In the late afternoon a small ceremony by the war memorial. The centenary of the Battle of the Frontiers - the bloodiest day in French history. 27,000 dead. Most local farm boys. Five of them villagers. The mayors great uncle is the first name on the memorial. The Old Farmers great uncles name is second.
In the evening the Fete de la Liberation. A commemoration of another war but a happier event. The mayor reads out a speech about how the village liberated itself from oppression. "Se liberer" a concept difficult for Anglo-Saxons to comprehend. The lady in the purple hat sings a verse of the Marseillaise.
A screen is set up by the graveyard wall to show a light comedy about a Parisian family coming to live in the countryside. Barbecues smoke away on the village green, Jack Russell's run riot. Bob and Sophie meet Jacques - the French teachers new black Labrador. Sophie is not impressed. A strong gust of wind blows the screen over. After twenty minutes of trying to get it to stand up again normal service has not been resumed. We, and two disappointed PON's, leave.