In the last couple of weeks our town has been extremely busy.
First off was the French TV Film Festival. We stole this one from Saint-Tropez! The red carpet was out at the cinema on the port and the TV film stars arrived in town. The journalists that cover the event are more famous than the stars in most cases, but never mind.
Next was the boat show. I’m not really that interested in boats myself; I was born inland. Last night was the enormous firework display on the port to close the show. We forgot to walk to the outskirts of the village to watch from a distance. To add to the confusion La Rochelle’s rugby team, who are now in the first division, were at home playing Biarritz yesterday afternoon. La Rochelle lost. I imagine there was a lot of ‘fun’ in the bars after that.
Many of the monuments in France were open for free this weekend. Rob’s most unfavourite weekend. People don’t like waiting to go in – fire regulations and 600 year old uneven narrow stairways mean alternating one way traffic up and down. The staff at the Arch de Triomphe were on strike (pensions). Olivier has been home to work with Rob this weekend – it’s probably his most unfavourite weekend too by now.
The 22nd will be the day without cars, in town. It’s very well organised and was invented by our late Mayor Michel Crepeau. Out of town car parks and buses will be free. Unfortunately some people seem to think they can do as they like on bikes* and skate boards and it can become quite dangerous. We all receive a leaflet with reminders about safety. There are games and sports and information on keeping fit and eating well. The idea is that people will take up using public transport, it’s easy to hire bikes and electric cars in town and there is even a boat bus.
* When he was younger my brother was engaged to a girl whose mother was accidentally knocked over and killed by cyclists.