Panier of Plenty

June 2015

Where has the year gone?

Welcome to the visual diary for June: a glimpse into daily life in Céret, in the Pyrénées-Orientales. This page is updated throughout the month, as events unfold…

On The Menu

Demi-sec goat's cheese

Demi-sec goat’s cheese

Coated in egg

Coated in egg, then chapelure

Served with salad

Served with salad

Trying another variety...

Trying another variety…

Roasted tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes

From the farm

From the farm

With baked potatoes

With baked potatoes

Melon and jambon cru

Melon and jambon cru

Brioche Alsacienne

Brioche Alsacienne

From Evelene, merci!

Blushing apricots

Blushing apricots

Monday 1st June. Sunset on the terrace…

Sweet peas

Sweet peas

Last rays of sun

Last rays of sun

Thursday June 4th. Sitting watching the sky change as dusk turns to evening. Venus is above the highest peak of Canigou. The birds have settled down for the night and sing from their perches in the trees below (earlier, the sky was filled with their frenzied swooping). Neighbours are dining on their roof terrace and it is cool enough to water after a 30 degree day…

Friday 5th. The plan d’eau at Saint-Jean-Pla-de-Corts (a man-made lake).

Baby ducklings

Baby ducklings

Looking for fishes

Looking for fishes

My first bbq as temperatures continue to soar and nights on the terrace are wonderfully balmy… (I have finally filled the gas bottle for the bbq. I wasn’t sure how I would carry it, but my neighbour came to the rescue, merci Marc).

A la plancha

A la plancha

Opening the shutters, dawn

Opening the shutters, dawn

8th June, Midday

8th June, 12.30pm

Wednesday 11th June. One of the advantages of living on the plains and working up the mountain (just above 600m altitude) is the ‘décalage’ of seasons. Once a fruit, vegetable or flower has finished here, they are then ready to pick again! I have just gathered the last of the cherries at Mas Coste and been given roses from a neighbouring Mas – it is at least 5 degrees cooler, on average, up in the Albères.

Four varieties, mixed

Four varieties, mixed

From Mas Porte Bise, merci

From Mas Porte Bise, merci

Nearly ready

Nearly ready

My lettuces on the terrace in Céret have finished as my garden on the mountain starts to take off. I have planted celery, potatoes, capsicum, courgettes, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers and runner beans. The potager is irrigated by river water that I can leave dripping while I am making cheese, watering my little patch early. Already this is proving easier than my previous garden where it took a good hour each day to tend to my plants…

Cavallada, or cavalcade, June 14th.

Heading the procession

Heading the procession

Rue St Ferreol

Rue St Ferreol

100 horses and riders...

100 horses and riders…

Heading to the church to be blessed

Heading to the church to be blessed

After the Benediction

After the Benediction

Continuing down pedestrian streets

Continuing down pedestrian streets

Solstice, Sunday 21st June (and also, La fête de la musique)

I stood on the terrace, admiring the stars last night. A bat adeptly circled between my head and the neighbour’s roof. A crescent moon is now waxing, adorning Venus who has two other companions as the cloak of night descends. I have been sitting outside until the globe of the sun sinks behind the hills that frame my panoramic view, enjoying warm evenings and cooking on the bbq.
It is a time to celebrate the abundance of local produce and all that is wonderful about this region, truly ‘at its peak’. Soon, holidaymakers will arrive in their thousands, and temperatures will rise… for now, the grass is green, the weekly market abuzz but easy to navigate, and traffic on the roads flowing easily…

Sweet peas still flowering

Sweet peas still flowering

Dusk

Dusk

Sun disappearing

Sun disappearing

Crescent moon and Venus

Crescent moon and Venus

More cherries!

More cherries!

Local peaches and nectarines

Local peaches and nectarines

White peaches

White peaches

Starting an oil painting

Starting an oil painting

When it is too hot outside, my atelier awaits and I have started working on wood (for the first time, an experiment, as I bought a hand saw)…

Planting my terrace

Planting my terrace

Trailing creeper through the existing netting…

Place de la République

Place de la République

Late afternoon is the best time to walk and admire the streets of central Céret. Outdoor café tables are full and the light dramatic. Plane trees provide shade in summer and create a tranquil oasis as many streets are reserved for pedestrians…

Médiathèque

Médiathèque

My road is Carrer Vell, or Rue de la République. I never tire of admiring the building that I look up the street to as I open the shutters. Part of the ramparts of the old heart of Céret, it houses the Médiathèque (a multi-media library and cultural centre).

Window detail

Window detail

Above a doorway

Above a doorway

Tower detail

Tower detail

Above the arched porte

Above the arched porte

Rose-laurier

Rose-laurier

Representing 'la sardane'

Representing ‘la sardane’

A narrow Céret street

A narrow Céret street

Place des Neufs Jets

Place des Neufs Jets

Too early for diners

Too early for diners

Villa opposite Les Arcades

Villa opposite Les Arcades

Place Picasso

Place Picasso

Next to the fountain

Next to the fountain

Les Arcades (ramparts)

Les Arcades (ramparts)

Looking towards Bar Pablo

Looking towards Bar Pablo

Church tower

Church tower

Monday 22nd, exploring the back streets and beyond…

A hike up the hill

A hike up the hill

Thunder...

Thunder…

And down the hill

And down the hill

Aqueduct

Aqueduct

Overcast, before a storm

Overcast, before a storm

Launching flowers

Launching flowers

Tuesday 23rd June. A procession with banda and lanterns to accompany flaming torches, a bonfire and dancing until the wee hours…

Le feu de Saint-Jean, Céret

Le feu de Saint-Jean, Céret

Changing form

Changing form

Drawing back from heat

Drawing back from heat

Thursday 25th June. Another calm evening after a 31 degree day. Lunch was a bbq on the terrace, with the parasol up. Cheese making has reached its crescendo and work should start to reduce as we produce less milk – for now, the shelves are so full we can’t make any more tommes.

Picked the first cucumber

Picked the first cucumber

Apéro

Apéro

Chèvre, sec

Chèvre, sec

Grilled, to serve with goat's curd

Grilled, to serve with goat’s curd

Bbq duck, fresh beetroot and tzatkiki

Bbq duck, fresh beetroot and tzatkiki

New vine taking hold

New vine taking hold

Terrace wall

Terrace wall

Sunday 28th June. ‘Canicule’ conditions… a heatwave. The Mediterranean coast beaconed and the water was fresh and cool.

Watermelon for a picnic

Watermelon for a picnic

Inviting waters

Inviting waters

Querencias. Last night I sat under the stars in the Place de la République. The ornate façade of the Médiathèque (featured earlier this month) was lit with ever-changing colours as musicians from Seville performed ‘Historias Flamencas’, charged with emotion. This afternoon, the local Salle d’Union hosted an end of year (before the summer break) flamenco spectacle, completing the weekend’s entertainment…

Céretvillane Flamenco

Céretvillane Flamenco

The  youngest dancers

The youngest dancers

Mathilde 'stole the show'

Mathilde ‘stole the show’

The finalé

The finalé

Olé !

Olé !

Merci, Mas Coste

Merci, Mas Coste

A little panier from my potager this week, with raspberries and red currants from the Mas Coste garden (the terrace above the patch I am cultivating after cheese making is finished each day).

From the market

From the market

I buy directly from a producer who specialises in lilies, they are always beautiful and last around two weeks (4 euros).

The sun sets on June

The sun sets on June

2 thoughts on “June 2015

  1. jo albany on said:

    Ella showed me this lovely post x glad u r enjoying life big hugs to u xxx

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