30 July 2009

2006: La Grande Fête

30 July

While I was packing and cleaning for the move to the Sussex coastline on Tuesday, Madame Simone came by with her son, and invited me to her 80th birth anniversary party, La Grande Fête du Anniversaire (je pense). The afternoon version took several hours, included about 40 friends and family, and lots of cheek kissing on arrival and departure. Champagne, brochettes of fruits and cheeses, and appetizers were very nice, and the highlight: her son presented her with a CD PowerPoint photo retrospective of her life that also included two speeches by people who couldn't attend.

The evening edition started at 7pm, and didn't end until, well, to be honest, I have no idea when it ended. I left just before 1am, and it was still going strong at that point. It was an incredible soirée, with great food (two pates, several salads, rare roast beast, a fruit cocktail that really was divine (and almost cocktail), more than ample wine (for those with said prediliction), and fantastic company.

Dancing in Madame's large home was still quite a crowded affair, as there were table after table filled with people... Among the highlights:

# the accidental removal (and quite spectacular lightshow) when a lightbulb from the ceiling above the main dinner table was inadvertently cooled by flying champagne. Note to self: do not dance on the seat of chairs with a glass of champagne in your hand, and then wave your arms violently in the direction of anything explosive. And no, it was not me that popped the bulb

# numerous rather raucous, ribald, and basically just plain loud singing "contests" between tables that included climbing on chairs, swaying VERY too and fro, singing at the top of your lungs to guitar-playing, all at irregular intervals (including as I was leaving),

# a type of conga line that wound its way through the house several times, and

# René-Louis (Madame Simone's son) and the rest of the family made it clear that I was to consider myself part of said family from this day forward...

It was easily a night to remember.

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