On May 8 sixty-eight years ago the guns in Europe fell silent and the second world war came to an end. France celebrates VE day as a public holiday, and each village holds a ceremony of remembrance. Saint-Chinian is no exception and at 10.30 on the dot the procession of flags made its way through the gardens in front of the Mairie. Following closely behind were the members of the town council, delegations of the Sapeurs Pompiers and the police, and the war veterans.
Everyone lined up around the war memorial in the gardens, and flowers were laid to remember those killed in the wars.
Of course the local brass band was there too!
To start with the mayor thanked everyone for being there, and then asked all to observe a minute’s silence. The president of the veterans association then read a letter from the Minister for war veterans, and after that the mayor spoke. One of the points in his speech was that De Gaulle and Adenauer signed the French-German friendship agreement 50 years ago this year. Europe has never known a period this long without any wars, and long may that continue.
To round off this post, I wanted to share some flowers which have been blooming in my garden recently. This year the wisteria was a waterfall of blooms and simply magnificent!
The California poppies have gone wild and popped up absolutely everywhere, creating wonderful splashes of colour.
The comfrey is planted under one of the roses, and seems to thrive in the semi-shade.
This exotic looking flower is probably a weed and will spread all over the garden if I don’t manage the seed heads 🙂 – does anyone know the name?
The pelargonium is another early bloomer and despite being chopped back quite severely it has been flowering for a couple of weeks now.
The next one is not a flower but a praying mantis (I think so anyhow). I had a hell of a time getting a shot of this beastie, discovered while I was weeding the roses, and I hope you’ll be able to see what so fascinated me. The back-end of it looked so very much like a stem bursting into leaf – very clever. I’m glad I got the pictures I did, as the mantis had vanished the next time I looked, never to be seen again. From what I’ve found on the net, it could be a juvenile Mantis Empusa fasciata or Empusa pennata – but don’t quote me on that :-)!
And finally, here are some flowers not found in my garden, but on a recent walk! Wild tulips, growing in a meadow. A sight to gladden the heart!