Monday, September 01, 2008

A wedding in Rouffignac

This post is dedicated to Steve and Karen, and we wish them a long and happy marriage.

Steve and Karen are also residents of Rouffignac and are much liked people. They are both from Liverpool and still have strong scouse accents. When we were told that there was to be a party at their house to celebrate the wedding, we did not expect anything “normal”. They decided that a whole pig was to be barbecued and just in case that was not enough a lamb was to be thrown in too.

I was asked to come round with my welding gear to help construct the BBQ which turned out to be huge. Steve invited around 100 people, almost a whole aircraft load of family and friends arrived from Liverpool a few days before and were put to work getting the garden and the food ready. Tables, chairs and marquees were erected, sound systems tested, car parking arranged and lighting connected.

On the Saturday the BBQ was lit and the meat started. At 14:00 people were arriving from all over, there were the large party from the UK, local French people, Dutch, Americans, Belgians, someone from South America and most of the local expat Brit community (not that there are many of us around here).

A vicar turned up at 14:30, and performed a humanist service, it was great for a non-god person like me as there was no religion involved. Every one agreed that the service was very moving and the happy couple looked fantastic, Steve even wore a tie!

After the service there were cars coming and going and people were mixing in groups around the garden, many different languages and accents could be heard, with scouse being the most prominent. As the afternoon ticked away the weather was very kind with a sunny 35 degrees or so. Copious amounts of red and rose wine was consumed, along with many bottles of beer.

As the sun was heading for the horizon, the meat was nearly ready. A few of the Brits discovered that there was crackling on the pork, and that is something that you don't get in France, it was very tasty!

Later in the evening the band arrived and so did the food. I saw the longest loaf of bread that I have ever seen in my life, I believe that it was around 5 feet long. The champagne was poured and a few quick speeches were made and we all then tucked into the prawn salad starter. After that the meat was passed around and, in true French fashion, huge chunks of bread appeared, with people tearing off a handful and passing the rest down the table. The meat course was followed by a cheese course (what else in France?) and a selection of cakes and puddings.

The band played and the only other sound was that of people laughing and enjoying themselves. The band eventually moved into the house and played to 7 am the next day.

I think that I can say on behalf of all the guests a big thank you to Steve and Karen for the fantastic evening that was had by all.


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