By Veronica

Un vent à décorner les boeufs

A wind fit to blow the horns off bulls (not visible in this photo, but when I stood facing the wind to take this photo, I was blown backwards). So it was a very brief photo outing. Please have a look at my alternative blip from a brief trawl round the cemetery -- I just love it, especially large on a black background. (this one is better large too)

Had to blip today so I can record yesterday evening's outing, to the village hall in Montseret, to see a play called Nos Années, based on Annie Ernaux's book Les Années. To be frank I wasn't expecting much, a Sunday afternoon show in a village of 200 people. The hall was packed though, and the stage was set with nothing except a long table draped in white with two glasses and a photo of Annie Ernaux on it. So I expected it would be a fairly static performance of readings.

Not at all! We should have known better, as it was put on in partnership with the Centre Culturel, which is a guarantee of quality. Two black-clad actors kept us engaged and fascinated in their interpretation of Ernaux's overview of France's social history over the last 70 or so years. Well-chosen music helped to evoke each period, and occasionally they dipped behind the table for costume changes. They also gradually demolished the scenery by removing bits of the table. It wasn't just words either; their movements and facial expressions, plus a few simple props, were so well conceived and choreographed to convey more than just the text. Beautifully lit too, with just four simple spotlights. A well-deserved standing ovation at the end -- let's hear it for Eliot Saour and Karine Monneau of En Compagnie des Barbares.

There was of course wine and apero nibbles afterwards, and we had a good discussion with some friends about the play and how France differed from the UK after the war and during the 1980s. A number of people have recommended Ernaux's work to me previously, and this was the nudge I needed to order the book.

We've been driving around in Bruno the elderly Peugeot all weekend due to repeated failure of Stella the Fiat to start. Lucky that this occurred outside the house and not in the middle of nowhere. We feared it was some obscure and expensive electronic problem, but happily, having called out the breakdown service this afternoon, it turned out to be a dud battery. So S went out and bought and fitted a new one, and all is well now.

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