Thursday, September 13, 2012

Democracy at work.

Wednesday night. The village council meeting. The grass outside the salle des fetes a mass of tractors, white vans, battered Peugeots and a large combine harvester. Proceedings are scheduled to start at seven thirty but the mayor doesn't arrive until eight . A further twenty minutes before some semblance of order emerges. The mayor , resplendent in a new beige cardigan , takes his place on the stage. Madame mayor straightens his tie.  Item one on the agenda, indeed the only item on the agenda,  the ' removal of offensive wording ' from the frescoes in the church.

The very old farmer launches into an impromptu history of the French Republic. The deputy mayoress says something incomprehensible , and lengthy, about conciousness and the origins of life. The old farmer blames the socialists. The lady with the beehive hairdo wonders what right ' those folk in Paris ' have to dictate history. The man that sells lawnmowers complains about the price of petrol . The lady in the purple hat says her mother saw General de Gaulle in Toulouse in 1958. Monsieur Bay, republican fervour fuelled by two large glasses of armagnac on an empty stomach, sings the Marseillaise. Madame Bay in turqoise turban and what might be described as a fur jacket, if fur jackets were scarlet and shiny , looks on adoringly. Everyone starts to talk at once. The Jack Russells run in and out of the kitchen.

The meeting finishes , inconclusively , at ten thirty. Democracy at work.


  1. Sounds like a typical day in Washington, D.C.

  2. Perhaps Madame Bay could give the mayor some tips on how to spice up his wardrobe? Or did she already, after another large glass of armagnac?
    Is another meeting scheduled?

  3. Postponed for another social gathering in the near future.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. Sounds like a wild bunch - like Rolling Stones in country version - I think you live in a great little village - have another great day love from Southern Italy Susanne, Daisy, Foxiie and Kiri - here it rains finally...

  5. All, small town democracy.
    You have to love it.
    I myself just received an email from my mayor, requesting my help in locating a new Jack Russell. He lost his a year ago today and it's time.
    So he writes me?
    Ah well, I am up to the challenge.

  6. I must read the minutes of our city council meeting to see if their are any similarities. I'm betting on it.


  7. Thank you for a marvelous report on the village meeting. I am sure that France's National Anthem sung under the influence was a moving rendition that added much to the proceedings.

  8. i am mopping my eyes! i can literally hear it because of your description!
    everyone in their finery talking at once! and ...
    it was la marseillaise, after all. i'm not french but that song always stirs my soul.
    i guess, you know, all those world war II movies.
    another priceless glimpse of france profonde.

  9. Village life anywhere. Only the names and inebriants are changed.

  10. Still laughing, and now I have an earworm of La Marseillaise. The description sounds just like some of the New England town meetings I've attended, although those generally lack the singing.

  11. Hee hee hee! I'm glad everyone at least had their say!

  12. Democracy at work is right, because nothing was decided--It happens here all the time!