Yes there have been continuing protests in France by the Gilets Jaunes about which more perhaps next week. There have also been developments – but no breakthroughs – in the wearisome long-running Brexit saga. Certainly the mood among the “expatriate community” here is astonishingly negative. Among our culturally and politically very conservative church community there was open mockery of Theresa’s “deal”. There’s a very good BBC article on a village a long way from us but which we’ve visited which depicts fairly faithfully the predicament of the British in France.
Anyway last week we promised more photos of the Taradeau wine festival.
After the parade everyone wants to buy a wineglass with this year’s date on it. The purchase entitles you to taste the new wine – red, white or rosé – as many times as you like. You will, we hope, be pleased to know that we limited ourselves to a single glass. The area just outside the Vignerons du Taradeau, normally the carpark, is filled with people. If you feel that you need something to help the wine go down, there’s a long table selling plates of food as well.
Once the PA had been sorted out and all the dignitaries assembled on the platform at the end of the carpark, it was time for the mayor’s speech.
As we said last week, it’s basically an exercise in remembering to thank everyone, from the sponsors of the event through those from various local organisations to those who actually organised the whole thing. And then huge wine bottles are produced and a sample of the new vintage poured out. Finally, the mayor raises his glass, followed by everyone else, and everyone drinks.
We didn’t stay for the meal afterwards; we suspect it went on well into the late afternoon – these things are not to be rushed in France. But it was a good day for the village, particularly as they got a splendid interval in what is continuing to be a grey and damp season.
As Taradeau continues to change from its traditional agricultural roots, It is going to be interesting to see how this seasonal festival, with its references to a tight knit Provencal agricultural culture that is increasingly a distant memory, will continue in the future.
Even here, time marches on.