The mayor, resplendent in red tartan pork pie hat and blazer, is on top of a ladder fixing flags to the front of the war memorial. Bob and I pass him on our way to the village pond. ''Bonjour M'Ongoose. Decorations for Bastille Day". He then pauses, unsure how much foreigners might know about history, and adds by way of clarity ; '' The revolution ". Bob looks on in engrossed silence. He's never seen anyone up a ladder before.
Saturday night. The first of the al fresco summer 'get togethers' outside the Salle des Fetes. The Beautiful Bye ways Committee showing a light hearted comedy about a Parisian couple who suffer culture shock when they come to live in a French village. A variety of non-matching plastic chairs are set out in the car park surrounding a movie projector atop a wobbly trestle table. Behind the petanque court the French teachers Labrador is shredding a black bin liner- two Jack Russell's joining in the fun. Madame Bay, swathed in chiffon and sporting a pair of enormous Italian diva sun glasses , is standing by the barbecue waiting for a boar sausage. She's holding a toddler by each hand. One of the tripod legs supporting the screen gives way. The movie, finally, projected against the cemetery wall - while it's being shown everyone talks loudly and continuously. Bob and Sophie enjoy themselves tremendously .
The sophistication of life in deepest, deepest France profonde.