Sunday, 20 June 2010

Cancer Support and Feu d'Artifice - Blog 81

What a really miserable day Saturday was.  I woke up to grey skies and a cool wind, but hoped that the weather would improve.  I had offered to help on the bookstall at a Charity sale in Chasseneuil, but because it was being held outside in a garden, I was really not looking forward to it this year.  It is for Cancer Support France, and our local branch of Charente Plus which covers Charente, Charente-Maritime, Vienne and Haute-Vienne.

As I left home, to be on the spot by 13h30, so the rain steadily began to fall. By the time I arrived in Chasseneuil, it had eased off a bit and we managed to set up the stall. Just as we finished, so it started to rain again and I was given a tarpaulin to throw over all the books. 

Other people were setting up their stalls, but mostly they were under gazebos. I had one umbrella which covered very little of the book stall!  ‘Salvatore’ the Italian hair dresser was offering his services, also under a gazebo; haircuts for whatever donation you felt like giving. 

I had my hair trimmed while it was raining for a donation of 10€, I pay around £10 in the UK for a dry cut, and 20€ in France for a hair cut and wash.  (They do not seem to do dry cuts where I go!).  Whatever, I thought that I had done pretty well for the price, and as the rain kept tumbling down I was glad of my shorter hair and I felt quite light headed!!
The weather did finally clear for a short time and I made a few sales, but it was not long before I had to cover up again, then uncover, and cover yet again.  Meanwhile everyone was complaining about the cold and there were a few blue coloured people about the place!  I had dressed for the middle of winter, boots and all, and I think I was one of the very few who did not complain.  I hate the cold and try to think ahead.

We all packed up at 17h00 in the rain, but surprisingly it seemed that finances were not as low as expected, and maybe all the hard work was worthwhile. People did brave the elements and it certainly could have been a whole lot worse.  It will be a couple of days before all monies are tallied up and we know how much we made.

On Saturday evening, Vitrac Saint Vincent had a musical fireworks display. During the day they had a children’s football match and lots of funfair events. Sunday was also to be devoted to games and fun fair for the children.  Our neighbours, Nicole and Jean came for an aperitif on Friday evening, and Jean’s comment was that it was well suited for us!!  Jean had his 70th last year!!

By 20h00, the clouds had lifted, and there were a few very small spots of blue showing through the fields of grey ‘cotton wool’.  I had planned on cycling to the feu d’artifice, as there is very little parking, and I thought a midnight ride home (weather permitting) would be fun.  I even had all my winter cycling gear here, so what was to stop me – well the weather might have!!  By 21h00 the sky was showing quite a lot of blue and the sun was showing a few silvery rays; the cold wind though did not let up.  21h30, and not a cloud in sight; this must be the first time in well over a week we have seen the magic of sunshine!

I left home just before 22h00 and on arrival in Vitrac I discovered all was peaceful and quiet, not a body in sight anywhere!!  I listened hard in the silence and picked up a distant sound, which I homed in on, to discover that the whole event had changed venue from last year and it was being held at the football stadium.  Unfortunately, I gather this was not a popular venue and numbers were seriously down on last year.  Personally I think the weather may have had a lot to do with it!! 

Nevertheless, there were a number of children having fun and even if not well supported, the feu d’artifice (firework display) was excellent. 


I cycled home afterwards, arriving at my door just a couple of minutes before midnight.  Jean and Nicole were worried about my lights on the bike until I switched them on and they saw how bright they were. 

I might add, as I do this post on Sunday morning, I have lit the fire as the lounge is so cold!  June is supposed to be summer! instead of this, we have dismal grey sky and a bitterly cold northerly wind blowing.

30 comments:

  1. I forgot that at 11 pm it is still light out but if you arrive home few minutes before midnight, you were riding in the dark. Weren't you afraid?
    I called my father at 3 pm your time. It was 12 degrees in Rodez. He said it has never been so cold in June but it is supposed to get better during the week. I hope it will be for you and your garden.

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  2. Hi Nadege, I have never been afraid here in France. Very few problems in the countryside, may be different if I lived in a city. I certainly would not cycle, or walk around near our home in the UK at night.

    The weather report says things will improve for a few days, but it looks like it will be cold and wet again after...... Diane

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  3. It looks like you had a nice day despite the rain! Great find on the hair cut. (My beloved loves my long hair, so I've never cut it.) And fireworks are always a fun ending to the day, despite the fact that your summer has so far been disappointing, weather wise!

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  4. Too bad about the weather...a light rain is okay, but with the cold yuck. It would keep people away! It sounds like our winter (we are usually warm all winter) This year it was around 10-15 degrees F below our average temps. I'm not complaining about the hot temps we have now! It's great that you can ride your bike!

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  5. I've sold at many festivals where I spent more time covering and uncovering than selling. It's a lot of work. But if you raised funds for cancer support it is good. The fireworks are great, don't get to see them here in the park over 4th of July. The night ride sounds delightful, except for the cold.

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  6. Hi Margie, I did enjoy the evening, but the day was not very pleasant. I have never grown my hair past my shoulders. The longer it gets the curlier it gets and it drives me mad. Nigel likes short hair so that helps. Diane

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  7. Hi Lyndsey, I did enjoy the night ride, it was exhilarating to say the least of it. I am now fed up with the cold though, summer is well overdue! Having been brought up in Zimbabwe, I never really knew what it was like to be cold until I moved to Johannesburg, and even there the winters though cold are fairly short. Diane

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  8. Hi Gaelyn, It was sad it was so wet as I am sure we would have made a lot more money if it had been warm. This morning, Monday, we have clear blue skies, the first for weeks, long may it last. Diane

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  9. All in all it seems like it was not a godd day Diane. Here it is icy cold too but no rain thank goodness.

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  10. Hi Joan, Weather wise it was horrible and Sunday was no better, but it did stop raining for me to enjoy the bike ride and the fire works. Luckily because of the UK weather, I have good winter cycling gear:) Diane

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  11. Well at least at the end of the day it sounds like you enjoyed it just to make you a little jealous last week in the Kruger the highest temp was 39C in the winter as well :)

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  12. Philip, dare I comment to that..... winter in the Kruger Park is always the best. Diane

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  13. An interesting Saturday which would have been even more fun if the weather was as it should be in June!
    My family tell me the weather is better in the UK than the rest of Europe at present!

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  14. LindyLouMac, It could have been a really good day but...... Nigel says it is going to be very hot in the UK today. I just want it dry enough to cut the grass! I am sick of living in a track suit trying to keep warm. Diane

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  15. What did I tell you, better weather than us! Where should we be moving to I wonder, Wales, Scotland?

    Terrace laying this week, but been stopped already this am by rain, yes more!!!

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  16. Great that the amount of money raised wasn't affected by the weather. Too bad the rain had you flashing the tarpaulin on and off all afternoon.

    Coming to the end of our "Shortest Day" here - the temp got to 16C!

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  17. Glad to hear that you did not let the wheather dampen your spirits. You showed up for the sale and got the job done.
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could go about at any time day or night without worry?
    Ah, fireworks...I really like fireworks. Seriously, I told my kids that when I leave this earth, no funeral, just put sparklers on my grave!

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  18. LindyLouMac, I have no desire to move, especially the UK!! The only place you might get me to, if it sorted itself out politically, is Zimbabwe. We are dry today but very cloudy and cool. Diane

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  19. Michelle and Zebbycat, It makes one wonder how much we would have made though if the weather had been nice! Yesterday it was only 15 degrees C in the house here and this is supposed to be summer!!!!! Did not go out to see how cold it was there Brrrrrr
    Hugs Diane

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  20. Hi Mya, I feel safer here than any other place I have lived, I am quite happy out on my own at mid-night.

    Sparklers are a great idea I will go along with that. I also want cheerful music and laughter. Diane

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  21. I am always thankful for you comments.
    (Don't speak to me of rain:In Italy the situation is not so different from France.What a bad Spring...)

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  22. Andrea I have no idea what has happened to the weather this year. Not only is it wet but it is cold as well. Time for a change I hope. Diane

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  23. It sounds like you had another very busy weekend. We, too, are having very strange weather this summer. It's been cold and damp and is threatening the harvests at small farms and orchards. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  24. Diane, I do hope you realise I was joking!

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  25. Hi Diane,

    What a full weekend.. Sounds like a lot of fun! I'm now watching Amour dans le prés- instead of the TARATATA for the musique fest-- Oh!!!
    I am covered up and I was just frantically searching the apt. for my space heater! I'm sooo cold! Here's hoping for sun tomorrow.. eh?!!
    Happy Summer!!
    Leese

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  26. LindyLouMac, I hoped you were joking, I find it difficult just spending winter in the UK....... Hopefully it will not last too much longer, I love France. I also loved Rhodesia before it became Zimbabwe..... I still have many friends there. Diane

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  27. You are right Leesa, happy summer. I put a blanket over the duvet last night and still woke up cold this morning. It HAS to change, I hope anyway. Diane

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  28. It was for a great cause. Sounds like a rather unpleasant day of rain and cold. I am one who loves cold. It's the high heat and humidity that gets me. Our temps are above normal 95-100 degrees. Hope your day is a good one. Stay dry today. Becca

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  29. Hi Becca, You probably would have been OK if you like the cold, it can never be too warm for me. I think it must be having lived in Africa for too long!! Diane

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  30. Hi Mary I answered your comment yesterday but see it has gone AWOL. I wish I knew what the weather was up to, it seems very odd world wide. Have a good day. Diane

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