La fête de la musique

Well poor Pat spent today in the car ferrying family members hither and yon :

Catrin to troupe de scoutes. Oh - they're not there yet.
Gwilym to répé de saxos.
Catrin back to troupe de scoutes. They're there now.
Alan to tram stop.
Gwilym from répé de saxo - a brief respite, then
Gwilym to fête d'anniversaire.
Go to Catrin's fête de la troupe de scoutes.
Gwilym from fête d'anniversaire.
Catrin from fête de la troupe de scoutes.
Gwilym and Catrin to Centre Ville de Pessac for Gwilym's concert de saxos.

As for me my day was quite calm in comparison.

It started with preparation for the English Class, then a quick scuttle into town to hear an ensemble de cuivres at the Cour Mably. I arrived as they were packing their instruments away, but I got another chance to look round the Cour Mably, which would be a wonderful venue for a Carol Service. It's a cloistered convent with a fairly good meeting room that belongs now to the city. We need to get this association sorted out and then maybe we could use one of these gorgeous rooms for Christmas.

Then to the student centre. Finish off preparation. Chatting with a student. Class was depleted today - just one student, so we did the stuff I'd prepared but also talked about laying out letters in English. Then off to Pessac for the fête de la musique and Gwilym's saxo concert.

Last year in the town centre the fête de la musique was nice and busy but it's the one time when you see lots of drunks in the streets so by the end of the evening you feel a bit like going home. Add to this a temperature in the thirties and the cooling breezes of Pessac called loudly.

In Pessac it all has a very different feel. Many people are dressed up smartly for it, and the town centre has four venues, all within two minutes' walk of each other. In the one AssoSax were playing light jazz. In the school yard rock bands were blasting. In the main square a variety of different ensembles were playing. I listened to some people playing Gascon music on fifes and drums. Then in the church a choir, then the wind band from the music school, then the orchestra, then the ensemble de saxos.

I hadn't eaten so the glorious smell of the municipal barbecue overcame me. I chose duck and chips (improbably cheap) and then remembered that magret de canard here is traditionally eaten raw - well seared on the outside but with ... well I won't describe it any further. I thought 'It must be OK. People have done it for centuries, and anyway a duck is not a chicken, and if you don't look at it it's really not bad at all"

Why did Adolphe Sax invent the saxophone ? Why is it so popular in France ?

Anyway all the ensembles were incredibly good. Gwilym said that they got lost in the middle of one piece, but they still started together and ended together and that piece was a bit .... like that anyway.

Gwilym packed away his saxo (for the last time - I take it back today and he's switching to electric guitar. We haven't told his teacher.)

So we hauled ourselves off to bed. Phew !


Anonymous said…
Magret de canard is a particular favourite of my daughter wot 'ad useter live trans-manche. 'Owever, having swopped the delights of Provence for the incomparable beauty of Birmingham, (written with a strong Beryl Reid accent for those of you in the sad position of being able to remember 'Marlene'), well, Brownhills to be precise, it aint likely to feature on too many eatery menus now!

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