Horses (or donkeys!) for Courses!

Yesterday was the Fete du Cheval in St Just - our friends helped to organise it. I forgot to take my camera, so have no photos, but I hope that maybe there will be some on FB later

It is a Good Thing because the whole ethos of the Fete has changed. For the first 5 years it was basically a knacker's market - people would bring their horses who would be tied up in the square outside our house, with no shade nor shelter, and usually it would be the knackers who would take the horses off for slaughter. I would get very upset!

However now it is more a celebration of horsey stuff, as you can see from the poster. Horses are still bought and sold, but not for meat. All sellers must have certificates and stuff, I believe.

Cathy and I met up for pot-au-feu at lunch time. She had been roped in to helping in the kitchen for a while in the morning, so was quite relieved to see me when I arrived for lunch. The queue was enormous, and it took about half an hour to get to the front! There was a huge lump of meat, a carrot, a turnip and three potatoes, all of which had been cooked in a thin broth. The broth was also offered, but I didn't have that. Together with a couple of chunks of bread, a piece of camembert and a slab of tarte-aux-pommes it was good value for 12€. Cathy and I split a bottle of wine between us too - which possibly meant we found the donkey races more hilarious than they actually were! I collected quite a lot of leftover meat for the cats, much to the bemusement of the people sharing the table with us.

The donkey race was quite amusing, whether one had had a tad too much wine-from-various -countries-of- the-European-Union or not.. Most of the young men who had been roped into riding were, to be honest, more than a little worse for drink, and had no idea what they were doing. So when the race started they rushed at their donkeys, spooked them and then spent most of the race running and leaping to try to mount the poor beasts. Of course with all the action going on, the donkeys became friskier, and trotted around the race track. Our friend Jean, however, (who trains horses for a living and used to be a jockey!) approached his donkey slowly, spent a little while petting it, climbed calmly on its back and then walked it around the race track avoiding the bucking and kicking from the other donkeys. At several points he was riding no hands on the reins! Of course, he won, and the guy who came second had obviously learned from Jean, as he had started off running and shouting at his donkey, but having seen how Jean was doing, had calmed down his approach. It didn't make for laughter and ridiculousness, but it was definitely a case of slow-and-steady wins the race!

I love donkeys! I would really like one, but I'm not sure it's fair to keep one in the courtyard!! Mind you, I would also like a llama and a couple of pygmy goats. There's certainly not room in the courtyard for that mengerie!

So yesterday evening, after large amounts of pot au feu I didn't want much to eat. Mr FD fancied a pizza from the van that now comes to St Just on Friday and Saturday nights so we both had one. I ate half mine, and will have the rest for lunch today.

TODAY: Roast chicken, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese (nom-nom), green beans.

MONDAY: Cold chicken, chips and left over veggies

TUESDAY: Vegetables-with-a-bit-of-chicken and pasta

WEDNESDAY: Spicy Pork and rice courtesy of the Hairy Dieters.

I doubt if I'll be dancing again on Wednesday night - my foot is still giving me quite a lot of pain. It's not swollen so I don't think Jean-Claude's pessimistic diagnosis of a spontaneously-broken bone is correct, but I have no idea what it is. I have an appointment with the doctor next Monday (not tomorrow, but next Monday!) so if it's not healed by then I'll certainly mention it. It's annoying as it means that I can't do the two forms of exercise that I quite like - dancing and walking. Especially with Cathy here as we often go for walks together and I'd picked out some we could do.

THURSDAY: Beanburgers (another Hairy Dieter recipe)
To be had WITH salad but WITHOUT the bun.

Of course, these plans may all change, as we have more spontaneous outings (or meals in that change) when Cathy is here! So for example on Friday we all decided to go to the pictures to see "Selma" - I'd seen it, as had Richard, but Cathy and Mr FD hadn't, so we went to Roanne to watch it, and we had a meal out in a very nice little bistro/brasserie. I had a burger, and Mr FD had tartiflette; Cathy a pizza and Richard pasta-with-salmon.

FRIDAY: Not sure yet. As Friday is another Bank Holiday in France (1st, 8th, 14th and 25th are all bank holidays!!) I'll go shopping on Thursday so I'll plan the week's menus on Thursday morning.

well, there had to be an "ass" joke in there somewhere! 

Thank you all for your comments.

Everyone who sent good wishes for my foot - as you have already read it's not much better. Hey-ho.

POMPOM: Yes! 30 years. eep!
TRISH: the Neil Hannon was part of a festival, rather than a concert, so we've decided not to go after all. Glad you like PSB.
KEZZIE: As I said in a reply-comment, Mum's up in Liverpool. We're driving across France to Limoges, as there is a direct flight from there to Liverpool. I'm glad you found out more about the Muguettes!
MARIA: I hope you try some of the recipes too - don't just salivate!
ARIL: Thank you for your good wishes.


  1. sorry to hear about your foot. I'll pop by for supper, just can't remember what time you eat? I think the donkey race would be fun to see.


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