Tuning Up for the Teysseroles Fête

Chapel front June 2013
Chapel front June 2013

We are holding our annual fundraiser on Sunday for the chapel at Teysseroles, an historic monument that we are helping to restore. A group of 14 or so meet regularly at the site to continue the restoration work and the tidying of the cemetery. Work has intensified over the past few weeks with the big day rapidly approaching. We want people coming to the fête to see how much we have achieved over the past year.

The first job was to tidy the inside of the chapel, which was dust-ridden and full of plaster that we had removed from the stone walls. The scaffolding in the picture, which some of us scaled precariously to get at the crépi, will probably stay for the fête. Why not? It is a building site, after all.

Church interior June 2013
Church interior June 2013
Cleaning the church interior
Cleaning the church interior

We have also worked hard to put the cemetery in order. Last year, we sowed grass seed around the graves. An employee of the Mairie helpfully sprayed it all with weedkiller. We have re-sown and, with all the rain we’ve had, the grass has come up well. The Maire is now under strict instructions not to allow them to weedkill it.

Re-seeding the grass
Polly re-seeding the grass

Next up, clearing and enlarging the open-air dining room under the trees. Last year, around 220 people came to the meal. As of yesterday, we already had 265 reservations and no doubt some will wait till the last minute – or even not reserve at all. In 2012, we had to set out two extra tables to accommodate the people who just turned up.

Open-air dining room
Open-air dining room

This weekend will be a frenzy of setting up tables, laying out the “church” for the open-air mass, preparing salads and starters in someone’s garage (don’t tell the health & safety people) and a myriad other last-minute things that need to be done.

Possibly the most entertaining activity will be watching Jean-Claude cross a field, to which only he is allowed access by the owner, with the cable providing the electricity supply, hotly pursued by the resident ram.

Excavated de la Valette chapel
Excavated de la Valette chapel

Our greatest worry at this point is the weather. After a radiant weekend, it was business as usual early this week with rain and thunderstorms. The forecast is dodgy for this coming weekend, but it does seem to be improving as it approaches. It would be a great shame, and would rather defeat the object of the event, if we had to transfer the whole lot to the salle des fêtes at Parisot (plan C). Plan B is a rather ingenious – but not tried and tested – scheme to erect a gigantic tent over the tables. I have my doubts about that.

So please keep everything crossed for us for dry weather on Sunday.


10h30 – open-air mass, including the christening of the granddaughter of one of the Teysseroles team (not obligatory).

12h30 – aperitifs followed by a meal (salads, grilled lamb and sausages, rice salad, cheese, cakes, wine, coffee, digestif etc).

After lunch – entertainments, games, tombola and visits to the chapel.

Price:  18€ for non-members of the association, 15€ for members.

Booking essential, either via:

And, if you’re interested, I have set up a blog for the association (in French but with a few English bits) to record the work we are doing and events connected with the chapel. Your browser might automatically translate the French into English, in which case it will be nonsense – just be assured that I write a little better than that!

Gravestone dated 1687 - we think
Gravestone dated 1687 – we think

Copyright © 2013 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved


  1. Just returned from two weeks Stateside and won’t be able to attend on Sunday…darn! I will drive by sometime soon, tho, to admire all the hard work you’ve done. The front of the chapel looks amazing! What a difference to have the big tree gone. Hopefully the weather-gods will grant you good weather on Sunday!


  2. We’ve had a lot of rain this month too in NY. I think it’s a worldwide planet thing, they’ve predicted a cool summer for us too (along with a cicada invasion but so far I have not seen any of these bugs but they usually come out in August). Here’s hoping the weather stays nice for your event!


    • The weather is behaving very strangely this year. Here it can go from 12C and rain to 30C in a matter of hours. Unfortunately, it’s the rain that prevails. With only 2 days to go we are invoking every deity we can think of!


  3. What is happening in France with the weather this year?! “C’est pas normal,” is what everyone is saying where we are, with much inhalation and shrugging to denote impending doom. Fingers crossed for your outdoor dining. What a wonderful project.


    • We are at our wits’ end. In some ways it would be better if the forecast were for torrential rain on Sunday. As it is, it’s going to be a last-minute decision about where we will actually hold the fête. Thanks for your crossed fingers – let’s hope it works!


  4. Good luck with the weather… we’re hoping for good weather here in Caunes, for the annual marble festival. The work you have been doing looks amazing. J


  5. Very sorry we are leaving on Saturday and will miss this fête and opportunity to see all your hard work!


    • This evening the weather is atrocious – third thunder storm in as many days and pelting rain. We just pray for good weather on Sunday – it’s our obsession at the moment.


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