In a staring contest, the goat will always win.
We have very little on our calendar, but the Saffron Fair (Foire de Safran) in nearby Preuilly-sur-Claise was an absolute must. I love making paella, and saffron is required. I always thought the spice was Spanish, due to the paella thing, but it turns out it flourishes in all kinds of places, including the rich agricultural ground around our French neighborhood. Every day I learn more about how ignorant I am.
Time was when French kings adopted Italian artists like puppies. François I adopted Leonardo da Vinci because François wanted Italy and kept failing to win it, but its bling was nonetheless irresistible. At the king’s invitation, da Vinci traveled from Milan to the city of Amboise via donkey in 1516, carrying the Mona Lisa in his saddlebag, and stayed there until his death in 1519.
I’m adding them up in my head: thirteen, I think. Thirteen restaurants explored since we’ve arrived here in the French countryside, none with too much success. Some were too confusing (Louise mistakenly ordered redundant courses of sausage at one, and she speaks the language); some were too loud, or too unsavory, or too expensive. Many were all those things.
No, that’s not right. There is one, the most recent one, the one to which we’ve vowed to return.
“How IS the country?” asked my friend Patricia after opening the door to her teeny tiny tony Paris flat.
I allowed how it was just fine.
“Je DETESTE la campagne!” she announced firmly, indicating that she was not about to come to Martizay to return my visit anytime soon.