Fiona Alderman: May in Rural France
The New Market
The newly covered market in the square in Salignac is a sight to behold. As I said last month, the cost was at least 40,000 euros, depending on who you talk to? It’s a permanent structure too so might run into some problems later on when the fairground puts up its stalls and a large merry go round. I’m not sure there will be enough space. There’s also to be an all year round market with a different theme, every last Friday of the month. Already it is quiet with few visitors but in the winter there will be even less, just us locals! For the moment , we will give it time, but everyone I have spoken to is vastly unimpressed.And it looks pretty ugly too with a plastic covering and a horrible false green carpet.
There are a lot of holidays this month. From the 1st May, which is the fête du travail when no one works, the 8th May, which is VE day and 70 years after the Second World War. In France, unlike the UK, it is commemorated every year even to the smallest village laying flowers on the war memorials. Two more, the 14th for ascension and the 28th for pentecote; in true French tradition if the day falls on a Thursday it is called” faire le “pont” meaning a bridge and people make a long weekend of holiday. We have to remember the holiday dates as we have been caught out on numerous occasions finding the supermarket and other local shops closed!!
I am not a gambler, but am fascinated by the French who certainly are. From young to old, they troop into our tabac//bar where there are so many games to play from loto to horse racing that I never understand what they are all doing? The scratch cards that someone often gains the odd 2 euros to the millionaire’s loto on Friday’s that is a fervent desire to win in everyone’s mind, I watch to see what they are doing but it remains a mystery to me. I heard someone ask for a “ maxi flash” which sounded interesting! But there are winners as we see every month, as the cards are put up to announce from 250 euros of a win to 7000 euros et plus!
In our wonderful café there is even the “baby foot” a French game that is played with venom and great skill . I have watched grown men playing this with passion and rivalry. Basically a football game in miniature, which requires two teams and a strong hand to twist the poles directing the ball into a goal. I am not very good at it but enjoy watching.
And now for something funny
Our neighbour was very pleased to show off his new postbox. We heard a lot of noise outside and went to investigate, finding him putting what looked like a huge brick with a hole in the middle, into the wall. A very new and bright post box was then installed. He waited for our enthusiastic response – we did manage to convey something positive!
I love the French language, as you all know, and heard some great expressions recently: “Vous êtes une poule mouillée” literally you are a wet chicken but really a coward and “quand les poules auront des dents” when chickens have teeth ie pigs might fly!
Shall finish this wishing you all a good month and shall catch you all next month from la belle France.
Fifi’s story from rural France. May 2015.
Dance and film courses in SW France.
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