Friday, April 2, 2010

The association

The church bell has a crack in it. Instead of going ding-dong it chimes with a rather off key dunk-dunk. That however is the least of its problems. The bell mechanism has been 'repaired' by the mayor and now chimes eleven times, on the hour , every hour ; twice. The first set of clunking chimes are followed by a second set of dunks three minutes later. After five months of living here we've got used to it but sometimes in the wee hours of the morning I find myself surfacing from sleep and unconciously counting the bells sonorous dunk, dunk, dunk . Ah ! eleven chimes it must be nearly two o'clock.

Somehow , ( a story for another post and another day ) I found myself 'volunteering' to organize and fund a concert in the village church to raise money for a professional repair of the clock mechanism ( not I hasten to add that the mayors repair using an old salmon can and a length of string was anything other than professional ). What should have been a simple process - book the orchestra, hold a concert, take the money at the door , get on with life - has suddenly taken on the complexity of negotiations at the UN Security Council. Despite their mutual loathing the two village associations have mysteriously become involved. The warring factions arrived at the house yesterday morning for an impromptu council of war - we naturally were the last to hear about it . What started off as a simple concert is now becoming a political minefield. Who will do the catering ? ( Apparently, this being France, wine and food have to be offered to visitors to the village ). Would the concert goers like a guided walking tour of the village before the recital? Should they arrange a firing of the new pottery kiln ? ( Don't even ask about that one!) Perhaps a brief lecture on pottery making in the region during the middle ages might be apt? Who will be responsible for putting the advert in the local paper? Has the prefect been invited? Should the art class hang their works in the village hall? At the end of the meeting I could feel the cold clutch of panic gripping my throat.

Wilf and Digby watched the comings and goings with great interest. They have clearly decided that every visitor has come to see them. The lady in the large purple felt hat with the three prominent partridge feathers elicited a bark.

More, much more to come in this terror filled saga.


  1. Sounds more like a village fair than a concert, LOL! I bet this could be written into a movie script by the time it's all said and done. I am looking forward to another post in this saga. Of course, everything should be documented with photographs for us bloggy readers!

    Liz (aka Ninny) from Oklahoma

  2. Ahhh, the best laid plans, huh? The church is very beautiful. Guess the minister's sermons must be of the long and boring variety, hence the uncomfortable benches to prevent any parishioners from falling asleep.

    Petey shares the boyz attitude - his motto is "Everyone's happy to see me and there may be cookies." Not bad words to live by.

    Jane and Petey

  3. M'Ongoose, I think you are in serious peril here! It sounds like this will be a Big Production. Perhaps it's not too late for you, the font and the boyz to take a long vacation somewhere?

    I guess it's a really good thing you didn't model for the art class now, eh?!

    You do know that if this goes well, they're going to get you to do the next one, too, right?

    Good luck! I can't wait to hear more of this story!

  4. Fortunately you have all of us to soothe your panicked brow and reassure you that you can bring the Boyz and flee to any of our welcoming homes should the "volunteering" become too overwhelming.

    In the meantime, I agree, we need photos. And perhaps a clip with that dink dink dink dink dink dink dink dink dink dink dink!!

    Joyeux Paques!!

    Joan and the Barkalots (i.e., woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof)

  5. Ninny -You're quite right there is a movie script in this - a horror movie.

    Petey - The old church hasn't had a priest in 40 odd years - those backless benches probably finished off a fair % of the congregation. In the absence of a priest it's up to this civic minded old Calvinist to keep the roof on and the clock going!

    Houndstooth - They are already talking about an annual festival and we haven't even arranged the first concert yet!

    Jake - First I volunteered with the champagne and now with arranging a concert - not even the good old open hearted US would accept anyone that daft!

  6. Ah. Well. You've done it now. Volunteered.
    I volunteered to put on a home tour in my neighborhood nine years ago. Guess who is still doing it? I have at least managed to make it a every other year event, but I have resigned myself to the fact that it is my albatross and will remain so until I move to Scotland. I do feel for you. I have a feeling we two would have lots to talk about over coffee.

  7. Pamela - I fear that at the end of this adventure something stronger than coffee would be needed !

  8. Awwww Mongoose!

    I always knew you were an inspiration!...It is so evident by the numbers of people you have inspired to action! Geesh Im impressed! for the mongooses/eese parade to our shores during the FIFA event...if you are in JHB, please let us know...perhaps we could meet for dinner somewhere - South AFrican style?

    Think about it! (Although I suspect you are a seasoned traveller)...and might be put off by 'simple' people.

    Im holding thumbs that the anebriated church bell will sober up.


  9. oh my. sounds like this will test your diplomacy skills for sure. may i suggest a pre-concert visit to the boyz to offer cookies and other delicious snacks? ;)

    the booker man's mama