March 9, 2012

FORWARD PLANNING

At last the snowdrops are giving way to the daffodils, the birds are singing, the sun almost feels slightly warm when it decides to come out and play and we only have to scrape the ice off the car windscreen a couple of times a week.  That’s real progress, telling me the worst is now behind us and spring is definitely just around the corner.

forward planning

The château in Spring.

So we have been planning our holidays in Le Grand-Pressigny around what events we want to see this year.  There’s so much going on that we can’t possibly get to see everything.  Over the years we haven’t missed much – spending slightly different weeks there each year means that we have gradually seen most things at least once.  But until the day we are there full-time – or even most of the time – it’s impossible to do all our favourite things in one year so we have to pick and choose.

14th July214th July1

So the 14th July it is again.  We have only missed it once and that was because we wanted to be home for something that was a one-off and would never happen again – a good friend’s 60th birthday party.

14th July3

14th July4

The 14th July is not a grand affair but it is a big event for the village.  Moules et frites served on trestle tables in the village square.  Dessert and coffee arriving as the sun goes down.  Copious amounts of rosé wine and dancing after dark.  Then a procession down to the river to see the fireworks at midnight.  Finally for us a happy stroll back up the hill towards the château and our little house in the warm night air.  Dancing continues for a couple more hours and we drift off to sleep as the disco plays on.  As I look at these photos I can still hear the chatter of excited children, the clink of glasses, the rather cheesy disco music and the crackle of the fireworks.

We have nothing quite like it here in our part of the UK.  We have our village firework display in November for Guy Fawkes night, or bonfire night as it is usually known, when it’s more often than not cold and raining and the field is muddy.  There are stalls selling overpriced hotdogs, instant coffee and beer in plastic cups but nobody in their right mind would stick around for dancing outdoors once the fireworks have finished – we all scurry off to our homes for a late supper and an evening in front of the telly.  Apart from a few yobs and yobettes who roam the streets letting off illegally obtained bangers and chucking empty beer cans into people’s gardens.

So there we are, one visit in the pipeline and something to look forward to.  I feel excited already !!

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Now a little question for anybody who understands Blogger workings. (!!)

Does anybody have any idea how I change the time given for the posting of comments ??

I have tried clicking on my choice in settings/comments to no avail.  The comments arrive as if they were posted 8 hours earlier than they were no matter what I try, which is very frustrating.

What I would really like is for them to just show the day and date, not the time at all.

Any ideas ??

19 comments:

  1. The 14 July is an event here that we also never miss if we can help it. I have to admit to missing it last year. Nigel flew in on the 14th, he was very tired and it rained all day and evening. We were in the middle of a drought; as Nigel landed so it started raining!! He must have brought it across with him. We are looking forward to seeing as much as possible this year if feet and backs can stand the strain:) Diane xx

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    1. Diane, so far we have always been lucky with the weather for the 14th July. Last year it rained during the day but cleared up for the "do".

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  2. That description sound so idyllic! We were quite surprised to discover that in our part of France the 14th is not much of a big deal -- unless for some reason it is! What you experience is what I expected to find. I believe the reason it is so low key is historical and with how things happened after the French revolution. North-South divide stuff, I guess...

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    1. Broad, I assumed everywhere in France would celebrate the event in a similar way.....but at least you presumably get to enjoy the bank holiday.

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  3. A fun post, Jean. Happy planning! Around us the big local celebrations are the fetes communales, a few of which take place on July 14th. mind you almost every tiny commune just loves to have its firework display for the feter. :-)

    As far as the incorrect comment time-stamps are concerned, I'm afraid it's a case of yet another Blogger bug, which appeared when the embedded format changed to threaded comments. As far as I can tell the time shown is Pacific Standard Time, as Google is located in California. :-) It's been reported to the Google engineers and a fix keeps being promised, but I'm not holding my breath..... Unfortunately there's no option to remove the time-stamps from comments.

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    1. Perpetua, thanks. At least it's not my ineptitude at fault.

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  4. Sounds great Jean. July 14th is during term time and I don't think we'll get there on that date for at least the next couple of years. Never mind, I can look forward to reading your post about it ...

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    1. Gaynor, it will be something special for you to look forward to.

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  5. Allons enfants de la Patrie! And all that good stuff.

    We have fireworks on July 1 — Canada Day (formerly Dominion Day). And as with many things, we are ahead of the Americans (by three days). Not so much dancing in the streets here, but some dancing on the grass while waiting for the fireworks.

    I trust you will have a wonderful time en France as in other years. Et bonjour to Lulu.

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    1. Bear, at least it's a sensible time of year to have your fireworks. Bonjour et bises from Lulu.

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  6. Jean, have you ever been at your French home during the Journees du Patrimoine in September? Everywhere we've been in France we've found really unusual and interesting places to see on this weekend, some well known but others far off the beaten path. We usually cram in so many stops over the two days that I have to map them out. It's one of the highlights of our September vacations.

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    1. Carolyn, I am sad to say that so far it is the one thing we have missed that we really would like to do.

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  7. Jean, I am not sure if you have received my comment as my PC went peculiar when I hit the Publish button! Anyway, just to say that I think it is great that you embrace French culture in the way that you do, and that it puts us to shame because we are so busy earning a living and getting our house and smallholding going that we don't! But we should!

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    1. Vera, I don't think you should be so hard on yourself. What you are doing is amazing and as I have said before, you deserve a medal. But you should get out more - if only you had the energy !!

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  8. I get the impression that life in France is sans 'yobs and yobettes' and that most French people behave in a civilsed way. Well, certainly when I've ever been there I haven't seen the dodgy types and loutish behaviour that seems commonplace in Nottingham. One day I will be taking a trip to France to celebrate and enjoy the ambiance and fireworks I hope.

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    1. Phil, I am sure it depends where you are in France but we have seen very little yobbishness, that's for sure. It's one of the things we love about the place.

      I'm sure there are places in the UK that are equally yob-free but I don't think I could afford to live there. I don't claim to know what the answer is but it's very refreshing.

      I do hope you make it to France soon.

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  9. that would be nice. I'll see how the pennies stretch out this year. :0)

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  10. Hi Jean

    You've so many blogs it's difficult to know which to follow! :-)

    Re blogger comments - the timing is often all fouled (nice word) up so I've abandoned the time aspect altogether as life is too short.

    There might be something about this posted on the blogger forums but don't hold your breath...

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    1. Chris, welcome - nice to see you here - we usually meet in Wales !! This is my "main" blog, the baking one is an offshoot and the others are occasionals that I always mean to do more with but things get in the way, such as the ironing !!

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