Thursday 31 March 2011


At this week's flower making group there was much mention of an evening get together for our commune and another local commune. When I asked what sort of an evening they said it was a lunch, with much delight taken in that I would understand their English word.

Ummmmmm sorry but lunch is always at lunch time. Didn't really get to the bottom of what they meant because they all got diverted to brunch and other meals.

Lunch was last night. We found the salle des fetes which was the only place lit up with cars outside and also a coach. Out of the coach came a few ladies in long (mostly black) dresses with white lace bonnets and shawls. We all cram into the village hall type room where some of the coach load are setting up with accordians and sort of wind up cross between a guitar and a keyboard - maybe hurdy gurdy??

Plastic cups of a fierce aperatif are offered. Him Outdoors looks hopefully at the bottles of red wine on the table looking for some assistance with his smiling and nodding but that is definitely for later. Some tiny squares of nibbles handed round. Everyone that we recognised seemed delighted that we had come which was lovely. Maurice (the boss of the flower tying on) made a point of telling Him Outdoors what a good flower maker I was - bless him. Surprisingly only two or three of the flower makers were there.

Then on to the buffet (or lunch, since buffet is french for sideboard?) couscous, cold roast pork, pate, bread, a sort of quiche mixture cooked as a loaf, several deserts and at last the red wine. Much talk getting louder and louder. General shedding of layers as the room begins to warm up with the bodies.

Then the musicians start, one of the ladies starts to sing and walk around flirting with the men. While she is singing, the dancers are arranging themselves. Half a dozen middle aged women and one tiny dapper man and one much larger man in huge wooden clogs who for some reason had a bandage wrapped round his middle outside his shirt but under his braces?? Some of the music was familiar to us from other events and some of the dancing but lots of complicated footwork, weaving in and out and spinning.

After a few dances we were invited to join in and lots of the younger ladies got up and danced in pairs. 'Strictly' eat your heart out. The best dancers were a couple that looked as if they should be part of a little house where the man and woman come out of the door depending upon the weather. Tiny, neat dark clothes, perfectly synchronised, obviously danced together for years and were thoroughly enjoying their skills.

Then they let the audience have a go and we all learnt the sort of line dancing that they do at every one of these sort of things with lots of laughing and jollity and confusion. By this time the dancers were very hot and tired and by general agreement there was a pause. And Maurice was called for. Mau.... rice, Mau.....rice, Mau......rice.

Now Maurice is a dear, rotund smiley man of about 60. With some pretence of hesitation he walks to the front and starts to tell a story much to the delight of the crowd who knew exactly what was coming. The story was something about a young man who leaves his village to go to Paris and goes to a bar and asks ladies to dance and then somehow that I lost completely there is mention of their underwear. Just enough vulgarity to make the elderly ladies giggle and the men laugh out loud. Such delight in the room at his brilliantly told story. We were laughing out loud with no idea what was actually being said.

Very simple. Very affectionate. Lovely.

Monday 28 March 2011

The stair case saga..................again again

We have received the result of the judicial decision about the stair case saga. Not enough assessors have been involved yet. So can you please send the court assessor 1,000 euros and he will turn up to make an official assessment of the stairs. We have one month to decide whether we want to do this and then the court assessor has three months to come and so it goes on. Our lovely local man took his copy of the papers this morning and will ask his company - who have already given us 700 euros to pay our solicitor - whether they will cover this. And so it goes on. Doesn't look lie we're going to get a balcony this summer :-)

The Killing

Several things are churning about in my head at the moment so I'll probably end up writing about the unimportant ones and not confronting what I'm really pondering............ The Killing is a television series we have been watching for 20 one hour episodes. It is a crime thriller - can you tell that from the name?? - and it has been brilliant. Last night was the last two episodes and we still weren't sure 'who dun it' right up until the end. And we have been having 'how do you know.................' and 'why did........' conversations ever since. It is a Danish thriller with subtitles in English. We have got used to watching Scandinavian television thrillers with episodes of Wallender in the original Swedish. The only slight disadvantage with subtitles being that I can't knit at the same time, but that means they have to be worthy of total concentration. And this is. It's rare that you get to the end and want to watch the whole thing again to pick up all the clues that they laid that after weeks of watching you have forgotten. Brilliant stuff.