|Another view of the chateau (you haven’t seen this angle) in our village.|
It was a rather busy weekend for us.My-Reason-For-Living-In-France (MRFLIF) and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary Friday, which is coincidentally the longest day of the year and the theoretic first day of summer.
|A balalaika, which, as you can see, when held horizontally can easily serve as a flat surface for a glass of Champagne. . .|
When we were married we had our reception in our garden under a large tent. Entertainment included an American pianist and singer whom I met while writing a story for Town & Country on French jazz clubs and another group of Russian gitanes (gypsies) with a gorgeous young woman who, throughout the evening, perched glasses of Champagne on the balalaika player’s instrument and induced guests to glug down the liquid while everyone clapped.
All of our dogs, four at the time, and our cat were invited and dinner was catered by the one star restaurant in our village. It was quite a night and, being the longest day of the year, the sky was light until 11 p.m. Almost everyone stayed until the sun came up again. Neighbors, whom we had never met, told us later that they opened their doors and windows to hear the music. No one called the gendarmes.
|A Bernard Buffet painting of our village. The “Cafe – Epicirie – Vins” is now a cafe and bar. That’s where we celebrated our anniversary.|
Flash forward to a small world story. To celebrate, we decided to go to the tiny cafe in our village — run by Gregoire who is half French, half American — where we discovered we were seated next to a pretty Dutch woman, her English husband and his brother, and their adorable daughter Josephine. Everyone spoke perfect English of course and we have now decided to re-connect after the summer holidays. As we were leaving we heard a man speaking to Greg, again in English. We asked him where he was from and he said, “Cincinnati, Ohio.”
|Fortunately, thought not for Charlotte, but for us, we can see the fireworks from our house.|
Last night was the village fete with an American Country Western theme (every year there is a theme of some sort) featuring the most delicious hamburgers I have ever eaten. When I doubled back to thank the young men for their fine fare, a lovely 22-year-old girl — yes, we’re allowed to say “fille” over here (the French have gotten quite PC, but haven’t hit on this distinction for the moment) who heard my accent and launched into perfect English telling me how much she loved Americans and that she one day hopes to live in the United States.
These are the sorts of encounters — so random, so marvellous, so French in my experience — that make life wonderful.
|Charlotte with a pine cone on her paw.|
Like Cinderella, we left before the evening finished with the annual fireworks display because Charlotte is terrified by not only the sound, but also the splashes of brilliant light in the sky.
She would definitely fail the police dog test.