The market in Gueugnon is simple and glorious. Stands of breads, vegetables, sausages, fish, meats, cheeses alongside clothing, CDs, toys, shoes and mattresses all under the shadow of a Romanesque church. I am immediately hungry, and want to buy some of everything. But we are here as a group, shopping for the 6, and trying hard to plan meals.
We buy some spectacular, but ridiculously expensive mushrooms for Tim’s Thai fish stew. They are tan brown and oyster mushroom looking, but dissolve into lovely buttery softness when cooked. We accidentally buy two large bags (having divided into 2 groups of shoppers) and decide to use some in a large omelet for lunch, the rest for the Thai stew at dinner.
We arrive back at Bel Air with our treasures – exquisite peaches at a perfection of ripeness; fennel, aubergine, cougettes, and pepper for tomorrow’s planned grilled vegetable salad; a Lyonaisse sausage with olives; a huge loaf of bread (Grosse Torte); herbs to plant in the new herb garden; the most stunning lettuce I have ever seen; some flip-flops for Matt and a big, bright, brassy necklace for me to wear when I am dressing for dinner. Famished, we put some coffee on as we put things away, knowing that omelets and fresh bread are just moments away.
We cut vegetables – red peppers, shallots, the precious mushrooms – and Peta is soon at the stove heating butter.
The omelets are worth waiting for. We linger long over lunch, enjoying each other’s company with just a bit more wine, thank you, and great guffaws of laughter that seem to fill the whole valley below.
AMANDA WEST LEWIS has built a life filled with words on the page and on the stage, combining careers as a writer, theatre director and calligrapher. Her book THESE ARE NOT THE WORDS was published in April 2022 by Groundwood Books.
Previous books include The Pact, (Red Deer Press) which was listed on the 2017 USBBY Outstanding International Books List; selected for the 2017 ILA Young Adults' Readers Choice List; Nominated for 2017 Snow Willow Award; and listed in the Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens, Spring 2017.
SEPTEMBER 17: A NOVEL was nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Red Cedar Award, and the Violet Downie IODE Award.
Amanda has an MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
In her theatre career, Amanda is the founder of The Ottawa Children’s Theatre, where she teaches and directs children. She has developed specialized drama and literacy programs for youth at risk, and for children with autism spectrum disorder. She has a Certificate in Theatre for Young Audiences with Complex Difficulties from Rose Bruford College, England.
In 2015, Amanda co-produced the hit play “Up to Low” is based on the book by Brian Doyle.
As a professional calligrapher and book artist, Amanda is passionate about the history of writing and has taught calligraphy courses to students of all ages. She studied with Hermann Zapf, Mark Van Stone and Nancy Culmone among many others.
Amanda lives with her husband, writer Tim Wynne-Jones, in the woods in Eastern Ontario. They have three wonderful grown children.
Find out more on her website at http://www.amandawestlewis.com/
Photo Credit: Marianne Duval
View all posts by Amanda West Lewis
2 thoughts on “Market Day in Gueugnon”
Ah, the open road! Just like Toad, Rat and Mole: “Stay for lunch? And then we’re off!”
This make me hungry…and giggly about the awkward almost lunch guests. It’s lovely to live vicariously through you!