Fiona Alderman: Fêtes Galore


It has been a busy month with a lot of summer events happening everywhere. However the extreme heat was really exhausting, making it difficult to appreciate them fully. The two main associations in Salignac put on Monday Fêtes on alternative weeks. The C.A.S.E. Vieux Metiers based in the extensive enclosed park down from the Chateau, and one that I was involved in as a volunteer for many years, was nice to see. It brought back many memories though, of people whom I worked with and are sadly no longer here. The aim is to promote and teach the old skills of stone wall building, ironwork, lauze roofs to the young so that these skills continue to thrive.

Unfortunately, over the past few years there was a split between the two associations and a lot of internal management problems. There is still a bitter war between some of its members and I see and hear a lot of it in this village. I know a lot of them and try not to take sides.

There was even an unusual spectacle of hawks and other birds of prey , a new one this year, and thrilling to see their trainers fly these beautiful creatures circling high in the sky and returning on a special signal.

sunflowers fiona

We had several Vide Greniers too, in and around the main Square, markets with everything for sale, from china, clothes, furniture to old tools and machinery. I love them and always find something.I have a particular passion for baskets and love their intricate work and the history behind them.

The weekly markets are still busy too. Tuesdays with vegetables and local produce are always a delight to the eye as well as to the taste. On Fridays there is a bigger market with dining in the middle of the Square on long benches and tables. Too hot for me! A huge cask of wine is offered by the Commune for people to come and enjoy an aperitif and meet friends.

Music of the 70’s and 80’s

second para 70s music

When I was growing up I loved listening to music. From pop to classical, to jazz, it is still a passion and helps me either relax or cheer me up. At the local tabac recently, I heard on the radio, Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill” which has seen quite a revival this year. Even she is astonished at its renewed interest, for a new generation of youngsters, and even oldsters like me. I remember when I was in London in 1985, when she was rehearsing for that video clip, at the Place, which was the home of London Contemporary Dance Theatre and School. I went to classes there, and I saw her . Very talented, even as a dancer.

My favourite singers were James Taylor, Nina Simone, Carly Simon and all the disco music including the Bee Gees. The sounds of Soul music by Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Marvin Gaye were also much listened to.

Here in France, I began to research who was popular then? The obvious one is Edith Piaf with her immense appeal. “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” and “La Vie En Rose “. Jacques Brel and “Ne Me Quitte Pas ” and the haunting” La Mer” by Charles Trenet. I already knew of Francoise Hardy and her lovely song “Tous Les Garcons et Les Filles” which made me listen to French songs.

There was a pop culture in France called the Ye Ye, and included France Gall, Sheila, Sylvie Vartan, Claude Francois and Johnny Halliday. The late “Johnny” as he is called in France was an immense star ,and seemed to transcend time throughout the years.
Then there was Serge Gainsbourg and his very “sexy” song, “Je T’aime, Moi Non Plus ” which he did write originally for his then girlfriend Brigitte Bardot. When she left him, Jane Birkin came into the picture, and the rest we say is history.
Just off to “spin some discs” on my old record player!

Mademoiselle Missy and the Croques

missy and croqus

My little companion continues to delight as she comforts me after my recent loss. Her new game is to play with my shoes, putting little toys and sweet papers into them. And skidding along the floor chasing them. I am not sure why the shoes are called Croques, by the way, maybe just because the open sides have a sort of tooth look? From crocodiles of course.

Just had a Croque Monsieur for lunch. The same word. For a tasty cheese and ham toasted sandwich. I think the meaning of Croque is from the verb croquer to bite.

That’s all for this month. Until next time.
Fifi’s stories from rural France. August 2022.

Fiona Alderman: Final Farewells
Fiona Alderman: Another Place in History

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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