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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Now summer's here & the time is right - onion harvest, St-Pol-de-Léon

At long last, after weeks of anxious waiting, the onions are finally ripe & dry for storage. The onion season has come.

François Séité, who'll soon be going on his yearly "onion round" in the Bristol area, has invited me on his St-Pol-de-Léon farm, where onions are still picked by hand, in the traditional way. In this labour-intensive process, he's assisted by friends & family, including his cousin François Quéméneur.

The two François pictured during their 1965 "onion season" in Bristol.

A gleaming white ugly duckling nestling among the rosy golden brood.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Fête de l'Oignon - Roscoff, 18-19 August 2012

Getting ready for the fray - Damien, London Johnny.

Flying the colours - Laurent, London Johnny.

Setting up the scene - Damien & his fellow London Johnny, Emmanuel, 

together with Olivier, Winchester Johnny.

Piled up amunition to last the two-days' onslaught.

Pierrot, Leeds Johnny.

Let 'em come! - François S., Bristol Johnny.

In the news - André, Edinburgh Johnny.

The life and soul of the party - François Q., Bristol Johnny.

Marie-Thérèse Chapalain, daughter & sister of Perth Johnnies; president of the "Johnnies' world" association.

M-T Chapalain, with her cousin Bastien, Lanelli Johnny.

An English family reading from a children's storybook called "Where are my Onions?"

A bundle of sea rush, collected in the springtime by Pierrot: 

the blades serve as backbones for the onion bunches.

Wheat corn, harvested in early August by François S. & Olivier, 

provides alternative spines to hold onion strings together.

Vintage English scales, used by Johnnies for over half a century.

The Saint-Pol-de-Léon pipe-band.