Hope you had a good week.
In my little corner of France spring has sprung and that means time for a tidy up. The Mayor asked everyone to join a “clean the village campaign” and to my surprise almost half the inhabitants turned up last Sunday morning to get involved.
We were told to be there for 9.30 with a 10.00 start time. “Half an hour?” I said to my other half “We’ve got to be there half an hour before the start time, I wonder why?”. Well the answer is it takes that long to kiss everyone and shake hands! We arrived with fifteen minutes to spare, by which time there were already loads of people in the town hall holding tiny plastic cups and knocking back strong black coffee, the sort that would keep you awake for a week. We walked the line of those already gathered, instinctively arranged in a sort of semi-circle, sharing pecks on the cheek. Left, right or left, right, left – to be truthful I have no idea what you’re really supposed to do, and some shake hands – so you just have to watch carefully and respond in kind. Then we got on the end of the line and the newcomers shuffled their way round, mwah-mwah or mwah-mwah-mwahing until they got to the end and we were all done. In fact, it took so long for everyone to get round that we didn’t start cleaning until well after ten o’clock!
We donned warm clothes because it was freezing cold and then roamed the little roads with bin bags and collected every shred of rubbish we could possibly find. It didn’t take long on account of the fact that there are very few roads and it was already quite clean. I chatted to my lovely Dutch neighbours as we searched under the hedgerows, wild birds flying up in protest, and time flew by. These get togethers are as much about bonding as getting a result.
Afterwards it was back to the Town Hall for a thank you from the Mayor in the form of a glass of sparkling wine with a hint of Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur), it makes for a jolly bunch at 11 o’clock in the morning I can tell you!
Bisous from France
ps photo is looking over my village, the cows enjoying the spring!
pps Don’t forget to indulge in the spring issue of The Good Life France magazine, link below, it’s gorgeous and its FREE!
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