Monday, May 13, 2013

Remembrance of Times Past

Remembrance of times Past.


The Time

27 juillet 1991

The Place

France Profonde

The Occasion

The marriage of our son to a French mademoiselle





Soufflé aux 3 poissons

Gratin de St Jacques aux petits legumes

Magret de canard




Piece Montee

Corbeille de fruits

Café – Liqueur








There was a large British contingent composed of family, family friends and university pals.  On arrival we were given a delicious lunch at the bride-to-be’s home and I heard one of the students  remark how great it was to taste chicken that really tasted like chicken and melon that really tasted like melon – everything home cooked and home grown.


We had an early night with an early start on the big day.  I was honoured when the BTB had asked me to do her maquillage and also to do one of the readings in the church – the one from Corinthians that ends: ‘So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.’


First we had the civil ceremony – as is the norm in France – in the equivalent of the Town Hall.  Then we had a reception with brioche and wine, then a procession through the village to the beautiful church.  My step son and I brought up the rear and as we reached the Church the audience of villagers applauded.


It was a lovely ceremony and once my reading was over I began to relax.  Somehow we all managed to get to the lunch venue and there was time to sit back and relax and try to remember who everybody was.  The meal was excellent – long and leisurely – as is the French way – interspersed with games and entertainment.  We British were strongly encouraged to let our hair down and join in and most of us did.  I remember at once stage standing up and singing ‘Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile,’ which seemed appropriate at the time.  It seemed it was the custom for the men then to queue and plant a kiss on the cheek of the performer.  Or so I was told!  Even the priest.

In the evening there was music and dancing.


The bride’s family own a beautiful lake in the countryside and we all gathered there the next day for a picnic, games and more jollity.  Throughout the weather was perfect which just seemed to be taken for granted.  It really was idyllic and – certainly to the British unforgettable.  Despite the language difficulties good will and friendship prevailed.

We were amused to hear that once a year the plug is taken out of the lake and there is fish for all.


Twenty two years have passed and we now have French grand-children – two teen-age boys and a girl who are bilingual and enjoy coming to Minehead. The picture below always reminds me of the day of the picnic- the difference being we had a lakeJ


Marjolein said...

Now that's a proper wedding! In the Netherlands you also can't get married in church until you're civilly married. We had the same reading during our ceremony in church. :)

Granny Annie said...

So have your grandchildren taught you to speak French?

kenju said...

You have described a wonderful time, and I am certain your good memories of that day will last forever. I don't blame the men for kissing you!!

Pat said...

Marjolein: we certainly felt they were well and truly married and I think it was good that they didn't rush off on the day but stayed to enjoy the festivities over the weekend.

Granny Annie: alas no. They find my French hysterically funny and their English is excellent. The boys now sound like Charles Boyer but have no idea who he is:)

Judy: I thought it was sweet that my sons did also:)
Everyone was curious as to what MTL had in his bag:
a pair of flatties for when my feet gave out in high heels:)

John Greenwood said...

Sounds a grand occaision! :-)

LL Cool Joe said...

I have a French brother-in-law and my sister-in-law is bilingual.

French men seem to get away with being kissy kissy with everyone! If I tried that I'd get slapped around the face!

Pat said...

Joey: it never fails to amaze me that we are so close to them geographically but worlds apart in habits, morals and mores.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a Beautiful Weekend dear Pat....! I LOVE that the Bride and Groom where there the next day for the Picnic....Truly Lovely Memories, my dear Pat...And 3 French Grandchildren, to boot!
Thank you, my dear, for sharing this very special memory....!

Mage said...

Oh, just lovely. Yes, I have some that live just a few miles away that are worlds apart too.

angryparsnip said...

What a lovely post today. What a lovely Wedding. What a lovely family.
My almost three year old granddaughter puts me to shame. I am trying to learns Japanese, she speaks baby, Japanese and English. Our phone "skypeing" is hysterical !

cheers, parsnip

Gadjo Dilo said...

What wonderful memories! The French do do mealtimes rather well don't they. Here in Romania it's kissy-kissy as well - I'm a tactile person and I love it!

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I had no idea what a maquillage was! My imagination ran wild. Googled it and the meaning is much more sedate than what I conjured up.

Who knew there was a plug at the bottom of lakes?! You learn all kinds of interesting things here.

Pat said...

Naomi: If I hadn't been clearing out papers etc I would never have thought of it.

Mage: often the children can bridge the gap.

Parsnip: I'll bet she sounds adorable:)

Gadjo: ooh Gadjo! Who knew?

UB: maquillage is just me showing off.
We also goggled (Not googled) at the plug. It seems so very French and so unlike our own dear Queen Mum who would stand for hours in the freezing river for a bite.
British anglers:)

Pat said...

UB: ignore British anglers - I substituted Her Maj.

mapstew said...

Sounds very romantic.

I got to entertain at a French wedding in Waterford a few years back, great fun & games throughout the evening! :¬)


Pat said...

Map: that is an honour. They obviously thought highly of you:)

Kevin Musgrove said...

That's a very splendid do!

Pat said...

kevin: just a simple French country wedding:)

Guyana-Gyal said...

What glorious post! I like the way the villagers applauded as the party went to the church. I like the lake, the food, the picnic, I now feel mellow, as if I've just been on a wonderful trip.

rashbre said...

I love the description and like Guyana-Gyal above, the bit where the villagers applauded as you all walked through the village.


Pat said...

GG and Rashbre: it did seem strange
but we quite enjoyed it:)

LL Cool Joe said...

I totally agree. :D