Monday, September 3, 2012
Tap dancing in his clogs.
By lunchtime any semblance of order has disappeared. The harvest festival quickly reverting to time honoured chaos. Local farmers herd unwilling geese into pens. Ducks and ducklings waddle through the forest of tressle tables oblivious to the final round of the beetroot judging . Small children clap their hands in delight as they canter round the village green on the back of docile ponies. The farmer with the cauliflower nose and red cheeks plays the accordian and tap dances in his clogs. Mothers beam. Fathers drink copious amounts of armagnac from a large metal vat. The deputy mayoress sells the surplus ice cream leftover from the village Saints Day for €1.20 a tub.
Behind the salle des fetes a group of content cows munch on bales of hay while a group of wizened old farmers look on. In the salle des fetes a display of wicker buildings. All highly varnished. No explanation as to why they're there. We pretend to study them closely. On the platform the oversexed Parisian ladies from the art group have set out a display of paintings and hand made lace. The very old farmers 1948 tractor wins the concours d'elegance . The horses have their tails pleated with flowers. The sun shines down. The mayor makes a final inaudible speech. Madame Mayor, still wearing her sash, looks on. The formal end of high summer in France profonde. They're still drinking armagnac from the large metal vat when I close the shutters for the night. Life as it's always been.