We didn't think that there was much more that could surprise us about life in our sleepy little village. That is until this morning. Madame Bay, who is still very taken with the new locum : - "Il est vachement bandant!" - arrived with a spring in her step and a smile on her lips. She was collecting for the 'antique' ie 'bric a brac' stall for Saturdays saint day festivities. I gladly scouted around for some pieces that she could take away with her. Then she dropped the bombshell. 'Had we made reservations for the dinner on Saturday night?'.
It seems that every year the two mutually loathing village committees hold a 'feast' after the yard sale and at the end of the religious ceremonies. At six in the evening the statue of the local saint is paraded around the village ( yes, that's right past all eight houses ) to scare away evil spirits. Then after the hard work is done everyone from the village and the outlying farms ( a grand total of 67 including yours truly and 'the font' ) repairs to the village hall for a night of festivating. At midnight, which by my reckoning is at least five and a half hours after the armagnac and floc have been opened there is a 'feu de la St.Jean'.
The sight of the slightest tremble on the fonts lower lip told me that we were both sharing the same tear inducing vision of a chiffoned Madame Bay dancing and hopping around the village bonfire in a solstace frenzied druidic fertility dance. A French Boadicea. What have we done? Where have we come to? Would the young locum be there? Would the knee problem disappear as suddenly as it arrived? Welcome to the world of John Updike.