Village Life in France

A storm last night cooled things down. Rain was needed in the area after some fires last week so we couldn’t complain about the heavy rain yesterday afternoon.

But would it stop today’s activities ?

Up earlier to prepare for Boules. This game is loved by the French. It’s also know as Pétanque or as Bocce in Italy. Each little village has its own boulodrome and you often see groups of French men playing quietly on the rough pebbly surfaces.


We drove to nearby village of Salernes but were early so had coffee in the main shady Place. The village is known as a ‘crafty’ village and the mosaic planters and crocheted posts through the village support this.


Boules started at 10 and today’s games were organised by the local British Association. John and Margaret have joined this group to give a network of friends when visiting their house for longer periods of time. Getting into a social scene can be difficult in a village particularly if your French is not fluent. The French are friendly but difficult to break into socially.


Most of the people playing this morning are retirees from England. Two are married to French women and the others have all bought homes in the area. They all now speak French. Quite an assorted group!

We got underway after lobbing our boule towards the little white ball known as the cochonnet or jack and being given a partner depending on our lob. Poor  John got me ! and I’m sure he though I’d be hopeless.

But he was surprised (and I)  when it turned out I could actually lob my boule in general direction of the cochonnet, sometimes right next to it! . We were on a winning streak! Until our very last game when local Englishman Michael, definitely not a sporting figure, managed to out boule us.


Then off to lunch in a local restaurant. A long table set on a shady terrace looked innocent enough until the fun began. Most of the crowd were great company but there was an undertone that wouldn’t have been out of place in a John Motimer novel similar to ‘Summers Lease.’

It seems one gentleman (parked by his glamorous French wife, Marie Franc,  who headed for the other end of the table) is known for his over indulgence of the local wine and then upsetting other people. And today he was seated next to  me and I was able to observe some insults being hurled in a similar fashion to the boules earlier in the morning.

Such fun at lunch!

Margaret was offering to swap seats but I was thoroughly enjoying myself and then the main protagonist started to fall asleep. The wine was working.

We finished up at 3 after sorting out a few problems over ‘L’addition’  where a few seated near the trouble maker didn’t want to pay for his overindulgence of wine. Oh the intrigues of life in a French  village!

After lunch Bill,  one of the very friendly chaps invited us into his house nearby. They built it about 7 years ago but look like selling and returning to England. His wife doesn’t attend the boules so it was nice to meet her.

Back to Cotignac for siesta and then a walk through the little streets  finishing with a Rose under the shady trees. I love this place. It’s a really beautiful village and has a great feeling.

The end of another beautiful day. Market day tomorrow.

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