The Village Fete at Coupiac

I can think of no better way of expressing the joy and delight we experienced in France, on our recent holiday, reconnecting with family, relishing the countryside, with its steep hills and winding narrow roads, its rivers and old stone villages, enjoying the food and wine and the excellent company, than by sharing these images from our first night together, at the village fete in Coupiac, Aveyron.

[click on images to enlarge]

Rob and I had flown in to Lyon, via Istanbul, on the weekend, and taken the TGV to Montpelier, from where we had driven up through dramatic mountain passes to the little village of Plaisance, a few kilometres from which Michael and Karen Thompson, my son’s parents-in-law and our warm and generous hosts for a week had beautifully – no, charmingly and delightfully – renovated an old, abandoned farmhouse. Kathy and Gareth, and little Thomas, had arrived earlier in the day, from Barcelona.

‘We’re going to Coupiac, just over the hill, for the fete and our dinner. Do you mind?’

No, we didn’t mind. So round the hill we drove, in the warm evening light, to the foot of the village, by a stream, and walked up beneath an arch of the cathedral and down a cobbled path into the square. The square was ringed with food stalls – canard, escargot, local wines and cheeses – and a pair of old ducks were belting out pop songs from the library portal beside the church. We ate, we drank, we watched the villagers line-dancing, we drank in the air and the atmosphere – it was truly magical.

To prove the point, here are some photos of the Fishers and the Thompsons – Jonathan and Hayley, our grandson Gabriel, our hosts Mike and Karen.

The Tjasinks were in good form too – Kath and Gareth (with Rob looking on), and Tom (of course) smashing an icecream.

Speaking of Rob, she had a good time also, if these images are anything to go by.

It must have been 10 pm, or thereabouts I guess, that a tired but happy group of families – the little ones dozing on their parent’s shoulders – wound their way out under the cathedral arch, down the cobbled street by the stream, and back to our cars and home.

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