Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In and around the dukedom....

Lots going on here around the dukedom, with the weather finally shaking off its winter clothes and making a bee line for the beach. Spring has been a little hesitant this year, with the arrival of the walking English megaphone and the week of rain that always accompanies him. But I think we are finally there, with beautiful colors in the garden, and the scent of roses and honeysuckle in the air. We've had our first bbq of the year and I'm thinking it's time to stock up on the usual supply of chilled rosé to see us through the next few months.

It's also the time of year when fêtes and spectacles start coming on thick and fast. The oldest lady and I have our Sevillanas dance spectacle this weekend. I'm more nervous for her than for me, but you'd think we were preparing for a nationally televised event by the level of anxiety the rest of my group are showing. There has been talk of nothing else, and one rehearsal after another, like we are preparing for the World Sevillanas Olympics. I guess I should be taking it more seriously......

Then the music spectacle takes place, where the oldest lady's solfège group performs songs and plays instruments, under the stern eye of their Russian teacher. We've had a little bit of small village excitement the last few weeks, as the Russian teacher was accused of being too strict by the French Foyer Rural council. Terse letters were written back and forth, the parents were up in arms, and the little ones watched on, obviously more interested in the dramatics than in the music. A tussel between the French and the Russians is really something to behold, neither side backs down, the words are harsh, and in the end they kiss and make up and pretend like nothing has happened. Who needs soap operas when you live in a rural French village?

At the end of the month, the outdoor meals will start happening. We have a pig roast, a mussel and fries night, a beef roast, the end of school meal, then the 14th of July celebrations, followed by the village carnival. All accompanied by live music and dancing. This is the part of living in the south that I love so much. Balmy evenings spent eating and drinking with our neighbors, watching the children play and the elderly couples dance, while the sun slides down behind the chateau. For everthing else that has changed in France for the worse, there are still a few of these remaining traditions that conjure up an image of Pagnol's country. And for a few hours every weekend in the summer, all is as it used to be.

1 comment:

gabriellel66 said...

Oh, the long evenings...perfect! Enjoy them :-)