As we have mentioned in many previous blogs, we made a deliberate effort to get involved in the community in Taradeau, and on the whole this proved to be very successful. It did however take time, partly because Taradeau is the sort of village where unless you were born and bred there, you were still something of an outsider. So, on moving to Lorgues, we were wondering how long it would take for us to get involved. The answer, it seems to be, is surprisingly rapidly. In part this is due to the nature of Lorgues where there are a lot of incomers, and it has far less of a ‘provencal village’ feel to it.
So we were pleasantly surprised to find last week that on the Friday there was actually a formal introduction to the town by the mayor and the staff at the Mairie, which we learned is an annual event. In fact there were about 100 of us there and it was a very professional event. The mayor, flanked by members of his staff and representatives from about 20 associations in the village, introduced the town and explained something of what it had to offer.
In general Lorgues is about eight times larger than Taradeau and has correspondingly more staff and facilities. So, for example, Chris found out there are two people who take photographs for events, not least for a very impressive Facebook site (search for Ville de Lorgues if you’re a Facebook user), whereas on a number of occasions in Taradeau he was the one who took photos which were used by the Mairie. Even more impressive was being presented with one of those ‘conference freebie ’ bags containing various guides and goodies to do with Lorgues. And of course, this being Provence, there was socialising afterwards with the inevitable rosé and some rather fine finger food. In the course of this we made contact with a number of people.
On Saturday we attended a funeral mass for the mother of someone we know, and met the mayor again. Apparently his parents were good friends with the deceased. Monday, being 11 November, Armistice Day in France, there was a ceremony at the war memorial, complete with a small contingent of soldiers, lots of elderly men with medals and a score of schoolchildren. And, inevitably perhaps, again we met the mayor and a number of town officials. Getting to know people is definitely helped by the inevitable aperitifs after such events.
On the house front, we continue to make progress. Although at first we spent a lot of time putting major things in place, we’re now dealing with relatively minor (but no less time consuming) matters. One particular problem, partly due to the enormous amount of storage space here, is that we seem to be able to lose things very easily. Nevertheless, the ‘garage’ (which the previous owners had already started to convert to living space) is now distinctly metamorphosing into a library. Mind you finding where any specific book is is likely to remain a mystery for some time. We need a librarian.