Posted tagged ‘French jazz’

Cool Jazz, Hot Air

September 29, 2007


This morning we awoke to the mysterious sound of gas whooshing.  Running to the balcony outside our bedroom we saw a small parade of hot air balloons proceeding over town, completely unexpected.  This is the sort of thing that would normally be announced in the local paper the day before, along with the story about an 11 year old girl and a 94 year old grandma doing parachute jumping and the announcements for garage sales in nearby villages. 

One day I’ll read to you from the paper, since although it’s not great on news of the world (is there even a world out there?) you can certainly keep up with the events in even the tiniest of villages: births, marriages, and once, a little story about how a village had not forgotten to honor the sacrifice of a soldier killed in battle 90 years ago.  So the unannounced arrival of the balloons was a little thrill, and I imagine that many faces in town were smilingly turned skyward, just as ours were. 

We saw nothing but smiles last night when we went to a benefit jazz concert in the town’s multipurpose room.   We were delighted to find that we were probably the only foreigners in the place, and the cheerful crowd sat together at long tables chatting, drinking and eating slices of homemade cakes.  The very good jazz band urged dancing and a dozen older couples complied, making the women look tender and the men proud to be holding a smiling woman, however clumsily.  One man of about 60 danced in bright red shorts with a yellow sweater tossed over his shoulders, his grey-clad partner a sober dove in his arms.  A slightly younger couple, he darker-skinned and with an accent I couldn’t identify, danced a tight, expert little cha-cha together to a complicated tune, unabashedly the only ones on the dance floor.  A younger woman at our table bopped lightly in her chair, casting quick glances at her companion as if she knew there was no point in trying to get him on his feet.  He occupied himself with a paper plate of potato chips and a little bowl of peanuts, not the dancing type.

And me, another woman with a non-dancing companion, I had a glass of the worst wine in the world.  Friends, you’ve probably never seen me leave a glass unfinished, but take note.  There is wine so terrible that it’s not swallowable, and it’s in France.  Think about that, while we go to market and try to find a way not to buy fish.