Posted by: kathandroger | March 30, 2011

Sheep shopping

We’ve almost decided that we have to get rid of Nousnous. I say ‘almost’ because we are both very attached to him and despite the fact he is a pain in the backside (quite literally if you have your back to him) we will miss him if he goes. I did go to see the people we got him from the other day to see if they would have him back, but they were out. I’m not sure I could eat our ‘Nous’, so I think finding a good home is the only answer…

So, with that in mind, and given that Minty appears to be without lambs, we decided to visit La Foire des Herolles yesterday morning to suss out the sheep. It is a huge market held on the 29th of each month in a tiny village called Les Herolles, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It is about an hour and a quarter drive south for us and as you drive along you start thinking you must have the wrong day as there is not a soul around. Then all of a sudden – hundreds and hundreds of cars and thousands of people – quite literally! It is on the border of the Centre, Limousin and Poitou-Charente regions and has been going since the 15th century in some shape or form. And you can buy everything….except, it turned out yesterday, sheep! This is what there should have been…


…but all we could find was… chickens of all shapes and sizes, ducks, geese, pigeons, rabbits, ferrets,. quail, guinea fowl… and lots, lots more. But no sheep. We asked a chap who looked like he knew the ropes and he glanced at his watch before informing us we were much too late. The sheep arrive at 6.00 am and the market is all done and dusted by about 7.30. Thus, given it was just after 10.00, we had no chance!

But there is everything you could imagine at Les Herolles. I read somewhere that it is the largest open air market in France – not sure if that is true, but it is huge…and all a bit much for Boudie I think. The local speciality is tete de veau – there are so many lovely things to eat in France – why do they have to eat that!!? There seemed to be hundreds of people reserving for lunch, but we decided to give that a miss and settled for some cheese, boudin noir,  jambon and a few other bits and bobs. As I was standing waiting to be served at one stall I was watching proceedings and reckoned that the UK food safety inspector would have had at least half a dozen reasons to fail their operation. Funny how no one ever seems get ill here though…..

Oh well, Nousnous is with us for a little while longer. We’ll may well go to Les Herolles again, but not for 6.00 am and therefore probably not for sheep!

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