Another May bank holiday. The second of four this month. This time it's the commemoration of the end of WW2. Usually all that happens is the mayor comes along, borrows a ladder and puts out the flags on the war memorial.
This year the new mayor - who is standing for re-election in May and who faces a National Front candidate- decides to hold a ceremony. A dozen or so old combatants show up at five to eleven. They are shepherded into line. The old mayor, resplendent in blazer, grey trousers and his tartan pork pie hat, holds the flag. They then salute ( twice as some of them didn't hear the command the first time it was issued ), lay a wreath, sing the national anthem and then head off to the village hall for a non-socially distanced glass or two of wine. We would have missed the ceremony altogether had it not been for the fact the new mayor had brought along a 'boom box' and a tape of the Marseillaise to help with the singing of the national anthem. The tape has 'stretched' ever so slightly. This generates a stirring but somewhat unusual fast-slow-slow-fast rhythm. Sophie who is keen to see what is going on is 'encouraged' in from her vantage point at the gate.