Saturday, July 19

Village Fete

19th July
The village is en fete this weekend kicking off with an opening night supper. Last night I found myself in the kitchen at the Salle des Fetes washing wine bottles with a dumb smiley woman in bright lipstick. People buzzed around chopping tomatoes, making salads and above all chatting. A woman stirred sausages in a large cauldron placed on a gas burner. The sausages emit so much water that they are stewing not sizzling. Smiley Woman and I filled wine bottles from large plastic containers, helped fuss around with tables, chairs and decorations then went home to get dressed up. Later, when guests arrive they are given two thin plastic trays, one with a salad in it and the other containing the grey sausage and lentils. I took mine and joined three elderly ladies on one of the plastic tables outside. One of them - a fierce-looking lady in slippers is a reincarnatation of Eena Sharples  for half an hour I am a member of their coven as they exchange gossip and sharp observations. It’s huge fun. Suddenly clouds scud over and there’s clearly going to be a storm. Two of my companions have finished eating and head inside but seconds of sausage are coming round, I correctly judge how much sausage I can eat before the raindrops start falling but Eena doesn’t  I dash in to shelter as she struggles manfully on in the rain.

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