november markets of réalmont

there was a brief and lovely period where i worked on a chateau 
in lautrec, france. 
some mornings, over breakfast of tea, hot bread and cream honey,
my host, paul,  would ask us
if we wanted to go to the market with him that day.
of course, the answer was always yes and i got to see 
some lovely markets in the local villages.
 one afternoon, he brings us to réalmont:
paul does his shopping, picking up various vegetables and the like.
i explore the market with molly, the other volunteer from the chateau.
we pop into some shops, sift through the market stalls.
buy some trinkets, maybe a croissant
or a bit of bread.
christmas decorations are beginning
 to creep out. i see little wooden toys, trains and tops.
there are stunning displays of charcuterie, cheeses, 
seasonal vegetables...
i buy a bouquet of ail rose, a blushing, fragrant
garlic that comes directly from lautrec. 
the long stems are braided together, 
and i know it will make a good gift for lisa 
when i return to montpellier. 
(way better than ham chips)
there are stalls hawking clothes, of course. mostly cheap,
flimsy things, with garish swirls and odd colour combinations...
watches, random housewares....and then more food.
after we look around, we meet paul for a coffee.
we sit outside, listening to teenage buskers on the guitar,
friends greeting each other, talking, laughing.
everybody knows eachother.
i sip my coffee, eat my croissant, wrap my scarf a bit tighter.
the air crackles with early november. smoky and crisp.
this, i think, might be the life for me. 
a small community, fresh food, old buildings,
and a dramatic autumn. 

plus...look at the size and colour of those mushrooms.

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