Monday, December 19, 2011

Munson makes merry at the markets in Marciac and Mirande

It’s been oh so cold this week. Icy rain driven by a wide-ranging tempest dropped us from our mild daytime weather into the subzero range on Thursday. I had closed most of our window shutters the night before to keep in the heat, which wasn’t helpful when we had rolling blackouts through the day.  Time to light the fire and hover around it.

Friday was quite a bit better but the rain and wind continued, with the runoff from the barn rooves helping to replenish the water level in our little lake. For the most part we’ve stayed inside, wrapped in blankets and books, filled with fresh cream of cauliflower soup.  Yesterday I started reading Graham Robb’s Parisians where the second chapter deals with the “sequence of catastrophic events that began on 17 December 1774” also happening to be a Saturday afternoon. ( Meanwhile in London, Chris was celebrating the “sequence of hilarious consequences that began on 17 December 1974”. Happy birthday!)

Gustav under the arch in Marciac

I’d heard mention that were several more Xmas markets in the area today: Marciac, Mirande, Fleurance and Lavardans to name a few. I’ve not visited Marciac before so that was good enough reason to make that our choice. Just on 45 minutes’ drive from here, it’s the home of a world-famous annual jazz festival in mid-August. I would have looked in this year if I weren’t on my Offa’s Dyke ramble.

Marciac jazzMunson lorem ipsem

Approaching the town square from the north, I swore that if I’d been released from blindfolds here I would have said that we were in Mirande, the country-music town twenty minutes east of here. The place was pretty quiet, most of the stalls were in the open arcades around the perimeter with a good proportion of them just being stands from the adjacent store pushed out onto the street. Whether it was the hour (just after lunch) or the cold, people seemed to be staying away in droves. I think stall-holders outnumbered visitors. We bought some pastries and spoke to a couple of stall-holders encountered at earlier markets but stayed no longer than a single circuit of the square. Even then some of the food vendors were packing up their vans and cutting their losses.

Munson, Rachel & friend Munson, Rachel & friends
In Mirande, Mother Noël told me that Munson was mignon, merveilleux and magnifique… and then “would it help if I spoke to you in English?” She turned out to be Rachael from Trois Lions vendors of British products, who had set up tables today in the square’s central bandstand. Rachael decided that the only thing that went with her colourful jacket was Munson.

Munsondeer in Marciac  Munsondeer

After today I’m proposing that the two towns bury their musical rivalry and unite under an all-purpose Munson Festival.


  1. Lesley8:39 pm

    The caption is 'Gustav under the arch at Marciac'. Is this a Where is Waldo moment? BTW, as usual, Munson steals the show with his Christmas decoration.

  2. Gustav is the main figure in blue under the arch, behind the mikenbondi text

  3. Lesley3:23 am

    Time for eyetest. I was looking on the left!


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