Every year in the Spring there is a Book and Wine Festival at Saumur. We have not as yet taken part but this year it was held in the newly renovated theatre. Several authors are present and for an entrance fee you can talk to them and look at their books.
There was great excitement this year because the actor Gerard Depardieu had been invited following the launch of his autobiography. We happened to be having lunch in Saumur and arrived at the theatre when he had just finished making a speech from the top of the steps. He then walked down the steps towards us, apparently heading for a boat downstream later on. He was leaning heavily on two men – whether for protection or support we don’t know. He is no stranger to the Loire valley, owning the Tigne Chateau in the Layon Valley.
The topic of his visit was raised at the weaving class. Everyone had their own story – a certain restaurant he visits regularly, kilo steaks and litres of wine consumed, the time ‘I gave him an ashtray!’, opinions about his move to Russia. A larger than life character in every respect.