Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Inauguration

There is nothing the French like more than a good excuse to celebrate, so this week we organised an inauguration at La Tuilerie. We invited the Mayor and two members of the council with their partners and all was set for The Inauguration.

The whole story starts really from the time we opened the gîtes in 2007 - a year after the campsite was opened. We had always allowed the campers to use our washing-lines in the back garden, to hang their washing or their wet towels on, but on a Saturday (gîte change-over day) if I wasn’t very clever, I ended up with nowhere to hang the masses of washing. We stuck up signs, warned people and as a last resort even moved their washing to take up less space, so that I could at least hang up one or two of the sheets, but there is no doubt about it, it has been difficult at times. So we were always asking around, if anyone had any old washing-line posts that we could have, to put on the campsite.

Finally last year, our friends Chris and Mary, from Varanges, came up trumps and announced that they were removing their posts and we could have them. Well actually, they had already removed one post and the second was due to be removed shortly. Sadly, Chris had already chopped one of the posts in three bits, because he was preparing to take it to the dump, but the other one could be collected intact.

I may have followed a twelve week welding course back in my student days, but rather pathetically, I never mastered the art or science of electric arc welding and so I had to find someone to reconstruct the continuity-challenged post. At the village party last year, we asked the Mayor - after he had had a couple of glasses of wine of course - if he knew anyone who could weld and his immediate reaction was that he would do it for us – result !

A couple of days later we had two whole posts, but the problem did not end there of course. Anyone who has visited here will agree that, in the dry months, the ground is harder than rock-hard and Cees and I failed to even attempt to dig holes for the posts, but Cees’ daughter and partner are not the sort of people to be defeated by a little bit of clay and they dug the holes. After concreting the posts in place and putting up the lines, we had a washing-line on the campsite, for the first time in our 7 years of being in business.

But what is a washing-line without an official opening? So Thursday evening the Mayor was invited to pin the official sock, with the official peg on to the brand-new line. He then declared our washing-line well and truly inaugurated. Thank you Jean-François !

We then all retired to the back garden to indulge in the real reason for the gathering, a few glasses of crément and aperitif snacks, leaving our campers wondering why on earth we had left a sock hanging on the new washing-line.

For more information on our lovely peaceful campsite with a brand new washing line click here.

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