Sunday, March 17, 2013
" Aux armes ! "
The first of the years local grown white asparagus and gariguette strawberries brought to our door by the young farmer who lives in the modern house by the windmill. As unexpected as it is kind . The asparagus wonderful. The strawberries acid. Not surprising considering the snow and rain of recent weeks.
Nine o'clock on Saturday night. Scotland playing France in the Six Nations Rugby tournament. The salle de fetes alive with farmers, little farmers, famers wives and dogs. Jeans, blue rugby shirts and red / white/ or blue acrylic wigs the evenings dress code. The French teachers Golden Retrievers joining the Jack Russells and shaggy sheepdogs on their never ending circuit around the village green. When we arrive the mayor and a group of 'technicians' are setting up the widescreen television on the stage. The mayor has forgotten the extension lead so has to go back home to get it.
To one side a tressle table. The old farmer dispensing something potent from a stainless steel tea urn into plastic tumblers. The very old farmer bad temperedly ignoring the mayor. The battle over the misplaced bottled water rumbling on. Madame Bay in red checkered headscarve, white frilly blouse and voluminous long blue skirt dispensing vol au vents. '' Blue cheese and anchovy " says our republican Gypsy Rose Lee lookalike.
National anthem time. The Marseillaise not so much sung as hammered out. Four year olds as passionate in the rendering of 'aux armes citoyens' as their parents. Scotland lose. In fact they lose badly. '' There's always next year " says the mayors wife consolingly.
As we walk back to the house the sound of Kool and the Gang singing that old French country classic "We gonna have a party tonite " echoes through the trees. The villagers are having a celebration.
Today the chicken wire goes up on the bannisters.