Sunday, October 25, 2015

The clocks change.

The clocks change overnight. In high summer we're out before six. Now we wait until it's getting light at seven. This morning there's a fiery sky on either side of the ridge. 

An hour later we're at the bakers in the little market town. The residents of the old folks home are celebrating their 'special' day.

A group of pre-teen musicians in orange tee-shirts escort the senior citizens down the street. The pre-teens are extremely enthusiastic musicians. They play unburdened by the standard conventions of timing or rhythm.

There is a procession . The priest is wearing a fake beard. Bob finds this presence somewhat alarming. He makes his ' I'm not sure about this ' noise in the back of his throat. Sophie moves behind my legs.

At the back of the cavalcade the more senior old folks have been loaded onto a horse drawn buggy. From the looks on their faces none of them seems to be particularly keen to be on the back of a buggy or to be up and about so early.

Back in the village there is a light on in The Very Old Farmers kitchen. He waves. We are invited in. Bob sits by me. He gets a tickle behind the ears. Sophie disappears behind the spin dryer. She emerges with something in her mouth. By the time I've noticed and attempted to remove it, she's swallowed whatever it was.

In the early evening Bob joins me in the Salle des Fetes to watch the rugby. The local farmers have been drinking since lunchtime. They sing along with the South African anthem. '' The most beautiful music in the world M'Ongoose''. Four year old farmers perform the Haka with verve. We leave  at the end of the game. Bob tells an overly familiar Jack Russell where to go. More kegs of beer arrive.

Just another unremarkable day in deepest, deepest France profonde.

Is this the only trilingual national anthem ?


  1. Was there strong feeling about which team should win? Or was that a secondary consideration, after the imbibing of suitable fluids? Presumably Sophie is none the worse for her extra helping of breakfast? Our Goldie ate a sock (and something else we shall draw a veil over in the name of decency) and they needed surgical removal, but she was only a small puppy so the situation was different.

    1. I fear Sophie may have found something with a tail ! That might explain the look of unbridled happiness on her face .

  2. That poor old chap wearing brown in the wheelchair looks like he's failed to appreciate his 'special' day.

  3. We've just got to love our girls,drama and all -- Sheba was really ill last weekend and I've feeling it was the "procession" to whatever it was she found to roll on first.

  4. Tut, Tut, Sophie, don't you know that it's impolite to sneak a snack without being invited to first ?

  5. Angus, you made me wonder about the national Anthem. It turns out it's 5 languages:-

    Xhosa Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
    Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,

    Zulu Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
    Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

    Sesotho Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
    O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
    O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
    Setjhaba sa, South Afrika, South Afrika .

    Afrikaans Uit die blou van onse hemel,
    Uit die diepte van ons see,
    Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
    Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

    English Sounds the call to come together,
    And united we shall stand,
    Let us live and strive for freedom
    In South Africa our land.

    I've always known Nkosi SikeleiAfrica. It was a "right on" hymn of African resistance during the days of apartheid, when I was at Uni. But that's the first time I've looked at the words together of the merged anthem, and they're very moving.

  6. Glad to know that the Very Old Farmer is up and about.

  7. Just another day...... The fellow in the wheelchair looks like he's enjoying it!

  8. Happy to hear the very old farmer is up and moving a bit. I think we've all come to be very fond of him and are pleased to know there is still some enjoyment of life for him.
    Hurrah for the All Blacks!