By Veronica

Autumn leaves

I had an assignation in a rural layby in the Minervois this morning, to collect sausages and bacon. It's not really an undercover arrangement but it feels like one. Corinne seems to be doing pretty well -- in the five minutes I was there, another five cars pulled up. I'm pretty sure all of her clients are British. I took advantage of the trip to do a  big shop at the supermarket in Olonzac, stocking up on toilet rolls and the like, just in case. Several bottles of wine found their way into my trolley too, because they have the best selection of local wines for miles around.

So lunch was sausages, eggs and bacon, with a mug of tea. Later we continued the Brit theme by finishing off yesterday's scones.

And in the evening ... gasp ... we went to the theatre! This was slightly surprising, as in the last day rules have been tightened to the extent that this evening's fête in our village to celebrate the new wine, to be held outdoors, was cancelled at a few hours' notice. But the season at the Centre Culturel is continuing despite everything -- reduced capacity, at least one seat between each group, masks to be worn throughout. On these terms, it was sold out. It felt slightly odd to be indoors with so many people.

The piece was Portrait de Ludmilla en Nina Simone, a two-person piece in which Ludmilla Dabo recounted parts of Nina Simone's career in song and monologue, while occasionally coming out of character to recount her own experience at drama school. It was ... OK. She was a good singer, if without the power and stage presence of Nina herself, but the only accompaniment was David Lescot strumming a guitar not particularly well. Nina Simone without a piano just seems wrong to me. Actually the part I liked best was the two of them doing a curtain call of an extract from Molière's L'Ecole des Femmes, rap-style. Very amusing.

Glad to get out in the open air and take our masks off ...

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