July 27 – Thursday

Today is the monthly market in the nearby town of Rouillac, so we headed out in the BMW just after 9 under cloudy skies and a light rain. The market is very large and they close down the centre of the town completely.

On the drive there we passed an abbey, and a couple of cognac distilleries – one new and one old (cognac is very big here) as well as the headquarters of the Cognac Growers Association.
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After walking quite a ways and negotiating around all of the cars that were parked on the ‘sidewalk’ – without walking out onto the very busy road – we arrived at the first stalls. They were all chickens, ducks, geese, bunnies and hamsters.


A little further on we came to the bread, cheese, sausages, wine, live eels, all kinds of fish/seafood, even snails and horsemeat (long lineup for that one) – a little something for everyone.

Most of the stalls were local produce or products, but of course a few were just junk.

Tried a couple of pork products that were really tasty and got a few veggies. Returned to the pork place after walking around and bot some pate that we taste-tested, then bot some olives – I’m going to make a greek salad to go with the pate for dinner tonight.

After the market we drove to the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre and sanctuary – there were a bunch of students there doing an archaeological dig in a couple of places. There was also a poster indicating that there will be a play or something at the amphitheatre this Sunday – a bunch more students were cleaning up the hillside for seating as only a few of the original stone seating rows are still intact.


Colin then took me to Villejesus for lunch at La Cagouille (the snail – they’re really big here, and I don’t mean just in size). It’s a restaurant he’s been to many times before and knows the folks there, both the staff and other diners. There’s no menu – the hostess/waitress just tells you what they have today – for starter either ham and fruit (cantaloupe) or greens with cuke and tomatoe – Colin had the first, I chose the second. Then for main course either coq au vin or chicken curry – we both chose the coq au vin, but right after she’d left I kind of wished I’d order the curry.
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The salad was excellent – very fresh with a really nice olive oil dressing. When she picked up our empty plates she said ‘so it was one coq au vin and one chicken curry’? She read my mind! I said yes – that’s what I’d like and was it ever good – chicken was so tender it fell off the bones and it came with rice and lentils which was a delicious combination.

I actually had dessert for once – three choices – creme brulette, chocolate cake with ice-cream or walnut torte with ice-cream. I chose the last one and it was heavenly, although a bit sweet for my usual taste, but the coffee ice-cream cut the sweetness a bit.

We spoke with the chef before we left and told him how wonderful the meal had been – I think he appreciated our comments. He told us about a race on Saturday – the ‘snail race’, where one person runs and their team-mate rides a bike. It starts late, around 5 so we might come watch.
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Got back to Colin’s house and had an online chat with the geek squad about my facetime problem. She couldn’t help and told me I had to contact Apple direct (which is what Dominic emailed to me yesterday). I phoned a toll-free number for England and the lady I spoke with led me through the process of how to change my password while she waited. It worked so I facetimed Dom just after 5 – it was nice to see him.

Decided not to have the pate, etc for dinner as we’re both still stuffed from the excellent lunch we had.

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