Sunday, October 2, 2011
Sunday morning .
6.57 am in the village hall . The place crammed to the gunnals with farmers , their sons and the ever present pose of Jack Russells . The Jack Russells are playing their game of climbing up onto the stage then jumping out of the low windows onto the village green . They then rush back inside to repeat the process . Over and over and over . Boundless energy . No one bothers stopping them . The process from beginning to end conducted in complete silence .
The mayor, the deputy mayoress ( the token female presence ) and the convener of the Village Fleuri Committee are all to be found , wine glass in hand , at the front door . '' Bonjour Ongoose. Ca va Wilfee ? " Much shaking of hands . The mayor looks approvingly at the two bottles of 2009 Pauillac that I'm carrying . France are through to the rugby finals so everyone in a good mood.
Conversation stops for the Fijian and then the Welsh anthems . Even the five year olds hold their peace . Old fashioned French style courtesy . The Fijian national anthem has a certain innocence to it . The mayor hums along , atonaly , to the Welsh anthem . It's " ze land of my father '' he informs me . I nod and offer to top up his glass . He smiles . At my feet Wilf has fallen asleep, head resting on his front paws . Before the morning is over he may get a sliver of croissant from the deputy mayoress or perhaps some undercooked cheeseburger.