We are heading towards the in-between season for fresh fruits and vegetables. Those few months between when supplies of winter items dwindle, but before the summer delights begin.
These months can be difficult to shop for in our local market. The contents of the stalls become more erratic between our weekly visits.
As Megan was busy with one stall this morning, I stepped aside and took photos of the colourful dried fruit nearby. The colours and tempting sugary pieces contrasted with the largely green produce available next door.
We have a habit of visiting places in their off season. The season counter to the best time to see the city, sight, or spectacle. Our habit is not deliberate. Just a matter of when our time is available to take a break and explore somewhere new for a weekend.
We took an early morning train to Chambéry. A pretty town with a beautiful lake and stunning surroundings of alpine mountains.
Navigating Lyon‘s large Part Dieu train station is difficult enough for a sighted person but for a blind person it must be a nightmare. Thankfully the station has something installed that I have yet to notice elsewhere.
Around the station are tracks denoted with raised markers on each edge. The markers are plastic strips that form static permanent ridges, effectively paths, around the station complex.
A simple, presumably effective, addition that makes the station a little more accessible.
A Christmas market appears in Lyon near the beginning of December. It is held in Place Carnot infront of Perrache train station.
The square is full of Christmas themed stalls. Most of the stalls are dedicated to food and drink, with a good mix of trade crafts and other bits as well. A small internationally themed cluster of stalls makes an appearance and is always fun; these stalls sell local treats from each represented country.
We have made a habit of going with the intention of treating ourselves to a food item from a stall. This year, partly in honour of our Belgium trip, we choose freshly cooked waffles. The waffles were on sticks, shaped like a Christmas tree, and had Nutella smeared on them.
The pumpkin festival is taking place in our park. Pumpkins sit in flower pots, on wooden palettes, in trays, and on the grass.
They are mostly left alone. I wonder why more are not taken. A few have been stolen but the bulk remain in place.
The largest pumpkin would be difficult to move by hand. A few weigh more than 130 kilograms. Signs proudly name the grower and final weight of the oversized vegetable.
Over the last two weekends stalls have been set up selling pumpkin based treats and, of course, pumpkins. Given our regular wanderings we did not need to make a specific visit to see the stalls. They were waiting for us as we walked around our route.
A bar formed one of the temporary stalls. Two life sized wooden statues stood out as curiosities. They stood motionless behind the bar.
The pumpkins were a magnet for children. One stall had children decorating smaller pumpkins and all around the kids climbed on the largest pumpkins.
Autumn has arrived. This weekend we will be transforming our apartment into its winter configuration. With the Autumn comes the cold and the damp. A pervasive damp that leaches into our kitchen wall and into our apartment.
I am ahead of myself. My mind is focusing on Christmas and the New Year long before it should. Before then we have a handful of important events to oversee and enjoy. Not least the completion of the first stage of our planning permission paperwork and the festival of lights.
Megan‘s routine has changed, leaving me with a couple of evenings to myself. Traditionally I would continue working through until she returns, however late that may be. My work right now does not lend itself to long stretches of time; the specifics are too complex and time away helps make the time working more productive.
Instead of working, I am walking and listening to lectures and talks. A routine I associate with my weekday lunchtimes in Sydney. During those walks I mapped out most of the surrounding area around the office. I discovered and I escaped the open plan environment of the working day.
We are fortunate to live near parkland in Lyon. My camera comes with me. Photos in the dusk are tricky but not impossible.
We have become familiar with the sight of workmen scrambling upon rooftops. Not common but every so often we look out to discover workmen installing a new window, running cable, or repairing chimney stacks.
Most of the time, they work in pairs and have harnesses. The drop is five or six stories and lethal.
So, the sight of three girls smoking on the ridge of an apartment block was a cause to grab the camera. The incomprehensible risks they were taking took a few moments to fully digest. Do not forget they are also smoking. One of these two activities is going to levy a high price.
I hope they do not repeat the act but fear they will.