Newer members of the growing expat community here in Faire-Le-Dodo (87) may have been nonplussed by the strange state of suspended animation that our commune appears to have settled into for the past few weeks.
Please be reassured, this is perfectly normal. Indeed, the French have a word for it – août. That’s August to you and me.
More perceptive readers – and longer-term residents – may also have noticed that immediately prior top the advent of août there was a full-scale dress rehearsal. The French also have a word for this. Juillet.
Things are clearly returning to normal now, however: the schools are back and the various clubs and societies are starting up again after their summer hiatus. Just for the record, though, here are a few things that you might have missed:
The heatwave. So what if there’s a hosepipe ban, your lawn has died and your apples are about the size of walnuts? At least you’ve learned a new word – ‘canicule’. Two if you didn’t already know that a hosepipe is a ‘tuyau’.
The unfortunate events in our neighbouring commune. After the resounding success of Faire-Le-Dodo (87)’s national day celebrations, it’s with a heavy heart that we have to report that the Assumption Day Fête just down the road in Pasmèche fell somewhat short of hopes and expectations, as only a couple of tricked-out Deux-Chevaux and a rusting Renault Dauphine turned out for the promised Vintage Cars Rally.
To make matters worse, a severe miscalculation as regards timings turned the much-vaunted ‘BBQ’ into an apologetic presentation of a plastic plate bearing three carbonised pork products and a congealing lump of what was alleged to be pommes dauphinoise (which might, though, have done an effective job in plugging the gaps in the bodywork of the eponymous Renault).
The end of an era. Sad but true: Faire-Le-Dodo (87)’s Bar-Tabac L’Effrayant has closed its shutters for the last time as Madame Tricot senior has transferred the business across the road to La Petite Superette et Salon de Thé which, as we all know, is run by her daughter Elise. To make matters worse, although the Tabac bit went over to the Superette, the alcohol licence didn’t.
This may not have much of an impact on the expat community, who tended to avoid the place in any case, and still have the Frog et Fromage and the Surrender Monkey to drink in. However, the news has been taken very hard by the Tabac’s core clientele who, in the absence of any local equivalent of Wetherspoons or a Yates’s Wine Lodge to turn to, have been seen in the Jardinage Contondant taking matters into their own hands by buying up all the rubber tubing and compost bins.
And the Superette’s completely out of sugar.