Sunday, 29 November 2015

Rare Birds and Miserable Sheep

Each nest had a caricature of its owner
outside - this is Iris Griot
Como Una Flore

This weekend Les Oiseaux Rares (The Rare Birds) were opening their “nests” for their annual exhibition. The Rare Birds are a group of arts and crafts men and women concentrated in Cormatin and the surrounding area and this year 14 nests were open to the public, housing 28 exhibitors. All the usual suspects were present (Monique Dégluaire, Pacale Ponsard, Patrick Balleriaud, Silvyane Sabato, Jean-louis Choffel just to name a few) along with some other local and not so local talent.

Beautiful basketry made by a visiting bird
As we walked around the nests just after lunch on Saturday afternoon, we soon realised that we couldn’t do them justice in just a couple of hours, so we decided to go back on Sunday as well. OK I’ll admit it, the real reason for returning was to get some soup.

Pierre's bowls waiting for some soup
Sounds odd? Well for 6 Euros you could buy a unique handmade soup bowl. Each one of the 300 available was made with a different design on it by Pierre Arnoud the potter in the high street in Cormatin – a real collector’s item. On purchasing the bowl at any of the nests, it was promptly filled with soup made by the relevant crafts-person and as you moved from nest to nest, you could have your bowl re-filled with the soup available there. On a cold winter’s day, it was a delicious way to stay warm, whilst inspecting the stunning items on display.

The recipes will soon be available to those who have subscribed and I just might share some of those recipes with you, how does carrot, curry and orange sound, or celery, hazelnut and apple - just two of the ones we tasted, all of which were very good by the way, so our village is not only filled with artistic talent, but culinary talent as well.

Oh dear, is it so miserable to be in a stable in Taizé?
After warming up on the soup, I couldn’t resist taking a look at Taizé’s nativity scene which will develop over the weeks of advent. Last year’s Mary and Joseph have been re-used and they, along with the shepherds, sheep and donkeys, have been given an expert new coat of paint, but sadly, they have the same miserable look as last year. I know they are stuck in a grotty, cold stable, but surely they would have been slightly happy as they awaited the birth of their child? Even the two sheep outside, the only live animals this year, managed to look rather miserable as well.

So please permanents, give Mary and Joseph a smile in time for Christmas - this is supposed to be a joyous occasion!

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