Just when I stopped opening doors ….
It’s holiday season. On Saturday, my US friends and relations celebrated ‘Independence Day’ (July 4th) and in France les grands vacances are upon us. The next two months will see most French people taking time off and we will also celebrate le 14th juillet (‘Bastille Day’ but it is never referred to as such by the French) and le 15th août (Assumption Day) both of which are major holidays. In the village of Marcoles, a teeny weeny but perfectly and beautifully formed medieval gem (and officially ‘une petite cité de caractère’) 15th August is celebrated with a festival of street theatre, music, dance and that particular brand of delightful eccentricity that is unmistakeably French. It is called Lez’Artes dans la Rue (the mascot is a lizard and the title is a clever pun). I absolutely adore it.
We visited for the first time two years ago and were treated, amongst other delights to a troop of medieval musicians with a fantastically barking mad front man, a band fronted by a girl in fishnets and doc martins perched on the roof of a miniature car as it toured the village and oompahpahing deliciously on a souzaphone. And this chap. To say I was not quite ready for him is a probable understatement …. this was in no small measure due to the fact that shortly after this picture was taken he produced a large and fully inflated balloon from the trouser area he is so emphatically framing. His pant region. The balloon was sausage shaped, proudly cocked and bright pink. So there you have it. Standing in front of those wonderful medieval arched doors, he opened his door, one might say …. The crowd went wild. And crowd it was – the village is literally over-run for the occasion.
PS: You will know that the title is from ‘Send in the Clowns’ that wonderful song from Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’ … making my entrance with my usual flair and indecently late, I must recommend that you take a look at the other offerings for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge entitled Door – there are some crackers.
And also – tragically, I shan’t be able to attend this year. But I do have a vaguely acceptable reason … my eldest daughter will be marrying her love a week later in England’s West Country and I rather hope her need of me is greater than that of Marcoles on this occasion …
Yup, that’s very French
Maybe Trev & fit in because we are both mad as a box of frogs (maybe that is where that expression came from? I always though it had amphibian origins…..)
Trev & I, I meant
I am certain that is why you fit in … Two Brains and I are both whackadoodledoo so the fit is pretty slick! Here is the origin of the saying … from one of my favourite EVER movies ‘Network’ starring Peter Finch … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWSymjhWIeQ
That must have been quite an experience. 🙂
It was unforgettable, Janet!! 🙂
A pink balloon from ones trousers.
Sum up France in three words “Pink Trouser Balloons”!!
Crazy baby crazy… 🙂
Very French, Cam …. I can honestly say that humour is the greatest divide between our nations. But there is nothing odd in that. In my experience, humour is the most particular of things and what sets one race rocking in the aisles will be a tumbleweed moment for another. I’m sure there must be a thesis in it somewhere 😀
Monsieur Le Pétomane springs to mind….
HOW I loved him. Leonard Rossiter played him to perfection … not that I’m old enough to remember the original, I hasten to add!
Sounds brilliant! But what a good reason to miss it! Do hope you enjoy the wedding …
I can’t WAIT for the wedding Michael (except I still need the right hat – or any hat for that matter) … when the house is ready (it is in the village I mention) I do hope you and Isabelle and Sigi will come and stay 🙂
Isobel will advise you on hats (not)!
I can’t speak for the others (with certainty), but I should love to visit. I can’t believe that it’s been so long since I was last in France (I don’t count Saturday, when I did pass through France en route to Brussels!).
Don’t forget, you would be most welcome in glamorous old Harrow! (I imagine you won’t have time next visit, though.)
Michael – if I can, I will! I arrive on 30th July and will be staying until 25th August during which time I have to be in London quite a bit – so long as my mother is well, I will try and fit in a cuppa at the very least in the chic highspot that is Harrow 😀 Isobel (sorry spelled her the French way ….) is free to give any advice at all – it can’t be worse than what I have received thus far!!
If you could come and have a bite of lunch or dinner with us (at your own risk, of course!), that would be brilliant! It would have to be between 3rd and 5th and then 11th and 18th August only. Let’s see how it pans out …
Noted in diary and that would be lovely if we could make it work 🙂
En effet. We’ll look forward to hearing from you, if it’ll work out.
@”I rather hope her need of me is greater than that of Marcoles on this occasion…” – I do hope, too… you’re her MAMAN!!! <3 🙂
if you like photo challenge come here and participate
I certainly will … thank you for asking me 🙂
Best wishes for the upcoming wedding of your daughter Osyth. What a lovely summer it will be. Both ours married last summer within a few weeks of each other. Can grand children be far behind for you 🙂
It must be said that I am VERY excited! And I am keeping my trap shut on Grandchildren but I really do hope they will follow quite quickly. I know they both want children and have very beloved little nieces on his side of the family. Two weddings in one summer … now THAT is going some 🙂
Hey the festival name is “Lez’arts de la rue”, because a lizard is un lézard, same pronunciation as “lez’arts” . If you add a wrong final “e” it loses its pun qualities .
Where I live in the huge “forêt des Landes” there is a street festival like this in August . A 500 hundred souls village is invaded by 50 000 people during 4 days . Performances are in the few streets, in the woods, and it used to be great .
Indeed it is … in fact the pictures of the Lizard in various entertainment guises from torch singer to tap dancer adorn the town to remind us that he is the source of the title of the event. Your fête sounds like a goody … one of the things I love about France is he proliferation of events great and small that bring communes and communities together
Yes, and for street performances there are a lot . Aurillac, not far from you I guess, was the major event of this kind for years in the past, but later many places appeared . The one here is called Musicalarue in the village of Luxey . It started in 1990 and from a “Hippie” descendance with a lot of spirit under the pine trees it became a huge machine . But the village is still a tiny lost island in the green ocean .
Yes, Aurillac is very close to our little fixer upper maison secondaire in Marcoles and I would say they are keen to at least feel they are leaders in street and jazz festivals. In Murat (closer to our home in the North of the département) we have the fantastic fete de cornet which celebrates the indigenous pastry of the town but nothing I would say comes close to eclipsing your amazing sounding forest and street affair …. Im hugely tempted to visit (which might be construed as a threat by some!)
It depends on your weight, it can be incredibly crowded . Aurillac, leader for Jazz ? Let me laugh . France is the second country of jazz, and there are jazz festivals in every corner of the hexagon . Every August I go 60 miles east in le Gers, there is Marciac, whose 2 weeks festival is known all over the world of jazz . And what about Antibes or Sète ? Ah, ces Auvergnats … The last one I dug was Vercingetorix .
C’mon … be kind – Aurillac is tiny as a préfecture with under 30,000 inhabitants and the Cantal is now simply a zit on the face of the super region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes so if they want to imagine they have something special I’m not going to be a bubble burster.
All right, I always obey ladies’ wisdom . But Marciac has only 1500 inhabitants and is not even a sous-préfecture . Have a look on Jazz in Marciac to make an idea of the casting . One hour drive from my house .
I’ll check it out …. and I might just potter down … its not a million miles from Marcoles after all (and I do love good Jazz)
If you check, see here :http://www.jazzinmarciac.com and click on archives . You can see each past year’s program since 1978 And there is not only pure jazz, I saw Dr. John, Robert Cray, Maceo Parker, Bobby McFerrin, Buddy Guy there too . And it is the legendary Gers, le pays du bien-vivre et surtout de la gastronomie . The movie “Le bonheur est dans le pré” is set there .
I LOVED that film! I’ll certainly take a look – it sounds pretty amazing