Our rector’s 5 minutes of fame!

For anyone who can read French, and who may be interested, here’s a link to a newspaper report about our Rector, here at Christ Church, Clermont Ferrand.

Sorry, I’m not doing a translation for you!

 

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Oh, how true!

Last night, I had Bib either taking up most of my pillow, or licking/nibbling my ear so I’d lift the covers to let her in (why can’t she go in by herself?!), Millie sprawled between my feet, and Jasper was taking up more than his fair share of the Napping Quarters on Mr FD’s side of the bed. Only Pomme was absent, and that’s because she’s less and less inclined to climb stairs now. Bless them!

But we know that they would always come to our aid, should we need them!

Yeah,right….

Pages of the Sea 1918-2018

I know I’ve already posted one Remembrance Day post but I thought that there might be overseas readers – and some UK readers too – who might be interested to read more about one particular act of rememebrance taking place today – or rather series of acts of remembrance.

The film director Danny Boyle has created a series of events around Britain called “Pages of the Sea”. On 32 beaches, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, images of 32 ordinary, and not-so-ordinary, people who were casualties of the First World War will be drawn onto the sand, and then the tide will wash these images away.

Boyle says: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide. They seem the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War. I’m inviting people to watch as the faces of the fallen are etched in the sand, and for communities to come together to remember the sacrifices that were made.”

This will be a unique moment to say goodbye and thank you, together, to the millions of men and women who left their shores during the war, many never to return.

For example,this is Driver Stephen Hewitt (25 October 1878 – 30 August 1916) to be commemmorated at Brancaster beach, Norfolk.

Stephen Hewitt was born in Halvergate, Norfolk, to Christina Elizabeth Tower Harper and Isaac Christmas Hewitt. In 1899, aged 20, he married Louisa Caroline Catt.By 1916, Hewitt had joined the Royal Field Artillery as a driver, trained in the management and use of horses. He served in the Salonika campaign as part of a multinational force in the Balkans fighting the Bulgarians and their allies. In the spring of that year, British and other troops advanced from the Greek port of the same name, despite facing the region’s harsh climate and being struck down by diseases such as malaria and dysentery. Another hazard in the hills were these men fought were packs of wolves. Stephen was out riding when he was attacked by such beasts, dying from his wounds

Among the other people to be remembered are

John Basil Armitage, Cheshire Regiment, Age: 41 Date of Death: 17/05/1917 (Formby Beach, near Liverpool)

Kulbir Thapa, 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles Date of Death: 03/10/1956 (Lyme Regis beach)

Richard Davies  Date of Death: 25/03/1917) (Ynyslas beach, Ceredigion)

Dorothy Mary Watson Date of Death: 31/07/1917 (Swansea beach)

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, M.c. Manchester Regiment Date of Death: 04/11/1918 (Folkestone beach) – perhaps one of the “less ordinary” people to be commemmorated, Wilfred Owen wrote some of the most powerful, moving and angry poetry of WW1.

You can find out about all the people to be remembered at the website of Pages of the Sea If you click on each beach, you will find out who is being rememberted, and more about their details. I just picked a few at random.

I think this is a beautifully fleeting way to remember these, and all those others, who have given their lives throughout the ages. Whatever one’s view on war, I still think a pause for thought, for remembrance, for a determination that we will do our part to bring peace to our corner of the world, is never a bad thing.

And Carol Anne Duffy, our Poet Laureate has written a poem full of pity, and anger, and compassion, as powerful as those of the war poets:

The Wound in Time

It is the wound in Time. The century’s tides,
chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Not the war to end all wars; death’s birthing place;
the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
new carnage. But how could you know, brave
as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?
War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.

Carol Ann Duffy, 2018

 Edited to add a link to a You Tube video about the event:

1918 – 2018

Four years ago, when it was Remembrance Day for the commemmoration of the beginning of the First World War, I wrote the following post.

Today, commemmorating the end of the First World War, I am going to duplicate the post. It still sums up what I feel:

PEACE HAS TO BE LEARNED

Apparently that great orator (!) Sylvester Stallone once said:

“I could start a war in 30 seconds. But some countries spend 100 years trying to find peace. Just like good manners, peace has to be learned.
I don’t know if this was in a role for a film, or as Sylvester Stallone, but on today, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, call it what you will, it’s a thought worth thinking about:
Peace has to be learned
And sadly, with its thirst for power – dressed up as patriotism, or as religious fervour, or any other name it is given to justify it – this world (or rather the people within it) needs to learn peace.
I will say no more. I don’t have the skill with words. Many people all over the “blogosphere” will be trying to put into words their thoughts on this portentous day, 100 years after the First World War, the war that was heralded as “the war to end all wars”, but which became the war after which there has never actually been peace throughout the world…
I will simply leave you with this most moving of songs and videos, by the late Clifford T Ward. It is beautiful, and leaves me weeping everytime I listen to it. Please click on the link and take 5 minutes to listen & remember
DAY TO MYSELF
Clifford T Ward
 It’s all so different now
From just a few weeks ago
When April was about to smile on England
And I had to go

So here I am again
Far from where the blackbird sings
And lanes I love to walk along
Lost in my thoughts

And what of you my love
Though you’re so far away
Yet so close to me in all I do and see

And so on my day off
I could have chosen monuments
Historic chateaux, palaces
Or finding ways of improving my French

Instead I wandered out alone
Here where woods and fields abound
And in a quiet corner found the resting place
Of English soldiers killed in war

And what of them my love

Who died so far from home
No last farewell kiss
All that remains is this

It makes me so ashamed to feel alone
Whatever would they think of me
For I shall see my love again

It’s all so different now
From those few years ago
When April smiled so sweetly still
And they had to go

 

 

Cheers in the early(ish) morning.

Every other weekend the youth football team of St Just go off to play an away match. They meet up in the car park opposite our house to car share, so there is always a hiatus while they wait for the last few players to arrive before they set off.

Nine or ten smallish boys need to find a way to entertain themselves while waiting, and their preferred method is to line up next to the road, and wave frantically at the cars that go past. If the driver waves back, this rouses an enormous cheer from the assembled boys. Often there is that mounting roar that is impossible to replicate using words…it starts quiet, gets louder as the climax approaches and then erupts into a cheer (or a groan, if the driver doesn’t respond)

Which is fine – but if they’re travelling some distance they do meet quite early for a Saturday get-up. There were cheers at 8 o’clock this morning….Still, it always makes me smile.

They quite often do the same thing when they get back and are waiting for their parents to arrive and pick them up. I’ll try and get a photo later.

Ow it hurts…

Since Tuesday I’ve had what I think is a trapped nerve in my shoulder. I’ve been taking various painkillers which dull the pain, but don’t take it away, but because it hurts I’m now a bit twisted as I try to relieve it, and other bits of me are starting to hurt too.

A massage from Mr FD and 30 minutes with a TENS machine – and a Diclonofec tablet – helped me sleep for about 6 hours, but then I woke up in pain again. The NHS site suggests seeing a doctor if the pain hasn’t gone after two weeks. Aargh. It might be before that!

It’s not debilitating – unlike lower back pain, which seems to stop you from moving at all! – but it’s there and it hurts!!

Hey-ho.

I was also sick yesterday

– I guess it was something I ate at lunch, as progressively through the afternoon, I felt sicker and sicker. I cancelled my final lesson by phone, and drove home…but on the way, almost 6 hours exactly after lunch, I had to stop the car to vomit. That 6 hours is telling me it was something I ate, and I suspect the culprit was the handful of Mexican Mix (peanuts, corn, little biscuits in a spicy coating) which I bought in Grand Frais, but which weren’t in a sealed pack, but rather scooped out of an open container…they could have been infected by someone else with grubby hands. The other things I had for lunch – cheese and ham sandwich and banana – were all fresh ingredients so very unlikely to have been the cause.

After I got home I sat with a hot water bottle and a lemon-and-ginger tea. When I felt better I had some plain pasta – I needed to eat if I was taking a Diclonofac. I feel fine today, so I am sure it was just a reaction to food.

But I’m still feeling sorry for myself.

Food – and other stuff – in the past week…

It’s been a bit up-and-downy during the past week, food wise. I’ve tried to be sensible and eat well, then every now and then I crack… Luckily, not having biscuits in the house means that the “cracking” is relatively controlled! Though it was hard to contain my delight when I found an “emergency scone” in the freezer! Although technically it was mine, (I’d put 6 in there a while back; Mr FD had his three, but I’d forgotten that I’d only eaten two!) I shared it with Mr FD. Because I’m nice like that!

Highlights this week included last night’s salmon recipe which was delicious! Baked salmon with tomatoes and butternut squashWe didn’t have it with baby salad leaves, but with some sautéed endives, but it was a really good dish. Although it’s a SW recipe, I’d recommend it to anyone who likes salmon!

On Wednesday we had a “do” with the car – the Fiat has been giving us a few problems, but we thought that the garage had fixed the cause.

I was in Roanne shopping, when, outside Lidl, I tried to start it, and there was nothing. All the lights came on, but it wouldn’t start. I phoned Mr FD, who, luckily, wasn’t far away, with our friend Louis – they’d been about to start picking apples at Louis’ family home some 20/30 km from Roanne. So Louis and Mr FD tried to push start the car down a slope – unfortunately I was in the driving seat, and never having push started a car before, I did the wrong things, and it didn’t start. Mr FD contained his annoyance. Louis drove us back home where we picked up the Pug-bus (Peugeot estate) and drove back to Roanne. With Mr FD in the Fiat 500 I towed it back to the Lidl car park (at the top of a slope), then we untied the tow rope and, with a tiny heave from me, Mr FD drove the Fiat down the slope – it started first time!! Huzzah! He drove off around the corner.

As I’d not finished the shopping, we’d planned that I’d go to Carrefour in the Pug-bus to get what I still had to buy. I dithered…I couldn’t face a big hyper-market, so I thought I’d go to the smaller Carrefour Market instead. I had a choice of two ways to go, but for some reason decided to take the least logical – and who should I come across but Mr FD stalled at the traffic lights, right in the middle of rush hour, and blocking the route for everyone else who were just managing to squeeze past by mounting the traffic island…He couldn’t contact me, as he’d left his mobile phone at home (I’ll tell you this for free: had it been the other way round, with me not having my phone, he’d have been right pissed off with me! I didn’t mention it once. Except just now.)

So we re-attached the tow rope, I pulled him round the corner & somehow he started the car again. After that, I wasn’t sure I trusted the Fiat not to stall again, so I abandoned the shopping and followed Mr FD home…

Earlier in the day I’d met up with someone from the Port – she and her husband live on a narrow boat, Out of the Blue, and travel the waterways of France during the summer and over-winter in Roanne – and we’d had a coffee together. It was the first time I’d met Yvonne, and I think we got on quite well. I’m sure we’ll meet up again at some time. I decided to stay and have lunch in the restaurant, so had a cheese omellette, salad and a big plate of chips. So I felt a bit sick from over eating and stress of cars breaking down. Thus when I got home I didn’t want to eat. I defrosted and heated up a curry and naan bread from the freezer for Mr FD, but I just had a couple of crispbreads later on in the evening. There was lots of curry left over so we had it again on Thursday evening, with added chicken & mushrooms, and with rice. It wasn’t very hot – I’m really not very good at judging the right spices to give enough heat to curries! – but it was flavoursome.

I’ve carefully planned next week’s food – however, as always, something will probably happen to change it all…Including not being able to get ingredients or something. I’m shopping (again!) after work on Monday afternoon. That is when I usually shop, but what with forecast snow last Monday, and not many lessons on Wednesday I had changed the day.

Today (writing this on Saturday, scheduling it for Tuesday) we’re having HM pizza for dinner, and tomorrow I’m pulling the wild boar casserole out of the freezer, to have with mash, carrots and green beans. Mr FD is going to be in charge of cooking on Tuesday (Feta stuffed chicken)and on Wednesday (Chinese Pork) and on Thursday (Roast vegetables with feta and pâsta). From next week he’ll be cooking on Friday too, as I’m restarting with my 5 year old student, from 18h- 19h. That’s going to be mostly crafting and colouring while speaking English, but it’s still work.

Of course, it may all be different if – as we hope – Mr FD’s interview goes well. He has an interview on Tuesday afternoon, which sounds like a job right up his street. We keep our fingers crossed.

We hope…