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Going to the chapel of love ….

DSCF8702I didn’t celebrate le fete de St Valentin this year.  Actually, I don’t ever celebrate it.  I always understood it was for wannabe lovers to declare their interest (anonymously) by the sending of a card or a gift to the object of their desire.  At school, a post box was positioned in the foyer and we could pay 5p to post a card which would then be delivered on the big day to the classroom of your crush.  You could send as many as you wanted, so some (admitedly including ever-hopeful me) would hedge their bets, all unsigned, the handwriting disguised and finished with a flourishing and mysterious X.  On the day, the cards would be delivered by a crack team of first years and I would affect nonchalance when year after year there was no card in the pile for me.

Clock forward all these decades and Two Brains is my Valentine every day.  Last summer we walked a glorious walk in the Cezallier to a little Chapel, originally built in the 13th century high high on a rocky outcrop looking over the Vallée de la Santoire and the Plateau du Limon.  Battered by the elements it was in a sorry state when in the 19th Century it was entirely rebuilt but houses a bell dating from the mid 1600s and a confessional of similar age and a truly resilient Madonna dating with the original chapel.   And the name of this lovely place – La Chappelle de St Valentine, naturally.

This piece is written in response to The Daily Press challenge to publish a photo demonstrating the Rule of Thirds.  You will find all the other entries here

PS:  The Victorians started another tradition which remained popular until the mid-20th Century.  The Vinegar Card was basically a chance to wittily, waspishly, waggishly and entirely socially acceptably slanderously rebuff, dismiss and humiliate the recipient.  I’m not ashamed to admit that in the past I could have sent one or two ….

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. That’s exactly how I deal with no Valentines cards, simply affect nonchalance!
    Lovely picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 20, 2015
    • Thank you Cam! Glad you like the picture … it is a very special place. As for Valentines – schnooks to em all 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      February 20, 2015
  2. Had I ever received a card I would have been distinctly bothered….that chapel is in a lovely spot.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 20, 2015
    • I actually did receive one when I was a student in Oxford and was scared to go out after dark on my bike for weeks afterward, Helen!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 20, 2015
  3. I still like sending and receiving a Valentine’s card, even if it’s to the person I’ve been with for 27 years! The Auvergnats do these hilltop chapels very well. This one reminds me of the chapel at Chastel-sur-Murat, north of Aurillac, built on a rocky outcrop. I have Auvergne withdrawal symptoms: we haven’t been up there since September 2013. Time for a fix.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 20, 2015
    • I think that’s lovely Nessa! This one is very close to the Chapel at Chastel-sur-Murat which is very special indeed! Do come back soon … I’m sure Cantal is just as much in need of a fix of you and SF as you are of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      February 20, 2015
      • I hope we can get there in late May/early June this year. We do love it so much up there. And we will certainly look out for this chapel. I hadn’t realised that it is close to the one at Chastel-sur-Murat.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 20, 2015
      • It’s in the commune of Segur les Villas just up the D3 from Murat 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        February 20, 2015
  4. Lovely picture–what is happening with the clouds there? And a lovely tale well told also.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2015
    • Funny you should ask that …. I took the picture for the clouds – especially the one that looks like it’s being squeezed out of a tube! Glad you like the story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2015
  5. Love the idea of the “Vinegar card”
    Could have sent many over the years to various gits

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2015
  6. Lovely landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2015
    • Thank you Jane. The landscape here in this forgotten corner of France is quite wonderful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      February 22, 2015
  7. @”Actually, I don’t ever celebrate it.” – same here, babe… 😉 we never celebrate commercial days, but we do celebrate our love daily… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    February 23, 2015
    • Exactly! Love should be celebrated every moment … it’s far too precious to be cheapened by corporate 🙂

      Like

      February 23, 2015

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