Last night my wife Jan and I attended la traditionnelle cérémonie des vœux at the village’s Salle des fêtes— and so, it seemed, did virtually every other resident of Daglan. The parking lot was packed, and every seat was taken. And while the main point of the evening was to listen to our Mayor review the accomplishments of the past year, and outline some plans for the new year, there was a special surprise for us.
First, a quick look at the hall. Up front and at the left is our Mayor, Pascal Dussol, delivering what amounts to his annual “State of the Village” address, and in the centre of the stage is the screen where he showed a long series of photos of village life and activities.
To our surprise and delight, one of the first series of slides in the Mayor’s illustrated speech consisted of screen captures of this very blog. Yes, Radio Free Daglan was right up on the big screen, and all members of the RFD team (Jan and I) were delighted.
He went on to show some screen captures of another blog, Our French Dream, written by an English woman who moved here with her husband permanently, and now lives in the centre of the village.
I was so surprised to see Radio Free Daglan come up on the Mayor’s screen that I missed most of what he said about it. However, I did recover sufficiently to understand his main point: acknowledging that English-speakers are indeed contributing to life in the village, and making every effort to integrate. In any case, it was nice to be noticed.
From there, M. Dussol went on to cover a myriad of activities and accomplishments of 2016. (As I’ve written before, he and his team of councillors are a really active bunch, with sharp eyes for keeping the village neat, tidy and even more attractive.)
Many of the highlights have already been covered in Radio Free Daglan, like the renovation of the Mairie and our postal agency. I wrote about it, including the ribbon-cutting ceremony, on December 3, 2016, in “The Mayor’s new office (at last),” and here’s a look back:
Believe me, there was lots (and lots) more — from the renovations and enlargement of the village cemetery to upgrading of the village roads that stretch up into the hills around Daglan, to reach the various hamlets; from the painted stripes in the parking areas for Le Thé Vert and the new Café de la Fleur to the school children’s project of decorating the village with large models of insects — like the grasshopper shown here:
Several times the crowd offered sustained applause. Once was when the Mayor discussed how Daglan had earned the Village Fleuri designation; another was when he asked the proprietors of the new Café de la Fleur to stand and take a bow.
In case you were wondering how the French mark the New Year, that’s easy. This is the time of year when the phrase you hear most often is “Bonne Année et Bonne Santé — surtout!” That is, “Happy New Year, and Good Health, above all!” Believe me, we heard that, and said that, quite a few times last night. And those same good wishes go out to all our readers.