Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The biggest day in village history.

What strange weather. In this part of France the rainfall in January and early February has been three times the annual average. The ground sodden, the little stream at the foot of the hill a swirling torrent.  However, this morning the clouds have lifted and a glorious red and orange sky greets the early riser. Angus is an early riser because the old farmer is coming to deliver ten tons of gravel.
The old farmer has an unusual technique for delivering gravel. He reverses slowly down the drive, stops, turns his head, looks out of the window,  raises the body of the dump truck and then , as the gravel starts to cascade out of the back, accelerates maniacally down the drive. Where the drive dog legs to the left there is a small mountain of gravel where he raised the truck bed but forgot to accelerate. Raking this flat will be the job for the day.
Feverish excitement. The village is to have visitors from Paris. Bigwigs from the Ministry of Culture. The Sous-Prefet will be joining them. They're coming to see the restoration of the frescoes in the church. Not since Richelieu blew up the chateau has the village received this much attention. In the letter box we find a formal letter from the townhall inviting us to a reception in the Salle des Fetes at four o'clock. Madame Bay arrives to borrow baking trays for her chicken and salmon vol-au-vents. '' They'll be hungry after coming all that way " she says.
In the church the three young ladies from Toulouse with their proprietorial dog  have been joined by three young men in a white van. A last burst of restoration before the big day. Angus can't help but notice a large damp patch on the floor of the nave. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to restore the holes in the roof before starting on the paintings on the plaster walls .
A fleet of four Electricite de France vans hurtle down the lane to complete this picture of happy activity. They've come to connect two new street lights.The biggest day in village history beckons.


  1. I hope it's a successful day for all.

  2. Such excitement. We hope all goes well. Do they allow the Jack Russells to come?

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  3. After raking the gravel flat, you'll be entitled to a hot shower and relax with a nice cool drink. Keep your back straight as possible as you rake and you'll be fine.
    Bless Madame Bay, she is so thoughtful. Somehow you should mention to her about the needed church roof repair, and I'm sure she'll pass the word along. How much longer can the frescoes stand up to the damp before deteriorating again?
    Glad to hear that you'll be getting more lighting in your area, that's always a good thing.

  4. That is excitement--It trumps the big news of our town that the 7-11 has been sold ... I hope all goes well with the visitors!

  5. I can't wait to hear how the visit goes! It does sound like it will be a big day, with lots of things to talk about.

  6. Beautiful sunrise photo! So much activity in the village; sounds frenzied and exciting. The Mayor must be hyperventilating.

  7. Hopefully your back has survived all the raking of the day.

    Janelle, Maggie Mae and Max

  8. Two new street lights? Oh Angus, life in the fast lane!

  9. Love the gravel technique! Street lights? You are ages ahead of us.