Fête des Ânes – donkeys and junk

First frost of the autumn, chilly for the early morning dog walk but it warms up during the day. It’s been around 20° most of the past week. The colder nights does mean that the mice come in from the fields looking for warmer places for the night. We heard them in the walls, Delia is a bit grossed out (as she says) but it’s the country and we have an old house. The age of the house is significant because they were built with 50-100cm thick double walls with a gap that things seem to live in. Fewer I think as we move forward with the repointing of the bad wall, which is blocking holes here and there. Wallis the cat keeps them out of the main house (only passively, he keeps his hunting outside mostly). We do get the occasional gift left outside for us.

I finally went to the Fête des Ânes last week. The “festival of the donkeys” has been on every year but this is the first time we’ve been either here or remembered it. It was a photoclub trip so I have a quite a few pictures. It’s a kind of “Vide Greniers” gathering too (it means ‘empty lofts’ so it’s more like a boot sale), it was bigger than others I’d been to and as such it was the largest collection of useless junk I’ve seen. There are some very few bargains but mostly overpriced (and hence constantly reappearing at the next vide greniers) and/or “characterful”, such as vintage biscuit tins and the like for adding “charm” to holiday homes. I am surprised that even though many are English, few actually bargain. We’ve gone to a few vide greniers when looking for some specific items but, at least as far as I am concerned, they mostly have overpriced junk. There are the scattered “artisan” stalls, local produce and crafts that are often interesting though.

Anyway, I know you are dying to hear about the donkeys. Who’d have thought there were so many kinds, I mean, a donkey is a donkey, right? It would seem not, and after 3 or 4 hours watching and photographing hundreds of every size shade and hair length, I should know.
So as I type this, Delia is hammering away removing the old mortar from the stone wall, I’m feeling a bit guilty so I will get out now and mix up the cement before the traditional “ban” on noisy stuff during the 2 hours of lunchtime. She’ll be able to relax whilst I’m doing that… only room for one on the scaffold!

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