Sunday, 3 August 2014

Repas du Village 2014 - changes

The annual village eve of Bastille Day meal saw changes this year. First of all it was moved to the 12th July from the 13th to avoid conflict with the World Cup football final. It also moved back to the Place du Peyrou after 2 years on the Pétanque pitch. A live group was replaced by a disc jockey, not a bad move considering half decent musicians will have been in big demand. As compensation there was a a live spectacle of dancing can-can style to get everyone into the mood.

Another change was the return after many years of the BBQ by the church wall. Having cooked some excellent sausages the shot below captures lamb chops for 750.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Fête de la Musique

In France, the Fête de la Musique has been going since 1982 when it was initiated by the culture ministry. The idea is for musicians across the spectrum perform for free on the longest day of they year (and well into the following day). Most towns and villages erect a stage and provide a buvette for 7+ hours of live concerts.

The village has never seriously participated beyond the independent efforts of the Café de la poste. This year saw the first Mairie organised event, at least this century. A new Mayor was elected this spring so plaudits and complaints go to the Mairie. Given the big turnout the evening was a resounding success. No doubt a balmy evening and the 21st June being a Saturday this year helped.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Café de la Poste

The Café de la Poste takes it's name from the former post office next door, the stonework engravings are well preserved. Founded in 1903 it has outlived three other village cafés during that time.

Spring 2013 saw the arrival of a new owner Alain. Before then it was more functional as a café and bar with a somewhat basic restaurant. Arguably somewhere to go out of necessity than pleasure, rustic would have been a polite description of the wine for example. One year on and while little has changed physically beyond some improved lighting and a splash of paint, the atmosphere and events have been transformed.

Wednesday night is (loosely) Jazz and Blues with an open stage to all comers. Thursday is Karaoke. Most Saturday nights feature a band. The scene below is from an Easter dinner with music and wines to partner the meal including village producer Villa Symposia (wines also available in the bar).

Facebook users can keep up to date at Café de la poste.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Deluge then Drought

The Garelle frequently all but dries up in summer and in the many dry winters of recent years has been barely a trickle. So far 2014 has been worryingly dry and as the photos above show so is the Garelle. Even the pools and damp moss patches have gone. The UK has witnessed the wettest winter on record in places.

By contrast March 2013 was the wettest here since perhaps 1946; it was in Montpellier with 215 mm and north of Montpellier around the Pic St Loup 2013 had the wettest March on record. These pictures from the same spots were taken after these rains.

2013 also saw late spring rains. As well as losing all the almond crop in March several varieties of apricots were lost in April and May to flowering inhibiting deluges. At the time of typing there is little rain in the forecast.