Welcome to our market!

I’m not often here on a Thursday, which is when it is the St Just market; usually I’m down in Clermont Ferrand, working hard! But today, as it’s a Jour Ferié – bank holiday for the Fete de l’Ascension – I’m able to spend a little more time browsing. As we’re trying to save money – or, at least, not spend it unnecessarily – I didn’t buy much, but I did take some photos. The stall holders thought I was nuts, which was iobvious from theirbemused grins,so in the end, I took some shots from our balcony. Even then, I caught the eye of one bloke, who looked at me questioningly!

Taken from our bedroom window, you can see part of the market. It stretches down the road to the left and then round the corner, but here there are some of the stalls that we have – a boulangerie van, the oil cloth seller, and the Mercerie (haberdashery) stall. There’s a goat cheese stand (and a cows’ cheese stand out of shot) and a large vegetable stall too.

At the moment there are also a couple of flower stalls. I bought 5 plants from this gentleman’s display. I have no idea what they are, but they are for hanging baskets and are pink and purple. I think some are petunias, but I’m not sure! I planted some seedlings and some bulbs on Sunday, but it was too early – the Ice Saints hadn’t finished and there was a ground frost on Sunday night which did for my seedlings. Never mind! I’d kept some indoors so I’m hoping they might grow into something. Anyway, back to the market.

As well as the two flower sellers, there is an older guy selling ready-to-plant vegetable plants – leeks, carrots, salad greens, beetroot etc. I thought he was a small local chappie selling off his surplus produce, all soil encrusted and artisanal, until I came across his huge van full of crates of plants. Not such a small-scale operation after all!

The roast-chicken-and-pizza van always smells delicious! You can see the stall holder tending his rotisserie, which has potatoes roasting in the chicken fat below. The chickens are very popular, but I’ve never bought one myself – I don’t know if they’re free range, so I’m disinclined to buy one. His pizzas look good too, and they’re cheaper than next door (although not as cheap as a supermarket or a handmade one!) But neither chicken fat roast potatoes nor pizzas are good for our Healthy Eating lark!

This is the Organic produce van  – taken from our balcony, so it’s hiding behind the greenery a bit! He’s quite a newcomer to the market, and has only been here for about three months or so. Usually, I see him setting up as I go to work. My friend Danièle uses him quite a bit, as does Clare, but I’m not so bothered about organic produce so generally I’m afraid I go to Lidl! He is building up a small clientele however, so I think he may be a “stayer”. You can go into his van which is fitted out like a tiny supermarket!

We have a couple of mattress and bed sellers who arrive in big white vans, man handle theier mattresses out and then manhandle their mattresses back in again. I’m not sure who buys a bed from the market, but still…people must do so! One of them also sells dining chairs and reweaves the seats of broken ones. I took this photo as I liked the design of the chairs…30€ each seems a bit steep though

There are clothes stalls, of course, selling the usual fleeces, T-shirts, leggings and so on, but there are also a couple of “fashion” stalls, selling more flouncy items. These are what Alison and I have named “PISP” clothes – it stands for “Pockets In Strange Places” and refers to the very “French” style of clothing such as

(PISP – right on the hip! That wouldn’t be slimming now, would it?) plus odd bits of stitching. I can’t find some perfect examples of PISP but maybe you get the idea.

There’s a shoe stall. These are leather shoes at 20€ a pair. Very tempting, if I could persuade myself I needed another pair of shoes. But I know I don’t!

(Rubbish photo! Sorry!)

Along the street, there’s a fishmonger, a cheese van, and a couple more vegetable stands too. The 1€ stall was packing up as I arrived (11.15) so I don’t know what she was selling, but I’m sure there was nothing there I really wanted!I’m often tempted by the Artisan Saucisson stall – dried sausages. He has some amazing flavours, including blueberries, nuts and pepper-encrusted saucissons. He also sells them made with wild boar meat and (eep!) donkey meat too. I’m not tempted by the donkey saucissons, I have to admit!

On this stall there were some beautiful quilts

I don’t think they were handmade but all the same they were very lovely. We don’t need a quilt, so I wasn’t that tempted but I certainly admired them.

So there you are! Our little St Just market.

Mr D is considerig the possibility of a market stall, not just here in St Just but around the area, selling computer/ gadgety things. He’d then be on hand if people needed computer repairs as well. I like the idea and think it could work, but equally I think it would be quite hard work for him. However, he’s also done a mail shot to over 40 gites/chambres d’hotes in the area who don’t have websites, offering to design sites for them. He’s had one request for a quote, so we’re hopeful. It’s unbelievable that in this electronic age, there are so many tourist orientated places that don’t have their own sites: they seem to rely on being on the Gites de France site, but personally speaking, I wouldn’t book a place without being able to see more than the couple of photos that are provided on the GdF site.  And of course, having your own site opens your clientele out beyond the GdF searchers. Fingers crossed that he gets some work from it- I think he’d prefer to be at home in front of the PC than out in the cold and rain lugging supplies to and from a market stall!!!

Anyway, I’m off to cook the two merguez sausages that I DID buy this morning. Not very Healthy Eating…but there’s only one each. With vegetable and lentil soup I don’t think it’s too unhealthy! I also bought some cherries. The first of the season! Nom-nom!



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2 Responses to “Welcome to our market!”

  1. Nancy Says:

    If the Mr. gave lessons on various software he can manipulate (I am thinking of Photoshop, especially), I would pay him by the hour for lessons. Surely others would also. A little card on the library bulletin board would lure me in.

    On another note: regarding the people looking at you oddly when you took a picture. SIL Jack who drives a big van with tinted windows (background…he is in a wheelchair and can’t walk, so needs the van)…he is also a photographer and a good one, to boot. Not being able to easily get out of the van with the long ramp requiring lots of space to unload, he shoots with a long range lens (one of those you see in detective shows). He pulled into his driveway about a month ago and a cop pulled in behind him and grilled him with the usual routine of license, id, etc. The cop told him that someone had called in his license plate number because he was taking photographs in a parking lot. The cop asked him what he was doing there and what he was taking pictures of. Jack’s response “an eagle in flight”.

    I hope the cop was embarrassed. But I understand people are always on the look out for perverts.

  2. Ian Says:

    What amazing markets! I’m glad you got to experience them…and share with us. 🙂

    And my best wishes for you and Mr D as you consider an IT stall.