Sunday, September 30, 2007

Clubbin' it enfin!

Back at the end of August I was lamenting my lack of clubbing experience, primarily in Paris as I needed information for my book, but also locally because it seemed to epitomise the fact that I never go out dancing.

Imagine my delight, then, when I received an invitation to a soirée cocktail dinétoire dansant at Le Grau du Roi on the other side of La Grande Motte. It was sent by the magazine Côté Sel, who don't seem to have a website, because they did an article on Diane Rauscher-Kennedy the artist who is also President of the association I belong to as Secrétaire Générale - Promo' Arts.

The publishers produce two magazines: Le Graulien and Côté Sel. We were there to celebrate two years of the free local events publication - Le Graulien. They had invited all their advertisers and others, like us so there were around 500 people to enjoy the hefty snacks, punch, wine, champagne, dessert and 80s & 90s music. It took place in the Casino of Le Grau du Roi, a place I've never been in before and in fact I think it might be the first time I've ever set foot in a casino. Anyway, we weren't mingling amongst the black jack tables or fruit machines, but in a separate room with disco floor, lights and stage for the DJ.

Diane was feeling too poorly to attend, so I went with pal B who is also a member of the assoc. We left in torrential rain and arrived a bit early, so drove down to the beach l'Espiguette. This brought memories flooding back from my dim and distant past with my ex-husband when we had gone down there in his old black Alfa Romeo GTV and had a great time doing handbrake turns on the massive packed-sand car park which was empty at the time.

The rain had stopped but it was quite windy, so we got out and made our tentative way in the failing light on the little access path across the sand dunes to the beach. We were not the only ones there. The waves were quite energetic for the Med and it seemed to be good fishing weather because there were a number of hardy fishermen including one with his son on the beach with the end of their rods glowing eerily green.

Not the place to hang around in strappy sandals and evening gear, so back we went to the Casino, without doing a series of handbrake turns...

Most of the assembled crowd were the local commerçants I suppose - anyone who owns a local business who advertises or has something to do with the magazine. We picked out some favourites. There was 'Oldest Swinger in Town' with a classic French nose who, having asked to take a chair from our table proceeded to exchange witticisms at every opportunity thereafter. Then there were the 'Overcoat Twins' who didn't take their coats off until well into the evening.

Overcoat Senior bore a vague resemblance to Piers Brosnan, and I mean vague, but was wearing a heavy woollen coat and black scarf. I was very concerned that he would overheat and didn't seem to be enjoying himself, so asked solicitously if he was going to take off his coat. He said he liked being hot...

Overcoat Junior was wearing a trench coat and had one of those chiselled faces. He turned out to be a nifty dancer of rock in six. Eventually they came over and while pal B was getting some food, Overcoat Junior hung is coat over the back of his chair. Then, I suppose it got too much for Overcoat Senior who had to take off his coat or faint from heat exhaustion, so came up to our table and slung his coat over the back of our spare chair. At this point I cried out with relief at him that he had at last started to enjoy himself, which he took in good spirits...

Actually I was going to ask Overcoat Junior to dance a rock in six with me as payment for the rental of the chair back but he left before I had the chance, dammit. That was another reason for missing my ex-husband. He taught me to dance like that and we had many a super time at parties and weddings rocking on down. (Since discovered the Overcoat Twins have a website selling Camargue goody-filled hampers.)

Our other favourite was Miss Gypsy who was a diminutive long-haired young lady with a skill at shimmying that sent pal B's heart towards apoplexy. She looked a bitch mind, but boy could she shimmy those hips, to the general indifference to just about every other guy in the room I might add, including her boyfriend. I sometimes wonder about French men...

I managed to talk to one of the organisers and say who I was. He talked enthusiastically about his plans to do more articles on Promo'Arts artists and generally incorporate us as regulars in the magazine.

We finally left gone 1am and got back to Montpellier in torrential rain. Funny that.


  1. I love Le Grau. All that yummy seafood, and Picpoul-de-Pinet to wash it down. Wikipedia tells us that the Départment du Gard took the canton of Aigues Mortes, plus the Grau, in exchange for the canton of Ganges, so that Gard could have access to the sea.

  2. Oh yes, much more useful than Ganges!


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