01 January 2008

Sound and fury...

Bonjour and good morning

Bonne Année
Happy New Year

to you all, from California and the rest of the U.S. West, where it is still 2007 as I type — to Alabama and Texas and North Carolina, not to mention Florida, Michigan, Virginia, Massachusetts, and some of the Canadian provinces, where you are probably sound asleep — and Paris and Rouen and Saint-Aignan, where the first day of 2008 has now dawned (under leaden skies).

These black-eyed peas are for good luck throughout the year.
Of course, to get the full benefit you have to eat some of them today.

I was actually up at midnight for the second year in a row. Last year the reason was a party that I wrote about on this blog.

This year it was because at midnight there was a fire truck on the road out front, with all its lights flashing. Our neighbors across the street, the 70-something couple who live in Blois, let some of their grandchildren use the country house to hold a big New Year's Eve party. There was some noise, but not much. At least not until the pompiers arrived.

I heard the commotion and when I opened my eyes the display on the clock radio read 0:00. That is midnight on the 24-hour clock that is much used in France. I heard voices outdoors — not just talking, but shouting and laughter. I opened the clanky, creaky metal shutters on the bedroom window and leaned out. « Hé oh, I yelled, on essaie de dormir là. On ne dérange pas les voisins comme ça ! » You are disturbing the whole neighborhood. We're trying to sleep!

The three adolescents under my bedroom window laughed. « Il y a une fuite de gaz à la maison et les pompiers sont arrivés ! » There's a gas leak and the fire brigade is here. But we don't have piped-in gas in this village, I pointed out, so how can there be a gas leak?

For the kids, the proof that there was a real problem was that the fire truck was right there in the street with lights flashing. Never mind that the only reason the pompiers had come in the first place was that the kids themselves had called them out, and for no good reason.

That's how 2008 started at La Renaudière. At least it didn't start with a real bang!


  1. Meilleurs voeux pour une nouvelle année marquée par la paix, le bonheur, la santé, la réussite et la prospérité.

    from Montreal where we are having a blast with the amount of snow on the ground

  2. My black-eyed peas are soaking for tonight's dîner!

    Happy New Year! Bonne Année!

    Meilleurs voeux!!

  3. In Pennsylvania we eat sauerkraut on New Year's Day. Probably when these good luck traditions started, you ate whatever you had on hand and felt lucky to have it.

    May 2008 be a better year for all of us. Best wishes to you and Walt.

  4. What a way of starting the new year! ;)
    Let me wish you a happy new year et une bonne année.

    Claude Vieux, c'est mieux !!!

  5. Happy New Year Ken! We are heading out to a friends farm for a large get together in a few minutes. Hope I can satisfy my black eyed pea need.

  6. Louise, I'm sure you are right that people ate what they had during the winter and felt thankful to have something, whether it was cabbage, sauerkraut, collard greens, or black-eyed peas. Happy 2008 to you.

  7. A very happy New Year to you and Walt too, Ken. Et sans pompiers!

  8. I hope your neighbor is OK.

    Maybe you and Walt could blog every other day since I'm already missing reading your blogs.

    It's really cold here in 'Bama today. I'm glad our new kitten is safe and warm inside our home.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?