Thursday, 9 August 2012

cinq jours francais part deux

Gosh, this time two weeks ago I'd just  arrived in Ceret, in the south of France for Jenny's party.

Now, I have to tell you, Jenny and her husband Phil put on exceedingly good parties. Wherever they are, there are always lots of laughs, loads of wine, and there is always should I put it incident. Or two.

Ten years ago, at another of Jenny's special birthdays....(ones ending in 0) there were several incidents worthy of note. The party was in several parts -her parties are always long and complicated. No arriving at 7.30pm and leaving at 11.30 type of nonsense, oh no.

The party was near Parthenay in France. Lunch for about forty in a chateau.A posh do, canapes and champagne on a terrrace followed by a slap up lunch . It was a long lunch.

Followed by a barbecue for about eighty at their cottage nearby in the evening. A different vibe, jeans, barbecue , music, lots of booze and franglais as the mixture of English and French guests got more creative with their language as the night rolled on.
This was the night of the lavatory incident. Phil and Jenny's house had an indoor loo. Just. It had a roof, but not a door.A swishing curtain to protect modesty and a hand painted sign saying "Vacant" on one side and "Occupied" on the other which guests would have to move accordingly.

At one stage, desperate for the loo, and observing the occupied sign, I was getting restless. " Come on , hurry up "I shouted. Not one but three people came out. The first two had been helping the third who had fallen asleep on the loo. That third person had woken up with a start and fallen headlong into the strimmer and lawnmower which were also in the loo.....( well , where else would you keep your gardening equipment?)

The two good samaritans were trying to patch him up in there...but it looked like a crime scene...a blood bath..and when his wife caught sight of him....let's just say she was not best pleased.

So the scene was set for another legendary party lasting four days. There were seventeen of us for the weekend....two , Bob and  Mavis live in Ceret, Jenny and Phil have an apartment there so they had already arrived, and the rest of us flew in on different flights  .

By Friday night we were all a quiet meal in Ceret's lovely main square was planned

and went ahead

with music which wasn't booked....

and although very jolly, there's only so much accordion music I can personally take before wishing certain things...unprintable things.....apologies to accordion players worldwide but that's just the way that I feel....

Anyway, I could hear a live band starting up jsut at the back of the I went to investigate....and there was a really good covers band playing in the next street.

I went back to get the others...the next thing, we found ourselves singing and dancing for the rest of the night....

Oh dear, the photos were getting blurry by this stage, but hey ho....

On Saturday morning some of us were up bright and early for the market.....hundreds of stalls selling baskets (yes I bought one), clothes,jewellry, ornaments, chickens, plump salamis, the freshest vegetables and rather a lot of goats cheese.

So hot though , so we escaped to the lake ...for a swim, a chat and a beer.......until it was time to get ready for drinks and present opening in Jenny and Phil's apartment,.followed by the birthday meal itself.

 A delicious meal....serrano ham and melon, fish baked to perfection with an aoli accompaniment and lots of roasted courgettes, peppers and tomatoes, followed by Catalan Creme. Imagine creme brulee with a twist.....I'm salivating just thinking about it.....

Everything eaten,several games of Chinese whispers were played which became increasingly bizarre and filthy.....

We then decamped to a bar ...I can't remember the name....where there was a lock in . More drinks, more dancing.....and male bonding...

and dancing of a different kind....Bob, one of the more diminuitive of our gang...and the lovely, tall Vera.....

I love this photo even  though it's blurry!

Bridget, Dave and I left about 1.30 am I believe...details are rather hazy. What was certain was how difficult it was to get Dave back to the house we were sharing.It took us half an hour to walk down the hill with the dead weight which was was exhausting. Halfway home we had to lean him against a building so that I could draw breath and burst into fits of giggles.....

There were fewer laughs further down the hill....we came to a rather lovely fountain....which Dave was nearly pushed into ....not by me I hasten to add!

The fountain by daylight......and on the Sunday lunchtime, a recreation of how we got him back to the house the night before...

And by Monday, most of us had left -flying back from Girona in Spain, or from Perpignan...back to work after perfect days of partying....I just wonder what the next party will be like!

Today's music is from St Germain....It's called Pont des Artes off their 2000 album "Tourist".... I always have to play this when I'm in France... it brings back such great memories of a hot garden ten years ago in France...this was playing as we all sank orange juice and ate croissants in an attempt to liven ourselves up after the night before......


  1. It sounds and looks like you had an amazing time with as much alcohol flowing as where I was in Ireland (though sadly not imbibed by me). How do you all keep going? You must be much younger than me!!!

  2. Ros, it was amazing...and how did we keep it up? Stamina darling....! Although it took me a week of feeling rather dozy after I got back.

  3. Looks like a great party and lovely weather too. You must have been exhausted.

  4. Yes was great...adnI think the correct word to describe how tired I was ws "knackered"!