So the president has announced that France is at war. We thought we might tell you what the results have been at Taradeau. We will not of course breach security. So there will be no pictures of our single Police Municipale officer, but it’s no secret that she is easy to find because she doubles up as the school lollipop lady. A job she does with style and efficiency.
Work on the new bridge continues but the new wartime situation does not appear to have increased the speed with which it is being done. The whole project is taking a rather leisurely sixteen months. But this is the south of France and haste is an alien import.
There are the usual numbers of men playing boules on the square and hypothetically we suppose some at least could be undercover police agents watching out for trouble. But it doesn’t seem very likely.
Preparations continue for the numerous social events: in the last month there’s been a ‘Chippendales and Striptease show’ (political correctness doesn’t seem to have arrived here yet); the annual beer festival (as Taradeau is twinned with a town in Bavaria); and the Fête du Vin Nouveau, complete with an exhibition of old farm vehicles and a market. This weekend sees the tenth Expositions Crèches, i.e. a display of nativity scenes (a Provençal tradition which could be the subject of another blog).
The biggest retail outlet in our small village is the wine cooperative, which actually seems to supply wealthy clientele across the region. Someone, somewhere must buy bottled water from Argentina, Wales or Iceland, some of it at (pun intended) eye-watering prices. And presumably they stock caviar because people buy it. We only ever go to get the local wine and we have to report the consensus is that 2015 is going to be a good year. (Loosely translated from the advertising “It is a treat for the nose and palate, open with banana aromas… ruby coloured, full with the hints of cinnamon etc, etc”.) Business seems to be as usual there but is good to know that in real crisis we will be able to eat caviar and drink ourselves silly.
Meanwhile, in the brilliant November sunshine, the golden leaves drift slowly from the plane trees and the Mairie deals at an appropriate pace with planning applications, infringements of bylaws on parking and probably stray dogs.
If they ever did declare a curfew in Taradeau we’re not sure anybody would notice. Perhaps they already have.
But actually joking apart, isn’t this precisely the response that terrorism should receive? Business – or non-business – as usual ?