Sunday, June 13, 2010

The firemen play petanque.

A sleepy summer Saturday afternoon and time for Wilfs second walk of the day. World Cup fever may be sweeping the globe but here the local townsfolk were out enjoying a beer and playing petanque in the early evening sunshine. A reminder of the cultural divide that separates north and south . People around here are more than happy to watch the French team play (any excuse for a party, a conga and a drink) but football is viewed as a northern sport - the sort of thing that is suitable for Parisians but not for red blooded farmers.

The firemen, or sapeur-pompiers , were out at the top end of the petanque field washing the fire tenders , playing petanque and being generally busy . A Saturday afternoon, sunny day ritual. Groups of local toddlers were scrambling over the fire engines watched by beaming fathers and fretful mothers. Every so often one of the little ones would be allowed to ring the bell or sound the klaxon - real laughter inducing ,family centred, joyful chaos. So different from health and safety dominated Britain.

Now and then a loud cheer and laughter would echo round the square and interrupt the petanque players concentration. The young firemen, being young firemen,were keen to enjoy themselves. Woe betide any solitary 20 something female who wandered past. They were soon sweet talked into joining one of the firemen in the cradle and then hoisted twenty metres into the air . Their ascent was accompanied by the sounds of merriment from the petanque field below. France!

We sauntered back home happy after a beer for me and a bowl of water ( and a hair tousle from the postman) for Wilf.


  1. Hi Angus
    I'm beginning to think that Wilf must be the most tousled dog on the planet!
    So you were on the Isle of Wight too in the summer of 1966 - amazing! I get the impression that you have subsequently made up for the lack of champagne ...
    Cheers, Gail

  2. Hey there Mongoose
    It's wonderful that you and Gail have found something to say "Snap" to in this unity in diversity campaign...I just love it!
    Your town both looks and sounds wonderful. Perhaps it would be the ideal place to escape from the frenzy in our land. Stay put...TV is best!
    Good luck again to your team and best wishes to the Mongeese.

  3. "Groups of local toddlers were scrambling over the fire engines watched by beaming fathers and fretful mothers"

    You know, that sentence just made my day! It perfectly captures the scene.

  4. We love hearing about life in southern France! I don't think Wilf minds being an only dog.

  5. I think that Wilf's fluffy head fur invites tousling!

    I had to look up what "petanque" is but found it. It sounds like your village really knows how to have fun!!!

  6. I will always remember petanque from The Cosby Show!

  7. Sounds like you can relax when you go to town and it's only at home where the chaos of renovation takes its toll.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  8. I wondered if you can relate to some of these... I have a feeling you have already described a few similar scenarios

  9. If I could, I would tousle Wilf's hair too! :) Since I've been reading your blog regularly now, he's come to hold a special place in my heart.

    Off to look up pentanque, never heard of that game before.

  10. Hi Angus and Wilf,

    We heard so much about you guys from Jake and Just Harry's mom Joan. She loves your writing, and its obvious why. Love all the pictures from that bootiful part of the world you live in!

    Love nibbles,
    Miss Sunshade

  11. Your village still sounds better than mine! Although I will admit that our firemen are pretty friendly and often cook out on big grills here for fundraisers.