Tuesday, 21 April 2009

On the game

On Saturday evening I went along to the local primary school in the next street. As I walked down the road, I saw three gendarmes on the pavement up ahead, their police car across the road parked in the entrance to the medical centre, and with its lights flashing. Slightly further down the road on the opposite side was a small knot of about 5 spectators.
I carried on towards the police and a fire engine with sirens going, hove into view and headed towards me, literally. I thought I was going to become a pavement statistic, but it stopped at the kerb about a metre from me. I stopped briefly then proceeded again, only to stop one pace later as a door in the side of the vehicle swung open towards me, blocking the pavement and my progress, as some firemen piled out.
I started forward again, past all the uniforms, turned the corner and continued on towards the school.
Yes tonight was the first event on the local friendly society calendar. I was expecting about 5 people to turn up, but soon there were about 30 people ranging from a 3 year old, teenagers, through to the more mature 40 pluses.
There were a range of games, including a very old Monopoly set, which had Paris railway stations etc and whose money was in the old francs.
However I was there to play one of the French nations favourite card games, Belote.
Do you know how to play?
Ee dus not noe owe to play…..
Eventually I was sat at a table. Me, my partner, two opponents and an extra person to assist me.
The card sequence of values is different from what I am used to from whist, rummy etc. and having the attention span of a gnat I was a slow learner. Still by the end of the evening, some three and a half hours later, they seemed pleased with my progress. So thanks to them, I had an enjoyable evening. I may even go on next month’s family car rallye / treasure hunt / meal. (I must remember to take along a plate and cutlery. Something which is the norm at community meal events)
There were also cakes and crepes that people had baked and brought along to share during the evening. I will have to learn how to bake something to take along, but I cannot think of anything suitable British to take along. Perhaps rock cakes, as they are supposed to be hard? I will have to consult with my culinary advisor.
The teenagers had been keeping an eye on the police situation, and from what I could gather, the son (who lives in Paris) of the man who lives in the house on the corner had not heard from or been able to contact his father, so he had called in the cops. I had noticed that his mail box had not been emptied for the last week or so, but it is a teeny box, smaller than a cornflake packet. The firemen went up ladders to look in windows, but I do not know what the outcome was. Certainly no windows or doors appear to have been forced open, and the mail box is still stuffed with post and publicity….

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