02 August 2015

The birthday party + scenes from a walk

The neighbor's birthday party Friday night was a big success. We saw and talked with several of our neighbors M and B's daughters and sons-in-law — people we've known for 12 years but not really very well. They live north of us, around Blois, and they all have fairly big families.

One couple (the oldest daughter and her husband) is in line to inherit the neighbors' house when the older couple passes on. I asked them if they intended to come live here one day, and they said no. They'll keep the house as a summer place but live in Blois the rest of the year. People seem surprised that we live out here year-round.

At the party there was a lot of food and drink, of course, prepared or bought apparently by three daughters. We nibbled on pizza, a couple of salads (including fresh tomatoes), local goat cheeses, melon with ham, and desserts. We all sang Joyeux anniversaire a couple of times over the course of the evening.

There must have been 30 or 40 people at the party, ranging in age from one to 85 and spanning four generations. It was an outdoor event. Late in the evening, as the older folks started heading home, seven or eight of the neighbors' grandchildren played music using a smartphone and a little Bluetooth speaker.

They made it into a game. We all sat in a circle around a table — including the neighbor who was celebrating her 80th birthday, Walt, me, and some of the kids' parents, between Walt's age and mine — and each of us took turns naming a favorite song.

Mostly they were French songs, but there were also some English-language tunes. The birthday lady said she enjoyed listening to Johnny Hallyday and Serge Lama! As we all named songs, when the kids — they are are in their late teens to mid-20s, I think — especially liked a song, they sang along and laughed a lot. It was fun and not too boisterous.

I didn't take my camera to the party, so I have no pictures. I wanted just to be there and focus on interacting with people, not be busy taking pictures. So the photos here are from yesterday morning's walk with Callie.


Evelyn said...

I like parties like that. The phone and songs sounded like a nice way to interact. Phones are amazing now.

Gosia k said...

So it was lovely gathering with four generations

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

The party sounds wonderful...We have had a cottage at Lake Chautauqua since 1980 and deeply appreciate our next door neighbors who live their year round and keep an eye on things when we are not there.

I don't really know Johnny Hallyday as a singer but know him from one of my favorite movies ever, L'Homme du Train. (Hope I have the name right.) I don't know anyone else who likes this as I did, but I thought it was astonishingly great. I probably didn't totally like the end, but the story was just great.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I liked that movie -- L'Homme du train -- too. Hallyday was good in it, and he is also a good singer who does some good songs.

Ken Broadhurst said...

It was fun to talk with the young folks and their parents too. We always enjoy time with the grandparents, M and B. B is the same age as MA. BTW, I bought my train tickets for the Paris trip morning.

Ken Broadhurst said...

There were people of every age at the party, including half a dozen children younger than about 5 years old, and several of M's sisters and brothers-in-law who are in their 70s and 80s. It was a nice mix and a nice atmosphere. I think we were the only people there who weren't members of the family.

Evelyn said...


NotesFromAbroad said...

Seeing where you walk the dog, is all that I would need to convince me that you are living in a heavenly spot .. I would hate to leave there to stay in a town !
The Man on the Train was fabulous ... Johnny Hallyday is fabulous ... Now I have to go google it and see if I can watch it again. It has been years ! You forgot to mention Jean Rochefort ... lovely lovely man.