Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Less is not always more.

Sun just rising the PONs are loaded into the car. This morning Bob is on the right, Sophie on the left. Bob always sits on the left. Our departure is delayed until this issue is resolved. Sophie finally recognizes she's in the wrong place.

We drive to the crossroads, dismount and head down the hill towards the clutch of small lakes. At this time in the morning the preserve of herons, kingfishers and a feisty flock of Bullfinches. Bob and Sophie run on - heads down, rumps up, tails waving. Deer, badgers, foxes and heaven alone knows what else have recently been here. PON heaven.

After an hour owner and dogs ( or perhaps just owner ) are ready to return. We stop off at the cafe in the little market town. The waiter brings a coffee, gets paid and then disappears inside. He reappears wearing a coat and scarf. '' There's a funeral in the church. Sit here for as long as you want " he says before hurrying across the street. A young paratrooper in dress uniform pushes a pram from which his baby daughter throws his kepi. His wife picks it up and dusts it down. They stop in the middle of the street and being French, kiss passionately. Middle aged women in cars drop off ageing fathers wearing medals. ' You go in. I'll find somewhere to park'. A smart couple, she in dark blue suit with red handbag; he in black coat scurry past. '' Do you think it's started ? " . Within five minutes the town has emptied. All the shops shut. A throng of townsfolk scurrying towards the church . A strangely other worldly sight. There can't be many places left where everyone stops what they're doing to say goodbye.This majestic piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynY7Y7_DeBs ,played at full ear-splitting volume on the church organ as the family arrive. The cigarette smokers hurry in.

Sitting alone we listen to the music pound up the steps from the church. I pick up a discarded paper from the next table. An article in Le Figaro about the British Prime Minsters presentation at the latest EU summit. ''Perfect in form and brilliant in style ". A rare thing indeed for an Anglo-Saxon to be praised.

A pair of out of season pilgrims walk through the village. Bob and Sophie greet them.

Another uneventful day with happy dogs. A day of small things not important enough for a diary but too important to go completely unrecorded.


WFT Nobby said...

But what did Le Figaro think of the content of Mr Cameron's speech?

Coppa's girl said...

Are you sure they weren't talking about his suit?

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of the many lonely older folk in the UK who would thrive in such a community.
Long may that spirit continue in France. I wish it were more widespread.

Angus said...

I can remember people lining the streets and doffing their caps for funerals when I was a boy. It still happens on the remoter Scottish islands. As you know deepest deepest France profonde is 50 years behind the UK - that's not always a bad thing.

Angus said...

He fought the UK's corner.

Angus said...

You're right - a compliment to a 'friend from the North' is a rare thing.

WFT Nobby said...

When my father died last year, several residents in the suburban Nottingham street where he had lived for 30 years came out to stand by their gates and pay respects as the hearse drove him his final journey to the parish church. One of the most poignant moments of my life.
Cheers, Gail (who visits this blog as a welcome break from the unfestive task of clearing out the parental home).

Kari said...

No one here cares. Plain and simple. There were no old ways to be lost. Rather sad.