Here in France, ’tis the season of fetes galore, many being – in theory at least – fetes de musique. In practice, they tend to be rather dire events made tolerable by the abundance of wine and beer at reasonable prices.
Last weekend we went off to one being held in a nearby village: it fully lived up to expectations. Dreadful music and a real mixed bag of locals in – was it fancy – dress-up mode. There was a bit of a chill in the wind, so numbers remained low: here’s J, in a coaty thing, heading for the car earlyish:
But arguably not early enough, having had to listen to this long-shot local band destroying one of Bob Marley’s finest songs. The lyrics repeatedly used – an interesting but hardly improving adaptation – being: ‘No woman, no try.’
We thought that maybe we should speak to the singer at the break and put him right, but then, again, thought maybe we’d leave him to discover his mistake somewhere down the line. In any event, the song will forever be different for me at least. I will adamantly stick to the new, refreshing Froggo lyric. I’m sure Bob would approve.
This weekend, we went to a Britty thing for the first time. We, like many expats, shun others of our ilk. This time, however, we were coaxed along to a ‘Fish & Chip’ night at a nearby bar-garden where there were the usual stalls selling soaps, hand-crafty things and used English books. To our surprise we were not as bored as expected. It was, in fact, a perfectly agreeable evening out. The sun shone warmly, the setting alongside the river on the edge of a small, typically lazy French village, was lovely and the Fish & chips were excellent. Even Jack seemed happy, snuffling around and dozing under the tables. We met some new Engloids and others we already knew. To our surprise we know a fair few now. On Sunday, we went to a Vide Grenier/car booty thingy in a village near our new old house.
We met another pair, Alan & Gill – an ex-midwife, like J – who had been at the Saturday event and then visited their daunting renovation/conversion project nearby of a former Lime Kiln site and outbuildings. A massive project being tackled with enthusiasm and pleasure. Alan has even re-done all of the sewage/drainage stuff – new septic tanks, filters, soak-aways etc., – himself, despite having been a civil servant in a previous life with little or no experience of such works.
We have bought a few lovely old period/vintage French garden tables and chairs plus some additional gardeny things, photos to follow when cleaned up a bit. We’re hoping to try and generate a bit of income from this by selling them online in the UK. Our daughter, LVP, is going to do us a website – which I’ll plug here in due course.
Next weekend we’re off to another Vide-Grenier to see what else we might find, followed by a vintage car race and rally in the nearby town of Bressuire. We just hope the weather holds out. And it will be J’s three score years birthday, to boot, with a final NHS retirement!
Somebody should tell him, he’s got the words wrong………..it seems!