Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Adieu Carnaval.

Last day of the carnival.
We have seen the late evening part in previous years - the burning of the 'effigy': this year's being a charming scene of a man opening his raincoat to reveal a long green serpent to a huge-breasted woman - but decided to stick to the early 'sortie' this being light hearted and generally a good atmosphere.
The late evening does live up to its name, (La Nuit de Blanquette) and becomes a bit sordid after masses of the fizzy wine is consumed. I did go out for a brief tour as a 'goudil' - people who dance behind the band - at 10.00am dressed in orange and yellow with a huge hat covered in lemons - outfit left over from a previous years 'theme' with our band.
The group in the above film usually play for this evening and I love the slightly haunting rendition of their versions of Carnaval tunes, and their bagpipe-like instruments made from inflated sheep carcasses - la bodega.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Sacking and ostrich feathers.

Mmm, good title for a book . . .
Look at this lot.
I mean, really - HOW did anyone think this up. Can only think it was the product of a heavy evening on some hideously strong liqueur made from old cheese.
Limoux Carnaval du Monde on Saturday featured this group. They were hotly followed by girating samba dancers: the contrast being, well, a good example of how very different us humans are.
The sambistas, despite it being about 12 degrees, and not 35 as one might find in Rio, smiled, and wiggled their bits about seemingly with great joy and verve. Or it could have been gritted teeth, either way—a general fun ambience.
It was amazing to see old men, sunk deep into their anoracks suddenly acknowledging that something was DIFFERENT in Limoux square on this particular Saturday morning—their heads emerging from scarves and collars like old tortoises.
The sacking and feathers brigade walked achingly slowly with expressions of varying sterness, and misery. Perhaps all their tax returns had arrived that morning, or their hotel had a cockroach infestation, or maybe it was all very noble . . . and I just missed the point. But I couldn't walk along in an inflated sack with a meter high white feather hat and a small basket of oranges without at least a small smirk on my face.