Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Festival de la Recoup

Every village has an autumn festival. Celebrations of the walnut, chestnut, pumpkin, grape. Here in Bourdeilles we celebrate junk. 

That’s not really true. The celebration is called the Festival de la Recoup and it is a festival to call attention to how we can reuse objects and be mindful of what we waste.
This celebration starts off with a morning of apple ‘picking’. Not the first harvest of the season, but the second pass, picking up windfall apples. Apples easily gathered off the ground and perfect for apple juice.  

Children participate and see that juice comes right from the fruit not a jar. Pressed right in front of their eyes by their moms and friends. A fresh cup of cider from the stream pouring out of the press.

Then there is a
vide de grenier, empty the attic, better known as a yard sale. ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ And it’s a hoot to see what gets swapped around.

The artist of our village also show off their creativity with found items. Creating fantastical creatures and giving them homes in amazing locations.

The Festival de la Recoup is finished off with a couscous dinner with local vegetables and organic wine from neighboring small vineyards. In the end it always comes back to food and wine.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Festival de la Recoup

Hey Mom look what I found.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


We love those village bells. They give a comforting rhythm to the day. But, on our return to Bourdeilles this fall something was amiss. The bells were off an hour, sometimes more than that, and they did their “crazy bells” at random times. 
Finally several weeks into our new lives the bells are back to their reassuring, regimented performance. Maybe they were off kilter in solidarity with our slow, sometimes confused, march into the rhythms of our new community.
----extra extra--- we succeeded in getting our official Visas  yesterday - and THE CONTAINER ARRIVED TODAY! Let the crazy bells ring out!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crazy Bells

The French word for country, as in a nation, is pays (pronounced “pay-ee”) Until modern times, pays meant the area of land in which one could hear the church bell of your village. If you could not hear your village bell, you had gone beyond the limits of your world. 

Although villagers travel far and recklessly wide from the sound limits of our bells, these big clonging messengers still exert a very strong sense of structure to life in our village.

There are two bells in the enormous bell tower in Bourdeilles. The smaller of the two is the “striker”.  It tolls the hour and half hour.  Three times a day we are treated to the massive bell that is the true arbiter of the aural boundaries of our village.  It is the performance of this big bertha that sets the rhythmn of the day for most of the villagers. Tom and I call this tour de force of sound the “crazy bells”.
Here is how they work.  After striking the appropriate hour, the striker takes a pause of five minutes.  We all think of this as the calm before he storm.  Then the striker strikes thrice-- the Father, the Son , and the Holy Ghost (this is a church bell after all.)  In case you weren’t paying attention, the striker strikes thrice again.  Pause.  Calm.  The dust is settling... BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG !!! The big bell pounds out a mighty bass note that carries far over the houses, the fields and the hills of Bourdeilles. This brash performance goes on for far longer than you would expect coming out of the top of what is otherwise a very subdued looking church.
The crazy bells occur three times a day.  The first, at 8:07 tells the village when to get out of bed.  The streets are generally empty until some time after the crazy bells.  This leads me to believe that we are not the only people laying in bed straining to hear one more faint echo of bonging before our feet have to hit the cold floor.
Noon plus seven minutes is the second set of crazies.  “Stop work.  Go home.  Enjoy lunch and a brief rest with your family.”
Seven minutes following seven o’clock in the evening is the last time of the day we will hear the mighty big bell.  “What? Still working. Stop. Go home. It’s supper time.  The day is done.”

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bells vs Rooster

Friday, October 8, 2010

Back at it..

Monday, October 4, 2010

Exact Location

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where have we been?

Where have we been? Mostly lost in our own little world of panic and transition. 
Tom waited a bit too long to pack up the studio and the three, yes three, basements that were part and parcel to 3838 South Road. Emptying them and cleaning as best he could would definitely qualify as a panic. I went hiking with friends and captured the last of a glorious summer in Vermont.
There are no words to describe how crazy the packing of the container was. I’ll just say it was finally all packed at 10:30 p.m. by the headlights of Tom’s truck and I still do not know how they got the doors closed on all the stuff that went into that enormous thing. I know even less about what got snuck in there when I wasn’t looking. The neighborhood graciously accepted the various things that didn’t make it in. There was some funny “shopping” going on by flashlight that night. 
For several weeks we have been here in Bourdeilles. There have been various and sundry little crises, but they are all slowly but surely moved into the crisis averted category. Now both of us find time to take a bike ride or chat with new friends as we take our evening walk.