Saturday, 28 November 2009

The hills are alive

In October the choir had it’s annual weekend away in the mountain centre. I was one of the first to arrive, no thanks to my GPS which didn’t tell me to turn off the main road. When I arrived I phoned S to ask her to have a look at the Centre’s web cam to see if she could see me. Here I am in the purple shirt with my phone pressed to my ear.

This year there were far fewer people who stayed for the Saturday night, so the atmosphere was not the same. France were also playing a football match on the Saturday evening, so about a third of the attendees were slumped in front of that.

One of the ex-presidents of the choir had brought along her laptop and a small pair of speakers. Yes, she had a music quiz loaded up. The non-footballers were divided into teams and we were treated to classical music, national anthems, different styles of music, different composers. .. Not my thing at all.

The evening was not a complete washout though, as I did get a couple of games of babbyfoot (table football, or Fusball if you are a Friends fan).

There was a board with the room numbers available. Some rooms were singles (but they disappeared before the list hit the board), most were doubles, but there were a few triples as well.

I had a plan, so I told them that I was a snorer, so they put my name in a double room and wrote “loud snorer” underneath my name. This idea seemed to catch on, and a few other people added snorer beside their name.

The mountain centre where we were staying overnight, was much cosier this year, with new double glazing and new shower fittings.

At breakfast the following morning, I was the only one to partake of the Kellogs cornflakes. This caused a few problems as cold milk needed to be found by the staff. The jugs of milk on the trolley all contained hot milk for people to make their bowl of coffee or hot chocolate.

Once again people had brought along a variety of home-made conserves which it was compulsory to try and give some sort of informed opinion on. I ended up eating lots of bread and jam.

The walk itself was much steeper than last year, so it was a bit of a slog. Still there were blackberries, myrtilles, hazelnuts, etc growing beside our route.

We eventually reached our destination and the advanced guard had arrived in their cars, bringing mountains of food and drink with them, as well as tables and chairs. An open fire was started in preparation for the Toulouse sausages and other meats which people had brought along.

Once again I was in trouble. Why was I not eating? I’ve only just finished eating a bit of that, and that and that. Well I made this pie, tarte, cake, flan etc etc. and you have to try it. So I ended up eating far more food than I wanted.

Whilst we waited for the meat to cook, we had the aperitif. Lots of nibbles and alcohol were on offer. A couple of walkers with their young daughter passed by and were invited to share the choral food. There was much singing, eating and drinking and the young girl had a great time, following the current Presidente around wherever she went.

Some days later the choir received a letter from this family who had come from Toulouse, thanking us for our hospitality and saying that it had made their day.

There are photos from the weekend on the flicker bar at the side of this blog, if you are interested in seeing more of what went on or here


Feel free to send me your comments or suggestions