French Army Knife


I love the little treasures we  find on this old Gascon farm.  One minute it’s an old wagon circa WWII a fellow far-neighbor carts away without consent.  Another time it’s a siphon of some Armagnac- 1975 –  the neighbors or friends know habits here ( again without consent )… the Armagnac is gone now so go away.  We are through that “without consent” phase and now when we find things, we can enjoy what it was.  We can enjoy what it is.  If you are an old Gascon farmer, you speak French with percussive Spanish sounds.  This French is fading fast.  You will never hear old Gascon French ever again.  If only I could get out there with my recorder and capture this lovely language.

You Gascon Farmers carry a knife much like the one above.  You cut your bread or Brie with the blade and you open your wine with the screw.  Though, much of the wine in these parts come directly from the barrel, no cork and therefore no tire-bouchon required.  But you must always be prepared.  Especially if you’re a French soldier.  I can’t imagine the Gondrin army being very huge.

This beauty is a bit rusty and in need of a clean.  I thought I’d signal with my birthday truffle to seal the deal.  The knife seems to work well, we’ll ask the locals to see what this Gondrin knife stuff was all about.

One thought on “French Army Knife

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Your experience echoes ours when we moved into our first French house 24 years ago – all sorts of goodies emerged from under piles of rubbish, including four bottles of very old Calvados in which were marinating blackcurrants; a wagon in one of the barns which an incomprehensible (no teeth) chap from down the lane came and liberated. A few days later he brought a parcel wrapped in newspaper which he
    thrust us at with the word “loyer” – subsequent search of the dictionary revealed that he was paying the rent! Another farmer came for dozens of bails of hay from another barn. And we offered stacks of faggots of wood found in a loft, to the itenerant baker. He jumped at the idea and that was that, we thought. Not a bit of it, he turned up the next day with 200 francs in payment – there had been 20 fagots! And we had firewood for nearly 5 years. But no loo!

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