65th Anniversary D-Day celebrations

A whole weekend of celebrations for the 65th Anniversary of D-Day is underway; and this lunchtime reached us here a good 3/4 hour from the nearest landing beaches. Wave upon wave of military planes banked and turned over us heading to the parachute drop at St. Mere-Eglise.

They appeared from the west – over the Channel Islands and the West Cotentin coast

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they banked and turned

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coming so close

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then away south east towards St. Mere-Eglise

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then they were back again

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more and more

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circling and banking for about an hour

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even the dogs next door were trying to see what was happening

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Bob and Marjory

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Fete des voisins (neighbour’s festival)

Today, apart from Pentecost, is the festival of neighbours. It’s a holiday weekend here – tomorrow is a jour ferie ( bank holiday)” lundi de pentecote” (what used to be in England, Whit Monday). I remember from my childhood in Yorkshire the whitmonday walks (a walking race round the West Riding, as it was then, of Yorkshire). Also, the “beating of the bounds” – traditionally a walk around the boundary of the parish to mark where these boundaries are (accompanied at times by the beating of the chorister at the four points (compass) of the parish).

Strange customs these English have!?!

Links with “John o’the green” and other May and early summer rites. But then the French are the same – for a supposedly secular society they still celebrate many religious festivals.

However – back to the fetes des voisins. In an increasingly divergent and secular society, the government here, like the English government, have decided to encourage community action and neighbourhood events.

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For the neighbour’s festival we organised a barbecue with our neighbours, and invited friends both French and English. We began at 1200 and finished at 1800. Tomorrow we recover, perhaps !?!

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Look out for news of upcoming events in and around the area.

Bob and Marjory

St. George

How did you celebrate St. George?

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The highlight of Les Pieux’s celebration last weekend appears to have been a Lotto (Bingo) session!! a far cry from last year’s national box-cart competition. Though there does appear to be a big event happening this weekend at the Centre d’Hippique – temporary stabling set up in the municipal fields below below the Equestrian Centre, and horse boxes of all shapes and sizes arriving over the past few days. Have a look at the Centre website for what’s happening later in the season – http://pagesperso-orange.fr/equitation.lespieux/topic/index.html

Meanwhile the commune of St-Georges-de-la-Riviere (just south of Barneville-Carteret) celebrates its patronal festival this coming Sunday with a sung mass in the Church, followed by a “Vin D’Honneur”; and then in the afternoon various cycling events for all the family.

cyclist

For me ? the best I can do for the moment is a glass of English beer !!

english-beer

Bob

What a week!!

Just over a week since we arrived back from England, and what a week it’s been.

The weather is glorious, so the grass and the hedges are growing apace – we’ve spent a day starting the first major grass-cutting of the year.

cut-grass

The Club des Aines had its assembly (AGM) last week; which is a full day out starting with the meeting and elections, then lunch at a restaurant for all members, which went on till almost 5 o’clock. Add to that I was pressurised into joining the bureau (committee), so had to return the following morning for the first meeting for election of officers, and planning for a day’s activities in May and a day out to St. Malo in June.

stmalo

Saturday  we had a delivery of wood for the fire (ordered over a month ago), so began work sorting and stacking that. Then the evening was the “Premier Samedi-Gras” in Surtainville, where we went for a dinner dance/ fancy dress ball. We feasted on chou-croute and danced into the early hours, followed by a night-cap with friends. (I thought it was mardi-gras before lent, though I suppose there is some justification for not counting Saturday evening into Sunday as part of the season of abstinence!!)

Sunday was the open-day to start Jacqueline’s exhibition at Flamanville (see the preceding post), so after a lie-in and some work in our own garden, we were away there.

Monday/Tuesday making the most of the weather stacking wood, pruning and cutting bushes, cutting grass.

And the enquiries for holidays beginning to come in; and beginning to prepare work for an english experience for French schoolchildren (including today booking Fish and ships (chips, I think) in St. Helier for a one-day visit there.

fish-and-chips

Looks like it’s going to be a busy summer. And the best is, we’ve been told that as it’s been such a hard winter, we are to expect a glorious summer!

Bob and Marjory

Local artist has new exhibition

Pierreville, by Jacqueline Klocke

Pierreville, by Jacqueline Klocke

We mentioned last year the exhibition by three local artists at Pierreville. One of these, Jacqueline Klocke, now has her own exhibition at Flamanville.

Her medium is for the most part water colour, and her subject has been for the main landscapes. She has added figures of family and friends, as in “the Chasse at Surtainville”,

On the Chasse

On the Chasse

and with “Open day at Pierreville Manoir”.

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She is also experimenting with still life and flowers,

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and with paintings commissioned from where she has holidayed, as in “St Marco for Claude”

St Marco for Claude

St Marco for Claude

We have some of her paintings on our walls; Marjory prefers the floral studies, I much prefer the landscapes. An artist well worth keeping an eye on, and a person we are proud to count as a friend.

Bob

Events in Pierreville

Following on from the very successful exposition by four local artists on the 26th and 27th April; which incidentally was accompanied by porte ouvert (open door) at the local market gardeners and at the depot de vins; we have 2 events posted up for May/June so far.

25th May is Fete de Meres (Mother’s Day) in France. Pierreville celebrates with an invitation from the Mayor and Council for all mothers from the commune to a vin d’honneur at the Mairie.

1st June the Tour du Pays Cotentin passes through Pierreville on the RD66 in the direction from Bricquebec to Surtainville between 0900 and 1000hrs.

 

Click into Pierreville’s blog for details of these and other events happening in this commune. Also Surtainville, Barneville, Les Pieux and others for details of the summer seasons’ events.

Bob and Marjory.