3 Jan 2010

Christmas 2009

Firstly, an update on the turkey we were meant to be having for Christmas lunch. I mentioned here earlier that we’d ordered an organic free-range turkey from a small veggie grower on the outskirts of a nearby village. Well, what happened was this!

On the 22nd Nic and I went to collect it. The gate to the yard was locked, despite signs that the shop was open. Across the road in a field of vegetables, a man was picking lettuces.

I figured this may be the owner, and this bit of land may be an extension of his small-holding. So we drove over, and he came over to the fence to speak to us. I asked him if he was the proprietor of the vegetable shop over the road, because we had come to pick up our turkey.

Well, no, he most certainly was not. However, he was very keen to engage in a conversation.

He came through the fence and spoke at length and very passionately about the ‘situation’ with the shop over the road. Eventually, we understood exactly what he was telling us. He says the man over the road gets his turkeys (and rabbits!) from a battery farm and sells them on as organic and home-raised!

He kept using the word ‘escroc’ which I had to look up when I got home, and I found out means crook / con man / swindler! Now there’s another word for my vocabulary. In fact, he even showed us a photo that he’d taken on his mobile phone of the turkey delivery truck outside the said property, which he said he’d taken only the Thursday before.

I'd never seen any turkeys - and definitely no rabbits - in the small garden before, only a few chickens, ducks and geese. I'm not about to identify the shop nor the village in case the story's not entirely accurate.

However, Nic and Duff were heading back from Carcassonne the next day and pulled over and managed to get one from a supplier of fresh turkeys – and here it is.

Before -
After -

And I have to say it was all delicious, including the bits of Queensland Blue roasted pumpkin from Nic and Duff's garden.

As I’ve mentioned before, my son Paul arrived here for Christmas. It was beaut to all be together for a rather large and delicious Christmas lunch with plenty of fine wine.

However, we did go for a huge long walk later in the afternoon – weather was again stunning – clear blue skies.

We walked to the Tour (tower) de Boussecos.
Historically, this tower was a strategic watchtower – apparently built by the Romans, and later besieged by the Visigoths and then destroyed by the Saracens. It’s a natural rock that’s been fortified and affords views up and down the Valley of the Cesse.

What the photo doesn't show is the stone-constructed walls and reinforcements that can be seen around several sides. And the view after climbing up to the base of the rock is amazing.


And below are a few Christmassy bits 'n' pieces:

Pre-Christmas street entertainment in Narbonne

Indigo, drinking her favourite drink panache (a very weak shandy)
- ok here for her to drink (and buy at the local shop).
No nanny-state here - now, what are
some of those reasons I love living here?

Julia - definitely smiling - with
her gift of 'A Year Sponsorship of an Orang-Utang'
Paul (men are so hard to buy for) -
also pretty pleased with his
donation of a bee-hive to Malawi village.
Aston - not forgotten.
He got his own pillowcase with pressie (rubber duck)!

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