A little over a week and a bit ago we woke to the villagers building a bonfire in our front garden. You might recall that our front garden is a public park so we get all manner of things happening, mostly attuned to the Salle de Fete also found in the garden. Luckily HB² had already been appraised by Martine at the Patisserie that we would be hosting the Fete de St Jean which we had naively thought had something to do with Joan of Arc, since the centre piece was a fire. WRONG! Not that Joan, THAT John. The one that baptised anyone he could persuade to be dunked and a good few babies who had no choice along the way. He was beheaded.
As far as I know he wasn’t burnt but clearly here a baptism by fire is the way to celebrate this particular Saint. A BBQ, a bonfire and some beer and the villagers (old, young, very young, very old) were happy til gone 01:00. We joined in and felt content that no-one noticed … we are foreign but we prefer to be just part of the furniture – any latent diva was not satisfied that night … the audience was gloriously oblivious to us and intent on seeing if the Birch (about 30′ of young tree) would fall – I have yet to find out if this is a good or bad thing but the gathering were certainly intent on its demise or resistance. When we had skulked our fill, we slunk home the odd tens of yards and watched the fire from our balcony. Well done St Jean – it was fun, it wasn’t a re-run of The Wicker Man and no-one had their head presented on a plate. Which personally I always thought ostentatious and vulgar.