home to sit outside and, yes, drink more wine. For dinner, we had long two-foot strings of fresh sausage and duck breast with wine from the region next door.
I fear that you are increasingly unlikely to ever see your humble host again.