Sunday, June 20, 2010

Corsets and Street Theatre

Thursday is market day in Maurs – well, market morning as they start to pack up at 12 – 12.30. We usually go, if only to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and to buy plants for the garden.
Apart from the usual kind of stall – vegetable produce, meat and cheese vans, kitchenware, clothing, handbags and shoes there is always one stall that I find fascinating.

We call her the corset lady and she really does have an incredible selection of old fashioned underwear. If she objected to my photographing the stall she made no comment as I had previously rescued a couple of oversized bras that the wind had blown astray. I haven’t bought anything here.

If we miss anything from our life in Cowbridge it is the drama so it was with enthusiasm that we travelled to Capdenac Gare last weekend for the 14th Festival of Derrière Hublot ‘Arts de la Rue’ . The events were taking place in a local park. We had bought two tickets for the only event requiring payment but that was for tomorrow. The Tourist Office told us everything else was booked. Unbelievable!

En route to the park we saw these decorated buildings:

 There were about 5 or 6 all in a different colour. We understood it was a competition for the best decorated house over the two days.

The proceedings in the park were still being set up – no beer tent, no music stand, no food stall and very few people. There was only one event and that seemed to be for children. It began to rain so we left.

On Sunday we arrived in good time for the 2.30 performance of 2Rien Merci by Moulinoscope.

This was the ticket office (behind it is the main auditorium):
At 2.30 the girl rang a bell and on presentation of our tickets (€10 each) we were each given a walnut. Half our number was ushered into a hessian covered caravan, the rest to hang around waiting.

Inside was dark (I struggled to contain my claustrophobia) then we were handed a small torch each. We stood around a contraption attached to a bicycle. The walls were decorated with cuttings and posters but it was too dark to read them. In slow motion and with a lot of fiddling about the ‘actor’ mounted the bicycle and started to pedal. This activated a large wheel behind him with film slides inserted. There was nothing interesting to see except a stuffed, headless duck whizzing round above his head. After a bit he stopped pedalling and let us out.
More hanging around (the other half of our group went into the caravan) when we were let into the theatre proper (relinquishing our walnuts at the door). There were no seats, and again we stood around some apparatus. Presently, (no sense of urgency) the ‘actor’ gave us a film show consisting of the four actors involved dressed in ‘funny’ clothing performing ‘funny’ actions and a lot of close-ups of snails. The whole event took about 50 minutes including all the waiting.

There appeared to be no other events on offer until the evening so after a beer (beer tent now working) and an icecream (ditto food stall) we went home. I thought wistfully of the account of the performance of The Importance of Being Ernest at Bryngarw by ‘Rain and Shine’.

After supper, whilst doing a jig-saw I listened to Bill Bryson reading his book At Home. Jim planted out some beans. We enjoy simple pleasures here in the Cantal.


  1. Ah - flak jackets! Armoured plated.

    But do you know I have great difficulty with finding this blog. I keep getting the page before you have even left.

  2. Why don't you bookmark it at the top. I don't have any trouble on my mac.