A week of fêtes

A feast or a famine; this week in our village , we are spoilt for choice of fêtes : 21 June was La Fete de La Musique, tonight is La Fete de Saint Jean and on Saturday, we have La Fete des Voisins ( Neighbours Party)

For our neighbourhood bash, the mairie (town hall) provide music, an aperitif, tables and chairs and we can party as late as we like on our street ( 'tis a great country all the same ;))

I registered with the town hall ( much paperwork) and notified the neighbours. A meeting was promptly called and an aperitif was organised - the lady of the house spent all day preparing a delicious spread of nibblies and all kinds of drinks imaginable. Serious nom nom nom.

There then proceeded a three hour debate as to to how we would run the party - a note needed to be dropped into everyone’s letterbox on the street to ask if they would be attending … it took at least an hour to decide on the layout and vocablary to use.

Where the party would be held was another long and heated debate… should it be at the top of the street, the middle or the end or in the park?

What shall we bring? How shall we arrange the tables and chairs? Should there be defined courses? Entrée, Mains, Dessert? Major Hoo Hah. I’m reminded of Stephen Clarkes “My Tea is Rich” meetings in A Year in the Merde as I knock back another glass of muscat…

After three hours of talking around in circles with nothing at all decided on, another meeting was called where we could finalise the details. Yawn.

So two strategic meetings later, our fete des voisins will take place on Saturday. The tables and chairs are stocked in my garden and copious bottles of rivesaltes ambré have been delivered to chez moi ( note to self ; do not drink!).

Allez, C’est Party!!

Good heavens. You mean you hold meetings to take decisions? How terribly un-French! The French have meetings to talk about anything and everything apart from what the meeting is actually meant to be about. The only decision anyone is interested in is when the next meeting will be. When someone decided for the first time it would be a good idea to hold an annual fete in our village centred on the renovated communal oven, she thought it would be a good idea to get everyone in the village together to talk over what should be done. After several hours, I’m told, she was quite sure everyone had agreed. Wrong! It was only in the days after the meeting that she found out what people really thought and then not directly. A talked to B who passed it on to C who then mentioned it in passing to the organiser. For my sins I’ve got involved in organising the fete and outings for the local OAP club. I’ve found no-one wants to take a decision, even on whether they want to go on a particular outing, because then they can say afterwards that they never thought it was a good idea and it should have been done differently. You’re right, I’m not happy to put it mildly. My stock answer: if you don’t like it you’re welcome to organise the next one! No-one has so far taken up the offer.

thanks Jacqueline. In fact , the one thing that wasn’t discussed was the entertainment … guess I’ll have to teach them Irish dancing once again!!!

I thought it was just our village; year after year we spend hours discussing how best to close the road for the vide grenier and every year we go for the same people doing the same thing they did the year before! Then there is the charity meal for Téléthon, again many hours to decide to do the same thing as last year!!! Have fun and enjoy your fete.