Sunday, January 11, 2015
Ending the week with a song.
The PON's in fine form. Sophie's nose a miracle of glistening wetness. Bob sniffs the hellebore leaves.
The Very Old Farmer has had a bad 'turn' but after breakfast he can be seen shuffling zimmer frame slowly across to his wife's grave in the churchyard. He sits there for an hour talking away. A shared, methodical recital of his weeks activities. Conversation over he shuffles home.
Bob comes with me to the rugby match. Sophie heads off for a power walk round the lake. The power walk turns out to be a bit of a disaster. Sophie is intent on chasing the ducks. The fact that the ducks are on the water doesn't stop her from chasing them.
A strange reflective atmosphere here. It's not so much the terrorism as the fact that the killing of journalists and the massacre in the Jewish supermarket have awakened folk memories of a dark place that has been visited before. A fear of something precious being lost, of history repeating itself.
At the rugby stadium there is communal singing. There is never communal singing - or not of the sort that one would write about. Bob is a little surprised, as is his owner, at this turn of events. A man with an accordion leads the crowd in a rendition of this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWrITUnUElI. Each repetition of the line ' dans le midi de la France ' shouted out in a peculiarly combative way. Not a dry (French) eye in the stadium - emotional reticence in abeyance. An unusual choice of song that may speak volumes about the way the French - or at the least the rugby playing variety in deepest France profonde - see themselves.