Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Something I would like

Bastille day today, and last night was a late one.

I have been scattering the blog with photos of things I want - here, here, and here.

I would like to have one of these gates - but I have nowhere to put it. What a magnificently over-engineered piece of work this is.

Last night we did the retraite au flambeaux, watched fireworks and watched the French dancing - which is fascinating and demands greater observance. We were so involved in it we didn't take any photos, but it looked sort of like last year. Rick, Judi and Felicity from Napier in New Zealand joined us, and got a very different first view of Preuilly to that which people normally get.



Anonymous said...

...and it was brilliant! Thank you Simon and Susan for your wonderful hospitality and showing us just a little of your world! Keep up the hard work but remember to enjoy the red wine too!


Ken Broadhurst said...

I've done some research on the web to find out what this "retraite aux flambeaux" is, but I haven't found anything. Who retreated? The revolutionaries? Or maybe the royalty? Who carried the torches? Did they burn anything? The Bastille? Some sites put the expression in the singular — "la retraite au flambeau" — but most use the plural "aux flambeaux". In either case, the pronunciation is identical. Can anybody enlighten me as to the meaning and significance of the ceremonial procession?

Paulita said...

Forget the ceremony, I want to figure out this French dancing thing. We had a teenager stay with us who talked about his rock and roll dance lessons, so apparently there's a formal education of some sort. Now we have another teenager coming who says she loves to "dance rock and roll." What are we in for?

Barbara said...

Hi Simon & Susan,
Joyeuse fête à tous les deux !

That's great, enjoying your first 14th celebration as residents.Now you will be all charged up and will attack your new work week with a smile.

The Beaver said...


From a site that i saw and since it is from a book , I can't cut and paste so I am quoting verbatim:
"La retraite aux flambeaux est un défilé de troupes accompagné par des musiquess militaires.C'est un spectacle nocturne au cours duquel les participants tiennent à la main des torches ou des lanternes tricolores. Dans ce type de manifestation, la foule est invitée à participer en suivant les militaires musiciens à travers la ville . La retraite aux flambeaux fait donc partie de ces rares moments où la population est autorisée à sortir de son rôle de spectatrice des événements qui se déroulent sous ses yeux, pour y participer et devenir actrice. Mais, elle ne devient actrice que fortement encadrée par des militaires qui composent l'essentiel du cortège"
Temporalités, n° 4/2007 By Michel Cassan, Paul d'Hollander page 127.

I believe that these days there is no military in these processions since every village has this "retraite" on the 13th .

chm said...

Bonjour Cousine,

Thank you for your quote. The explanation is exactly right.

I found this in French:

"Obligation où sont les gens de guerre de rentrer à une certaine heure ; signal qu'on leur donne en conséquence. L'heure de la retraite. Le tambour a battu la retraite. Sonner la retraite."

Consequently, my explanation, just like The Beaver's, is that the military, after a long day parading or the like, retreat to their barracks at night with torches and chanting. The populace going back home does the same as well .

Ken Broadhurst said...

There's nothing in the site you give, CHM, that talks about "flambeaux." How does any of this relate to the 14 juillet? Oh well, I guess I should do my own blog post about it rather than comment in the wrong place on S & S's blog.

Susan said...

Paulita: Don't worry too much :-) French young people have dancing lessons which includes dancing le rock and roll, and as a result, learn a particular set of moves for a particular song. They will completely outshine us non-French, who just stand around on the dance floor, shuffling our feet. Le rock and roll, btw, is not to be confused with rock music, but is more like pop. It can include disco, bop, chachacha, tango, jive, country and western - anything that you can dance to in a lively and coherent way. It's fascinating to watch. Here in Preuilly, on hearing the first strains of Just a Gigolo, the whole populace, young and old, rushes to the dancefloor and does the Madison.

Post a Comment