A great deal has happened since my last post. Teresa stayed for a week, and has since returned to Marseilles… It was a fantastic time with the three of us together again… hopefully one day in the not too distant future, we’ll be able to have all the family join us for a holiday together in France… with Gerard and Teresa both living here, France has become a very special place for us all, I think (even Mum and Dad, who haven’t as yet visited).
We’ve now taken a ride on the “Petit Train”, which was a great experience. Teresa was the inspiration for this. She says that in Marseilles, she always does all the touristy things, as it gives you a new appreciation for your home city- not that Saint Malo is our home city, but it certainly feels it: The other day, we were playing a busking slot with our Italian friend Roberto, when our landlord appeared from one of the bars with a beer for each of us! When I thanked him, he said “no! Thank YOU!”… I know not everyone here is as nice as this, but certainly, there is a sense of ease among the locals, which is contagious. For example, there is a bar a few doors up from our rental, where they have a formidable ability to party into the wee hours of the morning on most days of the week. Coming home one night, we noticed that an ambulance was parked next to the the bar; flashing lights on. With apprehension, we approached, only to find the barman in a great old chat with the two paramedics… They were not, at this stage, ‘staying for a drink’ (and to be fair, the barman’s hand was bandaged, so perhaps that was the reason for their visit), but you got the sense that it would not be inconceivable that they might take a little ‘refreshment’ before continuing with their night shift! ‘Refreshment’ in Saint Malo, is after all a serious sport… well, almost: heading to a spot on our busking plan yesterday, we found that the streets of Intra Muros were at a complete standstill (as opposed to the partial standstill, which is their state at all other times!) for a local tradition: The waiters’ race! I think just about every bar/ restaurant must have been represented. We even recognised a couple of the waiters from a few of our favourite bars. The idea is to run around the Intra Muros course carrying a large silver serving tray on one hand, upon which ‘rests’ a poured glass of Perrier sparkling water, and the bottle, containing the remainder of the Perrier. Some of the competitors were truly impressive, however the spirit of the event was what made it so great. Close to where we were watching from, a competitor smashed his glass of Perrier on the cobblestoned street… quick as a flash, someone watching in one of the bars along the street handed him a full glass ofbeer for his tray… I wondered if he ended up placing if the judges would’ve questioned how his glass of sparkling water was turned into beer, but then again, Saint Malo is a special place, and I get the sense that little miracles such as these are not uncommon here.
We’ve met so many wonderful people here who’ve been so supportive and enthusiastic about our music. It’s hard to believe that our time in Saint Malo is coming to an end. We’ve sold our special “street edition” EP of “Light Shade Light” to Americans, New Zealanders, Germans, people from Great Britain, and of course, France… and they’re just the people we got talking to and so know where they’re from! Who knows where the rest of the first batch of discs are residing now?
It’s lovely to have shared our music with so many holiday makers here in Saint Malo, but it’s always a special moment when a local comes up to us to thank us for playing in their town. They could so easily be annoyed by the huge amount of live music that takes over their city each summer, but we’ve seldom received anything but praise from these lovely people. It’s always a magic moment, when, during an evening set at Place du Pilori the windows of the appartments above open and we see the people, singing along from their lounge rooms. Gerard and I will be sad to leave this precious little piece of Brittany, but we’ll take away such wonderful memories and a real desire to return sometime soon!