Saintes Amities Street Party 2014
The annual Street Party held by our colleagues in the Saintes Salisbury Amitiés took place on Saturday evening, 28th June. We had the honour to be invited along to represent the Salisbury Saintes Twinning Association. Sadly, like last year, a thundery weather forecast meant that the event had to be held indoors instead of in the beautiful Jardin Pubic. This year it was held in the Salle Centrale, next to the town library, a rather more convivial location than last year.
Turnout was somewhat disappointing, possibly because of a number of factors. There was the football, after all France was still in the World Cup at that stage, the closeness to the holiday season or maybe some people had not checked their emails and seen that the venue had changed. Whatever the reason there were about 30 of us enjoying a lovely evening of conviviality, assisted by food, drink and wonderful entertainment.
This year we were all asked to bring a plate to create a buffet. That saved the inevitable envying glances at the picnic on the next table, convinced that it was better than yours. This way you had the opportunity to try whatever you wanted.
The entertainment was provided by the wonderfully punning named OK Chorale (we never did see the Earp brothers or Doc Holliday). This talented and versatile group of musicians are led by an ex lay vicar at Salisbury Cathedral choir. They opened the evening with choral singing of mostly French and British folk songs, although one Aussie song crept in along the way. Their singing was wonderful and at times playful and was a great way to start the evening. After a break for an aperitif provided by the committee we then sat down to eat accompanied by a band mostly made up from the singers of the choral music, as I said a very talented and versatile group. The music they played and sang, light jazz, was perfect for the audience, for many of whom the songs were reminders of their youth.
The event ended just before 10 pm and we all made our way home. The weather, like last year, had not lived up to the forecast and there had been no thundery showers. Still, we were warm and dry which was better than the possible alternative. Despite low numbers it was good to see old friends again and enjoy a lovely evening together.
Mervyn and Jocelyn Pannett