Friday, 22 June 2007

Every picture tells a story

After all that hype about my French holiday pictures and snippets, I only have the technical expertise and time to post a soupçon. Here is a view of the bourg at the heart of the commune in the department of Calvados in lower Normandy where we once lived, and to which we return each year if we can. It is a hilly area, just into the Bocage, and wonderful for long walks and beautiful views. Life really does seem to have stood still, and you can see that the homes of many are quite basic.

The gîte where we stay, high up above the village...


...and here is the road down to it. Note the washing hanging up in the hut on the right.

One of the first sights after the church (where I used to play the organ - actually a harmonium - for Messe) is the bar, taken over in the last year by Mlle Lemoin, featured in the picture below.

There's also a bar in the next village, fifty minutes walk away. Nothing like a nice cafe Calva mid morning to help us on our way back!

Talking of Calvados (the drink that is - distilled from cider in many Normandy homes), here are M & Mme Marie, our former neighbours, entertaining us in the afternoon with coffee, biscuits, Calva (off the scale in alcohol percentage) and whisky.

Sunday was election day, and the Mayor (yes Roy, not chairman) who was our builder let me in for a sneak view. There he is sitting on the right, ready to kiss and shake hands with all who arrive. Not quite like telling in the Guildhall! Note the glass ballot box on the immediate front left of the voter, showing all the votes. Quite spooky.

Back to the neighbours, another, Mme Marie (no relation), whose Normandy patois challenges Mrs F's rusty French.

That's all for now folks. Maybe some more bits another day, if something local doesn't stop the press.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's so lovely to see that despite no longer living amoungst these people, the continentals are still as hospitable as ever. That's what makes them so different in many ways to the Brits.

MLLE ANON said...

Normandy looks like a pretty miserable place...but who is that GORGEOUS BLOKE in the cafe dressed in white?!?!?!? I know where I'll be booking my holidays next summer!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon:
I myself am a Brit who has spent much time on the continent and I don't approve of your comments. They are not only wildly inaccurate, but also racist.
Firstly, not all "continentals" (a politically incorrect label in itself) are as welcoming as you describe. I have been spat on and asked to perform indecent acts in varying places. Secondly, I don't know which Brits you've been spending time with but although at first shy, I have always found my British neighbours most kind and hospitable. Perhaps it would be wise to think with a more open mind before posting offensive comments anon.

21st Century Mummy said...

Normandy is such a lovely place, we try and visit our extended family over there about once a year. People are always welcoming and are most patient with my cumbersome French.