Thursday, 11 June 2015
Lemons, caterpillars, desserts and the moon
Spring! Lemons in trees, caterpillars marching in perfect lines along the walls and ground. A blue sky and turquoise water in the lakes. Glorious!
My mother was still with me and we went for a walk to the Parc Sant Vicens, near my new apartment, and then to the famous Confiserie du Tech with its free samples of regional biscuits, turrón (like nougat) and chocolate!
Firstly we enjoyed a beautiful lemon tree. For me it was the ultimate sign of spring. We have several young lemon trees at home - maybe one day they'll bear fruit and be as magnificent as this.
We entered the Parc Saint Vicens. I passed it most mornings on the way to work, when the sun would rise purple and yellow over the water. Now, in the late morning, everything was blue and green and the epitome of springtime.
We headed on to Mas Guerido, the retail park where we would find the Confiserie. On the way we encountered some lovely pine processionary caterpillars.
They are widely disliked as touching them can cause hives and they can damage trees. I see poisoned nets hanging around pine trees to catch them when they leave their nests.
I understand the problems but I do find them to be such beautiful and extraordinary creatures; when I watch them in their lines I feel I am seeing a real miracle of nature.
We arrived at the Confiserie in time to have a good look around and buy some macaroons before they closed for midday. We tried plenty of free samples! I then went to school as I was working that afternoon.
On my return we took the bus into Perpignan where we fulfilled what had long been a dream of mine: eating in Espi, possibly the poshest and most famous patisserie in the city. It showcases regional produce of the sweet variety - like the Confiserie but more a café than a shop.
I ordered the pastry I'd yearned for since seeing it on display: a Hérisson, meaning "hedgehog". It had smooth praline inside and a crunchy chocolate top. It was everything I had hoped for. My mother had an Excellent, which is a mousse coated in a thin layer of chocolate. It was, indeed, excellent!
There was a lovely big moon that night as we awaited our bus back. It rose round and warm over the bank with its ancient yellow facade and roof. It was a beautiful spring night after the perfect spring day.
Thanks for reading,