L’Armistice Day Novembre 11th

Remembrance Day always at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which is recognised when hostilities of World War I ended on that date in 1918 not to be mistaken with Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday nearest to 11th) in the UK and across the commonwealth when it is officially commemorated with parades church service and the laying of wreaths. I first recall watching it as a small girl with my grandma Polly the day after we watched on TV the Festival of Remembrance in the Albert Hall. Both of which did and still do bring a sense of pride for our soldiers that survived and the victims that suffered loss of limbs and tears as we watched then after she died I’d watch with my Mam with the same effects and for the past 14 years I have marched with my son and daughter as part of the Scouts, Cubs and Guide movement as a parent and Scouting  assistant leader for 6 years of it, 4 year as a member of public alongside the Scouting movement with my old troop, 3 years supporting my partners daughter parade in the ATC…

IMG_0567.JPG & this year stood on my feet behind the sofa in my French Gite we are renting, that was Rememberance Sunday more on what happened 11/11/16 later.

Armistice of Compiègne as its also known after the location ( somewhere nord of Paris) in which it was signed was signed there that day that morning in that hour of 1918 in Paris time.

The First World War officially ended with the signing of the treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

Forget but don’t forget the Forget-Me-Knots from yesterdays post and remember, but forget the Poppy for remembrance day, Ici dans France, we commemorate in a sombre tone with the help/use of the Cornflower called Le Bleuet.

Like we do with the Commonwealth of Nations and the Poppy. And in the same way the fields during the Great War were filled with the blue flowers in Flanders, the Somme and Picardy.

As we know the British Legion makes various flowers and collects donations from the sales of the red paper poppy in the same way, the origin of Le Bleuet as a badge dates back to 1916 when a widow of a colonial Captain, Suzanne Lenhardt a senior nurse at Hôtel des Invalides and Charlotte Malleterre the sœur of Général Gustave Léon Niox et la femme of Général Gabriel Malleterre witnessed first hand the suffering of the maimed and mutilated they started workshop so the wounded soldiers could make a small income and have and activity from the tissue made flowers that were sold to the public at various times. It was proposed as the eternal symbol of ‘those that died for France’ in 1921  and recognised by FIDAC ( Federation Interalliee des Anciens Combattants) In 1928 the French President gave his patronage and the sales of le Bleuet gradually spread across the country and by the time it was made official by the French Government in 1935 128,000 flowers were now sold.

It not recognised or so well supported as it is in Britain but sales are improving. in 2013 sales of flowers raised €1,120,000 – one of the best ever results, though not comparable to the €50million or so raised by the British Legion’s poppies.

Most of its income usually comes from collections on November 11 which is a fixed public holiday.And now is run on behalf of the Office National des Anciens Combattants et Victimes de Guerre and supports families of service-people or police officers who died or were injured in service, as well as victims of terrorism. Going back to its root as to why the campaign was started.  It is also available for sale on 8th May.

I did lost of research to find out where and what happened in France and if we could manage to get to see something, we did our two minutes silence in the car, and tried to get to the service inthe city  of Toulouse straight from collecting the girls at the Blangnac Airport.

Sadly due to route barree (road closure) for the event and a lack of knowledge of the city and the battery dying in the Garmin GPS and no data on our phones we gave up walking and looking at 12:20 figuring what ever was happening we had missed and stopped for a quick coffee.

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or the Liver birds? Not a Costa in sight! Mais we would have loved a bigger full mug!

We continued on after coffee, everyone still disputing over which direction was correct, and a few more streets on,  passing medal and Bleuet wearing veterans as we explored, we arrived. These photos from the news online as an example.

Everything was being packed away but better late than never.

 

In two of the collective of Gites where we are staying one is called Coquelicot (Poppy) and another is called Bleuet.

More on the other Bleuets to follow…

 

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Sunday Lunner ***

So the day started early with our first trip (not bad waiting for 4.5 semaines) to the local Boulangerie 9.1 km away as we had Martins daughter (who was still in bed) visiting for 46 hrs. And he wanted to give her a ‘french breakfast’  a treat as we all know it, it’s called le petit déjeuner ( little lunch). We drove about a few different streets till we trouver it. We had heard the storied about the this lady how she looks after her regulars but not letting strangers come in the shop and buy more than their ‘fair allowance’ of wares, She delivers in a small van to our hamleau  a couple of times a week, but only what you have  pre-ordered and only if its regular. Upon arrival into the shop same as any other shop you say bonjour Monsieur‘dames and they ‘the customers and assistants’ greet you back in the same way. We stood pondering the glass display of goodies, others came in and we allowed them to pass while we decided, until we got shouted at ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ… before, we would have worried but all was ok when we realised this old lady was deaf. So he bought a selection of pain au chocolat (for Her), pain aux raisins (for Himself) et croissant aux amandes(Pour Moi) and des luxurious ‘Buerre’ straight croissant.

 A grand Flute (for him and Lunner).

We had been waiting to see some brocante & troc/truc (second-hand markets). We had visited the previous week to a shop that was froid, damp et smelly, the old guy in the corner puffing on his Gauloise tabac certainly did not enrich the experience but I least I knew I was in France. So the day had come that the Carmeau Ecole Vide Grenier (which mean Empty Loft – that’s right a bootsale! Everyones old S*** and thats exactly what is was held in the school yard on tables, no Car boots and not what we had been hoping for… although Martins daughter did manage to get two handbags out of her dad.

Disappointed Martin said lets see if ADAM BROCANTE is open (bear in mind its Sunday or any other day it seems are non trading day or hours) it a sign post on the main road we had seen several times somewhere on out route home. So I drove cautiously reading every small road sign on the right (that is all I could recall) Martin was sat in the back. Eventually we found it and I turned in the road, over the simple railway crossing and we ended up in some guy (I guess he may be called Adam)’s backyard, I hesitated and backed up the single mud track. Martin jumped out to investigate or peut-etre more explore. He disappeared behind the bushes then came back and waved us out! Sunday at 12:00 – Lunch waits for nothing how roode of us. The man came out half-dressed in his vest reeking of yesterdays booze and tabac but proceeded in amongst chewing and popping back and forth in his house I guess to finish his meal to spread out his ware that blocked the entrances to his out buildings more shed than outbuildings he was very pleasant. We mooched and Martin rooted in the corners with his iTorch. I like to watch a programme called Money for Nothing, or maybe it was Bargain Hunt or some other but I had recently seen what I though was something similar to this porcelin-water and on the programme there was what looked like damage around the tap, anyway it turned out to be crusties and grott like limescale and dirt which cleaned up nice and made some dollar!  So whilst Martin was scrabbling through everything not in the foreground, I decided to make some french conversation to deviate away from the awkward standing and looking uncomfortable.

So as I had a quick rummage I saw a couple of these simple enameled white with blue like Nana’s apple pie plate or Mam’s rice pudding tin (the one with the seule yaune fleur) and I

said “qu’Est-ce que c’est” as I picked it up and showed it to Adam…

“c’est compliqué “he replied I laughed and showed more interest
“c’est médical” he claimed… I leaned in further intrigued 

The international language of hand signals and pointing along with some words I didn’t manage to catch, got him pointing and playing charades with the Jug in one hand the imaginary water into the jug flowing through the equally invisible pipe that led from the raised jug into his bottom! It’s an enema or vagina douche I realised followed by laughter blushes from me and “Elle comprends” with equal laughter from him.

A drive by via Plan de l’eau Roucarie, up to La Mayrie – click here  the latest house which has some interest we saw it earlier in the week with a Gorgeous ( Said Liza Tarbuck style) young agent From Century21 s’appelle lui-même Aurelie

Back home they took a bonding session walk with Fidget while I was preparing dinner but the rain came so it only lasted dix minutes or so and they were back.

Menu

Rosemary et Garlic Baked Camembert

avec Flute & Plums

Beouf bourguignon avec des quenllese de baguettes (Encore!)

  Also with buttered green beans (Again!)

Tarte Tatin avec glace à la vanille

 Castaway & Mamma Mia DVD were chosen

>>> Bed…

need to get up early again to get back to the airport.

Au revoir.

*** A late lunch and early dinner like brunch… is there an offical name for it ?

La Toussaint -All Saints day

Many Christians remember the lives of their mort relatives and all the saints on this day 1st November (Fixed). They visit special church services, place Fleurs on family graves. Here in France, it is also a popular period for a short autumn vacances to visit or be close to famille members.

The streets have been lined with flowers for sale at the florists. Chrysanthemums are an important symbol of grief and funerals and can be seen in abundance. Hence, they are often laid on graves, turns out they are for this day NOT to for giving as gifts.

I walked along with the dog ‘Fidget’ this evening to the local church and its tiny cemetery to see for myself, they are well-kept places although I did have a bit of a chuckle at the small collection of empty laundry liquid bouteilles et other plastic bottles disregarded but for communal use to top up the flowers and plants with eau.  Wish I’d taken that photo now! However, I was being discreet incase it was disrespectful.  I’m told, inside this dull appearance church, its beautiful, and a surprise. Peut-Etre I’ll be brave and venture in some day when the doors are open.

 

For those of you that know her I hope you are wearing your Tena Pants…

So I’m doing my daily post in a rush to get to do my weekly Skype with my mama and when the video camera lights up my screen she is sat in her front room waiting for me to video call her and this is the vision I had… I nearly pee’d my pants with laughter! Mad Mama Mary I think I’ll call her from now on. Don’t you just love her?! Good job I didn’t take too long she would have been passed out from the heat and lack of oxygen.

Casper the friendly Ghost or Ghost buster? Coming out of the toilet?

However she still has amazing eyebrows… x

Sauveterre de Rouergue meets Kentwell Hall’s great unwashed!

Ici nous avons acheté et mangé a newspaper cone of 2€50 of handroasted chestnuts, in the smaller photos (click on them to enlarge) vous can see le feux being prepared for the Association La Fête de la Châtaigne et du Cidre Doux Sauveterre de Rouergue more mass-produced roasted Châtaigne. In the bingo style roasting cages you can see the rest stacked up waiting for the crowds with cinq plus feu, served in a cardboard pop up chip cup sadly I didn’t ask le prix.

As we were leaving we saw this barrel arrive on the trailer (the French do love a trailer) the Guy hammering in the tap, So I said to Martin shall we buy a bottle (as I was driving) and test it tonight and if its good we can by some more tomorrow, he said no, lets just buy un verre, in case we don’t like it… so he bought one for himself…turns out it was jus de pomme ( and very nice it was too) disappointingly for Martin not cidre (pomme doux) as the name of the fête suggested so I drank the plastic cup as Martin does not like apple or apple juice but he likes apple pie/tarte/crumble and cidre… funny that dont you think? Lets hope the pommes doux has arrived by the time the real fête on Dimanche 30 octobre gets under way.

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The artisans were all flogging their wares, handcrafted clothes, soaps, jewelry, hair braids, chimes made from empty glass bottles with the bottoms chopped off.

Drummers drumming, extremely relaxed men :-s and women, banging their own portable drums in an echo fashion, coming and going in the tents, passers-by having a petit danse, under the table of the crowded alfresco diners of the great unwashed, was an Albino Dog sleeping as I left so I couldn’t get a photo.

http://www.softr2rootsergue.com/ is the music festival that was on the built stage Friday & Saturday.

On a separate note but as I took the photo in the square floating in the air above the buildings which are about 5 levels but not quite into the beautiful blue ciel, see below a mass of cobwebs, also the hedgerows had them blowing into the road like ribbons. Amazing amounts of web confirming the dense population of spiders one sort or the other and that you are always within 3 feet of a spider!

HabiTarn – Language knowledge

So we got up early on 21 Octobre (remember we are an hour in front here and less daylight I think) to travel down to Albi Expo Parc SSW of Albi centre for an exhibition which was a cross between a Place in the Sun Exhibition, the French House Exhibition & The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show not quite the ideal home exhibition. We decided to go to ‘hit’ the ‘immoblieres‘ in one place in one day without having to trawl the towns cities and arrondissements seeking out the shop fronts, that hide in the strangest of places, some of which only do city and modern houses.

The exhibition boasts neuf agents immobiers,  in two halls spread out in 180 other vendors.

Anyway we walked the halls looking at roofing, air con, sofa extending tables, piscines, insulation, heating systems, solar everything,  gates, ride on lawn mowers, tools, ferriers windows & wood burning fires and stoves amongst other things. We went on the Friday the first day to avoid the rush that may have been on the Sat & Sun and miss any ‘ideal’ houses for sale. atone of the stalls we meet and agent who we had already exchanged details with in her office in Albi. I spotted her as she turned around to pick up a pamphlet for the couple she was serving as we had started talking to her colleague,  she remembered who we were and what exactly were our requirements which both shocked and impressed us. The reason for this surprise of ours is that we never seem to get any follow-up with marketing touches like you do in england with the British agents, so we tried in our Fraglish to stop and explain to her collegue that we had already registered…. NO they don’t put you on a central database or pass on your details to other agents in other areas as they are all independent and if they dont sell they dont get paid that’s how come they get such a commission.

Language – we have learned so many words to do with houses buildings and their features its great but it’s also embarrassing as we can real them off with the correct pronunciation trouble is you sound like you know  the language and they reply back at you with full speed and local accents thrown in for good measure and we look back at them like we don’t even recognise the language… which sometimes we just dont!

I’ve just done a quick count of business cards – vingt quatre and that just the ones I organised. They  claim they are all so busy we have to wait a week for an appointment viewing yet they say the market is quiet… hmm closed on Sundays all day and Monday mornings, some of them all day and some halfday Wednesday and Saturday and every working day has the two-hour lunch… you got to love it!