Saturday is market day in Clamecy. The day when the people who sell things to the supermarkets, or who don’t, come to town to sell things to anyone who wants to buy.
It’s the day when one of us shifts her mental state from “we don’t need anything” to, well perhaps “we could just get a few tomatoes” or “don’t the lettuce look fresh”. Well of course they do, they are under gro-lux downlights, just like the supermarkets use to distort the colours of their produce.
Notwithstanding that, the ritual continues, we buy bread and eggs and vegetables that until this morning we didn’t need, then return to the boat where they are unloaded, new bags are collected and we trudge back to the markets to “pick up a couple of other things”.
The streets may be lined with the usual array of cheap clothing, rotisserie chicken and accordion players but we ignore them entirely and trot back to buy things directly from the farmers. Exactly where bananas are farmed in France remains a mystery, but we buy them none the less, and the absence of packaging is something we appreciate, perhaps even more than the quality of the produce.