“who’s next please?”

Fabienne, who lives near Paris, tells us about her memories of the market in Mesquer.
Mesquer Plage de Sorlock
I’ve given up counting the number of summers I spent in Mesquer, this charming seaside resort where my family has a holiday home.  Every holiday was the same, the household’s routine was punctuated by certain unavoidable ‘rituals’ such as : the market, games on the sands of La plage de Sorlock at Kercabellec, the siesta (for those who could manage one !), the games of hide n’ seek with our cousins or the impromptu picnics…in the garden!
If I think back carefully, and strange as this may seem, the market is one of my fondest memories: was it because of the atmosphere that prevailed there, the aromas, or just the overwhelming urge to have a bit of EVERYTHING that was on display on the stalls…  whatever the reason, despite the inevitable long wait, the market was (and still is today!) one of the moments I treasured most.
Maraîcher Guichet
A wander around the market at Quimiac was one of the first activities of the day to which a lot of us participated.   “Who’s next please?” this question marked the beginning of the endless queuing in front of the vegetable sellers stall…. With my sisters and my brother we would pass the time by trying to spot the strangest vegetables…such as the weird shaped potatoe, a carrot with two legs..peppers, courgettes, cucumbers…it was also the chance to test our knowledge of vegetables!

With our noses just at the right level we would dribble at the sight of the juicy strawberries crossing our fingers and hoping that our parents would buy a Punnett or even better two !
From the stall opposite came the appetizing aroma of roast chicken which came and tickled our nostrils and made us feel really hungry!  Further along the aisle mum would wander between the butcher’s stall, the chicken seller and the fishmonger.  In front of the poultry, we would organize, away from where our parents could see us, a face pulling competition to rival the expressions of the poor birds whose necks had been wrung...!  When it was fish buying day we would try and get closer discretely to be able to stick our fingers gingerly into the ice until the terrible moment when we would inevitably be called to order by mum: “Don’t touch ANYTHING!”

When we were good, we were allowed to eat some warmchichis’ (sugar coated choux pastry puffs)…and the ultimate reward was a ride on the merry-go-round situated next to the newsagents.
Maraîcher Guichet - marché de Mesquer
Today, time has moved on, the market gardener has taken his retirement but the family business has been handed on by his nephew.  I get great pleasure from going back to the market.  I still queue in front of the stalls even if today I am considerably taller!  I enjoy the bright colours and the hustle-bustle of the atmosphere even more!

To make the wait easier encourage my children to discover local produce.   It makes me laugh to see them playing exactly the same games as we did when we were their age!  Comforted in the knowledge that, like their parents before them, they too will make of this a precious memory to treasure…
If you fancy a stroll around one of the markets of the Destination Bretagne Plein Sud then just click here.