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Published: November 2nd 2007
The Pumpkin stall
....and all grown by one man, apparently...
In Harrogate, Hallowe’en seems to mean spending the evening of 31st October greeting a steady stream of cheerful young witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls to the door threatening tricks if they don’t get their treats. Here in nearby Belesta, it’s something rather different, since the period round Hallowe’en is for them La Fete de la Citrouille - the Feast of the Pumpkin.
Well, just look at those pictures. If you could grow pumpkins like that, wouldn’t you want to celebrate? Yesterday, we had real fun looking round on the first day, which was also their Vide-Grenier day (Empty Your Attics!). Pretty much like an English car boot sale really, except the stalls spread through the streets of the town. French attics and barns can turn out some splendidly puzzling tools and equipment, and as for the light fittings…… We had fun rooting around, and got ourselves quite a hoard of books at knock-down prices.
Of course the highlight of the day was yet another walk, a long ramble from Lesparrou, where we had dumped the car, along the wooded banks of l’Hers and through fairly isolated hamlets with picturesquely dilapidated (but still functional) barns, and productive potagers. Every day,
the snow on the Pyrenees creeps just a little lower down the slopes, and we enjoy watching its progress. We ourselves celebrate the fact that the steeply wooded slopes which form part of nearly every walk become less strenuous as our fitness increases.
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