Of course, eight is a lucky number for the Chinese and, no doubt, that accounts for the spectacularly successful opening to the Olympic Games but, here in the Ardennes this date also has special significance.
The Departments of France (counties only bigger) are numbered and we are 08, so yesterday was celebrated in several ways.
A couple who had been living together for 28 years and raised three children decided, at last, to get hitched. They were aiming for August 9th but a friend at the Mairie persuaded them to make it 08.08 on 08-08-08. Despite the early hour over fifty guests were there to celebrate with them.
The local newspaper pictures a baby born at 8 o’clock. He weighed in at 3.4kg so I don’t think that’s quite enough to make 8lbs!
Several holiday clubs held special activities with the children to mark the day, the Post Office issued a stamp to mark the occasion and motorists travelled in a figure of eight for the hell of it.
But the ‘star’ of the day was Woinic. (I’m still out of action regarding photos, so you’ll have to follow the link – sorry).
This enormous statue of a boar, weighing 50 tonnes, has been paraded through the Ardennes for several days before being positioned beside the A34 motorway near Faissault between Reims and Rethel at 8 o’clock on the 8th August 2008, so if you’re passing one of these days, give it a wave.
Did we do anything? Well, not intentionally. We went for lunch at the local pizzeria and noticed it was particularly busy. Friends of ours were at the next table and Madame looked extra specially nice so we asked if they were celebrating something.
“Yes, 08-08-08, of course,” quipped Monsieur.
“No, it’s my birthday” said his wife. She is the doyenne of the local Club so I didn’t ask her age. We simply wished her Joyeuse Anniversaire.