Timing again

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Flag of France  , Aquitaine,
Monday, June 29, 2009

We had obviously arrived at an inappropriate time. The staff was just sitting down to start their own meal, but we were still graciously escorted to a small, wobbly table in the middle of the empty restaurant and advised to take our time over the aperitifs. Our lovely French waitress spoke excellent English, which is unusual -  turned out she was Canadian, just arrived and still finding her bearings. Ah, good luck, I suspect it could be quite a challenge for this young girl so far from home.
However, we enjoyed a pleasant but solitary meal; where was everybody on a Saturday evening? Even the chef took pity on us and came out of his kitchen to entertain, wiping his forehead with mock relief after we insured him the repas was most satisfactory.
About to leave after seriously over-tipping, for how were they to make ends meet without clients?, we bumped in to a big party of merry guests, spilling into the restaurant, livening up the place no end. Now I wanted to stay, join the fun.
Timing, just not getting it right.

Still, we were fed, and mellowed by the - real - Bergerac wine we returned to Aubas for a night of music and dancing.
Dark now, the little square, lit up by the colourful lights of the fair, was transformed into a magical and romantic spot.
The roadie we had seen lumbering earlier, was also the star, the entertainer. You could just make him out, tucked away between the speakers and all the other equipment that was deemed necessary to address an audience of maybe 50 or 60.

The dancing was in full swing and no mistaking, this was France. On the wooden boards, laid out in front of the stage-van, I watched something you might see in a film and think it was overdone. A scene too sentimental, too romantic, a thing of the past. It was mesmerizing; the couples dancing to the music of this one-man-band, now playing the accordion.
Ballroom dancing, young and old, some experienced and some had found their own comfortable way of moving to the music. No self-consciousness, all very easy and somehow soothing. Like the very old gentleman, composed and straight-backed, solicitously holding his sturdy, resolute wife. She was wearing a woolen cardigan and squeezed into a short skirt with a split at the back, that must have been in fashion in the sixties. Probably specially bought, or made, for occasions just like this. Maybe her husband was remembering her as she was then, his eyes half closed, a hint of a smile.
Two ladies were dancing together with much zeal, they were having fun. I noticed they had the same shoes - sisters maybe? Taking turns leading, they've done this before - nice act.
A younger man, well dressed, smart shirt and camel coloured trousers, expensive shoes, nice looking too, was moving by himself. The top of his body perfectly still, arms slack, smooth and rhythmical from the hips, great to watch him.
I love the punky girl, jerking and hopping in a comical way, she just couldn't find the beat but it didn't bother her in the least. A slightly besozzled man joins her, takes her in his arms and tries to guide her, to no avail. They laugh it off and leave the dance floor, hand in hand.

It is all so sweet. The song being sung now sounds familiar and I am doing my best to grasp what the chanteur is singing. It sounds French but it's actually English. 'Whoa aah ate goat noha bot-tie.' Oh, dear me, David Lee Roth would love this. It's 'I'm just a gigolo' and I am quite sure he hasn't got a clue what he is singing.
I can't help laughing, it is so funny, but also perfect, just perfect.

Time to leave, for this is an intimate, kind of a private party, really. Something these good people have carefully prepared for and looked forward to. And though we know we are most welcome, and are grateful for that, we are not one of them. Not yet.
But maybe, in due time...........
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katherine-anne on

bien sûr
if you bring your drum kit and bass guitar along, you might even make beautiful music.....

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