Sunday 9 August 2009

Festivals, melons and a baker.

The cheapest melons at the moment are on sale in the local hardware store. One Euro each.

For some reason he has piles of them, not only in the shop itself but the storage area too. I don't know why. Ask the owner for a camping mat or a set of tent pegs and you will be disappointed (as i was) but buy a melon and he'll give you an extra one for free.

In the village, home this week to "THE FESTIVAL", someone is selling half a scooped out melon for 3 euro, that's a profit margin of, well, quite a lot.

The festival in the local village is a comedy festival, though to be honest this year the funniest thing has been watching the postman dance after a couple of beers at the apero-concerts.

And since he does this every time he has a couple of beers the village doesn’t really need to organise a festival, with all the grilled sausages that this entails, to watch him.

The apero-concerts are free and start the evening off in front of the church, which of course wears a red nose for the occasion.

I don’t know what the vicar thinks of this and if the church had a vicar I could ask him. However the village, despite the church AND three zebra crossings – one of which connects to the church – has no vicar, and in fact the church is more often open for festivity, exhibitions and back stage technicalities during the 9 day festival than it is for prayer and worship the rest of the year.

Although the heart of the festival are the two theatres presenting comedy theatre nightly, one in the converted Templar’s Castle the other, open-air, in the transformed school courtyard, and although the melon sellers are turning a happy profit, the real winner at the festival is the woman who runs the bakery.

She came to the village a few years back to finally take control of a Boulangerie that had seen more divorces consummated among the resident bakers than croissants consumed by the villagers.

It had become dammed.

It had also conspired to sell the world’s worst bread.

Not only did she turn it around, add a DVD library, a fresh vegetable section and a hole in the wall coffee service but she procreated fruitfully and has ensured a high probability of one of her offspring maintaining the business long after she has risen to the dough palace in the sky.

She did all this in a room the size of a cupboard.

It’s just a shame she still uses the old recipe book.

During the festival she stays open not only on Monday – unheard of in Rural France – but well into the small hours of the night. Not satisfied with raking money in hand over fist in her shop she has craftily installed an empty trailer in the meadow above the church and from within its carcass she has a team of family members turning out highways of fresh fried chips.

Judging by the queues they taste better than the bread.

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