All the stuff you never knew you needed to know about life in rural France.....and all the stuff the books and magazines won't tell you.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

End of the's Joanna Southcott's box all over again....

I returned home before the date announced by a plethora of charlatans as being that of the end of the world according to the Maya - a bloodthirsty bunch much admired by the 'peace and love and only five hundred dollars a head for a conference on Sirius' brigade.

I had seen the preparations to prevent the devoted and the demented from clambering about Mount Bugarach in south west France....provided not only by the local gendarmerie but even by the Garde Republicaine complete with horses, making a change from their usual country break guarding the vines of the Champagne region from theft by persons or other vignerons unknown.....the whole urged on by the director of the bit of the surveillance services that survey sects.

As until fairly recently the Anglican Church in France was suspected of being a sect - weird rituals with tea cups after the service and the sale and exchange of books in a foreign language providing grounds for suspicion - the news that someone had left the village in order to buy clean underpants before Der Tag was clearly enough to set the surveillance wheels in motion.

All in vain. The portals to another dimension did not open up, no more than the usual number of UFOs were sighted and Plod's overtime was cancelled.

A non event.  

But it was the means of reminding me of something I enjoyed and continue to enjoy about rural France.......its sheer, unadulterated parochialism.
The delight in small happenings, from the shock horror of fourteen people being fined for speeding through Ste. Conasse in the course of one afternoon - about half the population of the commune - to the delight at the reopening of the village hairdresser in Ste. Barbe, everything local is worth attention.

So it was with much pleasure that I clicked on the post from the super blog Le Cafe de la Ville, to find that the blogger's own town had not been left out of the End of the World scenario.....

The area around the station, undisturbed by much activity since the passing of the steam locomotiv, had been reported as experiencing strange noises......

All good fun, even if  retribution is to be expected from the owners of the minibus, the gentlemen of the football club........and how pleasant it is to think that someone can take the time and effort to celebrate  their  own home patch.

I'm on mine, I hope that you are on yours and I wish you a merry Christmas, wherever you are.


  1. Thank heaven for the hell that is parochialism, whatever next since the big hee-haw has now been laid to rest over Bugarachville? Glad you are back with us, you have been missed.

    Back to business... did you bring home any tasty goodies fae the trip?

  2. Apparently some guru has decided he got the date wrong and it's on again for Christmas Eve...

    Goodies in abundance!

    Turkish sweet and hot pepper paste.
    Ras el hanout (with the rosebuds)
    Argon oil....

    Good to be back.

  3. Bonnes fêtes ! Ras al hanout with rosebuds but no Spanish fly? What's the point? :) Argon oil and almonds made into a nut butter is delish.

    1. I have almonds, I'll try that, thank you!
      No need for Spanish Fly in this house....though the postman has given us a suspicious looking bottle of palm sap wine and I'm remembering the fate of Grimble in 'A Pattern of Islands'...

  4. I was glad that the Mayans got it wrong though, perhaps unfairly, I will blame them when I return to work after Christmas and encounter all the misery that brings with it.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!

    1. You could always claim to be inspired by the Mayans and tear out a few beating hearts on the altar of a certain person's desk...

      That should cheer up the festive season!

  5. Replies
    1. Have a good one...inevitable if a dog is onvolved.
      Ours refuse to leave the kitchen at the moment.

  6. I've lost count of the number of times the world hasn't ended as prophesied, Fly and I expect I will see yet more of them. :-) I too love the parochialism of French rural life, as exemplified by our Sud Manche weekly paper, with its accounts of the meetings of every obscure society and local conseil municipal, however small the commune. Reading it all is not only good for my French, but explains a lot about the way my neighbours look at the world.

    Enjoy the goodies, especially the cheese.

    1. Enjoyment well under way, thank you!

      The local reporting was something that struck me when I moved to France, and, as you say, it explains what at first sight or hearing seems to be the inexplicable.

  7. Merry Christmas to you, dear friend! I wish you much love, peace and joy...for yourself and your loved ones.

    1. Thank you. I hope Christmas brings you happiness...and that the New Year brings you all you could wish for.

  8. As we're all still here, on our respective patches yet linked through cyberspace, Merry Christmas, even if I'm a tad late.
    It may not be the end of the world, but it might as well least as far as my wardrobe is concerned. I think my subconscious expected that I would need reserves of food and drink in case the End was indeed Nigh. Now, why didn't I store them in a cupboard like normal people instead of just eating them all?

    1. Because your subconscious was preparing for a trip into another dimension, where,it suspected, food and drink might be in short supply.

  9. thank you for your visits of TiB and your wonderful comments, so much appreciated!
    hope the season is treating you well

    1. Thank you...I do so enjoy your reminders of happy times in Belgium.