Views From the Field....
Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 5:46PM
Nancy Falconer

I hate packing. Too many decisions. The suitcases always look too small, my needs too large. I long to leave with just the clothes on my back and passport in pocket.

Mackenzie travelled brilliantly. She knew the routine. Stepped right up into her kennel without even asking. Both flights. Last year I had to firmly nudge her into the crate for the Paris to Bordeaux leg. This time she knew what to expect. And she was right on cue.

Through that rubbery curtain at the mouth of the baggage carousel in Bordeaux she made her 'encore' entry--floating along the conveyor belt before an admiring audience while trailing an ever-growing entourage of baggage. Endearingly amusing.

The winter has been milder this year than last. Only one bad time of it before Christmas where 4 inches of snow closed everything down including the Marché de Noel where I had hoped to sell my 'perfect for Christmas or hostess gifts', cleverly potted-up bulbs in repurposed vide-grenier 'finds'. So what do you do with 19 amaryllis and 53 hyacinth well on their way to blooming and with only one week (before leaving for Canada for Christmas) in which to 'move' them? 

You make an online catalogue....I turned the kitchen into a photo studio, piled laundry baskets on top of each other on the kitchen table, covered them with burlap as a no-seam backdrop, shot the product on risers, and ultimately compiled it all into a power point slide-show catalogue and called it The Potting Shed which I emailed to the 10 or so english speaking people I have met here in France. Then I took on the challenge of translating the full catalogue into French ~ L'Abri de Jardin ~ for my french speaking voila! J'ai vendu plus de la moitié de mon produit...en cinq jours.

The upside of the downside of the market cancellation is manifold: the unsold bulbs will keep, along with the assorted 'truc' I planted them in, till next Christmas marché. And meanwhile the house is still in various stages of scent and bloom which, apart from the gift of such beauty also provides ample opportunity first hand to see which bulbs really did produce the colour as pictured on their tag and which hyacinth produces the most scent...all valuable info for next year's effort.

Meanwhile Mackenzie and I have our walks in the woods (except for Sundays--officially dangerous hunting day) along ancient footpaths that take us across busy streams and alongside sunny meadows of lazing Limousin cattle who eye us with curiousity and not a bit of wariness. Mackenzie's corgi-short legs always seem to baffle them.

I love how cattle stand still in unison, at different times of the day wherever they are in their field, all facing in the same direction, and just commune it seems with who knows what or who. I feel them to be almost spiritual in if deeply rooted to the earth and in perfect pitch with the universe. It's very peaceful to observe.... as if they have gone inwards meditatively.

Too long in the French countryside with just a dog for company? Perhaps.....


The Neighbours / Les Voisins

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