I’ve been keeping my head down round by us in the last couple of days. Brits won not only first but also second place in the Tour de France. The route came within about 20 miles of us but we didn’t get there this year, either. Next year.
However, that’s not the point of today’s post. I wrote a few weeks ago about our fête at the site of the chapel (Chapelle de Teysseroles) we’re helping to restore. A good time appeared to be had by all and we made a tidy sum for the restoration fund. The team worked their socks off, so we decided to have our own little party to celebrate last Saturday.
Simone and Jean-Claude, stalwarts of les travaux, kindly agreed to hold it at their place. Everybody agreed to bring dishes – known as an auberge espagnole in France – and we had some sausages and wine left over from the fête. Well, we can’t keep them till next year, can we?
In the end, 21 people were involved, including four children. Saturday evening was breezy but reasonably warm so we had apéros outside. Of course, nothing ever starts on time in France. So, although our hosts had said to come at 6:00, the latecomers didn’t roll up until about 7:30. It’s also a tradition, at least around here, that you don’t serve the drinks until everyone has arrived. However, Simone and JC got fed up so they started anyway. Since we didn’t eat till about 9:00, I was just about under the table. I wasn’t alone.
Before the meal, though, we had a very important task to accomplish. That of thanking Françoise, Secretary of our association, for all the hard work she had done to make the fête a success. She works harder than anyone, never complains, always smiles and keeps us all in order. Not an easy task. She deserved her presents.
Then we all staggered inside for the meal. In addition to the sausages and some lamb, there were salads and quiches of all descriptions, melon, cheeses, fruit and about 15 different desserts. Normally, the wine flows like cement at many of our French acquaintances’. Not so this time.
Then another Jean-Claude produced a bottle of home-made Genièvre. This doesn’t have much to do with the Belgian and Dutch liqueur of the same name, which is distilled from juniper berries. JC had simply picked some berries, stuck them in some eau de vie de prune and coloured it with saffron. Ce n’est pas mon truc, as they say, but I drank it anyway.
We ate in a large room in a converted cow-shed, which still had the old manger running along the back. The noise level was incredible. The local curé and his colleague had a good time along with the rest of us. I find it interesting that their presence doesn’t put a damper on proceedings. In the UK, if the vicar turned up, everyone would be a bit constrained.
Reader, I over-indulged. So did the SF. Fortunately, everyone lives within 1 kilometre or so of our hosts. The rest of them drove off over a field to get home but our car is too low-slung so we had to go the long way round by road.
No question of blowing into one of those silly éthylotest things that we’ve been supposed to have since 1st July. We have proved they aren’t accurate and it’s all a racket in my view. We won’t get fined for not having one until November but I suppose we’ll get a ticking off if stopped.
I seem to have agreed to set up a blog site for our Association, complete with photos etc. Watch this space…
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