Monday, November 16, 2015

There are times ...

A national state of emergency in place and three days of national mourning. The village children hoped that school would be cancelled. It wasn't. To show his disappointment the annoying little tike that lives at the crossroads does his trick of rattling a stick against the metal bars on the gate. The rat-tat-tat noise causes the PON duo to howl. The little tike, delighted with the hullabaloo he's caused, skips down the lane dragging his satchel behind him.

Monsieur Bay and two of his colleagues from the retired gendarmes association are on duty to ensure that the 7.15 , 7.30 and 7.40 school buses collect their passengers without mishap. Cynics might wonder what use octogenarian gendarmes would be in an emergency . This misses the point. In French villages there are times when everyone does their duty - and wears their medals.

As we return from our walk we find the mayor clambering on top of a chair . He can't fly the flag outside the town hall at half mast so he's furling it with black crepe ribbon. Monsieur Bay is doing his bit to help by steadying the chair.

There is much for the Anglo-Saxon to find annoying about France but at moments like this there is much to love.

Just another Monday morning in deepest, deepest France profonde.


WFT Nobby said...

Well done those medal-wearing octogenarians. They know a thing or two about protecting their community.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your blog each morning for years here in rural New Hampshire. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, from mourning to the joy of bringing your PON babies home.
On a personal note, there are things that you alone will never forget. After 9/11 the airspace was shut down for days & the silence was deafening and frightening: just birdsong. I was so unused to the silence of the ambient noise that it panicked me. It was both beautiful and horrible.
My daughter and her husband were working in Boston the day of the Marathon Bombings. My daughter "sheltered in place" at her office in the financial district seeing the catastrophe through high rise windows and my SIL, a director for the MBTA, was on the job 24/7. A mother's nightmare. The next year both of them were proud to run the Marathon, Boston Strong.
Sending my prayers to you, Angus, and "the Font", Sophie and Bob.
Pam in NH

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

There is great comfort in community. Especially at times like this.

Anonymous said...

All we are hearing on the news here, is as expected, stories of the horrific events in Paris and the stories of survival. Reading what is happening in your village has provided a tender rare glimpse into the "other side" of those events. I'm glad all is well in your village. (Kim, Life at Golden Pines)

Coppa's girl said...

The sight of familiar faces in the village must be more reassuring than ever at the moment. A sign that life will go on as normal, in spite of those horrific events.
Bob, as ever, is stalwart, and such a handsome chap. Sophie's nose looks as though it has had an extra application of Cherry Blossom, and she seems to be having an exceptionally good hair day.

MLou said...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." The thought of the senior gendarmes helping shepherd the little ones is very touching. Have you read the story of the small town in Newfoundland that played host to the planes grounded during 9/11?

Jean said...

The tentacles of the horror in Paris extend a long way, families here in the Back of beyond having lost young people who went to a concert in
Paris, never to return home. Sadness clouds the skies but community makes us strong.
My heart goes out to all those who have lost friends and family for no good reason. All terrorist groups eventually fizzle out. They are irrelevant in the great scheme of things, cowards the lot of them. It's the everyday lives of ordinary people that prevail, that keep us going and bring a sense of reality, normality and sanity.

BaileyBobSouthernDog said...

In the first picture Bob and Sophie are doing a great job of guarding the front door, while still appearing casual. In the last picture, they are still in guard mode beside the car, however a case could be made that appearing casual has turned in to laying down on the job! But, they are still awake and doing their part.