Tuesday, November 4, 2008
A Damp Weekend in the Haute Garonne
Well, the chocolate biscuits are still languishing in the hall. The rain, which is not a frequent visitor here, decided it would arrive last Tuesday and has stayed with us for seven whole days. This is what undoubtedly dampened the enthusiasm of our village 'trick or treaters'.
The Captain thought he heard a kerfuffle at the front door halfway through the evening, but on going to investigate found only a copy of the Watchtower lying on the doormat. No, I'm not making it up. Perhaps there is some simmering battle going on between Jehovah's Witnesses and small children representing the forces of evil. It seemed a strange night to be out evangelising. I shall be on my guard next year as to who will be knocking on the door to save or damn my soul. Whoo...scary !
The rain continued to drizzle down for the rest of the weekend, completely ruining the national holiday that comes with All Saints Day, or Toussaint as it's known in France. As it fell on a Saturday this year the country was in rather a state of confusion. Saturdays are one day of the week when shopkeepers can rely on some decent takings and to have to close up on that particular day can mean the difference between a weeks profit or loss for small business. Especially in the present economic climate. So, as so often in France, one didn't really know which shops were liable to be closed.
I would have liked to have been in Paris,rather than watching the mountains disappearing behind grey clouds this weekend. The 14th annual chocolate fair was being held there and it must have been heaven on earth. I'd have willingly swapped the drizzly Haute Garonne for a few hours of calorific hedonism. 400 exhibitors and 140 of the best chocolatiers showing off their craft. I ask you !
There was an enormous sculpture of the Eiffel Tower, and even a chocolate fashion show. ( Type in the URL below to see a short video, if you've the strength of will not to rush to the corner shop for a Mars Bar afterwards)
Apparently chocolate was introduced to France by Anne of Austria in 1615. In fact she only agreed to marry Louis XIII on the condition that she be allowed to bring her chocolate allowance with her. Perhaps chocolate allowances should be built into a pre.nup. contract. 'You can have custody of the dog - I keep the chocolate.'
I wonder if Heaven is entirely made of chocolate? It would certainly make dying a lot more attractive.As only Jehovah's Witnesses are to be admitted to the Heavenly Heights come the Day of Judgement perhaps I should sign up the next time they come to call, just to be on the safe side