Allo Allo

Back in April we had a really bad storm in our village. Most people complained of their roofs leaking - very typical in the South where the terracota tiles just sit daintily on the roof ready to be budged by a stong wind storm.

Our Mairie and church were struck by lightening alongwith many of the houses on our side of the rue which took out computers, tvs & liveboxes. At the Mairie all the computers were wiped out as well as the Allo Allo announcement system. The church bells ceased ringing & the clock stopped.

Luckily we have all our PC & TV’s running through surge protectors so we weren’t affected. Others quickly replaced their liveboxes & tv’s but the church bells & Allo Allo system which give so much character to our village were more complex and would reportedly cost 20k euro to fix.

Slowly things were fixed, the clock now ticked again, I didn’t realise how much I used it until I kept looking up at the wrong time at least 4 times a day on my walks through the village or to the local epicerie or cafe.

For months the bells didn’t sound then in August these were back, every half hour, on the hour and a special tune at 8am & 7pm which love to listen to as it signals the start of the day & the beginning of the evening wind down.

We realised we’d missed the bells.

Most villages have lots of summer fetes, ours is no different, with celebrations for Bastille Day & other bank holidays as well as summer markets & many other celebrations. This year though the numbers were down, why? Not because of La Crise…but because the Allo Allo system was down. If anyone thought this antiquated system wasn’t relevant in today’s high tech days & that it was no longer needed then they were wrong.

The fish stall arriving on Thursdays, the Coquillage seller, the Melon lady as well as local events all suffered because the Allo Allo announcements were silent. Somehow the village lost a little bit of something special.

Then in early September we were delighted to hear the crackling sound of ancient french music playing in the streets, followed by a hesitant Allo Allo…

A whole summer has passed by without an Allo Allo, thank goodness it will be back for the winter, our village, the vendors, the artisans and the people need you. Allo Allo.