Monday, 22 August 2016

Part Deux*

My recent holiday in France already seems like a distant memory. Once home, domestic matters, work and other stuff has occupied time, then recently I had problems with my internet connection.  Now this seems resolved I thought I'd better chronicle the second part of this holiday otherwise it probably won't happen.  I do like to look back at posts from time to time to remind myself what I've done with my life in recent years....do you?

I can't imagine that I will forget our day at Autrefois in the streets of Challans, in a hurry.  Described in the programme as a real immersion into the beginning of the 20th century, participants dressed up in regional costumes of the time.

Artisans demonstrated their crafts.

We were entertained by traditional folk music and dancing...

  which provided much amusement.  When the caller instructed the couples 'Messieurs, Dames, embrasser'  one old dear unsuccessfully tried to dodge her partner's kiss, then in a glaring display of disgust, grimaced and wiped her cheek with the back of her hand.  It was hilarious!

Of course there were sideshows and rides for the kids.

( French politicians are obviously as popular as their British counterparts.)

(and who doesn't love to slide out of a giant chicken's arse?)

There was a procession of vintage cars 

  And displays of animal husbandry...

....these baby ducklings were adorable.

The festivities climaxed in a heroic display by les pompiers.

  whereby 'they came to the aid of a young Vendeéne girl in peril'.

 Apparently the fire service put on a show every year and each time it gets more and more ridiculous. 

The story told of a saucy lady who was up to 'anky panky' wiz 'er beau.
Just as the fireman arrived, so did her father and so the beau hid from sight, but the father so concerned about his precious daughter risked life and limb to climb into the 'burning' building and found the boyfriend in a state of undress with his daughter.  Zut alors!

 Here the father is throttling the boyfriend...and the fireman laughing in the background!
You won't be surprised to hear that it all ends well with the girl being rescued over the shoulder of a fireman, the hose soaking her bloomers which become transparent, and the father being dumped unceremoniously into the firemen's water supply. 

Of course a holiday wouldn't be complete without a trip to the seaside and a few ice creams, and the beaches were far from crowded, even in July.

After walking along the front in scorching sunshine we watched the activities of the sailing school from the shade of a beachfront café and listened to a family from Birmingham (or thereabouts) discussing the merits of Korma versus Madras.

As is the way with lovely holidays in France, or anywhere else for that matter... they finish all too soon, but ce n'est pas grave... I'll be back there before long.

*Post Title kindly supplied by Vix


  1. Haha! Those dancers sound like small children. You can just imagine that happening between a young boy and girl. They must have been young at heart. Must have been lovely being immersed in life from a century ago. I do love a reenactment. What a shame it's over and you've had to go back to real life. That firemen thing sounds very slapstick and a bit seaside postcard, funny! I'm absolutely with you, that's one of the most important reasons for having a blog I reckon, to remember the highlights. Otherwise you look back and all you remember is drudgery! In the important question of korma v madras, which won? Xxxx

    1. Yes the French seem to like slapstick comedy. I think the Korma/Madras debate was a draw. x

  2. With you and Kezzie both writing about your belles vacances en France, I'm quite jealous and ready to plan a trip of my own. The festival sounds like great fun, and I'm sure there was some yummy food to be had, too.

    Yes, I do like to read back through my blog. I'm surprised how much I forget!

  3. Autrefois looks absolutely brilliant fun, I'm loving the father throttling the daughter's boyfriend. Dad's giving it his all, isn't he?
    The beach is gorgeous, I can't believe how empty it is. Paradise. xxx

  4. The beaches never seem to be heaving as they are over here, maybe it's cos they have more than 3 days of sunshine a year!
    Hope you don't mind me pilfering the post title from your comment on my last holiday post...cheeky eh?

  5. How brilliant?! So much t love...fab photos, a bit of traditional dancing, 'ze 'anky panky and a slide coming out of a chickens rear. That is a beautiful beach too.
    I do like to read back through my blog too; it's as close to a diary as I'll ever write.xxx

  6. The French are so funny. They act so serious most of the time but when they decide to have a good time they have a GOOD TIME! Great photos.

  7. Those festivities at Autrefois are really something else! I'm loving the beach photo, it makes me want to go to the seaside NOW. How great that it wasn't too crowded. Ah, holidays, they always seem to pass so quickly ... xxx

  8. Ooh I liked those photos and captions, such fun. I also laughed at your eves- dropping!!! Jo x

  9. Looks like the pompiers really went to town with their hammed up performance! Must have been such a fun day out with so much going on. We didn't get to any events this time sadly - holiday disappeared in a blur of keeping teenage kids happy - though think the youngest would have enjoyed popping out of a chicken's arse!
    Gorgeous photos and a lovely record to look back on. Makes me wish I'd taken more pictures. Maybe next time xx

    1. Thanks Tracey. Yes it was a super way to spend the day and no entry fees either so affordable for all the family. I find the French are good at these kind of events.

  10. Such gorgeous photos, and I agree, who wouldn't want to slide out of a giant chickens arse!!!

  11. You made me laugh with your comment about the chicken's arse !! This looks like such a fun day out - all the fun of the (French) seaside :)


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