Yesterday there was a funeral in the village. We were alerted to this by the sudden surge of traffic on the lane. By three thirty there were twenty or so cars parked in front of the church, a similar number in the car park and thirty or so on the path that marks the line of the old village walls. From the safety of the front gate we could see that a third of the 150 or so mourners wore masks.
As the service is set to begin a grass cutting tractor attempts to drive through the village. One of the undertakers storms over to tell the driver to switch off his engine while the coffin is carried into the church. ' Learn some manners' says the undertaker , although not quite in those precise words. The hearse driver, the other pall bearers and the retired Abbe all look on. The tractor driver, faced with an irate figure in a grey suit opts to do a circuit of the war memorial and head back in the direction he's just come from. 'That's not something you see every day' observes 'The Font'.
Later in the afternoon we see the old mayor. He's heading home after overseeing what he informs us is ' la toilette mortuaire'. This is a French term I'd never heard before and hope never to hear again.