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NATIONAL BESTSELLERTaking up where his beloved A Year in Provence leaves off, Peter Mayle offers us another funny, beautifully (and deliciously) evocative book about life in Provence. With tales only one who lives there could know—of finding gold coins while digging in the garden, of indulging in sumptuous feasts at truck stops—and with characters introduced with great affection and wit—the gendarme fallen from grace, the summer visitors ever trying the patience of even the most genial Provençaux, the straightforward dog "Boy"—Toujours Provence is a heart-warming portrait of a place where, if you can't quite "get away from it all," you can surely have a very good time trying.
tiny truffles and his omelette recipe, and wished me bon voyage to London. The scent of the truffles stayed with me in the car on the way home. The following day, my carry-on luggage smelt of truffles, and when the plane landed at Heathrow a heady whiff came out of the overhead locker as I prepared to take my bag past the X-ray eyes of British Customs. Other passengers looked at me curiously and edged away, as if I had terminal halitosis. It was the time of Edwina Currie's salmonella alert, and
promised to take us on an expedition – kilos of mushrooms, he said, would be there for the taking. He would instruct us, and supervise afterwards in the kitchen, assisted by a bottle of Cairanne, But October came and the hunt had to be cancelled. For the first time in Menicucci' memory, the forest was bare. He came to the house one morning, knife, stick and basket at the ready, snakeproof boots tightly laced, and spent a fruitless hour poking among the trees before giving up. We would have to
would be pelted out of the market. Avignon has had its Halles since 1910, although the site under the car park has only been in operation since 1973. That was as much information as the girl in the office could give me. When I asked about the amount of food sold in a day or a week, she just shrugged and told me beaucoup. And beaucoup there certainly was, being stuffed and piled into every kind of receptacle from battered suitcases to handbags seemingly capable of infinite expansion. An elderly,
the satchel were found by Napoleon on the days they were brought into the café. Non? Non. They were kept in the congélateur and brought out once or twice a week. That dog couldn't find a pork chop in a charcuterie. He had a nose of wood. Alain finished his wine. ‘You must never buy a dog in a café. Only when you have seen him work.’ He looked at his watch. ‘I have time for another glass. And you?’ Always, I said. Did he have another story? ‘This you will like, being a writer,’ he said. ‘It
had been disturbed, and he saw fresh grazes on some rocks that could only have been made by a truffle pick. It wasn't, it couldn't have been, one of his neighbours. He had known them all since childhood. It must have been a foreigner, someone who didn't know that this precious patch was his. Since he was a reasonable man, he had to admit that there was no way a foreigner could tell if the land was privately owned or not. Fences and signs were expensive, and he had never seen the need for them.