Monday, May 16, 2011
17th May - Je ne regret rien
Each rugby nation has its own culture, the Welsh singing and pink furry cowboy hats, the Springboks, their Braai (barbeques). The French love Jazz, and at the game there were several small jazz bands playing mostly in a Trad style, so often it was sing-a-long, especially on the train back into the city. With the warm sunny weekend there was a real feel good factor about all the city.
I was also over in Paris for the World Cup and they managed to combine rugby with culture with a certain 'je ne sais quoi'. Over looking the Eiffel Tower was a giant marquee in which was a cordon bleu restaurant with the Eiffel Tower framed in an open window, an exhibition of artistic rugby photography and outside was a collection of cockerels (the French rugby symbol) designed by a variety of modern artists. The music was of course Jazz.
Up at the Sacre Coeur Cathedral in Montmartre, there was a food fare, where produce could be bought, after sampling the best of wines and cheese, bread and meats etc. Simple food, well prepared. On the steps leading down to the city were different buskers and people sitting around enjoying the warm spring sun, just giving it a go. The choice of song was very nearly 'Losing My Religion' as everyone on the steps, regardless of nationality sang along. Priceless.
I also visited the Mona Lisa. I don't get it as a picture. The Japanese didn't look at it, they just took a photo. Its not a picture that I think is worthy of the praise that is extolled on it, but as the world's most famous painting, it deserved more respect. For me, the pavement art at Montmartre, and the small Dali exhibition excited me more. More thought provoking,and challenging, than the Mona Lisa, but it is probably like comparing Stephenson's Rocket to the Apollo Space mission.
There are no funny stories today, no disasters, not even a memorable game, but to me, this was my favourite final, so far. Rugby, Art, Food and Music on three sunny days - pretty much a perfect weekend.
Je ne Regret Pas - Edith Piaf. The French version of Vera Lynn, although I'm not sure Vera had as many lovers, especially younger ones. As a song it is as iconic and to sing along to in a community situation to the French being as 'White Cliffs of Dover' is to the British. Posting pictures wasn't difficult, but with this internet speed, very very slow. (the subject of another blog?).