A friend came for a late lunch and a long chat and time was slipping away.
He finally departed, gone five thirty, and we had no idea when the polling station, (at the Mairie) closed. Was it even worth going? Well, it was only five minutes drive, so not a hardship if a wasted journey.
The number of cars in the carpark looked promising. And pushing open the swing doors and heading for the inner sanctum of the committee room at the back, we found ourselves in the middle of a crowded jolly party. There were smiles and offers of help all round, as we admitted this was our first time voting and we had no idea what to do.
We handed over our voter's cards and our passports for identification. And were led to the table where "the lists" were and blue envelopes. Our task: to go into the voting booth, choose the list we wanted and place it in the envelope. Only in the case of our commune - there is only ONE list: showing our current mayor and our current councillors. So that is our choice: vote for our current mayor and all his team by placing THE list in the envelope, or leave the envelope empty. As voters in a small commune we have an additional privilege: to strike out anyone on the list whom we don't want.
No wonder there was a party spirit! The vote is a total foregone conclusion.
We duly signed in the register to show we'd voted and the transparent box was snapped open to accept our envelopes.
Mind you, our village takes this all pretty seriously. Monsieur F, our neighbouring farmer and one of our councillors, was saying that there are 530 voters in the commune and about 450 of them will have voted (a higher proportion than in the national elections) by close of play. "Which is when?" I asked. "At six - about a minute from now!" Our lunchtime friend had left just in time.
We slipped away amid many "bonne soirées". The party looked to continue for some time after the voting booths had closed.