Readers of our blog are probably wondering what has happened to it over the past few weeks, well Mary is away in foreign parts (she has gone over to Glasgow to baby sit our two granddaughters). This has left me at home in France baby sitting 5 cats and with a long list of jobs to do whilst Mary is away. As well as the usual clean this and fix that items on the list there were also reminders to go to the Loto and the Bal Masqué. I’m happy to report that these two tasks (as well as some of the other tasks) have now been completed.
Our village Loto (basically bingo) was held on the 26th of February and was advertised as a ‘Loto Gourmaund ‘ as all the prizes were food and drink related. Some of the prizes are bought by the Foyer Rural and some, such as meals out, are donated. The Loto is a big money spinner for our Foyer Rural and can bring in a couple of thousand Euros to the coffers.
The next task was the Bal Masqué. Last year we held our first Bal Masqué in early May and we had a great turn out, this year the Foyer Rural decided to push the boat out and book live entertainment. A young couple, who entertained us at the Repas Dansant in 2009, were booked. They play all the popular dance songs : waltzes, pasodobles , marches and of course the Madison – the girl also entertained us with a cabaret act, which seemed to involve sitting on gentlemen’s knees whilst singing Edith Piaf songs and dancing the dance no French cabaret can do with out ‘le Can Can’.
Most of us turned out in elaborate costumes, there were two cowboys and a cow girl, a monk, a nun and two clowns and a rabbi in a big bushy beard who nobody could identify until she laughed. Sadly though the turn out was very poor, this was possibly due to the timing as March 3rd is the middle weekend of the half-term holidays in our region and also during the ski season. So I think most of the profits from the Loto will go on subsidising the Bal Masqué.
Normally blog service will be resumed shortly as Mary returns on Saturday and I can now cross off another item from the list – write blog.
At this time of year many villages have their yearly session of Loto. It’s the French version of Bingo. Our ‘Loto gourmand’ is very popular and people come from far and wide. There are such a lot of prizes – huge salted hams, rosettes (dried sausage), goats cheese, jars of pâté and lots and lots of bottles of wine and crémant.
There were many prizes
You buy your cards when you go in and play the same cards all afternoon unless you feel that they might not be lucky, in which case you are allowed to change them in the interval. Generally there are three prizes in each game. However if two people shout at the same time, a number is picked out of the hat to determine who wins. The loser then gets a bottle of wine as consolation rather than second prize. The game recommences until all three prizes have been won.
Break for refreshments
In the intervals there is plenty of time to have a glass of wine and a freshly made gaufre and chat with friends and neighbours.
One member of the foyer rural group who organised the Loto did particularly well and we stayed behind to help him enjoy his winnings.
After the Loto - partytime!
A big event is coming up. On Sunday next week there will be the grand Loto afternoon at the foyer rural. There are abundant prizes of filets garnis, jambons, rosettes, bons d’achat, repas au restaurant…. And of course local wines and crémant.
For the last two Monday nights we have been in the schoolroom decorating the wooden boxes in which the bottles of wine will presented. Chris and I seem to have been welcomed into the local artistic group via the vannerie sessions on Saturday afternoons. My only previous decorative work had been to emulsion walls but Chris, being practical, takes to all this like a duck to water. He can knock off a wicker basket in one session and has decorated two big boxes to my one little box. That’s mine with the butterflies on.
It’s a bright sunny afternoon and we are just going to post the last of the Loto leaflets through letterboxes. This has taken us a couple of days as the commune is so spread out with some houses and farms hidden away off the road. It’s interesting to see what’s happening locally as regards renovations and a good way to find out who lives where .