A Summer Story from Salignac by Fiona Alderman

festivals first paraFestivals and Visitors

We are having quite a busy July with one thing and another. We were at a local fête where Barry is holding a photographic exhibition later on in the year, and we thought we would go along to have a look. Called “Artistes en liberté” there were artists, sculptors, basket weavers, ceramics, and musicians playing throughout the day. It was a lovely morning, and we stayed to have lunch laid out under a massive tent,and which as usual takes several hours. We dined on paté, coq au vin and copious amounts of wine. It was also the inauguration of a giant painting made specially for the event which was hung on a wall beside the old washing pool. It depicts the stone buildings coloured golden with the sun. In the olden days the women of the village would come and wash their clothes and chat about this and that, kneeling on straw pillows to beat out the dirt with washing boards.

We had a surprise too when a friend contacted me to say she was coming to France and could she come to visit? I hadn’t seen her for nearly 30 years! It was lovely to see her and reminisce about days gone by. such a long time ago. She is a teacher/choreographer in New Zealand and it was great to compare notes on dance and in teaching methods. The one thing was that she is a vegetarian and no meat eater, which is rather difficult here as we are in duck country! However we have just started with the local market which has fresh produce to make some lovely summer salads with the delicious goat’s cheese. We were noticing it is still quiet with tourists as yet though, where are they?

julie GayetWho is Julie Gayet?

The President, Monsieur Hollande, is still in the news with his private life. His girlfriend, the actress Julie Gayet, is keeping out of the limelight throughout, and we all wonder who is she really? Apparently she has “suffered” from being the bad girl taking him away from his other two women, but in reality she is a working girl and her career has changed since her liason with him. She was on the jury of a prestigous film festival but withdrew as it looked too much like nepotism. I don’t think anyone cares! It happens all the time and not just in France?

Valerie Treiveiller, the ex First lady, hasn’t looked too unhappy either when she was seen arm and arm with Alain Delon , her confidante. She is also a very succesful journalist for Paris Match. The startling news is Segolene Royal who has never left his side. She is the mother of his four children, and politically she backs him to the hilt. She was invited back into the cabinet as Ecology minister and is proving to be a bit of a tyrant. Apparently she has made a rule for the women in the cabinet not to wear revealing clothes called the “ décolletage gate” and she expects people to stand up when she comes into the Elysée Palace? She even has her own private dining room , away from noise pollution.

The ex Prime Minister “ Sarko “ ie Sarkozy was under arrest recently for his alleged dealings with Gadafi to finance his last campaign , so his chances of coming back into power look less and less .

 bastille dayBastille Day

I can’t do an article in July without mentioning the 14th of July, the Fête Nationale of France and an important bank holiday. Dating back to the Revolution at the Bastille in Paris, it is the chance to celebrate their freedom, equality and independence. On the main streets of Paris there is a long procession of the military forces  to mark this occasion. With true French style and precision they march down the long boulevards of the Champs- Elysées and Mr Hollande delivers his speech.This year there was a beautiful ballet with 250 white doves that were released into the air at the end of the ceremony to mark world peace.
Here in Salignac, we do things a little more sedately, but nevertheless it is celebrated with a bal ie a dance and a fireworks display. A big covered stage is erected in the middle of the square and the musicians play for hours! Just before midnight we set off to watch the fireworks , walking down the hill near the chateau which is a stunning backdrop.

We are lucky that from our house we have a great view of the fireworks from the top floor but it always brings a little tear to my eye when I see them. Vive la France!!!

 french humourFunny French Humour

And to finish with…. we saw this little car for sale. No , not really , it was only advertising it’s modern counterpart! The AV stands for a vendre, for sale. It has gone now, I wonder where?

July 2014 . Fifi’s story from rural France.

Fiona Alderman's blogging from rural France: A Strange August in Salignac
Fiona Alderman's Blog from Salignac, June 2014

This section: Fiona Alderman blogging from The Salignac Foundation France

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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