So the Yarkers eschewed Tuscany for yet another year and went, as usual, to the West coast of France. With a pin in a map we found ourselves in the Saint Jean de Monts, a jolly seaside town which became even more jolly when the lottery came to town.
From what we could deduce, as a kind of thank you / promotional push, the French lottery send at least one road show around the country and on 22nd July our paths crossed.
Early acts weren’t gripping so we passed by in search of yet more ice cream but after the dance group recreating a Zumba exercise routine things cranked up with the exciting trampoline action (18:40), soon followed by a string of mostly circus acts, look out for the guys with the giant swing – this video is a poor record of how exultantly camp they were (19:40), at 21:30 an oiled up muscle man makes a terrible hash of trying to recreate the last few seconds of Twilightofthefreakingods, and at 23:30 the coup de teatre we had been waiting for was finally delivered, our spines were tapped, we were off to bed.
“What good fortune,” we thought “what were the chances of that!” well never mind the chances of that, what were the chances that, a few days later we’d be bumping into Gandini Juggling in the remote village of Limalonges. They were performing a piece called Smashed, which is an entertaining piece ‘inspired’ by Pina Bausch – which is a curious thing to see.
It was performed in the village square, after long speeches by two local dignitaries. Load of people turned out, it was rammed, the show was very well received and mouthfuls of pungent locally produced cheese were distributed afterwards. “What good fortune” we thought but only after we’d thought “wow, those Gandini folk are doing well for themselves!”
“Surely our good fortune ends here” we thought and indeed it did. We arrived in Montreuil-sur-Mer a day or two late to see a diorama of the Battle of Waterloo built from 20,000 playmobil figures and though we were perfectly on time for a massive outdoor version of Les Miserables we foolishly decided to retire to our hotel room to be miserable about the impending end of our holiday.
Our conclusion after this amble through France? Either we have an unerring and unacknowledged ability to sniff out cultural events or there’s a hell of a lot of ‘stuff’ going on in France.