One fine morning….

veg_soup_pan_lid_0747A grey morning found me cutting firewood behind the house. The squeak of an old barn door opening announced the arrival of Annie, one of our neighbours. Annie and her husband Remy have raised Charolais beef cattle for the last 40 years in this little hamlet. Their dark hair and olive skin make them appear much younger than they should after a lifetime of ceaseless labour, which is the farmer’s lot. Annie is well known for being the first with the news and she always announces it with a beaming smile, regardless of the nature of the news. Death gets the same treatment as birth. It’s a balance of emotion that now makes complete sense to me and I regret not embracing that joie de vivre throughout my life. After the normal formalities of greetings I started to tell her how cold were my hands without listening to what she was saying, which I assumed would be the normal “weather” opening gambit, but the repetition of the words “warm” and “hot”stopped my flow and allowed me to listen. She and Remy had just returned from three weeks in Guadeloupe, their first holiday since their honeymoon some 40 years ago.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, Art photography, Cooking, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, Emotion, Farming, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, French countryside, friendship, Health, leeks, lifestyle, New Year, onions, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Soup, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vendee, Weather, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to One fine morning….

  1. Leek something, beautifully photographed. My kind of pot.

  2. Karen says:

    The life of a farmer is never easy…the first holiday in 40 years. Thank goodness they went somewhere warm. That’s a lovely pot of goodness that certainly must have warmed you.

    • It’s remarkable, isn’t it. Many of the older farmers have not been out of the region – ever. The two I’m talking about are remarkably adventurous for peasant farmers.They are such kind people that it’s great to see them so excited having been to such an exotic place. Guadeloupe and Martinique are French so holidays there are very good value for us Euro bound French:)

  3. Roger, I swear. I always hit your blog when I’m hungry. Or, maybe I’m always hungry. I love any soup that contains leeks.

  4. Rachel says:

    Oh for scratch and sniff… mmmmm! Love me some leeks… this looks great! Happy New Year!

  5. Mad Dog says:

    That’s a beautiful picture today – the leek soup has a look of some beautiful vegetable terrines that Raymond Blanc does, where vegetables are set in gelatine πŸ™‚

  6. cecilia says:

    goodness me, fancy going 40 years without travelling anywhere.. interesting also her ability to embrace all news with an honest smile. She must be a very special woman.. but 40 YEARS.. no way! c

  7. What a very lovely sounding woman she is! Love the leeks (and the Ikea tea towl…yes, we all have a few of those!)

  8. Now that is momentous news. I wonder how it was for them both, having only leisure after so very many years of relentless farming? Did they find it liberating or bewildering?

    (Lovely leeks πŸ™‚

    • I think they found it slightly strange – being waited on, etc. Guadeloupe, being French, made the transition easier. She was most excited about meeting a cashier in the local supermarket who originated from near here ( here being our hamlet in France).

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    What a wonderful experience for the two of them and she sounds like a remarkable woman. Still, 40 years without a trip? I hope they had the time of their lives. They deserve no less.

  10. Eha says:

    Should make each of us think, should it not? What we have done, where we have been, what we have learned? Have we had better lives, more exciting and adventurous . . . or can the experience of knowing life be just as happy an contented within a smaller square . . . . ?

  11. Those leeks in that lovely pot look very warming, but perhaps not quite as warming as a holiday in Guadaloupe….but then we can’t all have the latter, even once in 40 years!

  12. Forty YEARS. I’m dumbfounded.

    Lovely, mouth-watering photo.

  13. Chopping firewood. That seems like a million miles away from where I am. Oh, to be away from the city…

  14. spree says:

    This deeply warm and obviously comforting pot of soup serves as such an apt and beautiful illustration for the woman, your neighbor, whose warmth of heart allows her to embrace All of life with equal grace. Really lovely sum of parts here Roger. Thank you for the experience.

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