Tuesday, 21 October 2008

18 October 2008 Saturday – Sentenac

The day is a cool, grey one. 5mm of rain is forecast for the town, but the outlook is “sunny”???
I hope that the weather will be dry in them tharr hills.
I get up at 8am and after my shower and breakfast, I start putting together everything that I think I might need for the weekend.
While rooting through my drawers I find a rucksack….. Oh dearie me! I say.
The tenants’ windows are still wide open and there is no sign of their van.
Should I leave them a note asking them to shut their windows if they are away overnight? Should I use my keys and go and shut their windows.?
Building security issues. What a nightmare. It would happen when I am away overnight.
I see that HB is the first “follower” registered on my blog. It’s good to know that someone out there is reading this fascinating account of my life’s journey,

I have some lunch then load up the car. Sat nav programmed, I set off into the grey afternoon. I arrive at my destination with no problem, 5 minutes before official welcoming time.
A couple of people are there already. We will be allotted rooms this evening. We have a cup of coffee and eat some of the figs from peoples’ gardens, home made citron biscuits etc then it is down to the business of the day.
Various sheet music is handed out. Drinking songs in French and Italian. Two hours of singing follow.
Then just when it looks like we might be having a break, the men go off with the choir director and practice other songs. One is an update of “little red riding hood”. She shoots the wolf with a machine gun “taca, taca tac”
Surely this is the end of the practice. Nope the choir director has to go and perform somewhere else this evening so the pianist takes the choir members through everything again.
At last it is time for room allocation. There are around 26 people. There are 7 couples, so couples are to be allocated their rooms first. It appears that there may be more than 7 couples as some more are couples for the evening.
(There are non-singing people there with choir members too)
I am in luck and I get a room with 4 bunk beds in it all to myself.
No time to rest though as it is time for our aperitif. Choir members have brought olives, Pringles, cheese, bread, sausage etc etc and wine. Then it is time for the meal.
I sit next to people that I have not spoken to before and the meal passes fast.
We start off with a soup plate for our soup, and this plate stays with us for the steak and roast potatoes/mushrooms, lettuce, slice of cream cake, cheese. In that order.
There is also red wine. I then have 2 cherries which have been preserved in eau de vie. This strips my throat much to the amusement of all.
I then have a drink of something else which has no effect much to their disappointment.
Then one of the men recites a few poems, and humorously acts out following a recipe for cooking chicken involving glasses of whisky.
Tables are cleared and it is time for the initiation ceremony for new people.
I have to sit in a semi circle with the other lucky people an “Did you know Elaina went to Paris?” “No what did she buy?” “She bought a ….. you get the idea. We took it in turns and had to keep doing all the actions at all times. It was fairly exhausting. And all in French!!!

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