Tuesday 15 December 2009

Starry, Starry Window.

I'm woken early by a frantic knocking at the door- there's a train strike, local services are cancelled, and two friends on their way to the States desperately need a lift to Rennes station, in order to catch their train to Charles de Gaulle airport. I check the TGV is still running; Mr Price can take them but as he'll now be very late for work, it means we'll have to do together today's Christmas window painting.
It's at Tregueux, near St. Brieuc, at a bank, and, hurray, when we get there they say we can decide for ourselves what to paint. We've already discussed this in the car- it's a very long window which runs down the side of the bank, and we thought a wide ribbon of small stars, punctuated by shooting stars would look effective. The window is slightly tinted, so we keep to light tones, broken whites and gold-yellows.
The French take a long time over lunch, and so we go to eat at 12.15 at the bar/workman's café just up the road.
In France, even a small village might have one of these; they offer a cheap, mainly home-made meal, usually of four courses. This includes a bottle of red wine, but we can have rosé, cider, or fruit juice if we wish.
It isn't just workmen in here, there's a gaggle of office workers and, next to us, two women with a small child and a baby.
Most commerces here close for around two hours at lunchtime- even some of the large supermarkets, so service is at a 'relaxed pace'. The food's good, too, and it's with food and cider-fuelled enthusiasm that we return to the 'bank job' !
Back at 'Credit Mutuel de Bretagne' the window's taking shape, I'm painting the smaller stars- hundreds of them. People come up and say how lovely, it's a busy place and the girl behind the desk is sick and fed up of people asking for free calendars, which are only ready next Tuesday. There's a sign pinned up about this, but no one notices, and some have come back three times. She makes a strangling sign with her hands....
We make good time and the window paintings finished before dark. I take photos inside and out, it looks good, we're pleased, they're pleased, and we're off and away and home by dusk.

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