Don’t Look Now

17399213c4d90a06cadfcdbda0dd4079I will be one of these, in a few years, I hope..

Sitting on a bench, in a French village, enjoying the sunshine and indulging in a little hot gossip. I found these ladies-left–  on

I don’t feel that I can post photos of my own French neighbours without formally seeking their permissions. I will, next time we are there and it’s warm enough to fetch the old ladies out,i.e in the balmy 30’s at least.

Last year I was cordially invited to join the matriarchs on their favourite bench, at the end of our street. I was enormously flattered and honoured and have been dining out on this anecdote since.

It’s not just a great place to catch up; on different evenings you may find someone reading, knitting or preparing a basket of vegetables. There is an informal book swapping meet ( my oldest neighbour contributes Proust, Balzac, Flaubert & Voltaire)  Sometimes gentlemen are permitted to join us, if they are sufficiently amusing and entertaining. It’s all out there if you want it, and no obligation if you don’t.DSC00217

This socialising is the glue that helps hold this community together. Yet no-one invades your space unless you invite them. How very civilised.

The village is so quiet and the occupants so well mannered that, back in your own house, it feels totally private. Except when you are being WATCHED- in this case by a nutty cat…..

Well, I hope it’s a cat.


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Don’t Look Now

  1. Osyth says:

    One of the things that I really value in the French is their attitude to socialising and friendship. Starting at the very obvious beginning – the formality of vous and the asking of permission to tutoyer. It takes time to make relationships but the relationships are stable and firm. They are not distant and cold, not at all but they have a sensible approach to the journey to friendship. That you are an invitee on the bench makes you indeed part of the community. Well done – your work is done … now you can enjoy the fruits as you make more and more of your life in your chosen place 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. zipfslaw1 says:

    What does it take for a man to be judged sufficiently amusing? Wit? Strong flirting skills?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. poshbirdy says:

    What a lovely community spirit. Perhaps the cat(?) is after an invite!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nadia says:

    Great that they invited you to join them on the bench. It is not often foreigners get the nod. They must like you:)

    Liked by 2 people

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