24 October 2007

Passing the time

In all the villages and towns around here and across the border in Italy, you'll see older men in groups, chatting and passing the time. You'll see fewer older women because they are at home cooking lunch. Wasn't it ever thus?! These men are sitting at the entrance to the old village of Gorbio.

Do the old men gather in your city or village to chat?


  1. It took so long for me to download your page - you posted while i was doing it!!!!

    Great photo of everyday people.

    Yeah - this woman cooking lunch deal - NOT this little black duck !!! "Everyone get your own around here!!!"

  2. Yes! The most popular place in my town fur such activity is the central square, full of pigeons - so people call the gathering "The Voice of the Pigeon". Usually they chat about soccer and politics.

  3. Yes, they do...over coffee in the restaurants.

  4. Yes, they do that in Montpellier, on l'Esplanade. I think I posted a photo of older men sitting on a bench (the men's bench). But women do too (the women's bench) :-)))

    In my "residence," it is the hoodlums who do that, unfortunately enough.

  5. You asked if older men gather here to talk or chat. Not anymore. Many years ago, old men used to gather in places like Tommy Rice's blacksmith shop and talk and smoke and chew tobacco. They would talk about the war and whose wife happened to look good to them that day and how bad the horse's feet looked before Tommy got new shoes on them. Then they used to sit on old chairs in George Myers' coal office and talk, chew and spit tobacco and watch the train pass slowly by and sometimes get up and watch when they saw something pass on the train. A jeep, tank or truck.

    Those days are gone forever in most of America. People chat when they get their hair cut but they don't go someplace just to meet and to talk.

    They used to also go to the wall, a low wall, in Greenville, Ohio where the Treaty with the Indians was signed in front of our General Mad Anthony Wayne. That wall went around the court house and was about chair high. People lined up, butt by butt all around and watched the cars pass on the streets of a busy downtown Greenville. And they talked about everything.

    But that wall is empty now. People now stay at home. They watch television. There are no front porches and people grvitate to the back porches or patios. So streets are empty of people.

    We don't gather like that any more. Mother used to call it "loafing."

  6. Here the old ones shelter in the bar.

    the puppy of the other day was afraid of the large dog?

  7. HA! Surely you jest...Unless it's on a golf course ;-)

  8. Not usually, Jilly - they're in their gardens, tending the roses or vegetables or on the golf course or in the pub, eating lunch as no Australian woman in her right mind would cook lunch! However, we do cook dinner occasionally. The best invention is the BBQ because the men love to cook on that.

    I love the photo - the stone bench just for sitting, the wonderful cobblestone pavement and the gorgeous dog.

  9. I was expecting the old guys to be playing Pétanque. Perhaps the drooling, wafting smell of le déjeuner is more than they can handle.
    Is there a local dialect that both the French and the Italians speak ?
    Perhaps they all speak both languages ?

  10. Only on the golf courses here on Maui.


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