These are some of the French folks we know. Nancy took all of these pictures, perhaps around the time of the first Marche Nocturne Leran in the beginning of July. What I say about these folks is what I know from various sources. I can't guarantee the accuracy of any of this information. I'm sure they would describe their lives differently if they had a chance.
Starting at the top left, is Thierry. He threw the party that we went to with Mathilde. I know virtually nothing about Thierry except he is very droll and always goes out of his way to say hello and shake my hand and give Nancy a "bissou".
Next comes Nellie and her two daughters, Virginia and Laura. I can't tell the two lovely young ladies apart and won't try to do so now. They, along with the other Thierry run the bar in Leran. When we sit down at the table, we give each of the ladies two "bissou" and Thierry a handshake before we order a drink. Lovely people. They let us run a tab.
Next is Marc. Marc is an Algerian by birth and came to his ancestral home in Leran when Algeria achieved independence. Marc speaks, French, Spanish, Arabic, English and another language, maybe Italian or Portuguese. I can't remember. Marc speaks openly about his former profession as an arms dealer all over the world. His house is right to the back of ours and we know when he is using his plumbing because the pipes run outside the house and we can hear the noise of water rushing down the pipe. He has a French version of a military jeep as well as some kind of troop carrier. Marc is a piece of work.
Next is Christian. He is the barbecue man. He shows up to parties and special occasions. He pulls a trailer behind his car that is a grill with a stash of wood, generally grape vines. At the Friday night markets he grills steaks, chops, warms breads and cheeses and he does this for whatever you wish to put in his tip jar. I think, but I'm not sure, that he is married to the lady who shows up in the meat sales wagon, so he has a vested interest.
That brings us to Isabel, she runs the little market in Leran that is closed as often as it is open. Next to her is Chantal. She is the secretary in the Mairie's office. They say the secretaries in France, who toil away in obscurity for their local mayor, are the real holders of all the power. Dick Cheney to George Bush if you get my drift. Chantal apparently works every Friday night in July and August without pay, setting up tables and benches and every other task to make Cours St. Jacques ready for the Friday night festivities.
And lastly is Phillipe Lamond. We bought our house from him. He and his wife, Corrine have adopted a baby from Tahiti, and the poor souls had to go all the way there to get Pearl. Corrine and Phillipe have some Appaloosas (of all critters) and are in the Leran'Cestral with us. They have much better parts than we do. Mostly they ride around with swords and round up paysans in fabulous knight costumes. In one scene they are the Duke and Duchess, or the King and Queen or some type of royalty. Bring your own horses to the pageants and I guess you get the plum choice of roles.
Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge.