Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The day we went to Epernay

We stood silently on the big round-about with the memorial at it's centre in Epernay, among a crowd so small you could almost count its number on the fingers of one thumb, listening as the music from what was clearly the second-best band in the district slowly gathered in volume as it approached.   

The old soldier stood with a woman and her children who may have been his great-grandchildren, silently waiting.

As the first of the police escort marched into the street, stood to attention, and quietly joined the parade for it's circuit of the roundabout, clearly any greater distance would have stretched the limits of his stamina, standing once more to attention while the brief remembrance ceremony formalities were complete.

The party today, wasn't exactly in our honour it turns out.  

Today is a public holiday celebrating VE day, the anniversary of what is known as Victory in Europe day, and clearly one of remembrance for the fallen in that conflict.

Fewer than a hundred metres up the road more speeches were conducted, but since that was happening precisely opposite the House of Moët and Chandon, where as it happens on a completely unrelated, but distinctly more musical note than that produced by the band, the Ferrari Club of Romania had gathered for an outing.  We excused ourselves silently and turned to tour through some of Moët's twenty-eight kilometres of underground champagne cellar, which fortunately we were able to complete in time to partake of a rather satisfactory public holiday luncheon.

Returning to Mareuil-sur-Ay we were relieved to find that the accordion player had been accidentally booked elsewhere for the day, probably filling in on cymbals in the Epernay band, and the loudspeakers which had been strung among the trees, each pointing exactly in our direction were were gently drizzling out some very mellow jazz with the odd track thrown in from an unknown "greatest hits on the Hammond Organ" album.   

The flower market, itself equally mellow, slowly melted away as the colour of the sky turned into a different sort of drizzle in the fading daylight.  

By then Grahame and Aileen should have arrived at the next stop on their JetLag journey, and a very Sunday feeling Tuesday turned into a perfectly still and silent evening on the Canal Latéral à la Marne.

1 comment

Gerry said...

Nice shot Peter. G.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig