City On A Hill is Ed Ward’s blog about his life in Montpellier.
It starts off, in February 2008, with him moving from Berlin and, for me, really gets going with the wonderful Streets from April 2009.
Streets is everything that a well thought out blog posts should be and left me with the feeling of actually having visited a “street made for horses, not even carriages.”
Off to the market….
And then, in May 2009, we finally hit the first of the many Market related posts that, for me, define this blog.
This is quickly followed up by another Market Report, End of May.
But is there more to this blog than markets?
Well, as a matter of fact, there is.
In Whew, That’s Over! (a new year’s day posting – I always wonder about new year’s day postings…) we discover what brought Ed to Montpellier and learn a bit about some of the struggles he had when he lived in Berlin.
Then again, you can change your country but some things remain the same, as we find out in Drunks, Slobs, Polluters.
And everything is Possible, sorta as we find out. Not sure about getting directions from someone who admits he is Map Dyslexic though.
Ed becomes militant when Montpellier’s Anglophone Library was closed in January of this year. He engages in The Workers’ and Peasants’ struggle to draw attention to this. After all (and to use his own words)… “I mean, it’s just not fair to pull the plug on this thing right as I was working my way through the Library of America’s Philip Roth collection!”
Quite right too!
Sometimes, though, times are Impossible! As a struggling writer, there are times when Ed has some financial problems (even non-writers have those; or so I’ve heard!) and has to wade through the French bureaucracy that we (who live in France) all know and love! I sympathise; I’ve been there – and I’m not even any good at being a writer!
And if you ever have problems with your neighbours, you should take a look at the letter that Ed thoughtfully transcribes in The Lunkhead Dossiers – perhaps we should all bookmark that just in case we ever have to write a similar letter?
Back to the market?
Let’s take a trip with Ed and poke around the market (he’s really rather good at doing that!)
We can see his haul from when Fall Comes to the Market and, doesn’t it just look like a treasure trove? Couldn’t you make some good meals out of that? For me, going to the market was always a bit like that silly TV program they have in the UK; where someone buys a selection of food and a chef has to turn it into a special meal. Except I am both buyer and chef! I have a feeling that Ed feels the same way.
And when Jack (an old friend from California) comes to visit, where does Ed take him? Yup, you got it – the market! Alright, they did try to find the Mediterranean first but, it does say something about the man that he finds finding a market in Provence (Montpellier is in the Languedoc) easier than finding a patch of water that is, after all only 965,000 square miles in size!
And I like that! Think with your belly and forget the flip flops! If I had a motto in my life (actually, I do have one but as it is “Life is too short to miss a meal of Pig’s Trotters” I won’t mention it here), it would certainly be along the lines of “Think with your belly and forget the flip flops!” And, if more people thought like that, I’m sure that the world would be a happier and safer place!
I should mention that, when I was young, my Father used to call Ratatouille “Fried Rat!” So, lets see what Ed recipe can come up with for his White Rat!
It could be interesting as Ed does admit to making a Mistake now and again! I do have to say that that is exactly the sort of mistake that I’m prone to making – and damned proud of it too!
Well, I’m going to leave Ed now but, before I go I will say, please take a quick look at Midsummer Market and the Assumption (oh those peaches, oh those melons!) and, if that doesn’t fill you up, you could always try going Back to the Market to buy some more!
So, summing up….
I like the honesty of this blog. As Ed says somewhere… “Life in the South of France isn’t all sitting around drinking Rosé wine” or something like that – I can’t actually find the post!
Well, this is a blog about what life is really like for a writer living in Montpellier.
It’s also a blog about markets – and that’s what makes it special for me. After all, if the words won’t come (or worse, if they come but you don’t know what order to put them in) then what better way to spend your time than poking around the market, looking for bargains and then decidedin how to coolk what you have bought?
And me? Well, as I’m in the “Think with your belly and forget the flip flops!” mode, or even the “Life is too short to miss a meal of Pig’s Trotters” mood, I’m going to pop down to the Bar Vert Anglais to have a quick drinky poos (and see if I can spot that famous imbiber who is known to frequent there – the one and only Drunken Expat Writer!) and then I’ll have a hunt around to see if I can find Europe’s Best Burger! You know, if only they made them out of Pig’s trotters…..
All the best