Thursday, May 06, 2010

Oystercatchers



Dourduff-en-Mer, ramshackle, workaday, sea-girt and estuarine, limewashed and salty, where a living is made from oysters and scallops, and quiet tourists in white villas.  These Brittany fishing villages lack the picture postcard prettiness of their Cornish cousins, but are none the worse for that.

In the Cafe du Port, somewhat art deco, wooden chairs with curved backs like old kitchen chairs, darkened wood tables with only paper menus for mats, nylon deckchair fabric between us and the noisy stairway, we shared a plate of winkles - open their little doors, spiral them out with a pin, don't look at them too hard - of brown shrimps, a pickled sardine, a mound of mackeral rillettes.  I took the two oysters, swopping them with Tom for extra shrimps and rillettes, and in my haste to get them over with, forget the shallot sauce.  I never know if I really like them, or if it's morbid fascination and bravado that drives me to eat them.

The oystercatcher birds have no such doubts, I'm sure.

~~~

Off to Morbihan for the weekend, a trip booked some while ago for our wedding anniversary.  Looks like books and fleecies will be in order this time.

16 comments:

marja-leena said...

Ooh, what a fascinating patchwork of seaside images!

Happy anniversary and a lovely celebratory weekend to both of you!

leslee said...

Lovely seaside images - it's like a game of tiles. Did you move them around or let them fall randomly?! Have a wonderful vacation.

HKatz said...

I love these words:
sea-girt and estuarine

And the post paints a vivid image of the place and your visit.

rb said...

Oooh have a lovely anniversary weekend.

Barrett Bonden said...

My enthusiasm for oysters has never matched the rapaciousness Mrs BB shows towards them and I think, like you, there may be an element of doubt. I regularly order them in France where they are so much cheaper and consume them with real as opposed to supermarket chablis. However, sitting in rackety pub which I later discovered to be interntionally famous overlooking the wide and very shallow estuary of a river flowing out into the Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland (it may have been the Shannon) I had a huge plate accompanied by pints of Guinness and this turned them into something very special. Unfortunately draught Guinness is only rarely available in areas of France where oysters are on the menu.

Andi said...

Absolutely gorgeous photo collage. I am going to Normandy and Brittany in October and cannot way to eat my way through all the seafood, especially the oysters!

Rouchswalwe said...

Oh, I miss the seafood of southern Japan. Happy Anniversary! Lucy and Tom! Hurrah!

jmartin said...

The arresting photos also reminded me of tiles, and I've now retrieved Clark's The Oysters of Locmariaquer for the fourth or fifth rereading. Have a restful, vivid, dreamy trip.

Rosie said...

The way it is looking at the moment, I hope you took extra duvets with you...

Isabelle said...

Oysters. Hmm.

You'd certainly need your fleece if you were sitting in this study with me at midnight 15. Brrr.

Did you hear who's coming to catsit for us???

Happy anniversary to you both.

Beth said...

Fantastic collage!

I like oysters but they don't like me.

Peter said...

Exquisite language.

Lucy said...

Thanks all, so much.

The Picasa grid collages I used to have to plan and carefully select the photos in order. Now I just put them in the tray, compose the collage and keep hitting the shuffle button until I get one I like, so yes, it is like a game of tiles. There's always a moment when I get one I quite like, but then can't resist reshuffling in the hopes of a better, and of course with a large selection you never get exactly the same pattern twice, so I then have to go on and on until another comes up. Sometimes I regret the final choice. I love Picasa.

The Rhuys peninsular was nice, though a bit chilly. Razor clams are the new shellfish of choice. Delish.

'The oysters of Locmariaquer' sounds good. Seems to have been more popular in America than Europe, at least all the cheap secondhand copies on Amazon have to be shipped from there, so they stop being cheap. We were just across the Golfe de Morbihan from Locmariaquer, I have been there I think, though it will have changed since then.

My earliest and best memory of eating oysters was with Guinness in Co Kerry.

If you get a bad reaction to oysters once, you shouldn't eat them again, I've heard, because you will have become sensitised.

The Crow said...

Your eyes find the most beautiful blues, Lucy. Thank you for bringing them to our attention, too. Happy anniversary!

Laureline said...

I love thinking of you in Morbihan and wish we could have been with you and Tom there. Sorry it was chilly, though.
Your muguet and oyster photos are delicious.

Bee said...

Wonderful collage. Some enterprising restauranteur should blow it up for his trendy but traditional seaside bar.

(On a sad note, it made me think of the Gulf Coast of the U.S. which is awash in spilled oil at the moment. I don't know if they have winkles there, but it is tragic for the shrimp boaters.)

On a happier note, enjoy your anniversary trip. Do take your fleece collection, though; brrrr, isn't it chilly?