Saturday, 28 July 2007

Party Time!

We had a great time tonight at a party- our social life is far more busy here than it ever was in England!

Friends in the village, Josette and Cyprien, were celebrating their 50th birthdays and it was set to take place on the boule court. We all turned out in the afternoon to help decorate and to set out the tables, chairs, bar and kitchen area. It was gloriously sunny but a bit windy, so Jean-Paul brought his little tractor with a full water tank on the back, and the court was liberally sprayed to dampen down the dust for the evening.

All the fun and alcohol started at 20:00, and we left at 3:00am the next morning - with the party still in full swing! We just do not have the stamina!

Following on from an entrée of melon and jambon sec, the centre piece of the main course was a spit roasted whole sheep (mouton). When you order this, it comes with its very own chef - and became quite a spectator sport as the evening progressed! The professional told Richard that it takes 5 hours to roast a sheep and just 3 hours for a lamb - and recommended we try the stuffing. It was delicious as promised!
A large board covered with old photos of our hosts provided lots of laughter and the 'present' caused even more. We all gave money which was going towards a holiday but on the night a huge gift-wrapped box was given to them. They had to work their way through various empty bottles (suggesting they might like alcohol perhaps?!) and all the other embarrassing items until they managed to reach the tickets. It was great fun!
A local man had also been 'booked' - he is famous for being a raconteur, telling hilarious stories of day to day life down here. Richard and I just about coped with this whilst he was speaking French (alcohol does reduce your ability to understand the Midi accent I can assure you!) but when he then carried on in Occitan - we gave up. It was fascinating to us though that there was no reduction in the audience's laughter - virtually all the adults present were equally fluent in the two languages and if a child was not quite sure of a word or two in Occitan, an adult was there to translate for them.

Sunday is going to be a long lie-in, drinking lots of water and maybe a dunk in the pool if we can work up the energy!

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