Saturday, 14 November 2009

Journée Calendrier

During my first year here in France, some time before Christmas, the postman turned up in the afternoon, not his usual time. He had no letters with him, but was carrying a calendar that he gave to me. I thanked him and he went away. I was a bit puzzled, but, there you go, sometimes French habits seem a bit strange.

I learnt later that handing out calendars in exchange for a voluntary donation is a time-honoured way of raising money for charitable purposes; it is the equivalent of the Christmas tip. I made up for my mistake the following year, of course.

Having joined the Harmonie of St Suzanne more recently, I discovered that we have a calendar sale, and today was the day. We split up into teams, and three of us, Aurélie, Nico and I covered an estate not far from the St Suzanne castle.

Impressions first of the friendliness. A person will either buy a calendar or not, and if they do, they will invite you inside for a chat, and to complete the transaction. Vegetable plots almost everywhere, and the occasional old farm tool, many if not most speaking of a farmer in retirement who can't break the habit.

And sarcastic somments from my team-mates who observed that there is no single word in English that means éclaircie (in the context of weather, that is: sunny interval) but plenty of words for awful weather. We were caught in a shower at the time.....

After the sales campaign, a great communal lunch, then back home to find that lightning or a power surge had fried my router, so this post is courtesy of my ancient emergency back-up. I need the internet to order a new one, of course. If the backup fries, I'm stuffed.


@eloh said...

Thanks for the pictures! It was like tagging along.

Get your computer fixed!

ReedBunting said...

I can see that the French must have walls covered in calendars! It is nice though how they invite you in and make you feel welcome... wouldn't happen in the UK I am sure. I for one am always very suspicious of people who come knocking on the door, worried it's some kind of scam.

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