Sunday, May 20, 2007

May 19th, 2007

The merry month of May. Not exactly. April drifted in with warm temperatures, smells of spring sauntered through the windows as flowers bloomed, butterflies floated from flower to flower…. THEN MAY. Temperatures dropped back to the 60’s and the rains began. Put the sweater back on and the shorts away. This month has been rather cool and lots of rain. Not always heavy rain, sometimes just drizzle, but what can you do outside when it drizzles day after day and is around 62 degrees. I should not complain too much, there was lots of concern over the low water levels (no rain the entire month of April). And then today is beautiful; blue sky with white puffy clouds. The elections ( the second round) were held on the first weekend of May. Voting here is on Sunday. There was a 85-86% turnout. Can you imagine that in the USA. Even my friend in England states it is something they can only dream about. Of course you all know the outcome by now. Mr Nicolas Sarkozy is now president. He took office on Wednesday (16th). He was elected on May 6th. So 10 days only from election to taking office. Already he has put together his cabinet. M Follin is the new Prime Minister. What do I know about it all. Not much. M Sarkozy is to the right politically. Some of the English press state that he is pro American. They never explain exactly what is meant by that statement. I do not think that M Chirac was at all anti-American. He had one disagreement with the US, and that was over the war in Iraq. Have no idea why he is “more” pro American. However I did here a snatch that was a comparison with Kennedy. M. Sarkozy is 52 years old, and has a young son who is only 10 years old. He goes out jogging (can’t even picture M Chirac out jogging) and tries to dress “more modern”. It is a great difference between the two men (Chirac and Sarkozy) in age and personalities. Right now I will reserve judgment and watch what happens in the next months. Started the month with a very busy weekend. Happily it has slowed down since then. On Friday, May 4th I helped set up for the Photo Club’s annual Photo Expo. That took a lot of time! To sort, and hang and number 65 photos! I left at 7pm that evening and promised to return in the morning to help finish the set up. And that I did, returned at 9am. People started coming a little after 10 am, the mayor arrived a little after 11am. True to form, cups of wine were put out with some snacks for the opening ceremony with the mayor. We were in the Cave of the community building.. a room with vaulted ceiling (we were in the basement). Really a nice long room. Upstairs there was a pottery exhibit. Marie Therese came over that afternoon for a visit (she wanted to see the exhibit). So we walked up to the community center (about 3km) and looked at the photos and pottery. That evening we had the Photo Club dinner. Luckily it is at the Bar/Restaurant just around the corner from us. They serve lunch Monday through Friday and dinners are only done for a group by prior request. We had a nice dinner that evening and we could stroll home. It had rained hard while we had dinner, but as we walked home there was only a drop here and there. Next morning up early because I was selling a few things at a Vide Grenier (“empty the attic”) over in Fleurey. Our friends live over in Fleurey and Robert belongs to their photoclub. This Vide Grenier was set up by the photo club. Wendy had lined up at 6am to reserve a place for us. The park where it was held is not far from their house. So I arrived and we set everything out for sale and marked our prices. We were fortunate that it was not a rainy day. People came through all day long. We stayed there until 6pm. I had mostly bits and bobs. Tried one of my garden stones, but it didn’t sell. One woman may have bought it, until she tried to pick it up. It is set into 1 ½ inch of cement! Nor did the picture we have of the loons sell. There are no loons in France. All in all it was a good day. Keith arrived on his bike in the late afternoon and helped to pack up. It was Robert’s birthday, so we had a glass of champagne and some cake and set off for home. The next morning, Monday, I was again back at the community center to help take down the exhibit. We took a walk one afternoon in the hills above Gevrey with the genealogy club. There is an old source up there (spring) and a old mill(well the ruins of the old mill). M Magnier led the group and talked about the farming that was done up there when he was a boy (he is about 80) and told of stories that he heard from his grandfather. He has the old Burgundian accent and it is hard for me to understand, but I had Keith along and he filled me in. After our walk M Magnier invited everyone over for a glass ( a coup or coup de verre) at his house. I am enjoying my two clubs and am now getting to know some people here in Gevrey. My French is not perfect, I understand more that I speak, but I am slowly getting there. Jumping in and getting involved really helps too. I have not been taking French classes lately. My professor had a hip replacement the first part of March. I do miss the classes. I did get a postcard from him this last week, and he is recuperating well. Don’t know if we will have classes during June or wait until next fall. My smalti (glass mosaic tiles from Venice) arrived this week. I am so excited. When the project is done I will send photos. Sure hope it goes well! This last week we decided to replenish our champagne supply. Wendy and Robert needed some too, so we thought we would go to our favorite champagne house (2 hours away) that gives us a discount for being loyal customers. We decided to leave about 11am and have a nice lunch before we went to taste champagne. And we did indeed have a very nice lunch. Food was wonderful. Then it was about 2:30pm so we left to go over to Chez Moutarde (champagne house). It was only about 15km from the restaurant. As we approached the village we noticed cars parked all along the country road. Hmm, what is going on today. Then there were more and more cars. Hmm. We had to cross a highway to go into the village, and there stood a man with a flag blocking the road. He was signaling us to the right for parking (in a farm field). We stopped and rolled down the window and told him we did not want to park. OK, how can we enter the village, we just want some champagne. “Well the village is blocked off today for the funeral.” Can we go around to the other side and enter, we are going to Chez Moutarde for some champagne. “Oh no, today is the funeral for M Moutarde. They are closed.” And so it goes. We visited a church in another village, Chaource. Over the centuries they have collected pieces of religious art. It is very interesting church. Today I saw in the paper the announcement for the 396th Fete de Bague. It is a festival that started in the middle ages and continues yet today. There is a horse race on the second weekend of the festival, and that is when the Bague is awarded (the ring). That is all I have to say today.