Cowart's Common Room
Poste Alouette: Vendredi

It is Friday now on the Town Twinning visit. I am at Collette's house having a fine breakfast of butter croissant and coffee. We then motor into Clisson for the official welcoming ceremony. There are about eighty people gathered in the Garenne Valentin - a small official nineteenth century stone building with cloisters in a park above the river. We all say 'hallo' to each other, meeting old friends and people whose names we have sadly forgotten, while sheltering from the rain. Being the acting 'President' of the Cowbridge troupe I try to ensure that our newcomers are surviving and welcome and that everyone has a glass of wine.

Then the speeches. Brigitte Cevaer, their Presidente, reads a speech with alternative paragraphs in English and French but as it is amplified by the sound system and echoed in the cloister I understand not one word in five. Indeed it is hard even to tell which language she is speaking in, but I understand she is wishing us a warm welcome. Then it is my turn as the wind rises and the rain pours down. I say that I have no doubt that she is sincere but whatever the welcome will be, it won't be warm. At least this drew a species of laughter.

We should have lunched outside, sitting in sunshine. Food had been prepared but the wind and rain meant that we had to huddle inside the crowded building making big circles with our chairs. But all was in good heart and afterwards as musicians played we went to play boules and palet. The latter is a medieval throwing game, a species of quoits, which one of our team won. The boules we played undercover in a barn attached to the Garenne. A French/Ukrainian team won. So Clisson keep the boules trophy first played for last year.

Then on to the local High School where the team of pupils that had visited Wales last year put on a display for us and asked us to sing. An ad hoc choir was thrown together and soon the strains of Mae Hen Gwlad fy Nadau were echoing around the building. The pupils were sixth form equivalent and their language skills were excellent.

Brigitte and I then did separate interviews with the local TV station - very short and uncontroversial. Should be on You Tube eventually (tv Sevre et Maine).

And so back, this time to the Fourniers and then on to Colette's house again for dinner for which we were 20. Colette asked us to sit man/woman and French/Welsh alternately which proved impossible. A French man sat down beside me whom I didn't know. I said that I was expecting an attractive French lady. He said 'so was I!'

Not far into the meal he stood up and began to sing a French song; he was followed by various others as the meal progressed - songs of all types of nationalities. Nick (who has a fine voice and is a semi-professional musician) sang 'Delilah' very loudly. Even I sang (very badly) 'American Pie.' Then we all got up and hooked little fingers together and moved around the table to a Breton dance song.

My neighbour now pulled out of his pocket a silver coin the size of an old 5 shilling crown. It was, I think, a 'Louis' of Louis 16th's reign, anyway it bore his portrait with the date 1787, two years before the Revolution.
He asked me if I knew that Louis 16th had been condemned by a single vote. I did not, but said that our Charles 1st had been condemned by 50 and that they had been hunted down afterwards by his son for their come-uppance.

But the extraordinary thing was that this man himself looked like Louis 16th to the extent that I called him afterwards, 'Monsieur Louis Seize.' A bit of lèse-majesté perhaps but he seemed to like it.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 12th Jun 2019 - 11:38AM   Posted by Fennie   Poste Alouette: Vendredi Comments: 11

Fennie's Avatar Sorry for the length. I'll try to add some pictures later.Very Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 12th Jun 2019 at 11:39AM

Camilla's Avatar Well done Fennie for doing the interview for the French TV Station.! look forward to seeing that when it goes live.

A French man sat down beside me whom I didn't know. I said I was expecting an attractive French Lady. He said
'so was I'.! love it.
Very Happy

Interesting what was said that Louis of Louis 16th had been condemned by a single vote I never knew that either.

So did Charles the 2nd put word out for the 50 who voted for his father to be condemned get their come - uppance then Fennie?

Posted by: Camilla on 12th Jun 2019 at 01:35PM

Fennie's Avatar That is about it, Camilla. They were deemed regicides. Some had died in the intervening years and three lucky ones were pardoned, some disappeared abroad but the remainder were hung, drawn and quartered. Can't have people cutting the heads off kings.

Posted by: Fennie on 12th Jun 2019 at 03:15PM

Camilla's Avatar Ah thanks Fennie for the answer.

I think that wicked cruel man that fed those sweet fox Cubs to a pack of hounds recently should have a public hung drawn and quartered .

Posted by: Camilla on 12th Jun 2019 at 03:21PM

Fennie's Avatar Here is the dinner for 20 at Colette's house. Colette is second fron the left at the bottom of the picture. Nick is the next one up (with dread locks). Apologies not a brilliant photo.

Uploaded Image

Posted by: Fennie on 12th Jun 2019 at 04:00PM

Fennie's Avatar I think I would join you, Camilla, in a strong minority vote to that end, though it is for the courts to decide guilt or innocence and Parliament the punishment. There is a lot of cruelty about in some people (and a lot of cruelty in farming come to that about which people turn a blind eye) though having just eaten salami for lunch instead of oat biscuits I suppose I am as much a hypocrite as anyone. Evil or Very Mad

Posted by: Fennie on 12th Jun 2019 at 04:06PM

Camilla's Avatar I did read on the media Fennie that the judge let the man off with no fine at all and that the Judge was indeed all for hunting, how on earth can that be possible.!

Yes I agree Fennie there is a lot of cruelty in farming, factory farming needs to end for good so that animals are treated with respect, farmers need to implement a kinder, safer fairer way of humane welfare for them. I know sadly they are all going to meet their fate, well some of them will but at least implementing a more humane way has got to be good. I had a slice of bacon the other day and and even that I felt bad about... so I feel just the same as you Fennie. I need to go veggie but then there is the dairy products etc....

Posted by: Camilla on 12th Jun 2019 at 05:30PM

Camilla's Avatar Wonderful photo Fennie of 20 for dinner at Colette's house, I presume you took the pic can't see you seated.Very Happy

Posted by: Camilla on 12th Jun 2019 at 05:31PM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar That's a lot to squeeze into one day, you'll be glad to be home for a rest.Laughing I'm just picturing you all dancing round the table pinkie to pinkie.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 13th Jun 2019 at 10:53AM

Fennie's Avatar And the hands, linked by pinkies rotate too. Three circles clockwise and three anti. Very Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 13th Jun 2019 at 08:33PM

Fennie's Avatar The dance itself is just a shuffle - three shuffles forward, one back. You can watch on YouTube. Very Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 13th Jun 2019 at 08:34PM

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