At least there’s music

17th February 2017 |

My bike sits in the garage, gloomy and forlorn. I can’t ride it because it still has British plates on it, and I can’t get it insured. To get French plates I have to have a piece of paper to prove to the French authorities that the bike conforms to the  European norms. Of course it does. It was made in Italy, sold and used in England. It’s as European as you can get, but the French have to have a piece of paper to prove it. The French love pieces of paper. That’s probably the worst thing I can say about them.

The paper they want costs 150 euros but there’s a business in England that said they could give it to me for half the price, and being greedy I fell for it. What they gave me was a lovely piece of paper, with all kinds of seals and signatures on it, but when I took it to the Prefecture (that’s French for police) they said it was no good. So I’ve had to fork out another 150 euros anyway, and that should teach me a lesson, but somehow I don’t think I learned it.

Anyway, on Tuesday I’m going to take this new, shiny piece of paper in its cellophane cover to the police in Beziers and hope that I don’t have to learn any more lessons. I’m an old dog. Can I learn new tricks?

Meanwhile, what is there to do except enjoy life, drink wine, and listen to music. Which is what I’ve been doing tonight. And tonight was astonishing.

A guitarist came to the café –  a Spanish guitarist with violent Gypsy songs and tumultuous technique. And then Pascal, the accordion player who haunts the café, found a way to play with him, although they had never played together before, and between them they cooked up the most exciting, heart-throbbing jazzy music I have heard in ages. And it was the one night I didn’t bring my iPhone, and I curse the fact that I can’t give you a video snip of this most amazing musical triumph. Really, I know what I’m talking about. I have heard great music and great jazz in my life and this was phenomenal.

I won’t claim that this kind of thing happens every night at the Café de La Poste, and I swear that I have no interest in promoting the café other than that I badly need it to be there and succeed, but really, for a small place in a small village the record is pretty impressive. Only last night there were five people playing ukulele accompanying a wonderful chirpy singer, like a reincarnation of Edith Piaf, singing naughty, suggestive songs, with the crowd clapping and singing along.

Please come. The café needs customers. The food’s good. And I’ll sign your book.


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