There's something I haven't told you yet...I've joined the village choir! I've been in choirs before, all throughout my school years and later at university. The 'Choeur de Parisot' is conducted by Peter Nowfel and contains a mix nationalities including French, English, Dutch and Swedish. We're working on a range of songs for concerts next year but have taken a break to practise Christmas songs for two carol services in December. I thoroughly enjoy singing and what's great is that I already know some of the songs that we are working on.
Here in France, Armistice Day, 11th November, is a public holiday. We only realised this when Andrew tried to take Reuben to school and found the gates shut and no one around! In Parisot the church service for this rememberance day was held the Sunday following, and the choir was invited by the Mayor to sing 'La Marseillaise' (the French National Anthem) by the village monument for people that died. At midday a procession was led from the village church by flag bearers and a little boy carrying a bouquet of flowers. These were placed in the monument whilst the flag bearers stood in a line in front. There was a minutes silence and then we sang the first verse of 'La Marseillaise' in unison to an audience of villagers and local church goers. I noticed that some of the audience sang along with us. Following the anthem there was a short speech from the Mayor and then everyone was invited to the Salle des Fêtes where drinks and cake were served.
I've never sung at an event before where I have been required to sing a national anthem. I don't even think I've ever sung the British one and must confess I only know the tune of the French one from hearing it at the start of football matches. Although I have not been in France long enough for 'La Marseillaise' to be considered my national anthem, I am part of a choir that is multinational, and I felt it was important to show my French choir goers and French neighbours support during this rememberance event. As our choirmaster said at the end of the ceremony, it was a battle that the English fought as well as the French and lives were lost on both sides.
The Choeur de Parisot's next events are our Christmas concerts. If there are any local readers these will be held in Limogne on the 15th December and in Parisot on the