Monday, October 17, 2005

Fete des Vendanges

Fete des Vendanges
Originally uploaded by oiseau.

People I talk to seem to be under some strange assumption that, chez nous, we drink champagne for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The sad truth of the matter is that unless we have visitors or a big family dinner, the bottle doesn't come out.

Weeks have gone by in the past before I've had a coupe. But this weekend was a slightly indulgent one, by our normal standards:

Friday: Apéro at our flat. Frog Parents are just back from holiday, and we wanted to tell them, in person, our news. So, along with Brother Frog and his wife, we drank our way through a couple of bottles of Brut before heading for dinner.

Saturday: Every two years a Fete des Vendanges (Harvest Party) is held in one of the villages of the region, that is the Massif Saint Thierry. We headed over to the neighbouring village, Montigny s/ Vesle, whose turn it was to host the fete, to wander the decorated streets; watch demonstrations of champagne-making, the old fashioned way; visit local craft and food stalls and the all important village champagne tent.

Naturally, we made our way to the Frog Family's village tent and sat watching dancing and music, catching up with Frog's old childhood friends and their families ... all whilst enjoying glasses of the local producers' champagne.

My contribution to the fete was a chocolate cake to join the array on the stand where they were being sold for a euro a piece. Hey, somewhere along the way I've got domestic!

The sign that I might have had one coupe too many was when I pointed out to Frog the magnificent blooms in this particular village. He drily pointed out to me that they add multitudes of paper flowers to all the existing greenery. No micro-climate here apparently.

Sunday: Frog Brother birthday. Family politics being particularly hideous and insidious at the moment, we were there out of politeness and enjoyed several glasses of champagne and a roast beef lunch. Frog Sister-in-law's mother decided to discourse on all possible current taboo subjects, upsetting pretty much everyone at the table. We made our excuses after dessert, before the coffee was served, heading back to... you guessed it... the fete for more champagne in the tent!

Frog and I got home early evening and it was cups of tea all round, ready for a budget and wedding costing session, at which point I quickly sobered up!

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