Chris Slade describes the son et lumiere presentation at the abbey of Bon Repos called "Le Pays de Conomor" in Brittany, which takes place during the first two weeks of August.
After months of exceptionally dry weather, it has rained solidly for the past six days.
Guillaume is absolutely delighted with this constant rain, the grass is visibly growing and his cows have once again lots of lovely lush grass.
I stopped to get a baguette for lunch and made a dash from my car to the shop.
‘What weather!’ I said as I enter the bar.
Marie Louise and Chantel turned, looking quite shocked at my critiscm of the inclement weather
‘ Mais Nicole, c’est super’. This wasn’t sarcasm.
How can it be super? It has rained solidly for 6 days. What social / cultural gaffe had I committed now?
I took my place on a high stool between Chantel and Daniel.
Marie Louise looked at me in a very ‘you poor English woman, you really don’t understand’ way. ‘To have a prolonged period of rain like this is absolutely brilliant, pour les champignons.’ The last three words she whispered.
Everyone in the bar grinned knowingly. And suddenly I too understood the veiled secrecy.
After years of trying to persuade my very good friend, Lisette to take me mushroom picking, she finally admitted last year that she, well, just couldn’t.
It appears that everyone in rural Brittany has their own secret place in the forest for mushroom picking and they always go alone to pick these gastronomic treats.
As I don’t know my cep from my chanterelle, I can only wonder through the forest marveling at all the amazing species of mushrooms and watch a basket carrying individual slip up a side path to their secret stash of fungus. I am tempted to follow. But I don’t.