June is a particularly important month in Happy Valley.
It’s more than just the month that signals the arrival of wonderful festivals in the area, ranging from classics in Cully, to flamenco in Renens. And it’s more than simply the month that kicks off clearance sales at Movenpick Wine. (Check out the marked down Albarino. Beautiful stuff.)
No, what makes June terribly important is the annual village festival. And your loyal Happy Valley correspondent is proud to say that this year, the entire family attended the festivities.
I’ve said before that no one does festivals like the Swiss. Seriously. And that plays itself out, even in tiny Happy Valley. Everything is perfectly organized. There’s delightful, locally sourced food. The day is capped by a rousing pétanque tournament. And best of all: there’s great entertainment.
Now, I know that each village festival has its own entertainment specificities. I had thought until now that in our village, this was limited to the local kids singing our official village song. (It’s a French standard with the original lyrics localized. Actually quite cute.)
But no. In fact our entertainment goes well beyond a few sing songs.
Lucky devils that we are, your loyal correspondent’s village fête also features a live demonstration, put on repeatedly through the day, by the village fire department.
So what, you say?
Well, how about a live demonstration by the village fire department, breathlessly narrated by one of its members, that includes a simulation of an actual fire, with the apparent use of all of the village’s firefighting machines, as well as its entire personnel?
Still not special enough?
Ok. Then how about all of the excitement listed above, PLUS the simulated torching of a battered Opel, as well as the pulling out of a simulated body from said car?
Pretty cool, no?
And this is more than just entertainment. It’s also educational. That’s because we learned exactly how the local team operates should there be an emergency vehicle situation.
For example, it’s worth knowing that when there’s a car in flames in our village, before anyone does anything, like, say, putting out the fire, the fire department first must drive by the car, slowly, to see if they can figure out what kind of engine the vehicle has.
Yessir. And so you can well imagine a little red Kangoo van repeatedly driving in slow motion past a flaming car while the driver and his team-mate try to figure out (and then agree on) what pump, if any, it uses at the local SOCAR station.
In our simulation, luckily the guys in the Kangoo eventually figured it out, and seemed to agree on the answer, as after a few minutes they descended on the car with hoses — real water used here — and pulled a fake body, presumably meant to be still alive, out from the front seat of what in real would probably by now be a fully cindered Opel.
The key take out here, dear reader?
In the greater Lausanne area, if you want to have any chance of surviving a car fire, consider spray painting your engine type in great big capital letters, ideally with glow in the dark paint, on all sides of your vehicle.
It might save your life.
And if it’s not already passed, do as well make sure to go to your local festival. You’ll be able to share a glass with your neighbours, hear some nice music — and potentially learn something new.
By The Happy Valley Correspondent