Fiona Alderman blogging from Rural France: A New Day and a New Year
I wish you all a very Happy New Year from France , and looking back over the past year, it has been interesting, to say the least . From Covid restrictions to daily life seemingly becoming more difficult, I am searching for something positive that has come from it all?
Putting up my Christmas decorations, which includes my childhood dolls house, I fused all the lights in our house! No computer or phone either.Typically we checked everything but had no replacement fuses. I went to my neighbour’s at the Chateau, who had himself only one fuse left, and he came to have a look. Great. He goes away and I move the little fairy lights on the house and do it again! Had to go to the shops to buy new ones but it taught me a lesson to have spares, and to thank neighbours. Over the Christmas period we had many kind notes and presents, offers of help – we have built up a lovely network of friends over the years we have lived in Salignac.
Watching the news and reading the daily newspaper only brings more bad news about the pandemic and what we must do and not do. Life is never going to be like before. Even President Macron was chided by many people for his very strong language about those who weren’t vaccinated.Basically he was pissed off with their refusal to get the vaccine. Saying he wouldn’t want them to go to prison, but that it was now the most responsible thing to do
On a positive note, my neighbour at the Chateau bought me a new set of lights for the little house and a spare set of batteries. Lovely. Another positive thing is little Missy who continues her path with us. I bought her a new travel basket the other day which she thoroughly investigated. I took her to the vet just for a checkup, to be told she must go on a diet. Too much Boeuf Bourgignon. She is not impressed.
The Guerin Family Story
Walking past our wonderful Convent I saw their decorations for Christmas. As always, very different and stylish. Philippe, the owner, as a child with his other siblings played with puppets and had a rather splendid puppet theatre too.This is now displayed in their window every year at Christmas.
The French version of Les Guignols goes back 6 generations to the family Guerin in Bordeaux from 1853 and even continues today in Lyon with their stories still enchanting children and adults alike.
Hand puppets that were created by Laurent Mourguet which used specific gestures and accessories and of Commedia dell’arte to portray the comic plays. The little puppet was modelled upon himself, round faced, dimples in the cheeks and a huge smile. The character he played was as a simple man, with humour, a man of the people.
In Renaissance times the puppets were used by travelling salesmen to attract customers and would be very successful, and in France they began in the streets of Paris, little comic shows that grew in content and in stature.
Mourguet and his wife would have 10 children of whom only two continued the family tradition and where the Theatre le Guignol and Museum is based in Lyon. A full circle and a marvellous childhood memory for so many children.
Half Way Home
As I walk to the supermarket, which is about 20 minutes away, I noticed this little grey bench on the side of the pavement. Odd? There are two of them ,one further down the road. At first I thought they might be for plants.
On further investigation, I discovered they were called “assis-debout” literally half way between sitting and standing. Between a chair and a stool. They are for us poor people like me wanting a rest along the way with our heavy shopping! I tried it of course, but it’s not very comfortable.
Strange, as always here in rural France?
Keep safe and keep positive for this coming year.
Fifi’s Stories from rural France
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- Fiona Alderman blogging from Rural France: A New Day and a New Year
- Fiona Alderman Blogging from Rural France: A Winter Tale From France
- Fiona Alderman Blog: One Year On
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