Sunday, July 18, 2010

A few beers with the lads

'Mal de tete' they call it. Roughly translates as 'bad of head'. It's a phrase associated with the morning after the night before. Or, in other words, a rotten hangover. Which is exactly what I'm suffering from right now. And it wasn't my fault. I was an innocent victim. Honest.

Couple of days ago neighbours Isabelle and Christian invited me to join them for Saturday night's Felletin beer festival. And when they invite you, you just have to go. So the three of us went there last night with their chums Francois and Jan. Arrived just before eight. Didn't really know what to expect but soon got the hang of it. Seemed you simply poured beer down your neck 'til you lost the powers of speech. And the ability to walk. Even standing up became a bit of a challenge after a couple of hours. And by the time I was escorted to the dining tent (Isabelle and Jan were drinking non-alcoholic beverages so were able to assist us chaps in achieving forward motion) clutching a plateful of sausage, frankfurter, spuds and some wierd sort of chopped turnip stuff, I was seeing double. Or maybe treble. But luckily I wasn't alone in this respect. How I managed to get the grub on the fork and shove it in the orifice below my nose, I'll never know. Maybe I didn't. Maybe I flung the lot over my shoulder.

Anyway, noshing done, Christian and Francois crawled back to the beer tent to join their comatosed chums while I wobbled over to the caff for a coffee or ten. Clearly, my beer-drinking days are over. Used to be a beer-bevvying champion of Soho and Covent Garden. But that was many moons ago. Nowadays I stick to shorts. So I had a couple of cognacs with my coffees. Sat there perched in my chair outside the caff watching the youngsters and a few oldsters dancing the night away to the sound of a Germanic oompah band and some local pop group. Tried to stand up at one point but failed miserably. I appeared to be stuck in the damned chair. Either that or my legs weren't receiving messages from my addled brain. Luckily the cafe manageress noticed my predicament and asked if I was okay. Told her I could murder another coffee and cognac. Downed them and suddenly felt right as rain. Miracle.

Marched over to the beer tent and joined the gang. Everyone (except Isabelle and Jan) appeared to be swaying around as though on board ship in a gale force wind. Really quite amusing. Isabelle asked where I'd been. Told her I'd had a few coffees and cognacs over at the caff. "Cognacs!" she exclaimed. "Oui," said I, "worked a treat, feel perfectly sober now."

About half an hour later it was time to leave so we ambled back to the car and Isabelle drove us all back to our little hamlet. Thanked them for a wonderful evening and went home to walk the dogs up the granite cross beneath a starry sky. Hit the sack at around twoish.

Am now mentally preparing for next Saturday's annual hunt festival at Gioux. Serious stuff. Kicks off at around seven in the evening and makes last night's session seem like a vicar's tea party. Once again, Isabelle and Christian have invited me along. And once again, one can't say "no". Hopefully this mal de tete will have cleared by then.


  1. Cheers. Great pictures and looks lots of fun. Hope the head soon recovers:-) Diane

  2. Thanks Diane. Head now slightly less fuzzy than it was. Took me ages to find it this morning.

  3. I love these little festivals that go to prove that the idea that the French don't binge drink is just hot air.

    I have been told that the expression I should use for the after effects is a "gueule de bois."

  4. Thank goodness you are where you are and we are down here, because Lester (Hubs) would have also joined in with the beer feist. Hope your head is found now.

  5. Yes Vera, head now found and screwed back on. Still isn't working properly though. And yes, perhaps a good job your Lester didn't come.