Saturday, 29 November 2014

A rather special November

November 2014 was rather special being the 100th commemoration of the outbreak of WW1. The French are extremely aware of the massive loss of life including hundreds from the local community whose names are carved on the monument in the centre of Chatillon.

The firemen, mayor and other local officials are in attendance along with the local band, school children and local people.

Some of the English living in and around Chatillon always endeavour to make a contribution to local life and events. For the past five years I and Chris, have on the 11th November, laid a poppy wreath at the memorial in recognition of both the many British and Commonwealth soldiers who fell in the war and in solidarity with the 1,357,000 French soldiers who died in WW1. Our many French friends and the community as a whole greatly appreciate this small gesture and 2014 had of course special significance.

The red poppy is a contrast to the blue cornflowers in the French wreaths

Following the laying of the various wreaths the mayor invites everyone who has attended to the local town hall for a vin d'honneur, a glass of wine and the local pastry cake. Following the vin d'honneur we join the Ancient Combatants for the remembrance lunch. It is indeed a privilege to be accepted as an integral part of the community on this and other occasions throughout the year. 

Students from the local high school read the citation.
2014 has been another busy year at Les Deux Platanes and we have enjoyed welcoming the many guests to our cottage. The weather in August was not up to its usual standard but in general the French summer, in this central part of France, for the most part was warm and dry. 

This photo taken late October on the cottage terrace and still warm during the day