We braved the fog and the drizzle to see the 'creche vivante' and..... it had gone! By 4 pm all that was left were a few bales of straw and a bored looking sheep on a piece of rope being led round the stalls by Santa!
Hey ho, we had a good nosey round, there were a dozen or so little chalet-like stalls selling a variety of Christmasy items, from last minute things to freshly roasted chestnuts and hot wine! The stall of the 'town twinning committee' had quite a few typically English things...notably Christmas crackers that are completely alien to the French. We were a bit concerned that due to the very damp conditions they might have also got damp and would be a disappointment to the French on Christmas day if they didn't pull with a bang! The guy roasting the chestnuts over a brazier had not pricked them so every now and again one would explode with a 'bang'! He apologised (in French) for his "farting chestnuts"! Nice!
Farm produce seemed to feature highly on the stalls, lots of farm honey, spiced loaves, fois gras, lots of sausages, some shell fish and even a snail farmer! He was there offering his 'Bio' snails. In France, they don't use the term organic, you have to look for the word 'bio'. There were a few cottage industry type stalls with embroidery, painted porcelain, cushions, hats and scarfs. How much of this was actually home produced is debatable. The quality was mixed, some were very nice but some items were poor and I think had a huge carbon footprint, travelling from the orient!
Home again to ice the Christmas cake, the mixture of Jim Beam bourbon and Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry have added to the flavour. We will no doubt enjoy that and a very nice carrot cake with a Philadelphia and Fromage frais topping. We use the Lorraine Pascale recipe as per the Radio Times "Great British Cakes' pull out. Yummy!
Have a great Christmas, my Sherlock Holmes stories are a great late gift at $1 with the discount codes. Look on my home page at Smashwords, top right hand corner for how to gift a book to someone.