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16 July 2011

Gypsies and a wet week!

Last night we went to see a performance of gypsies dancing at Donzy le National, in the school courtyard. It was a beautiful evening, and the dancers very lively and colourful. It took a while to get used to the harsh, discordant, sometimes mournful voices of the singers. There were 10 musicians and 30 dancers, many of them young children. This is part of a program for the travelling people and to involve them in communities.

This has been a busy week, with a lot of rain. About 60 mm of rain fell during the week, it was coming down in stair rods at times. Wonderful for the farmers, for our garden and for the countryside. Suddenly everywhere looks rich and green again. Every morning there was a mist hanging over the valley, but most days it was warm and pleasant in the afternoon. We always seemed to manage to get in a walk between the down pours.

We started the week with a group of visiting Aussies from Canberra coming to dinner on Monday night – a very lively evening and a long meal. One couple have a house in the South West of France where they spend some months each year and the other couple visiting and travelling for a six month stint.
I was moving a bit slowly on Tuesday morning, but had to get my act together for my book group lunch at Cray. I didn’t contribute much to the discussion, but did introduce a new member, a neighbour of ours from Le Vernay.
Wednesday was our 43rd wedding anniversary and we spent most of the day at our computers working and reading, and Alain came for his weekly English conversation lesson at the end of the afternoon. Later we went to Château d’Igé for a beautiful dinner to celebrate. John had pigeon and I had cannette, amongst other beautiful food and wine. As we left the Château we could see the fireworks from Macon, celebrating the eve of Bastille Day, 14th July. The road home winds through woods and we saw some young deer, and a badger crossed the road in front of us. We expected to come upon the fireworks at Cluny, but they were cancelled because of the bad weather. 14th July is a big holiday here and an excuse for families and neighbours to get together for a long lunch. We had planned to go to the races in Cluny, but they were also cancelled because of the weather. We celebrated in the evening at an aperitif with some neigbours, as always it went on for several hours before we returned here for dinner about 9pm. So I guess it was kind of a wet week all round.

The garden is producing madly after the rain, we have been collecting our first potatoes – delicious – lots of beans, salad, tomatoes and courgette.
Friday we did the grocery shopping in Macon the roads chokkers with traffic – it is now full on holiday season here. This weekend Saturday and Sunday are called “ jours rouges” in other words: very dangerous on the roads. At the Péages (toll booths) there will be long queues of cars, even though there will be 30-40 booths open in each case. We try to avoid going anywhere in July and August, we leave it to friends to come and visit us!
Last night the gypsy dancers in a nearby village and tonight we have some neighbours coming to dinner. Much of the food will be from the garden. Tomorrow will be a rest day hopefully.
And next week? We are expecting some visitors for a few days, then the village Randonné Nocturne (an evening walk, with games and supper afterwards) on Saturday, followed by a midsummer feast at another neighbour’s house on Sunday. Summer is always busy here.

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