11 November 2011


nov 11th2

Four years ago today it was a Sunday and Remembrance Day.  Also Nick’s birthday.

nov 11th1

We had owned our little house for two days and were staying in the hotel in the village while we bought some basic furniture, such as a bed, and got the house ready for us to spend our first night there.  That would be tomorrow.

war memorial

Our only friends so far in the village, Barrie and Lucie, invited us to join them in watching the November 11th parade through the village.  We were amazed at how big an occasion it was.  The parade and the villagers gathered round the war memorial behind the church and there were speeches.  All the names of the village war dead were read out and there were tears in the eyes of many of the people around the memorial, including mine.  It was incredibly moving.

Afterwards we joined everyone for drinks in the salle des fêtes and were introduced to Alex and Nicole and their two little girls, Isabella and Amélie.  We were made extremely welcome by the people of the village and Barrie also introduced us to the Maire. 

It was a bitterly cold day, in great contrast to the unseasonably mild November we are having this year.  We were well wrapped up in warm coats and woolly scarves.


Afterwards we wandered back up the hill towards the château and to our freezing cold and empty little house with a very warm feeling inside us.  Maybe it was the wine we had shared with all our new friends but I think that was the point that we realised that this village and our little house at the foot of the château were something really special.  Something we hadn’t bargained for when we thought we were just buying a nice little holiday home.


  1. What a moving event for you to witness on a memorable day for the two of you - for very different reasons. Happy Birthday, Nick! You don't look a year over .......!!

  2. What a lovely and moving account of your first days in the village and how lovely to have been able to participate in the village's Remembrance Day and to be welcomed with such warmth.

  3. What a memorable and extra special day! Just back from the Remembrance celebrations here in Charnizay--very simple but moving.

    Happy Birthday Nick!

  4. Celebrating Nick's birthday while we are celebrating our Son', Andrew's birthday - How nice.
    He's off to Paris next month before living in Leeds for the next two years to continue studies.
    Happy Birthday Nick.....

  5. How time flies by, four years already! Wish Nick a very happy birthday and we'll be thinking of him over a glass of wine this evening .....
    C & G

  6. Happy birthday to Nick. It's my sister's birthday too!

  7. Money Happy Returns Nick! I think I got the right vowel there?;-)
    There is a real community feel here, isn't there.

  8. Happy Birthday Nick... What treasured memories. S

  9. Thanks one and all for your birthday wishes, - very much appreciated.
    Strangely I woke up this morning feeling old and tired and it got me down a bit. Then I realised I was old and tired and felt much better for it!


  10. One more happy birthday wish, Nick, just in time. Old and tired, LOL. Tell me about it. Ken