French Pastries at Parthenay Market

Updated: May 14

Having read in various places about the great market at Parthenay, A left off revising for a couple of hours this morning and we headed off relatively early to hit the stalls for fresh fruit, veg and the local delicacies. The car park was free, which was a bonus, but of stalls of fruit and veg there were none. Two sewing machine stalls, selling and repairing, numerous clothes stalls (one with linen dresses at £70 – obviously a better class of market shopper in Parthenay!), a craft stall and a shoe stall. But not a legume in sight! However, the local patisserie was doing a grand job in hot chocolates and gooey pastries and we tucked in with gusto, having purloined the local paper off an empty adjacent table. That was surprisingly interesting, even more so when we discovered the page of cinemas and screenings. Lots of the cinemas show films in English, which are marked VO in the paper, so we have hatched a plan to go to Bresuire, about forty minutes away tomorrow. We are both feeling withdrawal symptoms at not having seen a film for over two weeks. As A wants to work in the industry, she is an avid viewer of both classics and new releases. Neither her computer nor mine will run dvd’s and we foolishly left behind the old laptop that does. We are definitely in need of a fix! Revision completed, of course.


Finding pastries instead of vegetables wasn't such a bind.

On the way home we passed Lidl’s, so hung a sharp left and got our veg in there, plus a small treat of a bar of chocolate. We are on a very healthy eating regime, which has been broken only by the pano and a custard tart today. Despite the high volume of greens and pulses and the lack of sugar and starch, my clothes don’t feel any looser and I’m not sure I feel much fitter with a stinking cold, but it’s only been eight days and I’m sure the results will reveal themselves eventually. It certainly does reveal itself in the number of visits to the loo and the flatulence, both of which seem to have a remarkable ability to make themselves known at the most inappropriate moment. Lidl can always be relied upon as a catalyst for flatulence. By the second isle, it’s all go! There must definitely be something in the air. Nor does it matter which country it is. All the shops have the same effect! By the fourth isle, I’m moving at the speed of the TGV, chucking stuff into the trolley at breakneck speed, especially if the shop is full. Fortunately its silent and I move too fast to discover whether it’s deadly!

The cinema, an hour away, had an extremely helpful young chap on the counter, who tolerated my French and sent us off into town to look at the castle as we had an hour to wait until the film started. We had allowed ourselves plenty of time, for getting side-tracked, lost, diverted or the seats selling out. In fact it was a blessing. The chateau, not in private ownership, was a later building built within the ruins of a double walled castle. The mediaeval potager, not yet set up and planted would obviously be stunning in the summer. The gardener was obviously a very accomplished and knowledgeable person. The trees around the chateau were topiaried in a stunningly original and beautiful manner. In the setting sun, against the backdrop of the deep blue sky, the Mediterranean pines on top of the old castle walls glowed in the evening light.

The film turned out to be stunning and we spent the journey home discussing segregation and women’s rights…

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