We woke up to grey skies, but without the howling winds and rain.
We spent most of the morning straightening up and doing loads of wash. Patrick appeared and told us that the storm was one of the biggest in history — with flooding that took some lives along the coast. He said he would turn on the chauffage (heat) to warm us up, and then laid a fire in the dining room fire-place. In short order, we had a roaring fire going and smoke filling the house — Patrick had forgotten to open the flue! We got it open, and the house slowly cleared. It brought back memories of our stay in the mas when Darren poured olive oil on a hot grille…
Around noon, we decided to hop into the village to pick up a few items at the alimentation (general store). The main street was closed, as the village was celebrating the Fete of St. Therese. We hopped into Bistro l’Aubergine for lunch and got a warm greeting from our friends Alex and Christina. He has once again changed his menu, and now makes changes daily depending on what’s available and fresh. A few morsels appeared while we perused the menu, and — as always, were excellent. David opted for a smoked salmon appetizer followed by Dorade (sea bream). I went with cheese ravioli. As always, the food was terrific, and the Domaine Hauvette white that David chose was excellent. we promised Alex we would be back often in the days to come, and strolled on to the main street to watch the festivities.
We have seen the Fete of St. Therese before, and it is always a treat. The street is lined with exhibits of traditional crafts, plus a few tables selling local products. We took the opportunity to buy a bottle of good (Moulin St. Michel) olive oil, which we hadn’t found at the local Intermarché. It cost a bit more than it would normally, but the proceeds were for a good cause.
Just then, the parade started with a group of men playing drums and fifes, followed by costumed dancers, people in traditional garb, livestock from geese to donkeys. Then came horse-drawn carts and wagons, and finally a vintage car. Each group got a big round of applause as they passed by.
Our friend Crystelle from Café du Centre spotted us in the crowd and motioned for us to come and sit, which we did. Embarrassingly, a carafe of wine appeared without our ordering it — maybe we are too well-known. We chatted with Crystelle for a bit, but she was busy handling the crowd, so we promised to come back and see her during the week. In short order we again heard the music of the fife and drums, and the parade went by again, from first to last. The crowd enjoyed it just as much a second time, which encouraged the marchers to repeat their performance a third, and then a fourth time.
Our original reason for coming to town was to buy a couple of items at the alimentation, but it turned out to be closed for the fete, so we packed up our bottle of olive oil and returned to the mas. We weren’t really hungry after the meal at Aubergine, so David just made us a couple of sandwiches — baguettes with slices of Delices du Papes ham, emmenthal cheese, and a dab of Amora mayo.