Sometimes, life in France is very surreal. On Saturday evening Travis answers the door of his house dressed in a glittery t-shirt and a silver mask trimmed with white feathers. Having recently accepted a very full-on financial job in London, he is in town just for the weekend and has invited me and a couple of other friends to a 'disco' in his local salle des fetes.
Organised by his friend Michelle, the theme is Disco D’Hiver (as in 'Disco Diva' - get it? No, I didn't either!) and the dress code is ‘glittering.’ Unfortunately, Travis forgot to pass on this important piece of information so I have missed out on a rare opportunity to wear sequins and heels in the French countryside.
The idea behind the Disco D’Hiver is to prove that not all of les anglais living in the French countryside are silver-haired retirees in tracksuits (not that there’s anything wrong with silver-haired retirees in tracksuits, I must add). Instead, Michelle has rounded up anyone fun and under forty within a 30km radius. There are even some genuine French people present - imagine! ( The Man unfortunately, is in the UK at the moment, so he is not present at this glittering soirée.)
The ambiance is distinctly village hall but everyone is very dressed up (sequins, satin, sparkly tops, high heels and even white fur) and a big glitter ball has been imported for the evening along with an excellent DJ. Most DJs in rural France talk over the tracks and play Boney M and Phil Collins. Erek does neither. Instead, he manages to keep everybody dancing until the early hours of the morning.
During the evening, I meet the charming former marketing director of a well-known beauty brand, who quit her job, launching celebrity scents, a few years ago to live in a chateau in France with her husband and three young children. It turns out that we know several people in common back in London. Scraping ice off my windscreen in the car park later, I reflect on what a small world it is. You never know who you are going to bump into in the French countryside. Or what they might be wearing.