Thursday, 27 October 2011

THE ONION SELLER

ONION JOHNNY
 This is a sight that you don't see too often these days. This Guy with his bike and onions is a French Onion Seller commonly called an 'Onion Johnny'.
This picture was taken last weekend at the Wimborne Food Festival.
When I was a youngster we used to see these guys quite often along the south coast. Onion Johnny is the nickname given to Breton farmers and agricultural labourers who used to visit the UK selling their distinctive pink onions door to door.
As I said, they were once very common but their numbers declined from the 1950s. By 1973 the number of Onion Johnnies had to dropped to 160 people and by the end of the twentieth century the number of regular sellers had dropped still further to around 20. Apparently the numbers of these guys has started to increase again.
They used to travel out of Roscoff in North Western France and right up to the present day a 2 day onion festival (Fete de l'Oignon) is held every summer in the town. They even have a museum in Roscoff dedicated to the onion..!
I am given to understand that each bundle of onions would weigh approx 3.5kilos and a Johnny would carry about 20 strings on his bike...
It was a real 'blast from the past' for me to see this guy.


MORE PICTURES FROM ROCK2UK
BEACH NEAR BIARRITZ

ANOTHER SHOT NEAR BIARRITZ


GREAT SUNSHINE...GREAT CYCLE PATHS 
When we were in Southern France we still had brilliant sunshine but it was a bit cooler than Spain. The route we chose followed the coast along fantastic purpose built cycle paths. In my opinion riding on these paths so close to the coast was the best cycling of the whole trip....It was idyllic with fantastic coastal scenery and no concerns regarding traffic. Every so often we would come across a little cafe or bar where we could stop for a drink and a bite to eat and take time to just sit and look....I loved it and would recommend this area for both a cycling and beach holiday.
There were pine trees everywhere and the smell of these just hung in the air constantly........
GREAT CYCLE PATHS

BIKE SHOP ACROSS THE ROAD
 There is never a problem finding a bike shop in France...Even in the South of France we found bike shops.
John went across the road to the bike shop that you can see in this photo while I stayed at the cafe this side of the road drinking a nice coffee with a large slice of cake. John actually bought a couple of very nice blue water bottles from this shop. This was because I had been pulling his leg about the bottles he was using because they didn't match his bike(or anything else come to that). In the end John decided that I WAS right and he needed to get a couple of new ones that matched his bike........
MORE CYCLE PATH

VIEW THROUGH THE PINE TREES TO THE BEACH

MORE PINE TREES...MORE CYCLE PATH...

GREAT CYCLING....CYCLE PATH & PINE TREES...WONDERFUL.

8 comments:

Steve A said...

LOVE the onion cyclist!

limom said...

Boy, now I'm thinking of some French onion soup.
That shot of Biarritz looks like time stood still.
In the sixties.

Mr. Paparazzo said...

Nice photos. I like onions :)
Unfortunately there are no so good cycle paths here like there are.

MrDaveyGie said...

Beautiful pictures. I wish a lot of things like 'onion man' haven't changed. Like the farmer man that used to drive into our sreet every week when we were kids and sell what ever his garden had to offer.

Chandra said...

I have never seen onions carried that way. I can't image it being easy!

Paz :)

Jason said...

So interesting about the onions, and your photos from France are wonderful. Those bike paths look truly magical. Thanks!

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Informative & interesting post, nice to see that France do the business with cycling paths.

Trevor said...

*Steve A* *limom* *Mr Paparazzo* *Mr DaveyGie* *Chandra* *Jason* *J_on_tour@jayzspaze*

Seeing the Onion Man really took me back to when I was a kid..

The Cycle Paths in the South of France were fantastic to ride on.