Friday, 26 June 2009

Fete de St Jean

Our town's patron saint is St Jean so the town's fete is this week, in honour of his day yesterday. The roads have been beautifully painted with a zebra crossing outside our house, a great concession to the poor pedestrians here I must say, as normally we are subjected to trials such as bushes/cars/piles of cement in the pavement obliging us to walk mostly on the road. Not to mention sky high pavements - fair enough, they get rid of the water quickly during the torrential downpours, but are a nightmare with the buggy! Which has broken again, probably terminally this time, but I am impressed at how long it lasted with Mum and Ev's makeshift repair!

But I digress. Various things have been happening, such as boeufs tirants - which bull can pull their cart the quickest? There is a podium in the town place each evening, a film was shown tonight, an agricultural fair held last weekend, and yesterday a bonfire was lit before the mass for St Jean. Most shamefully however, we haven't made it to any of these events for one reason or another! However, all the little areas around our town will be having their fetes over the next few weeks and we have marked down a few events to visit. Having already seen boeufs tirants in previous years, I am hoping to get to see the cabris tirants this time! (Goats - funnily enough no one uses the word chevre here, just like vache is rarely used in favour of boeuf).

We did however have a quick peek at an event being held in honour of the French Journee de la Musique last Saturday, which apparently is huge over in the metropole. We watched through the window a Quadrille which is a very charming dance just like country dancing. Bertie used to do this with his siblings when he was much younger, and it brought all sorts of happy memories back to see it. There was a man singing (or bellowing rather) the instructions and the musicians consisted of maracas, triangle, 2 guitars, tam tam style drums and bamboo scraper. Aside from one man Bertie's age whom he recognised as having learnt with him, the dancers were all of a very certain age and took it very slowly indeed! They mainly danced in twos in groups of eight, and it is made up of six different dances which each last quite a while. We saw one but then headed back home.

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