Monday, April 2, 2012

Community spirit – working together to get things done .......

The last couple of mornings have been a little difficult with aching limbs, stiff muscles and uncomfortable movement!

No we haven’t taken up a gym membership again – perish the thought – but instead made a rash offer to help our neighbour who lived in the 5th floor appartment of our block move to her new abode intra muros.  The new apartment was a mere 3 minute walk away and vans had been arranged but the 5th floor – AND NO LIFT – Quelle Horreur!

This is one of the things we love about living here though.  An appeal had gone out to the community a few weeks before and at the alotted hour 9am (9am on a Saturday morning) a grand total of 15 strapping folk arrived to get the job done.  The spirit that ensued during the mornings labours seemed to help us all make light work of the 10 flights of narrow stairs both up and down not to mention the regular cans of chilled beer and bottled cider that were being provided – and we soon gathered that there was also a promise of lunch!

Whilst the navigation of the stairs was arduous and difficult with certain pieces of furniture causing some interesting problems the old appartment was soon emptied.  The new appartment was on the first floor and newly renovated in a block with wide staircases and large doors so the installation of our neighbour was much easier but with everyone working together the whole job was complete by 1pm.

As the last few boxes were delivered to the new appartment there was serious counting of heads and making of phone calls which we later understood to be the arrangements for lunch.  Now we might have expected a vast supply of sandwiches for the numbers involved but no not here in France.  With the door securely locked we were all directed to the appartment of the cousin of our neighbour who had spent the morning preparing a delicious lunch (the counting of heads being required to decide the number of chairs to be borrowed from other neighbours).

What transpired was a very jolly and convivial 3 hour lunch of excellent pate, cornichons and salads, the most delicious slow braised chicken with a bacon and herb sauce, cheese and fuit and several boxes of both red and white wine.

Of course once the wine had worn off the aching started but we were really happy to help and to be involved in such a commuinty spirited day.

We think we have secured our place in the community here and built some strong connections with people we hadn’t known before and we wish Marie-Annick every happiness in her new home
but please ..........

........ someone pass the deep heat!!!!!

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