Monday, October 21.
On our first day here in Cruzy, Claire and I asked Helene, the grocer, and Valerie, the bakery lady, if anything was happening in this little village. They both told us the same thing, “nothing.”
Well, something happened last night.
As I may have mentioned in an earlier post (or not), one of our daily, much-looked-forward-to, activities in Cruzy is being up on the terrace before 7 p.m., wine glasses in hand, so that we can hear the church bells, which at that hour ring the angelus. That is, after ringing the standard seven bongs (pause) and seven bongs once again, there then follows three sets of three bongs separated by short pauses, then sixty-five bongs. Those in the know on the terrace have come to call this the 7 o’clock flurry. Those in the know in religious orders might recognize this as a call to a certain prayer but we aren’t concerned with that; our devotions are of another sort. This same phenomenon occurs at 7 a.m.; however, since even we shun wine at 7 a.m., this morning flurry passes pretty much unnoted. Okay, enough back story as Michael would say, back to the curious incident in the night.
This morning upon arising, I heard the bells chime 9 a.m.. I was horrified at the lateness of the hour but recollected hearing the 7 a.m. flurry much earlier, while I was only semi-awake. But, when I climbed to the living room, no one else was about and it was still pitch black outside.
“Hmmmm,” thinks I, “Am I losing my mind?” I checked the clock in the kitchen, it indicated 8 a.m.
“Hmmmm,” thinks I again, “Did I mishear the bells?” I waited patiently for dawn’s rosy fingers to illuminate the church tower. I did not mishear the bells; sometime in the night, the clock on the church tower was put forward one hour! And this in a village in which nothing happens!! I wondered what possible explanation there could be for it. I knew that if anyone could provide an explanation, it would be Helene. Therefore, when I went to Helene’s at 9 a.m. to buy milk, I asked her what was up with the clock. She pondered the question for a moment, went into a side room to check the time, came back out and resolved the mystery with Gallic simplicity:
“Zee clock eez off.”