Completely forgot I was going to the Bout du Monde music festival with Karl until he phoned yesterday morning. He sounded very enthusiastic about it. He's got me a ticket and won't tell me how much it cost. He said I can come and help him look for baby boars soon and also give a hand to pick up some furniture next week. I told him about the pancake festival and meeting Celine. He had an extra ticket which he said Celine could have. He told me he'd asked a woman he'd met to go with him but she'd made some excuse. I got the feeling he didn't want to talk about it.
Celine sounded pleased when I phoned and suggested we pick her up in Karl's van. She lives just outside Vannes in a pretty little cottage in the grounds of a large maison. Karl asked her if the owners had any antique furniture to sell, but she doesn't see them that often as the landlord is a politician and spends most of his time in Paris.
On the way to Crozon in Finisterre Karl played his old tapes; Muddy waters, BB king, Robert Cray, etc. Celine asked if he'd heard of Madeleine Peyroux, a Canadian singer, but neither of us had (I had to look her up when I got home). She asked Karl what he thought of Seasick Steve, but he hadn't heard of him either. I think he likes to stick to his old stuff.
The festival was packed. We got a couple of local beers each and watched Finlandia; Brazilian cellist and an Argentinian accordionist/pianist - Rodrigo would have been interested! We had a while to wait before the next act (Maya) came on, so we got something to eat. I told Celine and Karl about my time in Brazil when I worked for the Booth line and used to sail up the Amazon (I think their eyes glazed over a bit). I had paella, Celine had crepes and Karl had two kebabs. He told us about the woman he had met when picking up a dressing table and bureau. They'd ended up in her four poster bed that first time but whenever he phones her she always makes excuses. She told him she was divorcing her rich husband and selling off all his furniture. Celine told him to forget her. I think Karl is quite sensitive about these sort of things, and finds them difficult to talk about.
I liked the next act, Maya. When she sings she plays a kayamba (looks a bit like a washboard) which she explained comes from the Mascarene islands, somewhere between Mauritius and Madagascar. Karl said he liked Ben L'Oncle Soul and Monophobics and Celine seemed to be into Lisa Le Blanc; Canadian singer/guitarist. She told us she had lived in Montreal for a few years, teaching in a girls school. I asked her what she thought of her namesake, Celine Dion. She shrugged her shoulders."She is - what is the word, ennui, boring!"
I shared the driving on the way back with Karl. Celine said she was tired and fell asleep between us. I had to wake her up when we arrived at her place and she asked us in for a coffee. Her place is small and packed with stuff; paintings, sea-shells, candles, books, old maps of Brittany, but couldn't see any stamp albums amongst the clutter. A very old tabby cat appeared from somewhere which Celine introduced as Bonaparte. Her sofa was so comfortable I thought I was going to fall asleep.
Karl dropped me back at my place and I watched his van speed off with John Lee Hooker pumped up to full volume.