Friends & Family
Just across the
field that were parked in theres a huge tent which holds, apart
from the fattest lady Ive ever seen, several other people, three
magnificent alsatians, an obscure sort of black and white dog and a litter of
alsatian pups. Judging from their condition and obedience (the dogs... idiot!)
they are show dogs and the people breeders. Im telling you this 'cos a
fluffy little thing that passes for a dog, from another tent, went bouncing
across the field towards the alsatians tent full of confidence and
curiosity. The three alsatians simply stood up and barked. Youve never
seen a dog lose its curiosity so fast in all your life - it was going into
reverse almost before it could turn around. It went into its own tent so
fast it must have gone clean through the other side or straight up the tent
pole - anyway, it hasnt been seen since.
is parked under two enormous willow trees in a lovely, shady spot. On the trees
are some birds Ive never seen before, some sort of tree-creeper 'cos they
zip up and down the bark as if they were on elastic, sometimes travelling
upside down on the branches to feed off something in the bark itself. They look
a little like sparrows, but with more flecks of white.
Just tuned in
to the world service to find out whats happening on the ferry front...
what could be more English than sitting in a field, under a willow tree,
listening to John Arlot! Its a little difficult to equate with the eglise
St.Marianne directly in my line of vision. What my sketch doesnt show and
should really if I wasnt so lazy, is that this church is on top of a
hill, the highest point around.
absolutely nothing at all, the bridge in the town was built by the American
Fifth Division as a memorial to those who lost their lives establishing a
bridgehead across the Meuse in WW11. Just as in WW1, Dun-sur-Meuse got hammered
again in WW11 and the fact that the church of St.Marianne still stands is a
tribute to absolutely no one at all. The fact that anything still stands
in this part of the world is perhaps a tribute to mans tenacity rather
more than his common sense.
church of St.Marianne at Dun-sur-Meuse
Met the fat
lady with the alsation puppies, theyre great (the pups... fools!) She
really is gianormous, if she fell on you thered only be a strawberry jam
stain to mark the spot. They all come from Dijon and they do breed alsations -
see, toldy so.
its a burden being so clever. Whoops! a wasp. You know fag packets carry
the warning smoking can damage your health? Well, in the
wasps case its positively fatal cos Maggies killed
undreds wiv er little fag packet; shes just about the
deadliest killing machine around with her Gallaghers Silk Cut patent wasp
crusher. A bit worrying actually cos she does it with such evident
enjoyment - must remember not to hang around the windows.
To re-cap a
moment; Ive just worked out why, probably, I didnt like the
cathedral at Lausanne as much as I might have expected to...I think it was
because it was so clean.
its magnificent, but in their obsession with cleanliness they have
sand-blasted the surfaces and removed not only the patina of age, but also the
800 years of worship that was imprinted into the stone. I believe, you see,
that everything that happens is absorbed into the fabric of our surroundings,
the stones, the walls etc. Which could explain why some houses are warm,
friendly and welcoming, because they have absorbed only largely happy
experiences, just as others are cold, hostile and unfriendly for the opposite
reasons. Ultimately a church has an atmosphere of sanctity and peace because of
the centuries of worship that is imprinted into its walls. And this despite the
peccadilloes and transgressions of the clergy and their particular hypocrisy -
its the worship of the people that has been taken in and which, in turn,
is given out. In Lausanne they have scoured this out of the stone and the
building is left just that, a building, its aura sand-blasted away.
never going to believe this, but the people in the tent next door have brought
their hens with them! Ive heard of liking fresh eggs, but this is
ridiculous. Alright, so the people with the alsations have got a bale of straw,
thats no reason to bring the whole bloody farmyard!
bridge ("Le pont de Jambes") and castle at Namur
Ever had that feeling its Thursday so, it must
have been Belgium? Yesterday was a WOW! of a day: left Dun-sur-Meuse
(about forty kilometres from the Belgium border) at 8am, crossed into Belgium
at 9am, had a look around Buollion - beautiful town with a magnificent castle,
cashed some money and then hit the road again. Dinat (fabulous place), Namur
(even more so), skirted Brussels, Ghent and into Ostend at 4.15pm. Drove on to
ferry at 5.15pm, arrived in England 9.30pm. Back home, after fish & chips,
via what felt like 200 miles of the South Circular Road, at 3.15 am! Three
countries and the English Channel in nineteen hours... bloody