Cezac 5, Montcuq

Montcuq Travel Blog

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We have been drinking our wine from two ordinary glasses of different shapes.  While washing dishes and cleaning out the used mustard jar I realized that one of the glasses we had been drinking out of was in fact a recycled jar.  This was really good news because now we could drink wine from the same kind of glass and it would not be so difficult to make sure that we were both getting the same amount. :)


We were sitting in the Café de Centre in Montcuq the other evening and for one of the few times on this trip I felt like an outsider. I began this trip with the fear that because of the language barrier and a tourist mentality that I might spend much of my time on the perimeter looking in.  This has not happened I am relieved to say mostly because of Dawn’s persistent attack on the language of any country that we may be in and also her contagious sociability.

We had gone over to the town to hear some music and had arrived in the square of the two cafés with one humming with activity of a gallery opening celebration and the other nearly deserted.  The deserted café was to be the site of the concert, so we went there to have a drink and find out what time it was going to start.  The answer was after they eat and when they are ready.  So we sat on the terrace and watched them set up the stage (plywood on milk crates) and also kept an eye on the comings and going of the party below us in the other café. Slowly people left our café until we were the only ones left. I felt like the only one not invited to the party.  I paid for our Ricards and we left to take a walk to find another restaurant where our faces weren’t so much at the windowpane.

Montcuq is fairly large but not quite large enough to support more than one major activity at a time so there wasn’t anything really happening anywhere else.  We got to see a little more of the town, especially the more recent part.  We ran through our discussion of what makes a suburb again.  Seems that landscaping too decorative and labor intensive combined with too clearly defined plots is what creates the sense of tinkertoyness that is so disagreeable.  Overcontrol adds its bit also. I have decided to round off the corners of my too accurately trimmed hedge when I get home.

When we got back to the square the situation had changed.  The abandoned café was now full of people having dinner.  Kids were running around and the opening party at the other had metamorphosed into dinner. It seemed a party for all.  We joined in.

The music was jazz played by the trio.  They were introduced by the man who had been taking photos at the opening,  I thought he was a professional photographer.  When the group finished their first number there was applause from both cafés on both sides of the street.  As the evening went on, people came and went.  I left to get our jackets from the car, but also to see what the whole thing looked like from the outside.  It was a pretty picture.  Late evening now, both cafés were lit and filled with what seemed to half the town simply enjoying themselves.

I never did figure out the financial arrangement of the evening. Our dinner was very inexpensive and the drink prices remained the same and we were never asked for money. So who paid for the musicians? And what is the relationship between the two cafés that allowed them so easily to share a performance?

We went back to Montcuq on Sunday morning for the market.  It was set up along the same street that goes between the two cafés. Smaller in scale than the market in Cahors, this market gained by its intimacy.  Just one lane to walk down and then back.  It was now my turn to have a tear in my eye.  This is the endgame now and I was truly sad to be leaving this place shortly.  I am just beginning to learn about seeing, about joy, about waiting.  Can I continue back in the “real world”?  Can I remake this world?  Will the Red Sox ever win the World Series?

Next Sunday will be our last day.  I hope to come back to the market to take pictures.  I’ll use Dawn to distract them while I take the pictures.  I must get a picture of the table with two gentlemen selling “British Food”, a display of canned goods in the middle of all this freshness and homebakedness.


We had two unexpectedly good experiences on Friday night, One was that the jazz trio - guitar, double bass, and trumpet - was excellent. At that particular time and place, it was nice to have the bass handle the rhythm and have no drums at all. Kind of mellow. The trompetiste was surprising, especially as the evening went on. Stephen and I both commented on how quietly, yet articulately he played, with no mute. I felt like I should have been at The Blue Note in NYC or at least a boite in Paris, but here we were, sitting outside in this little town in the deepest France, listening to fine jazz!

We were driving home around midnight when Stephen slammed on the brakes for something in the middle of the road. I thought it might be a fox as we had already seen two. It turned out to be an owl, a small one with a stunning, white, heart-shaped face. It stood smack in the center of the road, fifteen feet in front of us, fully illuminated by our headlights. Either it was confused or it was practicing it’s safe street-crossing techniques, but it stayed there for at least thirty seconds, turning its elegant head methodically right and left, right and left...magical. For you birders out there, we looked it up in the French birdbook here. We think it is called a Chouette effrai, or Tyto alba. The book says it’s a very sedentary bird. I guess so.

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