Dans la joie et la bonne humeur

Les Bleus Euro 2016Sadly, the joy was short-lived. But for a few days here in France, we were on top of the world again. Et bon dieu did we enjoy it!

Despite the fact that Les Bleus lost the final match, it feels as though we’ve turned a page. ‘Passé un cap’, as we say in French. Summer vacation is upon us, the sun is shining, and today we are celebrating our Fête Nationale, aka Bastille Day. Spirits are higher in this country than they’ve been in a long time.

It hasn’t been an easy year in France. At times it has felt like the terrorists were winning. At others, the overriding disappointment in Hollande’s government and the back-biting from left to extreme right, has been depressing. The latest saga of resistance to change over the new Loi Travail (labour law) has been unending, along with the seasonal round of strikes and demonstrations. Then Brexit comes along and it feels like the end of the EU as we know it.

I surprised myself by actually watching the last two matches of the Euro 2016. This goes against my normal black-out policy towards all televised sports: golf, tennis, the Tour de France – not even the Olympics get my attention.

I don’t dislike sports. I just don’t like watching other people do them.

So although I know next to nothing about football (soccer for my North American friends), I found myself turning on the game ‘just to see’ and then getting drawn in. I watched the first half of the semi-final, and observed that while France was doing a very good job of preventing Germany from scoring, most of the game seemed to be taking place near the French goalposts. The Germans seemed to have good team work, and there was coordination and strategy in their moves.

Any time the French got the ball, things got a little chaotic. A burst of energy and astounding performance followed by – nada. They just didn’t seem to have a plan of attack. So I turned it off and went outside to enjoy the sunset. Then I heard a collective cry of ‘but!’ and the car horns honking – not just once but twice.

It seems that when the French get going, a certain magic kicks in.

During the final with Portugal on Sunday, that magic wasn’t quite there. Les Bleus gave it their best but the drama queens (who I found myself absurdly calling ‘Les Portu-gays’) on the other side got lucky in one single score. See why I don’t like sports? It brings out the worst kind of nationalism and name calling.

But although we may be down we are not out. The collective pysche is revved by the fact that we made to the final, the team did their best and now we get to enjoy some well-earned vacation time. Dans la joie et la bonne humeur!

One thing is certain: Le Coq Gaulois will be crowing again soon.

Coq_French flagHappy Bastille Day!


  1. francetaste · July 14, 2016

    I chose to take advantage of the family going out to watch the game at a restaurant with friends to get work done. Yet I knew when the match ended and that they had lost–not a car went by for the longest time on the usually busy road, then suddenly it was like rush hour. But no honking. Hence, match over with a loss. My family arrived a few minutes later, faces streaked bleu, blanc, rouge, disappointed by the loss but exhilarated that the team had made it so far.
    I don’t watch the Tour de France on TV, but it came right by my house yesterday. It was impossible to do anything but join in–there were a hundred people outside my window, starting at 8 a.m. (the cyclists passed at 2 p.m.). Fun.

    • MELewis · July 14, 2016

      Real live Tour de France passing by your house is in a different category all together. How exciting! 🙂

  2. Suzanne et Pierre · July 14, 2016

    Glad to hear that the French spirit is on the up side. I have been following the news coming from France and it has certainly been depressing. Strikes after strikes, protests turning to violence, etc…and the politicians who don’t seem to know what they are doing. But hopefully the French will get out of this depression and enjoy life once more…Too bad the Bleus lost as I think it would have been an additional boost for the French moral! Happy Bastille day to you! (Suzanne)

    • MELewis · July 14, 2016

      Thanks, Suzanne! We could certainly have used the boost of a win. I agree the politics are very depressing at the moment, (and not just in France), but I think the French morale is on the up now in spite of rather than thanks to anything the government is doing. Here’s hoping the summer will improve everyone’s mood! 🙂

  3. Osyth · July 14, 2016

    Keep those spirits bubbling, I arrive on 21st for 10 days and I want to feel France has a little of that buoyancy back. The football captivated me (starting as it did on our last visit) …. it was a tragic defeat and the only way I can reconcile it is to accept that Portugal hasn’t exactly been having it easy either. But then I remember how much I loathe that double-earring wearing prima donna Ronaldo and out the window flies all my decency. We was robbed (as we say in England) 🙂 Je vous souhaite un très bonne fête 🙂

    • MELewis · July 14, 2016

      I will do my personal best to keep the effervescence both mental and physical – so far so good, the bubbles are chilled!

  4. Colin Bisset · July 14, 2016

    Football, phwah, but I always love the Tour de France – I even watch the cycling between the helicopter shots of places-to-add-to-the-next-trip…But now it looks like Bastille Day has become a battlefield again in Nice. Thoughts with you.

    • MELewis · July 15, 2016

      Just woke up to the news, absolutely appalling… Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. davidprosser · July 15, 2016

    Don’t let Le Coq Gaulois become broken after this latest atrocity. He must crow all the louder to show his strength.
    I hope Brexit won’t stop us being friends as we’re still neighbours anyway.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • MELewis · July 15, 2016

      David, great to hear from you! I have every faith in the resiliency of Gallic rooster, just as I know that not even a breakup like Brexit will prevent us from being friends. Hope all is well with you in Wales! Bises xo

  6. poshbirdy · July 15, 2016

    Thinking of all our neighbours in France at this terrible time. Wish I had read this yesterday when spirits were so high x

    • MELewis · July 16, 2016

      Everything is so fleeting these days….thanks for your thoughts, Posh! 🙂

  7. acflory · July 18, 2016

    Can’t think of a single thing to say. -hugs-

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s