Midsummer’s Day – Fete de la Musique

No need to travel far to celebrate Midsummer’s day and the start of the holiday season here in France. Every major town and city, and many, many smaller towns, villages and communes celebrate the summer with the Fete de la Musique. From the spectacular celebrations of Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, Bordeaux and the like; to Caen, to Cherbourg and other smaller cities; it will be a night of celebration of all kinds of music – medieval, folk, classical, pop, rock, indie, techno; you name it, it will be there somewhere.

Not to be outdone, smaller towns and villages started the celebrations early. Last Friday saw the choice of three local villages – Surtainville, Le Rozel and Benoistville. As I was singing with “Dynamique” of Pierreville it was to Benoistville that I went.

The village centre was packed by 2030hrs

Entertainment included choirs; small groups with guitars; a large group of musicians who came together for a jamming session; a group of singers who concentrated on songs in the local language – patois; a group of musicians and dancers with traditional instruments.

One highlight of evening was “La Chanson de Rue” – a mass sing-in of “Les Copains D’Abord” by the assembled visitors led by most of the musicians and the choir “les Marins de Cotentin”.

For me, a real find  was the group Ars Nova performing medieval songs accompanied by medieval instruments in the church. If you’re interested you can find out more on their website – www.arsnova-consort.com

I missed the “Danse Country” at Surtainville on Friday, but managed to catch some of it on Sunday in Les Pieux; part of their Fete de la Musique – not that I’m enamoured of American line dancing, but it does seem to go down well over here. No the reason I wanted to go to Les Pieux was that Mask Ha Gazh were once again playing outside the Hotel Les Pieux

– always a pleasure to watch, and join in with the singing (and dancing – you can’t keep still to their brand of “Rock Celtique”). Their website – www.maskhagazh.com

Once again the town was packed and people were entertained by a wide variety of acts –

And yet another “find” for me. Playing beside the Mairie was the (locally based) Folk group Eridan

Once again you can find out more, and listen to their music on their website – www.eridan.folk.free.fr

So the season begins – after a long time without blogging  I hope to get organised and bring you up to date on events in the area for the summer season; and just to tantalise a bit  – ‘what are the Vikings doing in Surtainville this August?’

Best wishes for a great season

Bob

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Burns night celebration

Spent last weekend in England; and part of the experience was the (Scottish) celebration of their most famous poet – Rabbie Burns.

Went with friends to a Burns Night Supper in Shropshire. Wonderful experience, with the piping in of the Haggis

the address to the haggis, and the toast to the haggis

and then singing, poetry and dancing.

Had our own Burns Night on the day itself – 25th January, with haggis

neeps (turnip, or swede) and tatties ( mashed potatoes)

A fitting tribute to Scotland’s national poet.

Now it’s back home and on with the work – plenty to be done in preparation for the season. Have you checked out our latest property for let this summer?  or our special spring offers?

Hope to hear from you soon

Bob and Marjory

Plants and Flavours of Autumn

This coming weekend at Omonville-la-Rogue, an expo organised by the Hague tourist board

PSA2009_mini

Expos in the garden and courtyard include ornamental plants, fruit trees, ancient and forgotten vegetables, garden furniture, and food and other products derived from gardens and plants.

hague expo

Also in the Manoir du Tourp and its grounds are the on-going exhibition dedicated to Alexandre Trauner, cinema set designer who worked with Jacques Prevert (his house in Omonville-la-Petite well worth a visit );

trauner

the photographic works “Regard sur La Hague” of Philippe Mauger; photographs of gardens; books about gardens, and particularly in the Cotentin; and photographic books of local history and culture, such as “Paul and les Autres”.

Also a bonsai exhibition, and a chance for youngsters to create and play their own musical games.

Plenty of fun and things to do for all the family. Visit www.lahague.org or www.letourp.com for more details.

Bob

Local artist has new exhibition

Pierreville, by Jacqueline Klocke

Pierreville, by Jacqueline Klocke

We mentioned last year the exhibition by three local artists at Pierreville. One of these, Jacqueline Klocke, now has her own exhibition at Flamanville.

Her medium is for the most part water colour, and her subject has been for the main landscapes. She has added figures of family and friends, as in “the Chasse at Surtainville”,

On the Chasse

On the Chasse

and with “Open day at Pierreville Manoir”.

klocke-manoir

She is also experimenting with still life and flowers,

flowers-klocke

and with paintings commissioned from where she has holidayed, as in “St Marco for Claude”

St Marco for Claude

St Marco for Claude

We have some of her paintings on our walls; Marjory prefers the floral studies, I much prefer the landscapes. An artist well worth keeping an eye on, and a person we are proud to count as a friend.

Bob