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Bon weekend newsletter from football mad France!


Hope you had a good week.

I don’t know about you, but I am not a massive football fan (I’m more a rugby kind of girl). It seems that I am a bit of a rarity, certainly in my little village in the middle of nowhere rural France. Last Saturday the other half disappeared into the house and I heard him close the shutters (yes the new ones, I’m not finished painting them yet but they’re fitted to the windows).

It was a beautifully sunny day. The sky was a deep Wedgewood blue, the air scented with roses since almost every garden in my little road is in full bloom. Hollyhocks, those tall willowy plants with colourful blossoms stood straight and still, no swaying because there was hardly any breeze. Cats lolled in the heat, birds tweeted gently, but other than that there was pretty much silence. No tractor went by. Not even a wedding cavalcade disturbed the quiet. We’re on a very pretty route through the Seven Valleys and on Saturdays, it’s a tradition for a just married couple to drive their cars through the streets from the local town hall where weddings are conducted, to their party venue, bibbing their hooters (or horns as Americans say), followed by their friends and family, all hooting too.

It turned out the football was on and France was playing a knockout game that afternoon. I sat in my office in the pigsty, windows open, enjoying the peace. After just a few minutes, I heard a huge cheer. It seemed to come from all around the village. I emailed my friend Patricia who was in Nice and had just posted “Allez Les Bleus” on her Facebook page. “Did France just score?” I asked. “Oui” came back the answer. A little while later, a groan echoed round the valley. “Did the other side just score?” I typed on Facebook. “Oui” came the answer. By now I was also hearing from my friend Frederic in Picardy. For the next hour or so I listened to the cheering and the groaning. Finally, a huge cheer went up. “Did France win?” I asked Frederic and Patricia: “OUI” came the answer. Just minutes after, a convoy of cars came through the village, hooters bibbing away, mostly likely a wedding group that had stopped proceedings to watch the football. I could hear my neighbours out in the little wiggly streets that criss cross the village chatting animatedly and cheering the wedding cars on. I have to say, I don’t mind the football this way and I shall be enjoying matches featuring France, from my office via cheers and groans from my neighbours!

Wishing you a very bon weekend,
Bisous from France

Ps don’t forget it’s Bastille Day next Saturday – if you can’t be in France enjoying it, why not make a delish French dish? There are tons of lovely recipes on the website…

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