Fiona Alderman: Updates from France
A strange but busy time this past month. The terrible bins are still a nuisance and people are complaining but to no avail.Two associations have now begun from the ill fated Vieux Metiers and I went along to a meeting recently for one of them. Adventurous plans are being discussed in true French manner, with no concrete decisions at the end. What might be good is they are going to use La Halle which is a beautiful stone market place used centuries ago as a thriving cattle market. It was in the heart of Salignac, Le Bourg they call it, and is the oldest part of the village.
They are calling this new business S.E.E or Salignac Eyvigues Evenemential, what a mouthful, no wonder they need to shorten it!
We have things like le C.A.S.E,le C.A.F,le C.P.A.M and even le S.E.L.A.R.L. all shortened for ease but it takes working out I can tell you.
The other Fete is happening in August more or less at the same time as the SEE one so there is bound to be confusion – particularly for tourists.
Finally, Notre Dame. A lot of controversy over whether it should be modernized or restored to the original. An artists competition is underway to decide whether a futuristic spire should be built and if the roof should have a greenhouse on top of it. Not so lovely perhaps.
Like our small village squabbles , this will long continue I think.
A piece of history concerning Scotland and France was James V of Scotland married Madeleine of France at Notre Dame in 1537 and Mary Queen of Scots married the French Dauphin Francis 11 in 1558.
Audrey et Amélie
The French have a love affair with the charming film ” Le Fabuleux Destin D’ Amélie Poulain or Amélie for short.Starring the superb actress Audrey Tautou, and directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet,it is set in Montmartre and surrounding Paris, telling of a shy young waitress who tries to change the lives of others around her.Even though she herself feels isolated she touches on others loneliness with compassion and gentle humour.She invents strategies to come into their lives but incognito,and she allows her imagination to run completely free to help them.
All the characters are superbly played: there is the hypochondriac, the concierge who enjoys a little “tipple ” and Amelie’s neighbour that she sees from her window.
There is a lovely scene in a phone booth, that she sets up to ring just as an elderly man comes by. She is watching from nearby as he goes into the booth to find an old fashioned tin lying on the shelf. It is filled with old photos and miniature bicycle models that remind him of his childhood. There are also marbles that he used to love. He wanders dazed into a bar and tells everyone that the phone had been calling him. Amelie is there and she knows her little game is working as he tells them all he is determined to get in touch with his daughter who now has a son that he has never seen.
This film is beautifully filmed and has a certain look and colour that is prevalent in Jeunet’s work.
It subsequently won many awards including an Oscar for Audrey Tautou.She is an actress that is talented and courageous in the choice of films she makes.Always interesting.
She also has the same birthday as me,on the 9th of August.A proud Lioness.
I read recently that a woman had been fined 500 Euros for killing a pig rescued from a slaughterhouse.True apparently.She had even signed an “adoption contract” to keep the pig until the end of his natural life but instead she killed it and sold the meat. Why, I have no idea.
The other story is one of underpants which analyse the quality of soil in winemaking. One of 6 winemakers in the Dordogne buried a pair of “organic pants” in the soil of his vineyard!
Apparently, the quicker the cotton material breaks down, the better the soil is for winemaking.
Well, so many things I never knew.
I wish you all a good month and until the next time from France Profonde.
Fifi’s stories from rural France.
Salignac Foundation Dance and film courses in SW France.
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