La Saint-Valentin

Who would have thought I would have ever attended a Valentine Day event? Not at all my cup of tea! But I went – to show willing.

Lou Rossignol is the old folk’s club – club des ainés – in Bréau. It does an impressive number of activities through the year, from afternoons of Lotto (I draw the line at these) to some great outings, last year to Spain, for example (I always seem to be ill or in England when there is a really good trip).

My friend, Margaret, is the treasurer, so its finances are impeccable. She and the other two committee members also do a great job on the food front. At the Valentine event, there were crepes and waffles, with a huge variety of home made jams – with Margaret’s orange flavoured with whisky and lemon flavoured with gin being particularly popular.

The afternoon’s animation was music by the Vacquier brothers, who are really good. Margaret says they are outstanding blues players, but they adjusted the repertoire to the audience in Bréau, including a cheerfully vulgar local song La Viganaise (wish I could follow the local patois enough to get the whole thing).

I was sitting opposite the former mayor (who was involved in the organisation but not ceremony of Jude and Ed’s wedding). Now in his eighties, he takes a back seat in village life. His wife, Lina, is the president of Lou Rossignol and, despite being in bad health, a dynamic force which rescued an association which risked becoming moribund.

The three committee members are all over seventy (and Margaret is 80). I fear for associations like this; there is no sign of the next generation getting ready to take over community activities.

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