Friday, May 9, 2014
If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith.
VE Day. On our morning walk we see that the mayor has been up at the crack of dawn to put out the flags on the village war memorial. May is a month of bank holidays in France. Three of them, all falling on a Thursday. This of course means that most people take the Wednesday and the Friday off too. Luckily this year we don't need the electrician, the plumber or the builder.
In the little market town they've also got the flags out. Four wreaths laid on the cobbles in front of the war memorial. Blue chrysanthemums in vogue this year. To add gravitas the flower beds are decorated with tricolors and the greengrocers cardboard boxes have been stacked in an orderly pile.
We've missed the wreath laying but are just in time to see a stage being set up outside the town hall. The ancient combatants are having a bingo morning. And not just any bingo morning ! Mickey and Minnie Mouse are there to read out the numbers. Bob doesn't seem bothered by the incongruous sight of two enormous mice. Sophie is altogether less happy. She observes proceedings from a safe position behind 'the fonts' legs. By eleven the ancient combatants are onto their third glass of wine and the bingo is becoming more animated. A rather jovial lady in a red baseball cap joins Mickey and Minnie on the stage. She tries to get them to dance. They seem less than keen. What they're saying to each other behind their perma-smiles is any one's guess. Through it all the old soldiers fill out their bingo cards and drink, merrily, away. After a tapas lunch there's a lottery .
The polished sophistication of life in deepest,deepest France profonde.