Last year was the first Fête de Courmettes, a celebration of everything that A Rocha is doing at this fun and frustrating, delightful but demanding estate. Building on last year’s experience, the second one was held last weekend although we only made it up for the Saturday. A lot of people turned up and it was good to meet a number of old friends. (A trivial fact was that at one point there were at least four Anglican vicars/canons there.)
As last year there was a donkey walk up from Tourrettes, various ‘workshops’ and other activities, such as children’s crafts and a very popular bread-making session. Chris did his standard explanatory walk across the estate which seemed to be appreciated as usual, even if he did have to do it in French. After a meal of barbecued Courmettes lamb, the Swiss musician Philippe Decourroux gave a concert in the marque. In addition to singing, he does an excellent work with trafficked people.
Around 40 people stayed the night – unfortunately Sunday was extremely stormy so the planned Christian celebration in the marque had to be moved indoors as the rain and thunder were too noisy.
It’s good to see how things are stabilising and going from one-off experiments to becoming part of the calendar. Of course the danger there is that everything becomes routine and part of the tradition.
On a more general note, although the weather has been far from permanently hot and sunny we have missed the torrential rain that has caused so much damage around Paris and the North. (As we have said before, France is so big that anybody in south-east Britain is closer to Paris than we are. ) And the various strikes that are affecting the country don’t seem to have too much effect down here either. But one has to have a certain sympathy for M. Hollande; this week saw the country at war, on strike and with the capital declared a natural disaster zone. Despite all this and the lowest popularity ratings that anybody can remember, he is apparently considering standing for re-election next year. Definitely a triumph of hope over experience.