C’est la Fête!

If you fancy a quick trip from Beauregard to the stars...

If you fancy a quick trip from Beauregard to the stars…

It’s that time of year again when every street corner (and your windscreen if you stop for long enough) bristles with posters advertising local fêtes, vide-greniers and concerts. Some of the early ones have had to contend with appalling weather (more of that in a later post), but the sun re-emerged tentatively on Sunday and it’s got better ever since. The organisers of la Fête de la Musique, which took place yesterday, must have breathed a sigh of relief.

Fête de la Musique at Beauregard

Beauregard is a small village (2013 population 235; 1821 population 922) on the Causse de Limogne in the Lot. Normally it’s a quiet place but last night it was crammed with hundreds of people who came to hear various musical offerings under cloudless skies.

Hommes sans Frontières

Hommes sans Frontières

The SF’s small ensemble of male singers was one of the attractions. It’s named Hommes sans Frontières, since it includes no less than five different nationalities. One of the singers lives in Beauregard and the “boys”, as the SF refers to them, assembled on the steps of his house to regale the public with a medley of songs in various languages (including Welsh…).

The square was a hive of activity, with musical turns as well as stalls selling saucisse-frites, sandwiches and various other refreshments for hungry music lovers.

Beauregard lives up to its name

Although only a small place, Beauregard is rather well appointed for this type of event. The village is an example of a bastide, a type of new town that was developed in the 13th century on a grid pattern around a large central square. The existence of dolmens and other prehistoric structures testifies to the occupation of the area long before the Middle Ages, but the village in its present form dates from that period.

Belfry beside the square at Beauregard

Belfry beside the square at Beauregard

The square is dominated by a belfry, which was apparently a common 13th-century feature, and by the 14th-century halle (market hall). You can still see the old grain measures built into the walls.

Beauregard - la halle

Beauregard – la halle

Grain measures built into the walls of la halle

Grain measures built into the walls of la halle

One distinguishing feature is that the church is not in the centre of the village, which is quite rare. In fact, some visitors and I missed it entirely when we went a few weeks ago and concluded that, exceptionally, it didn’t have one. Wrong. It’s just a bit out of town, hence no photo.

Des res for sale in one of the alleyways, but in need of some TLC

Des res for sale in one of the alleyways, but in need of some TLC

The village is situated in the so-called “triangle noir”, i.e. one of the parts of France that has the least light pollution. This has earned Beauregard the appellation “Village Etoilé” (lit. starry village).

Fête de Teysseroles

Fete 2016 2

A bit closer to home, the final preparations are in hand for our annual fundraising fête at la Chapelle de Teysseroles. This is a 15th-century former parish church that we are helping to restore. The fête takes places on Sunday and includes an alfresco meal featuring roast suckling pig, entertainment, games and a tombola. And, touching wood hard when I write this, the weather promises to be good. If you’re in the area and want to come, booking is essential – see the details on the poster above.

The restoration work on the chapel itself has started in the past couple of months. This includes the reinforcement of one of the pillars near the door, the rebuilding of the steps in front of the chapel and the repair of the doors. The stumps and roots of the pine trees that we had felled a few years ago have finally been removed, too.

New steps down to the chapel entrance

New steps down to the chapel entrance

New steps - side view

New steps – side view

It’s exciting that we are at last seeing the fruits of our labours and fundraising efforts.

It seems as if summer really has arrived.

You might also like:

Let There Not Be Light: Light Pollution in France
Posts about Chapelle de Teysseroles
Our Village Fête: Yesterday and Today

 

Copyright © 2016 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved

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About nessafrance

My husband and I moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I am fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs and enjoy seeking out the reality behind the myths. I run my own copywriting business and write short stories and the occasional novel in my spare time. My husband appears here as the SF, which stands for Statistics Freak, owing to his penchant for recording numbers about everything.
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15 Responses to C’est la Fête!

  1. Osyth says:

    Bon fête(s) to you all! I’m waving from Edinburgh on the second leg of my mystery anniversary tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Vanessa – I had a second home in the Dordogne for a few years and we spent several wonderful summers there. Your post has made me feel rather nostalgic! 🙂

    Susan at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      Hi Susan, we holidayed in the Dordogne a couple of times when we still lived in the UK and always enjoyed it. We’re now further down in the SW and all these summer activities are just starting up. I can see why you feel nostalgic!

      Like

  3. Another lovely piece and pertinent as ever. I knew about the triangle noir but have not visited beauregard, must make the effort! Good luck with the weather for your fete. We enjoyed our local fete de la musique on tuesday under blue, blue skies filled with screaming swifts doing their red arrow acrobatics around la place.
    Ps we could vote and our papers turned up on 1st june. Just hope la poste did its bit getting them back to base!
    A bientot

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      Thank you. The weather for our fete bodes well, but I don’t want to “tenter le diable” too much! The change in the weather couldn’t be more radical and we really hope it stays like this for our fete on Sunday. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Evelyn says:

    The new steps for the chapel are lovely. That directional sign for Venus always makes me laugh when I drive thru Beauregard! Must look for the church next time; I never paid any attention that it isn’t in the village.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The steps to the church look great. A good effort if I may say so! I also liked the signpost to the stars. A quick trip to Venus might be preferable to the countdown to the Brexit however!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      Yes, an extraterrestrial trip might not be a bad idea. I’ve been keeping well out of the Brexit debate. I can’t vote, anyway, since I left the UK 19 years ago.

      Like

      • The ballot papers never arrive on time anyway even if you do register online. The debate seems to be the most agressive and unpleasant in a long time. I can’t wait till it’s all over and then we get back to rebuilding the pieces that the english community has been torn into.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nessafrance says:

        I have been keeping well out of it, although of course I have an interest in the outcome. It has been horribly divisive and I have been terribly perturbed by the tenor of the debate.

        Like

      • Me too, I feel that society in the uk has almost been torn apart by this, and the ferocity and misinformation has been seriously disturbing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the Venus sign ! However, the distance indicated is around the shortest possible distance and only valid for a short duration, the longest Earth-Venus distance being close to 256 000 000 km ! Well done Life on la Lune and a lovely day to you !

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      We probably don’t need to worry too much about the distances. Venus is one of the least hospitable planets in the solar system! They also had a sign for Mars, which might be a more reasonable prospect…

      Liked by 1 person

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