07-03-2005

Of pétanque and Pastis

Georgette, the local correspondent for a neighbouring village, calls. She must attend a family wedding this week-end and will not be around for the annual Petanque marathon, an important event by local standards. No problem. I'll moonlight for her. The marathon is about playing non-stop petanque from 9 AM to 9 PM, under the sun. We are in the midst of  a serious heatwave. Thirty high-level petanque teams have enrolled and are coming by bus from far away towns in the greater south-eastern part of France. At noon, I do a... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 03:17 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

07-19-2005

Gardening secret

My little brook in France has no  cultural or intellectual life, past or present. For high-flying festivals, drive further south. Local events were mostly invented by hippie refugees in the seventies. Bless them. Without their creativity, summer would be a vast, hot, empty limbo. In this village (above) remains one (1) lavender-grower and one (1) family business of industrial aromas and flavouring. That's more than enough to come up with a "traditional" "Plants and aromas Festival" every year in July. ... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 04:41 PM - - Commentaires [0] - 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 [#]
08-07-2005

Jazz under the plane-trees

Another wonderful moment in my new country-reporter 's life. Saturday afternoon,  last day of the Jazz festival,  the master-classes' students gave a free concert on the school square. The wonderful plane-trees offered a shaded outdoor auditorium. The students are slovacs, americans, italians. The local have disappeared. The annual jazz festival doubles the local population for one week and brings very good business in town. Nevertheless, local don't like jazz. They complain endlessly, because they can't park their cars... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:44 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08-13-2005

Stag Party

This strange party cavorting on a small mountain road is a stag party. I got the tip well in advance, through a rafting instructor.  It could be an item for my weekly page.  Every week, I call campings managers, Kayaks-renting ventures, bed and breakfasts, local tourist boards, to hunt small stories and midget-events such as this one, and to fill out my pages. I takl to my contacts with my mobile phone, in my bathing suit, while suntaning on the river beach.It is an extraordinary office life. A stag party would... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:42 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

08-16-2005

The dog fair

According to me, the dog fair is a genuine old country event. A hundred years-old, possibly. Farmers probably picked this convenient village, at a crossroad, and met there to swap or sell puppies, in time for the hunting season in September. Every thing else has enormously changed. Nowadays, you find pure-bred puppies of exotic races, such as porcelain-white Argentinian Bulldogs (they will wither in the local sun), mute japanese dogs, for 600€ a piece! Of course, people look, but do not buy. A dog-breeder of "Bruno du... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:33 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08-23-2005

Farming high-tech

I 've learnt how to zoom on news that will really stirr interest in my readers. For instance, this piece of farming machinery, above. It's a prototype. Four samples, no more, are to be found in France. One of them just round the corner from my place. The farmers around here often work for "seeds makers" (farming seeds). They grow acre of  leeks, onions, carrots, parsley, just for their seeds. Now, seeds are difficult to harvest. When mature, the seeds of each plant must be collected without delay. If not, they... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 04:56 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08-23-2005

Medieval Tango

Miss Fuzzy Fotos at it again. It's on purpose! I secure a press invitation for a tango workshop. The locals really do enjoy themselves. Astronomy and star gazing meetings, village fairs, parties, picnics, rallies, jumble-sales, and now tango. In my opinion, they are in a hurry to make the most of it before winter. I hardly know the village where the event takes place, and nearly got lost in a maze of pitch dark medieval alleys and courtyards, extremely authentic. How come a movie producer has not snapped this location for... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:18 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08-24-2005

Our pebbles

The pebbles in our river are extremely beautiful. Billions of them, but all different,  ultra-smooth. White or beige under the sun. A delicate gray when the sun lies down. Around here, people come equiped with plastic transparent sandals in the summer. You immediatly spot tourists and out-of-town folks by the river side: they limp and moan, bare feeet on the beautiful but cruel pebbles. We use our river pebbles for everything: cars and doors stops, ashtrays, head-rests, and building material, of course. A progressive... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Briconcella à 05:18 PM - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]