Went out to wander around and sample the La Fete de la Musique on Saturday night. We only came back when La Fille started pleading to come home and I thought someone might call social services. This is the evening when anyone who can sing or play anything, and even those who can't, take to the streets and make music.
The first year the Frenchman and I went, I was still in that doe-eyed courtship period with Paris (and the Frenchman) and we spent most of the evening listening to a man in a beret with an accordian and his wife singing traditional French songs near the Place des Vosges. I swayed and clapped enthusiastically while the Frenchman and other passers-by joined in. Nobody seemed to mind if they sounded, as my mother would put it, like "pieces of coke under the door".
This year we set off for our local mairie passing several pavement bands turning out pop favourites by Dire Straits, Van Morrison and the Police. They were surprisingly good. French pop music - three words that should never appear in the same sentence - is an oxymoron, but can't be due to a lack of talent as they seem able to recreate everyone else's music perfectly well. As we approached the town hall we were drawn by the hypnotic beat of a group of 30-40 drummers. The combination of drums and beats of different sizes and sounds made it more than drumming. Someone thrust a leaflet in my hand explaining the group was called Muleketù and the music La Batucada, from Brazil; a traditional sound combining samba with Caribbean beats and originally performed by freed Negro slaves. Muleketù has added some samba, afro, funk and something called 'afoxé'; I have no idea what 'afoxé' is, but the repertoire was energetic and entrancing, so much so I was ready to sign up as a drummer on the spot.
La Fille entered the spirit, dancing around like a newly-liberated person fluttering her arms, stamping her feet and whooping. Even when completely whacked she didn't miss a beat as I swept her up and carried her home. We knew she had enjoyed herself; we didn't realise quite how much until last night when she disappeared from the kitchen with a dozen pots, pans and stainless steel bowls.
"What are you doing," I called. Silence. "Please bring those things back?" Silence. Then not silence, but cacophony of tin and plastic sound. I walked into the living room to find La Fille whacking the upturned kitchen utensils with a couple of chopsticks.
"Look Mama, I'm drumming."
I'm enrolling her for music classes this week.