Sunday, October 1, 2017

And What Is More, It Radically Affects My Sense Of Smell ...

Health & Safety warning once again, just don't stick a ferret up your nose. The little buggers don't really appreciate it, and it won't do a great deal for you either.

So the other day I managed to get lost geographically-disadvantaged on my way to Bizes-Minervois for a little wine'n'food salon, Tastes En Minervois, and as is mandatory in such cases (due to there being an old charter, or something) when I pulled over and tried to get bloody Google Maps up on my phone to direct me it let me know that no maps were available. Bugger. Another 5km down the road and all was well, and I'd actually been orbiting the place for the past ten minutes: let that be a lesson to me, do not place too much faith in the signage around these parts.

I missed the food part, due to turning up around 14h, but according to Bob! I didn't actually miss a great deal: he is, of course, a chef of the old school but I have to admit that what I saw of the menus did not actually inspire me that much either. Whatever, I paid my 15 euros (which in theory entitled me to food that wasn't being prepared anymore because, like, too late), got a glass, wandered about and drank. I think I got my money's-worth, and I did come across some vignerons whose wine interested me, so I shall not complain.

Come to that, I see that I shall have to head back down towards Queribus again, and stop off at Maury where, if the bottle José brought around to chez Réné a week back is representative, they make a bloody good Corbières.

In other, unrelated, news, autumn is upon us and as usual the days are bright and warm - although a bit cool in the mornings and late at night, when the pack go for a walk. We've not yet considered pushing the go-tit on the wood-burner, even less placating and turning on the central-heating boiler, but these things will come. While we wait the vendange is more or less over around these parts, and as happens every year it is predicted to be the vintage of the century. We shall see.

I am all in favour of broad churches, and inclusivity, but it is difficult for my tired old neurons to keep up, sometimes. I was delighted, a while back, to find out what LGBTQIA acronymised (if that's actually a word) and thought that maybe I could die happy: now I discover that I will have to determine what LGBTQIA2S+ is before shuffling off this mortal coil in peace.

The Languedoc - not to be confused with Provence, which is actually quite a way north-east of us - is a pretty poor region (with the exception of Toulouse) with a fine old tradition of obstinate -  not to say "retarded" - peasantry. They are emphatically not in tune with Mother Gaea, and the first reaction on seeing some pristine landscape of great natural beauty is something along the lines of "Hey! I could stick some goats on that, and just over there I could dump all the effluent from the wine vats ..."

Which probably goes some way to explaining why it is that we get the odd abandoned car turning up on the outskirts of the village: it was more or less broken down, not worth repairing and certainly not worth paying the knacker's yard to come take it away, so why not put a minimal amount of petrol in, drive it off somewhere, park and leave?

In a few days the local yoof will have smashed the windows and pulled the tires off and a while later, when it's quite clear that no-one is going to come and reclaim it, a number of the aforesaid yoof will return with a jerrycan of petrol and a few matches and there will be a brief but intense display of pyrotechnics down by the départementale. Also, a strong smell of petrol and burning rubber.

Like that, I guess, the actual owner can eventually claim insurance - assuming, of course, that the car was actually insured, something which is not guaranteed - and the burnt-out wreck becomes Someone Else's Problem.

In our case, should this happen just outside the village it is efficiently taken care of by the département (they, and the SNCF, take a rather dim view of cars going up in flames just next to the rail lines) but if it is technically within the village that's another story.

Because of course poor Jérôme can't be everywhere, nor can l'équipe municipale (who are otherwise occupied anyway, I'm not sure with what exactly, mostly watering the municipal pot-plants I think, also if the mairie wins big on the loto they buy a van-load of hotmix and drive around flinging it approximatively on to some of the more obvious potholes), also it would cost money and apparently Moux has very little of that.

Like I said, it's a poor region. Hell, we can't even get fibre to the house ... you win some, you lose some, and you can't beat the lifestyle. The climate's not so bad either.

Today we headed off to Toulouse: taking Malyon off to gare Matabiau in the centre of town to catch the TGV back up to Paris before hopping on the red-eye flight to Bali tomorrow morning. When all's said and done, despite the reputation of southern-style people, les toulousains are not actually bad drivers. (As opposed to the lyonnais, les grenoblois, and the guys from Annecy.) Maybe it's because they all seem to own hugely expensive cars, and do not wish to have them dinged.
Be that as it may, we arrived with time to spare - more or less as planned - and went off to find a restaurant for lunch. Mal had her heart set on a good couscous, and the Great Gazoogle obligingly directed us to one such which was supposedly good, so off we trotted in its general direction.
Oddly enough the ad-slinger turned out to be right, it was excellent - and I say this as a man who is not, in fact, that fond of couscous or tajines - it's just that I spent an awful lot of time looking at my watch waiting for the meal to arrive, knowing that there was a train to be caught.
Our fault, should have said at the beginning. Forgot. What can I say? We scarfed, paid, apologized, and left. Whatever, you may safely go to Le Marrakech, 19 rue Castellane in Toulouse, but if you're in a rush do let them know. Also, according to "Grossed Out, of Mayfair", do not ask for a vegetarian tajine (if such a thing exists, which I rather doubt) because it will come with "disgusting bits of meat in it". So unfair, my meat was far from disgusting.

We shall go back - to Toulouse, that is - sometime soon: take the train (I'll soon be eligible for an OAP card), spend the night, and wander around. It's been a long while since I spent any time there, it's a city that deserves more attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment