Monday, 24 August 2009

Fête du village

When we arrived here in 2005, we did not have the foggiest idea what was happening in the villages around us. Slowly we started to built up a circle of friends, mainly through our French lessons. A couple of times a year our French teacher organises a soirée, where one meets his or her fellow students.
And all these people (mainly British) were talking over and over again about the village party in their village, and what they had to do to turn it into a success. One had to help set up the tables, another had to help out with the barbecue, etc.
And although we want to be part of our village, we were never aware of any village party. To fathom why we did not know, a little geography of the village might help understanding this.
When we go through Chazelle, e.g. to go to Cormatin, we have to take a road that is literally skirting the village. Along this road there are a number of houses; most of them are uninhabited; either because they simply are empty, or because they are second homes. As far as we know, there are is only one house permanently occupied. From this road there are three other roads, more or less perpendicular to the main road, going up hill, direction church. Hence the real village is situated on top of the hill, around the church. That is where all 30 permanent villagers live, including the mayor of Cormatin.
Last year, at the yearly brocante on 14 July, we bumped into the mayor’s wife. She told us, that the village party was going to be held on 4 August, and that we would receive an invitation. Lo and behold, a few days later we found an invitation in the letterbox. We phoned the contact person to find out what we were supposed to do (oh, just bring some wine and nibbles), and at the same time he told us why we had never been invited previously. Nobody really knew we existed, because everyone thought our house was part of the commune of Bray, and not of Cormatin. It was only because the mayor and his wife were on the committee this year, that they remembered to invite us! So we finally managed not only to be invited to wreath layings, but to the village party as well!
This year was our second village party. Contrary to last year, when a suckling pig was provided by the owners of “Le Petit Soif” (a cluster of houses, one of which is owned by the mayor), this year the set-up was a bit more sober. We had to bring 100 plastic plates and cups, and others donated wine, snacks, food for on the barbecue, cutlery, etc.
We think it is certainly thrilling to meet one’s fellow villagers. Even if half of them live most of the year in Paris, Lyon, Switzerland or other places……

The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

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