In my youth we celebrated it each year in St George with my Father’s cousins and their children. As I was the only girl I had a great time. After tea we all played games for a few hours. Then my Father and I provided the entertainment. We danced and sang, we acted a sketch and finally came the magic tricks! Dinner followed, we called it “supper” in those days. There were so many of us that we had two sittings. At the stroke of midnight every house in the road put on all their lights and pulled back the curtains. We then went outside and marched up and down the road banging saucepan lids or anything that made a noise. The start of each New Year was certainly not quiet!
New Year (St. Sylvestre) in France is the time when restaurants are full. You need to book in November! I only have space to talk about one of the many memorable ones we experienced in our twenty one years there. Ron and I were invited to dine with Raymonde at one of her favourite places at Le Lavandou overlooking the Mediterranean. We went in her beach buggy.
Ray (as we called her) was an extremely rich widow. Her husband had owned a chain of “cliniques” all across Paris. There is a saying “money talks” and it’s true. That evening the Patron came out to greet our arrival and the staff treated us like royalty. Nothing was too much trouble. After a fabulous meal and all the kisses at midnight we were the first to leave. Guess what? The beach buggy wouldn’t start! The Patron, who had come outside to wave us off called all the waiters to help. They all left the other diners and came out to push the buggy until the engine started. Then amidst laughter, cheering and clapping we headed home to the Port. Unforgettable, as so much of our life in France certainly was!
I wish you all an unforgettable 2015 full of good fun and laughter.