Saturday, 16 April 2011

Mad cow’s disease

Professionally, but also leisurely, we are very interested in things happening around here which might be of interest for tourists, and hence for our guests, such as concerts, markets, castles, etc. Not only do we do research for our own tourist web pages, but we keep an eye out for similar information on other sites, not to copy, but to investigate to see whether we can use it for our own site.
One of our competitors, who is running a gîte not so far from here, mentioned on her website a cattle market in Charolles, which is a stone throw away from the weekly big cattle market in Saint-Christophe. I quote: “In the cattle markets of Charolles and St Christopher-en-Brionnais you can admire the Charolais, the best beef cattle in France”.
We know the Saint-Christophe market very well, but the Charolles market was unknown to us. So one sunny day we set off to explore this market, which, according to Mr. Google himself, was held every second Wednesday of the month, from January to May.
I quote Mr. Google’s result: ”Le marché aux bovins a lieu le 2e mercredi de chaque mois (transactions à 9h) de janvier à mai au Parc des expositions”.
When we arrived there, there was not a car in sight, there were no farmers, no cattle, let alone a market. When we inquired opposite the market hall, at the Maison de Charolais, we found out that there had not been a cattle market for years, because all cattle transactions were nowadays concentrated in Saint-Christophe.
Wondering outside I suddenly realised what could have been the reason for stopping the market; there was a whole bunch of stark raving mad cows grazing around the Maison de Charolais. And who wants to trade cows with those animals around?
Based on my professional background the phrase “Lessons learned” springs to mind.
Lesson learned from this day: never trust information given by your competitor!

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