Sunday, 25 January 2009

French resistance

After the night and day of the big storm all seems to be well. Apart from my wheelie bin being blown over no damage seems to have been done to my property. The man with the garage opposite has lost plastic sheeting off parts of the roof though.
It was the extra day of choir practice today, so I had to drag myself out of bed relatively early to reach the practice before the 9.30am start. I passed a few uprooted trees, a small collapse of rock and earth, road with lots of small pieces of broken roof tiles etc. Last night we had a power cut for a good 3 seconds. We were lucky. Hundreds of thousands of homes in France were left without power. Mental note to self, think about alternative emergency source of heating / cooking.
Almost the full choir turned out for the practice and we began the Petite Messe from the beginning. It was a struggle and I for one was glad when it was lunch time.
Before the meal appeared, people produced bottles of wine, olives, cake etc for people to share. Dejeuner was salad, blanquettes de veau (very tasty), red wine, tart, cheese and black coffee. Not a drop of milk in sight.
We managed to make the meal last as long as possible, but eventually we had to move all the chairs back into choral formation.
At around 2.45pm the choir’s part-time accompanist arrived to assist the choir director. This is the first time that I have seen her. She usually only appears at major practices and for the public performances.
As yet we have not met any of the people who will be performing the solos which are dotted about the piece. Boy are they in for a shock unless we make mighty strides towards perfection, or “top” as the choir presidente calls it.
In our quest for “top” she announced that we will have an extra day of practice on the 29 March.
By 5-30pm most of us were getting too tired to carry on. We were saved only because the lady who was in charge of the building was wanting to leave.
We knew this because she had her hat and coat on and was standing outside peering through the window at us……… Vive la France!

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