Friday, August 31, 2012

Where did August go?

As I staggered in from the garden earlier this evening, having just mowed over a quarter of an acre with my trusty push-mower, I realised that we are almost in September and most people probably think I’ve done a midnight flit. J I’ve actually been feeling the first stirrings of blog inspiration again recently and will be back with a real post very soon, but I just wanted to show a sign of life and say thank-you for not forgetting about me altogether.

We have friends coming to stay early next week and after this will come the slow winding down of this latest summer in Normandy. As so often at this time of year, the weather is becoming beautifully sunny and golden, making it hard to think of uprooting ourselves and heading back across the Channel. But the ferry is booked and the diary is starting to fill with things to do when we get home, so we plan to enjoy these final days in France as much as we can, before packing our life into the very small campervan and taking it home again to Wales.

So as the leaves on the trees – cherry, apple and poplar - turn to gold and start to fall, I’ll leave you with a reminder that France is indeed another country, with a beautiful language I have yet to master completely after more than 50 years of trying….

Monday, August 06, 2012

La Fête Communale

I’m starting to think that the soft, mild, and at present damp air of Normandy may have an unexpected affect on the ageing British brain, or at least my ageing British brain. To all outward appearances I think (hope?) that I appear to be functioning normally, but when it comes to sitting down in front of my precious new laptop and actually writing something coherent, my brain has been acting like a toddler in a tantrum, drumming its heels and yelling at the top of its voice “Can’t, won’t, don’t want to!”

It’s not that nothing has been happening, though life here is usually enjoyably quiet and slow-moving. Nor is it that I haven’t had ideas for posts, or at least snatches of ideas, and even potential titles. It’s just that faced with that blank screen and conscious of the fact that I still find Windows 7 intimidating and sometimes yearn for my old desktop with its undemanding Windows XP, the combination of brain plus idea just hasn’t been gelling into a proper post.

However I’ve now reached the point at which I must put fingers to keyboard and a post into Blogger or stay silent for another week at least, as tomorrow is the day when Grandson#3 arrives for a week’s holiday without his parents, and normal life will be put on hold until he goes home again.

So to give you a glimpse of what I’ve been doing, other than mowing and pruning and generally working my socks off in the garden, here are a few snaps of the fête communale  which our little commune holds on the last Sunday in July every year. DH and I always go, rain or shine, and after the protracted mid-day meal, which gathers together more than half the inhabitants round long tables in the village hall for a couple of hours, we enjoy watching the inter-village games between our commune and a neighbouring one.

Bowling uphill!

It’s all very gentle and uncomplicated, with much the same games every year, but there is a definite friendly rivalry between the participants and a good time is had by all. As well as games for adults (usually carried out with great energy by the young farmers) there are games for the children, plus sideshows and even a bouncy castle. The weather is the most changeable factor and since this year it was very grey and distinctly damp, I’m taking the liberty of borrowing a few of the much brighter photos taken by my youngest sister when she and her husband visited us for the fête a couple of years ago. Yes, we do get sunshine in Normandy – just not quite as often as we might wish. J

Bobbing for apples - thank goodness it was warm!
Find the carrots in the hay.....
Commando course for kids

Why can't they have one of these for the grown-ups?