In France, the main story on the news today is that November 9 is the 40th anniversary of the death of General de Gaulle. Charles de Gaulle was not only a military and political giant in France, but also a major figure on the world stage for 30 years, from the begining of the Second World War until 1970.
That made me think about cemeteries. We visited one on All Saints' Day — La Toussaint, November 1 — over in Faverolles-sur-Cher, across the river from Montrichard. November 1 the day when people take flowers, usually pots of chrysantemums, to graveyards all over France.
I wrote about that visit earlier, but here are some more pictures. French cemeteries are very different from American cemeteries. First, there's no grass. That difference really gives the French graveyards the feel of a yard in the British sense of the term — think courtyard, lumber yard, shipyard, etc. Pavement or gravel...
In other words, the French cemetery doesn't feel like a park, the way cemeteries feel in America (and probably in other Anglo-Saxon countries). There's something colder and more formal about the place. In November, however, there are bright splashes of color — the 'mums — contrasting with the dark, cold gravestones and monuments.
Meanwhile, the weather in Saint-Aignan has turned November-like. It rains and rains. The wind blows. The leaves are falling rapidly. It's dark and dreary. It's time to get in the kitchen and start cooking real comfort foods — I have a pot of black-eyed peas on the stove right now, for lunch.
I'd really like to get out and do some of the work in the garden and yard that piled up while I nursed my sprained ankle and toured around with friends visiting from California, but now it's not possible. The ground is spongy, almost squishy, because of all the rain we're having.
Walt just came back from the morning walk with the dog. They got caught in a squall. Callie got soaked. It's almost inevitable this time of year.