For almost two decades, Francis has illuminated his house and his garden with a thousand lights on the occasion of the Christmas holidays, in Roquefort, near Agen. The comings and goings in front of this magical spectacle do not betray the happiness of night visitors.
At nightfall, the ballet of cars is incessant, rue des Cerisiers, in the town of Roquefort, near Agen (Lot-et-Garonne). “It intensifies around Christmas,” said the owner, Francis Lapeyronnie, with a smile.
At 5:30 p.m., the enchantment opens up to everyone’s gaze and curiosity.
Like a Christmas story
The house and garden of this Lot-et-Garonnais couple are transformed into a gigantic Christmas tale, sparkling with a thousand lights.
At 74, Francis Lapeyronnie was no exception to this spectacle of Christmas lights. “We start by chance. But when you start, you get caught up in the game “, jokes the septuagenarian” you start with one or two patterns, a few garlands and you get caught up in the game “.
He has been making light sets for almost twenty years. A real colorful picture that he embellishes a little more each year. Patterns on the roof of the house. Light garlands in the trees “up to 10 meters high”, in the garden path. Even the swing serves as a support for some light patterns.
With his wife Nicole, he even made a Christmas village in the garden. Father Christmas has a good place there.
Three weeks of installation
It took no less than three weeks of work for this septuagenarian to install this magical setting. “You have to get everything out and get started”, he explains “once gone, it almost goes by itself”. Yet the mission is very thorough. First of all, he must check if the patterns and the fifty or so garlands are working perfectly.
The ladder becomes his best ally for climbing everywhere and fine-tuning this installation. Like every year, the couple renewed some of these illuminations. “There is a budget of 400-500 € additional”, launches this true enthusiast “it is not given”. Moreover, it is difficult to estimate the investment made since it started.
A guest book and candies
Then comes the big night. The one where Francis flips the switch the first night. “You feel a kind of pride when everything starts to flash. We are happy to offer pleasure, ”he smiles. And the magic operates over the amazed visits of each other. In front of their house, the couple made an extension, a sort of Christmas village where one of their sons made plywood figurines. Here again, we find the Père Noël. Then, a small seat was delicately placed next to a table where Nicole does not fail to drop candy for the children who come to have their picture taken in this wonderful setting.
A guestbook collects the impressions and kind words of night visitors. “It is nice to read these messages and beautiful things that we are written,” admits Francis.
A few days before Christmas, the ballet will intensify to take full advantage of it. “D They are on every evening from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we leave them a little longer”. So that everyone can take full advantage of this enchantment. And it is not the “300 € of additional consumption” that the Roquefortais believes will change the situation. The happiness of others makes him happy. This will last until “January 6-7”. There, it will be time to fold everything. About two weeks will be needed for the retiree to undo the clothing of these various light tables and carefully put everything away. And look forward to next year to start again. Like a kind of eternal illuminated pleasure …
like the budget> invested in this passion. Since he started to light up his house, the Roquefortais has devoted a nice budget to it. Once again this year, “400 to 500 €” of purchases were made to renew certain garlands which had reached the end of their life.
In the Agenais
Many people participate in this general wonder through the illuminations. And every year, more and more of them seem to be getting started.
As in Bon-Encontre, in rue Boudon de Saint-Amans.
In the Passage, too, many houses help to draw these occasional light paintings.
In Prayssas, too, some offer pretty light paintings.