Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Never judge a book by its cover.
A pile of hats makes an appearance in the market. €5 each A man with a white FIAT van stands by them staring at the ground while smoking a cigarette. He seems singularly disinterested in his hats or the passing shoppers. Next to the hats a stall selling raspberries. €5 a kilo. The farmers wife behind the table has a line of people wanting in front of her. It's already 20 degrees but she's wearing a cardigan just in case it turns chilly.
Sophie continues to work her way through the terracotta flower pots that line the terrace stairs.
An afternoon spent with the Old Farmer. It's his 83rd birthday. He's off to Lithuania again. Not, as we'd thought, in search of love, but in search of his father. In September 1939 his father left their house in Lille, went to war, and never came home again. The last trace of him was in 1944 in a POW camp in Lithuania . As the Red Army approached the French prisoners were force marched westwards. His father disappeared somewhere along the way. Was he shot , did he die of starvation or did the winter cold finish him off ? The old farmer has found the site of the camp and is going back to see if anyone knows what happened . '' Perhaps someone might remember seeing him ". He's holding a well thumbed photo of a young man in a cavalry officers uniform.
This morning we hear him set off at four. A private , impossible journey into Europe's turbulent past. The best wishes of his two village neighbours go with him. Just shows. You can't judge a book by its cover.