Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer storms.

It started off hot and it got hotter. This didn't seem to deter the crowds who were soon flocking into the village, scouring the bric a brac stalls in search of hidden treasures and marvelling at the festive scarecrows at the bus stop and outside the pharmacy. By ten the village was full and visitors cars were parked, higgeldy piggeldy, all the way along the lane and under whatever shade was at hand. The mayor gave a brief, largely inaudible formal opening speech, in which he thanked all the antique dealers for coming . Looking at the motley array of limbless dolls and three wheeled prams on offer one couldn't help but feel that the word 'antique' has a uniquely broad range of interpretations.

By five in the afternoon the heat of the plain and the cool air from the Pyrenees were colliding, sending huge columns of white cloud tumbling and jostling high into the sky. The antique dealers eyed the developing anvil heads, folded their umbrellas, filled their vans, and before you knew it were off. By seven it had become overcast and humid - not just humid but that thick cloying, lethargy inducing humidity that you find in Savannah and Charleston in high summer - even the frogs in the village pond fell silent in the heat. Then at ten to eight just as the church doors had been pinned open in preparation for the saints day procession the skies opened, the lightning flashed, and the thunder rolled. The remaining onlookers scattered, the organising committee raced to carry the tables and chairs for the 'feast' inside, and within five minutes all signs of the festivities had disappeared. Everyone bravely said the storm would last ten minutes but by nine, as we stood in the church porch watching the water coursing and eddying down the hill, it was clear that the bonfire, the fecund dancing and the procession would have to wait.

After a glass or two of reviving wine in the salle de fetes ( no storm was going to stand in the way of the villagers real business of the day) we made our excuses, said farewell to Madame Bay who was hard at work in the kitchen and dashed the twenty yards across the green to our gate. We tumbled into the hall laughing and soaked to the skin to be met by a look from Wilf that said ' where do you think you've been ? Don't you know it's wet out'. We fell asleep to the sound of accordian music wafting across from the village hall - the storm had not dampened all the villagers spirits.


  1. Very disappointed the dance didn't happen. But, maybe, photographic evidence wouldn't live up to the imagination! Oh well, there's always next year.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  2. Haven't you introduced Pimms to the village yet?

  3. I love the creativity of the scarecrows and the "supplies" used to create the one of the doctor! ??
    Even though the rain Gods put an end to the bonfire, it does sound like an enjoyable day! But I guess those of us in Madame Bays fan-club will have to wait until next year to perhaps get a glimpse of her dancing around a bonfire!

  4. I'm hoping the bonfire is rescheduled. I don't know if I can wait a year to see Madame Bay.

  5. Mongoose!
    THere is never a dull moment in your village!...I am sure even the frogs have their own dynamics! I also think that, judging from the Major's speech, you should volunteer as Mayor! That way the speeches will be after dinner and no body would listen anyway :)
    What fun! I feel as if I am right there with you! write beautifully!
    Sending lotsaluv

  6. Thought for a moment that was Mme Bay and spouse by the bus stop. That thunderstorm must have swept across the Atlantic, as we took the boat over to the largely uninhabited Daufuskie Island to go to the Iron Fish Art gallery (which is also the open wrap-around porch of the artist's home. We'd just walked a mile from the dock down the dusty road, cold beers in hand, and arrived at the same time as the young artist and his wife when the lightning crackled and the skies opened. Long conversations about mutual acquaintances until the storm let us, allowing us to get to the tin-roofed Marshside Mama's bar and restaurant by the dock, chased by spine-tinglingly close lightning. Another cold beer,another hour in the dark bar-the power went out, hurricane like winds and rain, and finally we raced back across the Sound in our boat, dark rumbling clouds behind us, dolphins leaping directly under the bow. Thundered well into the night. Petey draped himself across my lap for comfort!

  7. I'm beginning to think Madame Bay and this town in France is made up. Angus is really writing from the low country in SC, only those of us living near there can describe the lethargy inducing humitidy of Charleston and Savannah and the rest of the deep south in the 'high' summer.

    Not trusting Angus any more..


  8. That first scarecrow is more than a little disturbing! Good heaven, what sort of fertility festival is that supposed to represent!

    I'm sorry that the whole thing ended like it did! It sounds like it would have been a great festival!

  9. We've been having very humid weather too....have it right now, in fact! I love it when a storm breaks on a really humid day though. It just gives so much relief and makes everything cooler.

  10. Just love the pharmacy scarecrow - especially the white shoe detail! But oh so disappointing that the bonfire had to be cancelled. Oh well, there's always next year...
    Cheers, Gail.

  11. Even though, it sounds as if you had a great time and so handy being on your doorstep. Hope you've all dried out now. Sue x

  12. What a disappointment about the rain. At least it probably helped cool things off a bit though!

    Those scarecrows are kind of interesting. Is that first one supposed to a doctor or a sign of fertility?

  13. nice shout out to the american south. i'm enjoying all that lovely savannah and charleston humidity you mentioned. ;)
    i am going to be disappointed if there isn't a rain date for the bonfire!