Sunday, 7 February 2010


 Bingo is BIG in this area. The January Bingo in Cormatin (held on the last Sunday of the month) attracts people not only from the town itself but from places as far away as Charolles (60km). Having said that the local villages of Ameugny, St Gengoux-le-Nationale and Cluny provide the bulk of the players.

The big event starts months in advance as members of the Amicale (the organising club) are charged with selling advance bingo cards which are a kind of interactive raffle ticket, to be played on the evening before the real bingo day. As members, we duly sold our allotment of tickets to our friends and family and arrived on the Saturday evening to play bingo on behalf of the people who had bought the 500-odd cards.

As we played, the portable DVD player was “won” by three different people. To determine who would win the prize itself and who would get a consolation prize, lots were drawn. We were excited to find out that one of our friends had one of the winning cards, but sadly they did not win the lottery and so we were told to collect a “terrine” as a consolation prize for our friends the next day. My image of a terrine was one of those large pottery dishes filled with pâté that you seen on deli counters, failing that it could be just the dish itself, in any case I excitedly let them know of their winnings that evening. Imagine my surprise when we collected the “terrine” to see that it was a tiny little glass pot of pâté. Our friends haven’t talked to us since….

 Playing bingo is not exactly our cup of tea, so we volunteered to man the bar on the Sunday itself. We had wine, beer, soft drinks and “bugnes” (small deep-fried doughnutty kind of things) to sell. Most of what had been bought in was sold, with the bulk being sold in the 10 minute half-time break. It was rather frantic trying to not only add up the orders, but to relay the price to the waiting customers in understandable French. The rest of the time was dedicated to silent contemplation of the bingo cards with the underlying tension and excitement mounting as the prizes increased in value. The top prize of a Wii was won by a chap from Taizé and I couldn’t help wondering if he was one of the monks!

The whole event raised just under 700 Euros to go towards the old people’s lunch and the kids’ Christmas party. We ended the day by relaxing with a glass of wine, and a chat with the other organisers and the day was duly classified as a success.

Click here to look at the website for the holiday accommodation we have here at La Tuilerie.

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