Life in the Slow Lane: An Introduction to Small Town France

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The season is now, officially, over. On the day before the temperature dropped from 33°C to 22°C the plaza was packed, with Parisiens, locals and international holiday-makers alike. And what a spectacle it was, with an 80s music concert and performances of Saracen twirling and fire dancing. The sparks literally flew 5 metres into the air (see picture) and the control with which the flames were controlled completely mesmerised the crowd, aged from 4 to 84.

But life isn’t always like this in small town France. Today, now the crowds have dispersed and the holiday makers, hungover as they are, are making their way back to homes and to work in the cities, the town is starting to settle down. There are still odd annoyances: the fruit stand in the market hall is still far too understaffed and clearly Jeanette and Jean-François haven’t seen each other all summer so, along with the complicated order of 14 different types of peach, it takes my father and I at least 15 minutes to buy a lettuce. Aside from the odd tractor or lorry (who may get their own article soon, watch this space) the only sounds are the flowing of the river and the chirping of the birds. Peace has been restored, but it won’t last for long…

Image credit: Andrew Wood