07-22-2005

Summer volunteers

Before I started this local-reporter job, I did not know that volunteering was a favorite summer hobby in country life. I don't mean volunteering for the Red Cross or charities. I mean volunteering for parties. Summer is a non-stop trail of village fairs, village dances and banquets, festivals, concerts. To man this carousel of events, organizers need hundreds of free labourers. They are never short of volunteers, since it gives the local youth opportunities to see pop singers in the flesh (concerts), to meet people, go to bed... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 03:18 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

07-23-2005

My car is blessed

One of the great moments of my new life as a local correspondent.I had seen a poster stuck on a tree: "Saint-Christopher's blessing". Knowing that my newspaper is read by a majority of true catholics (masses, pilgrimages, rosary meetings), it was a professional duty to attend, even though I was born and raised a Protestant. What a day! Wonderful!. Saint-Christopher is workshipped in a tiny chapel lost in the mountains. "Lost" to a point  I was unaware of. From the valley, I... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:22 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
07-24-2005

Long legged

The photograph is fuzzy but can you see this strange spidder, with electric-yellow body, on the upper right hand corner? Legs included, it is as big as my fist. During my local reporter rounds ( 5 000 kilometers during july and august), I've met quite unusual animals, a bit too unusual. Such as this spidder, and a poison-green lizard, with electric-yellow dots, very big, very tall, on a French river side. I wonder if the exotic animals' lovers empty their fish-tanks in an isolated country spot, from time to... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 11:42 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
07-25-2005

The children's school play

You will not see the real photograph of the children's school play. France is very touchy (legally speaking), when under eighteens are concerned or pictured. It was indeed published in my paper. The lay-out manager picked the one with the highest number of easily identifiable children. That's how you build a faithfull readership with parents, in the country. For the first time since I started this job, I was bored. Clowns and children's monitored antics make me sad. But I like this picture of the families walking away, to their... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 03:17 PM - - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]
07-26-2005

Bats are bad luck

Bats nest in the crack of the wall, on the upper right side Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear I walk in town with my eyes glued to my shoes, ashamed for something I am no responsable for. I am the innocent victim of a printing mistake. The rural press is well known in France for this speciality. This summer, it fell on me. During the first fortnight of August, the offices of the newspaper close down for the holidays. I have to find enough topics in advance to fill out my local pages for two issues,  printed at the same time. I... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:56 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
07-27-2005

Nothing like the TGV to wake you up

The TGV (very-high-speed train) is now firmly lodged in the landscape. After years  of demonstrations, violent opposition, citizens' class-action lawsuits, it was nevertheless built. Local people now find it handy, if expensive. This summer, we did not play much our "TGV trick", our home-made  attraction for the new-commers. It goes like this. Park the car under a tree, close to a road-bridge crossing over the TGV tracks. Tell the innocent visitor: "Hey, why don't we go see the TGV?". The country... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:54 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

07-31-2005

Running away

Week-end off at a friend's house, in the heart of the chic South of France. On the road, I got yet another "School" road-sign for my collection. In this particular one, the pair of children are running. One boy, one girl, stylized. Brother and sister? Probably from the seventies. Please note: my friend does not live in Suzette, home to the delicious muscat "Beaume de Venise". I just snapped this photo from the car while driving. In a stupendous village, entirely populated by rich liberal families on vacation... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:56 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08-04-2005

Am I a snob ?

Even more depressing than a jumble sale...The art & craft market. I've met the same craftsmen/artists (let's be kind) on their yearly summer tour, the same knick-knack stands, in every village fair. Yards and yards of Lavender fields in oil, pastel, and mostly acrylic paint. Tons of fake, home-made Venitian leather masks...Fortunately, I have never had to write a paper on these hideous rendez-vous. Just listing the place and day in the Agenda section was enought. What? I am an arrogant, Parisian snob? For once, I don't mind. ... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 02:13 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08-05-2005

Jumble sales depress me

* Jumble sales, yard sales, antique fairs, are all the craze in rural France right now. Rural folks are in the midst of an antique collecting fever tantrum. In village fairs, on supermarkets parking lots, at the annual watermelon fair, you get an antique jumble sale. Everywhere, the same old dirty Playmobil boxes, used video games, awfull "nearly news" brass chimney accessories. Oh, the sadness of sunday antique fairs in the country...There are very useful, though. Jumble sales fill up quickly my weekly... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:29 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08-06-2005

Goat Land

This goat came to town as an honorary member of a village brass band. The goat was thirsty. No problem. The bartender gave it a plate of water, as good bartender normaly do for the local patrons.
Posté par Briconcella à 05:41 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]