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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Forget me nots – November 10th

forget-me-not-day-nov-11

The delicate alpine blue flowers used for many reasons, but the reason that I’m bringing it to your attention is whist looking for information about how the French celebrate or commemorate Armistice Day or Remembrance Day is exactly that…

A blooming flower which is often used a symbol for remembrance.

Created in 1921 to remember returning American Soldiers & of the sacrifices those made of life and limb, National Forget-Me-Not Day originally raised funds for services where there were none.

It was also created as a day to remember and get in touch with friends and family that you do not see on a regular basis, also for:

Grandparents day, that needs no explaining and hopefully does not correspond or double up to the previous sentence!

But I’ll get to the point, it is also the flower and day of Alzheimer’s Remembrance which is kinda cool that just before Remembrance/Poppy day on the 11th November when ‘lest we forget’, we remember both, grandparents and those that have lost the full or partial ability to remember for themselves that disease which only gets worse, and is very painful for those that can remember.

However now I have finally got round to write more about it, I can’t find my original research information. Desperate to get it posted, here it is raw, but to bring awareness, however painful it is to remember, we are non that forget those we treasure now and for always. TOGETHER we support one another, Time heals, but

FORGET WE NOT!

(HUG)

 

 

 

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.