Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, July 29, 2011


We never miss a chance to visit the Chateau at Haut-Barr. It's a longish walk up a steepish hill and on a warmish day it can be a bit of a grind for a father wearing a pair of single pluggers or a grandfather with more suitable footwear, alternately pushing or carrying a stroller full of one-and-a-bit year old through barely made paths through the forest, but it's a great view and not a bad coffee at the top.

Regular readers may recall that this is the place that Julian's castle ranking places way up there with Ireland's Blarney. We antipodeans are bemused by the common criticism that it is "too touristy", after all, the city did build a restaurant, right there in the midst of the twelfth century ruins for our resting pleasure. The very fact that this "monstrosity" has been in place since 1910 would make it a national treasure in our homeland, but here it is the subject of vulgar derision.

All that aside, it will be recorded in history as the very place where Miss L discovered for the first time, both her shadows. The one which the sun cast became suddenly obvious to her and simply would not go away despite her best efforts to shoo it, run from it, and eventually to try to rub it out with a stick. The other was even more resilient and remained long after the sun had disappeared behind a cloud. It was to remain in place for days in fact, but since we aren't up to that part of the story we can't mention it.

Her grandmother you see, somewhat disillusioned by the absence of compassion as first one, then the other knee lost microscopic segments of skin while variously in the care of parents and grandfather, steadfastly refused to cease hovering.

No amount of shooing, running away or rubbing it out with a stick could dissuade that one either.


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