Wednesday, July 9, 2014

La Vie Quotidienne/ Everyday Life in France...Sort Of

As I mentioned, there was a busy-ish sort of week here, and then another. Busy being relative. My sister and brother-in-law had waited our arrival to baptize my sweet little nephew, Remy. A baptism is an important event in France (not always religiously, but socially, very); weeks of preparation and planning go into it,
almost as much as for a wedding, but the guest list is generally smaller.

Comme j'ai noté; nous avons eu une semaine assez occupeé ici, puis une autre. Ma belle soeur et mon beau-frère avaient attendu notre arrivé pour baptiser mon petit neveu adoré; Rèmy. Le bapteme est un evenement important en France (pas toujours religieusement, mais socialement; tres); des semaines de preparation sont necessaires, preque autant que pour un mariage, mais la liste des invités est; en principe, plus petite. 

The table decorations are just as elaborate as at a wedding, these were all done by my sister-in-law, a fish and his sea-scape at each table:

Les decorations de tables sont tout aussi élégantes que pour un mariage. C'est ma belle-soeur qui s'est ocupée de tout. Chaque table avait son poisson et son paysage de mer pour l'accompagner.

I had nothing to do with preparations, yet there was the small matter of what we would all wear. I began in April, in the States, shopping for outfits for the little boys, a new suit for daddy. Now for the other four. My mother-in-law spent an entire afternoon shopping with the girls and I. That woman has the energy of a Titan! No one found a dress, but we all got new shoes, nail polish, purses, scarves...the little things that make an outfit. The girls are the same size as my sister-in-law, so they had a giant selection of dresses to choose from to borrow, and I wore one I had packed at the last minute. We unpolished and repolished nails, applied masks and moisturizers and experimented with hair-dos and make-up. Even Duncan had his own shopping day; there is no one here his size, so he had to have fresh duds.

Je n'avais aucun responsabilité en ce qui concerne les preparatifs, mais il fallait quand meme habiller tout le monde. J'ai commencé au mois d'avril, aux US, en achetant les ensembles des deux petits garçons. Mon mari avait un costume tout neuf. Restés quatres. Ma belle-mère a passé un après-midi entier a faire des emplettes avec les deux filles et moi. Elle a une energie debordante! Personne n;a trouvé de robe, mais nous avons chacune acheté des chaussures, du vernis a ongle, des sacs, des foulards...les petites choses qui font un ensemble. Les filles font la meme taille que ma belle soeur, alors elle leure a preté une pile énorme de robes a emprunter. J'ai mis une que j'avais mis dans la valise a la dernière minute. On a enlevé le vernis d'ongle et en reposé d'autres, nous avons fait des soignes de beaute et des essais de coiffeurs, du maquillage. Meme Duncan a eu sa journee du shopping, car il n'y a personne ici de sa taille, alors il a fallu des frangues neuves.

Baptism Saturday; all day. The kids thought they could make plans for earlier or later in the day. We had  to re-explain the concept of A Family Event in France. The event is the day, and the night. We scrubbed and polished everyone and met at the church at 10:45.

Le bapteme eut lieu samedi, toute la journée.  Nous avons du avertir les enfants qui pensaient prevoir des choses avant ou apres le bapteme; qu'en France; un ocasion familiale est la meme chose que la journée; et la soirée. Nous avons lavés et polis tout le monde pour rencontrer tout le monde à léglise pour 10h45:

Greeting uncles, cousins, others:

The first part of the ceremony; outdoors under the giant tree:

I quit trying to get church photos after the first ten minutes, not only was the light awful, there were three other photographer-wanna-bes standing right in front of me. Pooh; I'll get copies of theirs. After the lovely ceremony; lunch for 3 hours. We then stopped by the house of the baptized and stayed until after 10pm. The next day, we slept, a lot.

Mamie Alie, the great-grandmother of the children: (she is a treasure).

Duncan and Thierry's cousin:

We all clean up so nicely, don't we?

I was glad we got to be there for this day. The baptized? He will not look if he sees a camera aimed at him, here is a pic from another day:

(Note that he is still not looking, but the cheeks are his best feature anyway, and those eyelashes!)

Summer birthdays and a wedding next.

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