Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Party to End All Parties

Last Friday must have signaled the beginning of the end of summer in Leran. We attended the final cocktail party in the street, or, Marche Nocturne. It has been an amazing gathering of what we now consider 'old friends' hashing over the week's activities. We begin by sitting at Le Leran Bar at a small table with four chairs, and as everyone arrives they pull a chair over. By the time we move over to the banquet tables in the middle of Cours St. Jacques, we sometimes have 12 sitting around the tiny bar table.

Conversations always run over each other, but lately it always gets back to what will happen with the bar. Nelley and Thierry are selling out and probably moving to Narbonne Plage. They are originally from Paris, and Leran is just not working out. We all have our theories about how they could have made it work better---stay OPEN during the lunch hours, have consistent hours, sell decent wine, etc., but hindsight is always better. Rumors fly about possible new owners, a few of whom we know. The bar is the center of the universe for the English-speaking community in Leran, the 'post office' of the old pioneer days. And, in Leran, it is the only bar. So, lots of reminiscing lately, both by us and others. Lee-anne remarked that she gets a little sad this time of year, as all the 'summer people' leave and winter sets in.

But, what a better way to end a two-month long string of parties than to have yet another party! Only the French would figure that out. On Saturday night a grand feast was held in la Place du Tueliels to thank all the vendors for participating. Moules in a Vietnamese sauce avec riz, fromage, vin, desert, cafe, encore moules! Parfait! Afterwards, Doug commented that if we were thanking the vendors, then why weren't we serving them rather than once again them serving us?

Maybe because we knew summer was drawing to a close, we fell into spontaneous conversation. Somebody started singing the Hokey-Pokey song (remember....put your right foot in, put your right foot out)....but wait, they were singing HOKEY-COKEY! What's this? You've got it all wrong! We bantered back and forth with the Brits about the correct verbiage, with the Americans and Aussies sticking to Pokey and Brits insisting on Cokey. It was all good fun, but of course it got me thinking----how could they all be wrong? A Google investigation the next morning revealed some interesting documentation---both sets of lyrics evolved somewhat around the same time circa WWII, and apparently each has been copyrighted.

We had opportunity to meet new people at the dinner to end all dinners. 'Maggie the Human' came over from Chalabre. She is called this in a blog we have followed prior to moving to France, as a way of distinguishing her from the blog author's dog Maggie. Now that I have met both Maggie the dog and Maggie the Human, I really don't think it is necessary to go to such great extent to characterize them. Maggie the dog is a black lab and Maggie the Human is Irish with auburn hair, so why not describe them that way? We got such a laugh over that and I'm afraid Doug and I wore out the joke, but Maggie invited us over for dinner anyway (auburn Maggie that is).

I know some of you had to sit down when you saw the photos of appeared to be a clone of Doug doing something like DANCING. Those of you who know him well know his philosophy, his medical excuse, and now have grounds for blackmail. This is indeed Doug, and he is dancing with Isabella, the owner of the Leran epicerie. All I can say is that when the music started, Isabella started grabbing partners and one does not say no to Isabella. She may be short but she is not shy.

Thanks to Alan and Eileen for releasing the highly classified photos of the dancing Doug.


Anonymous said...

"Doog the Dancer"...Luke has witnessed a whole new chapter of French history! Whooppee!

But where are the pictures of Nancy "cutting a rug"? Remember, "all's fair in love and dancing"...right?

You shall have such wonderful memories...and a blog to document everything! Enjoy your last 2+ weeks of "French summer camp"!

Au revoir for now.

Harley said...

I am desole to think that you will soon be leaving France for the year! When will you depart Leran and when will you return in the spring? I will miss your French blog entries but hope that you will carry on back home in Moab. You two are fine blogsters and have given me a great deal of pleasure the last few months! Merci beaucoup!

Anonymous said...

Nancy- You will be pleased to know there is another known photo in existence of Doug dancing. It was at that wedding you all helped cater at Peggy's house-you remember that wedding don't you? You know, the one that holds me forever in your debt? But, yes there is a "Doug dancing" photo, as I recall he did some dance called the Gator which had him laying on the ground...didn't he also twist his knee at that event and henceforth was never to dance again until now?
Say hi to my sister when she gets there, hope you guys have fun!

sarah alexander said...

I can't believe it's all coming to an end soon....I've been enjoying reading your entries so much! Haven't had much of an opportunity to leave notes because I read in little bits here and there when Frances is occupied for a few minutes. I've also been reading the Carol Drinkwater books that Amy sent mom. I've got France on the brain!

leslie said...

Mon chere frere, soeur, belle soeur et belle frere,

I am really frustrated because my posts from home never seem to make it to the blog. I am not sure why. The photo of the monument, Albert Maire, maire is mayor I think. He must have been the mayor of the town, right?


Noah said...

oh my god. It looks like you are going to crush that pour small woman. If you enlarge the picture and look at the guy pointing he seems to be thinking the same thing.