Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How old is old?

There are lots of old things in France, and Auxonne is full of them.

The first time we moored below the fortifications of the village, where Napoleon spent a number of years of his early his military life, it all seemed so curious, so novel, like watching a documentary not being actually present.   Then as we walked through the village past the houses from the sixteenth century and the town hall from the fifteenth, the city gates from the fourteenth and the back bit of the church from the thirteenth, we began to feel that we had grown up with a seriously inadequate connection with the past and we wandered around in a sort of quizzical daze, feeling entirely historically inadequate.

Not long after that we passed through Port-d'-Atelier, the village that Attila the Hun used as an embarkation port in four hundred and fifty-two, and our heads began to spin to the extent that a good lie down was in order.

This time, things are different.

We didn't feel obliged to stop at Port-d'-Atilier.

We have the familiarity born of time spent here before.    We no longer need the City Walking Tour to help us through the alleyways.  We have the self assuredness of those who have lived here for generations.  We can wander through the Place d'Armes with nary a sideways glance at anything that's been there less than half a millennia, feigning nonchalance, carrying our cakes home for morning tea.

But there are still old things that offer surprises.  

Old friends for instance, like Joel and Cindy turning up in their Camping Car to feed us and keep us up for so long that in the end we really did need that "good lie down".


No comments

Blogger Template Created by pipdig