les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yesterday was férié - a bank holiday

so the supermarket was giving FIVE TIMES your loyalty points to entice people in. I put off our shopping till yesterday to profit from that, and also because after some allergic reactions recently (cats, perfume, rodents) I have been firing on three cylinders. The supermarket was pretty crowded but because I got there early I got everything done really quickly.

Then home, unload and off to the Pessac Memorial Ceremony. In France this consists of bugle calls and speeches. Firstly a bugle call - I forget which one. Then a veteran (ancien combattant) reads a letter from the national organisation of anciens combattants, then the maire says his bit, then the local mp says his bit, then we proceed to the silence. The bugle plays Aux morts, the flags are lowered and all chaps who remember (oops !) remove their hats. Some seconds later the town band strikes up the Marseillaise and the ceremony is over and all swarm into the marie for snacks and drinks.

Although France is fiercely secular still lots of things are regulated by the catholic church. So on our town hall there was announced a ceremony of remembrance for all the dead at the Pessac cemetery on 1st November (All Saints' Day), which is a catholic holiday and nothing at all to do with the French nation. Also for yesterday we arrived at town bang on the stroke of 11, parking in a somewhat dodgy spot on the school pavement.. We knew it was 11 because the church bell was ringing madly and a few minutes after we took our places we saw the anciens combattants file out of the church, followed by the mayor etc... and the civic ceremony began - earlier this year, at just after 11:10.

The reading group was cancelled because of the indisposition of our host, so we followed this by takeaway Kentucky Fried Chicken. The kids have been wanting us to do something like that for a while so it was good to be able to.

Then off to Centre FAC to help with operation sort-out ready for leaving the premises in December. The buses and trams were doing a sunday service so I took the car to Unitec and went in on the tram - they're more frequent on Sunday evenings than the buses. And the tram was PACKED with people. Obviously the Bordelais had decided to spend their bank holiday shopping.

The sort-out was a happy time, we found lots of Bibles to give away, and after a very nice Carrot and Coconut Milk soup the English Class seemed to go pretty well. We started with general chat, then went on to tongue-twisters (they're good for sorting out pronunciation problems) then the great False Friends challenge. Define the English false-friend word (like "eventually") for one point, then use it correctly in a sentence for two extra points. We rounded off with joke of the week, where we mine Mark's rich vein of Irish humour and finished 1/2 hour late. Oops..

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