I felt remarkably better for movement and fresh air today. . and very thankful
A gentle morning ride at a (relatively) gentle pace around some peaceful winding lanes passing a church and Manor in Gonfreville that dates back to the 15th century and then to a quiet spot along a narrow grass lane.
A simple stone, fresh white spears of gladioli amongst colourful fabric cornflowers.
A little foot bridge across a slowly moving, shallow stream.
Trees and hedges. Lumpy grasses and deep blue sky.
Very ordinary, lovely rural countryside just like countless other quiet spots. Except it is here that a monument has been erected to commemorate the lives of soldiers of the 90th American Infantry who died fighting for the liberation of Saint-Germaine-sur-Sèves.
In my mind’s eye I could just about conjure up another scene, fleetingly because it is unbearable to think of landscape and people and animals being shattered to pieces.
A small amount of text in English, French and German describes how American, French and German members of those forces have been meeting here regularly since 1945, in deepening friendship.
Whilst it is true that as a nation we endured terrible bombing, it was only today that it sunk in for me that we were not an occupied country as was France and so many other European countries.
For today at least it seems to have made a big difference in my world.
The sofas are full of loungers, lounging. The Pool Table and dressing up room is a noise of bells, laughter and shrieks. The long dining tables are humming with after-dinner chatter and a second person today has just offered me a coffee.
All around the chateau grounds and the nearby fields, the past has its echoes and here we all are today with our bikes in another world altogether. Just the passage of time and the chance of birth into another generation.
Terrible wars somewhere else.
Last night we had a riot of Abba and ‘The Dancing Queen’ inspired by the dressing up box and performed at twilight on the front steps/stage.
I wonder what we are in for tonight?
Gonfreville Church and Manor.
Memorial Sèves, bridge and ‘bike snake’
Church at Nay
Hanging out and bikes, back at the Chateau
Thanks, everyone, for looking in and for your lovely comments.