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Posts tagged ‘Chapel’

A freshly fallen, silent shroud of snow

I think I may need to apologise.  I’m sure the prompt ‘Fresh’ is supposed to encourage me to find a perfect picture of Spring but to me it just had to be linked to the line from Paul Simon’s song.  Maybe I’m not quite there in terms of Spring … it tends to be very brief and sudden here, as I noted last April in my post ‘You can cut all the flowers…’  It’s barely marked at all before Summer, in all her verdent green and technicolour splendour, steals centre stage sometime in May.  We get flowers, of course but it isn’t the English Spring I was used to before moving here.  And the snow is still coming at us.  Not much – I admit this picture was taken in the last days of February but it just seems to fit so well … I love the bright relief that fresh snow lends a landscape.

The chapel is called Notre Dame de la Fonte Sainte and sits in the Pays de Gentiane at about 1230 metres.  It is a place of pilgrimige marked by many crosses on the road that leads to it,  almost as though the visitor should crawl on his bare hands and knees, wearing a hair shirt and do the stations of the cross.  We felt much like staggering pilgrims having ascended from St Hippolyte, gotten lost and trudged through over-knee snow.  The Bean was stoic, asking to be put down when Two Brains tried to assist her in the most challenging parts, so that she could snow-snorkel her Olympic finest through the fresh drifts.  A racketer that we met at the high-point was visibly disgusted that we were putting the little creature through this misery and it was only later that we realised the bornes were in fact strategically placed to view the Chapel below from.  Perhaps we should repent – I think that’s what the Catholics who built the place would bid us do but I’m afraid we just laughed and enjoyed the moment.  And the view of this little gem sitting in her fresh white heaven was surely worthy of every taxing step even though we had shunned the carefully sculpted viewpoints …..


PS: The song is ‘I am a Rock’ and, like the voice of those lyrics, I seem to be rather wanting to wall myself in more than usual at the moment but I would like to say that in addition to ‘my books and my poetry to protect me’, I am hugely grateful for the support given by those that read my posts.  Thank you and I promise I will stop being gloomy Eeyore very soon.

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 ….