Exercise is good for you – or so they are saying at Lake Annecy today, where a marathon is taking place. I wouldn’t know about that. I’m 800km away in northernmost France, in Pas de Calais, and nursing a hangover.
I’ve never been big on sports in any case. The closest I’ve come to exercise in recent months was in Lille yesterday: I power-walked the length and breadth of the city in search of a birthday card.
I succeeded – just. For a country that is renowned for its style, why are French greetings cards so awful? (The same is true of French websites, but I digress.)
I was after a card because I’m here in France to celebrate my friend Michael’s birthday. He has a house in the village of Contes and had decided to unite the French and the English over a hog roast in the village’s salle de fêtes.
It all kicked off at 6pm promptly last night with a speech from the birthday boy. He announced in advance that he would give it in French – and he accomplished it admirably. His command of the language has really come on since buying a holiday home here a couple of years back.
We could have all done with practising beforehand too – not just our language skills but our singing too. Karaoke had been laid on and was deemed de rigeuer. My partner, Damon, and I had limbered up linguistically during our drive over, thanks to the likes of Charles Azanavour, Édith Piaf and Ben L’Oncle Soul on the car stereo.
“We have managed to fit in some exercise here – admittedly, it has been primarily of the lifting-a-glass-to-our-lips variety”
Nothing had quite prepared us for the actual event, however. The least said about that the better.
As it has turned out, we have managed to fit in some exercise while we have been here. Admittedly, it has been primarily of the lifting-a-glass-to-our-lips variety. It felt good at the time, but as the runners at Lake Annecy can tell you, a marathon session hurts the day after…