Saturday, September 29, 2012

Big weans: Avignon Fahrt, part 3.

Originally uploaded by goforchris.
Sometimes - often, in fact, our Avignon trip made me feel like a teenager. A young teen - say 15, or as I was at 15 - and I felt I was in the right company. Two incidents might illustrate this, quite aside from the ongoing lightheartedness that comes from submitting all to the care of The Person In Charge, a carefree approach that I remember fondly as I prepare for a more adult, responsible trip.

The first took place in the Fondation Vasarely, where a couple of guides took our divided group through a series of cube-shaped exhibition halls and attempted to explain what the artist had in mind. I think. Our group had the less able guide; it was a warm afternoon; we had eaten lunch and not been able to find coffee; the couches were comfortable. I found myself wondering how I would help this guide to made her presentation engaging. It would have helped if she'd done her homework, I suspect, as she read, laboriously, from a pamphlet. She may even have been doing simultaneous translation: clever, but not calculated to hold the wandering attention. And in the end, wandering happened. We wandered off, drifting past one screen into another space, peeping round corners, finding the stairs to the upper gallery. The photo shows our guide, in her red dress, sloping off. She might have been mopping a tear, but I suspect she was on the phone, seeking transport, rescue from the philistines - something like that.

The other event was spontaneous, crazy and fun. There is a carousel in the middle of the Place de l'Horloge in Avignon, just down the road from our hotel. It is an old-fashioned, two-tier roundabout, with traditional horses and other carriages. One evening, as the horde - there were 48 of us - headed out for dinner, the carousel stood waiting, empty - and probably about to shut up shop for the night. And suddenly we were all leaping aboard. I got a horse - I loved the horses as a kid. We didn't think about paying - The Leader would take care of that. Round and round we went, up and down, laughing like zanies. We could see people stopping, taking photos - you can make out a man in a cafe doing just that on the right of the photo. The music struck up, and suddenly we were all singing "I'm getting married in the morning". At the top of our voices. The crowd grew. Someone remarked to The Leader - for he was not aboard - that it was wonderful to see old people enjoying themselves so much. We must have looked utterly absurd - the youngest was probably 60 - but we didn't care.

The music stopped, we clambered - stiffly - down. People applauded, and we went on our way. Big weans, all of us.

1 comment:

  1. And why not? Life is full of unexpected opportunities for sheer enjoyment. We just have to recognise them, whatever our age.