Sunday, 19 August 2007

Pyrotechnic Panorama

Pyromelodique feu d'artifice.

It was our second year and woops, again the camera batteries ran out of energy. However, we captured an opening cinematographic scene of the castle in all it's pyro-melodique glory! It was exceptional, wondrous and spellbinding.
We found our place three hours before the skies were set aflame with fireworks. Others had already claimed their spot from early morning. On both sides of the river, on the narrow island, on the rues and chemins and on the bridge people brought their foldy-up chairs, picnic rugs and blankets to secure ground space. All was civilised and tranquil. One newspaper reported that there were 10,000 people in attendance. It was fascinating and we were entranced.
For thirty minutes we were to be enthralled. The entertainment was announced by a superb sound system which welcomed us to a cinema. The sound track had included movie themes from Charlie Chaplin , American Westerns, West Side Story, Star Wars and Edith Piaf "The Mome", to name just a few.

At 22h30 the bridge was plunged into momentary darkness where the absence of light and sound hushed those who had waited patiently. The curtain opened for the panoramic screen. The chateau was set ablaze in a fierce, red, fiery furnace. Skies were rent with explosions. Raptures of applause followed shrieks and cheers, all drowned by the warfare of modern explosives. The theatrical scene was set.
All ears focused on the tempered spoken voice of the narrator. We listened whilst the melodies of the music matched the rhythm of the rockets, against the backdrop of a clear summer night sky, above the outline of the historic chateau.
All eyes absorbed the moving image which alternated between light and dark filling retinas with a palette of pastels and a video of vibrancy, as the kaleidoscope of colour erupted and expired. At one time, high in the sky, Catherine wheels free-wheeled, crackled, corkscrewed and cascaded downwards to the castle walls and river. It was as if champagne fizzled and sparkled for the celebration.
We smelled the sulphur from the drifting, smoking cloud of cordite which had played it's part. It had added to the atmospheric ambiance of the drama.

Earlier we had been part of a different international stage. By the side of the river we sat down on a tartan rug with a bottle of Bordeaux rouge, an anchovy tart,a green salad and a Reine-Claude Plum Shortcake. At one point, "un homme" gaped towards our evening meal and expressed homage to our gateau! After all, he only had an almost bare baguette of a sandwich. We proudly explained the ingredients in our home made products. We may be English but we enjoy excellent French cuisine, made by ourselves.

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