Thursday, 29 May 2008
behind the .........
It is raining again, the only consolation is that it is raining in Paris too [according to the tennis] so I don't feel totally victimised.
C, who lives in Scotland records that her town is twinned with the Germans, [well not all of them] and that some of her neighbours are not keen.
I found, when in Wick, that some Scots prefer the Germans to the English, a salutary lesson, reinforced annually now by the Eurovision Song Contest.
Here, we are twinned with the French, which leads us to cadge coach lifts when the local junior Jazz band etc. are practising detente. Arras is a market town like us, except most of it was not knocked down in the enthusiasm of the sixties to build rectangular brick blocks all over the place.
We do still have town square with a pompous Victorian town hall and even some outside cafe bars in the summer.
Arras however has two huge and magnificent cobbled medieval town squares, either side of their Gothic town hall. The edges of the squares have ancient stone pillared colonnades and 16th and 17th century Flemish style houses provide the shops and hotels.
Both here and there market days bring in some life, in Arras at religious festival times they have processions and a big fair which rackets round most of the night.
Here we have one small roundabout for the holidaying kiddies and a poor droopy Xmas tree, fenced off in case the local gentry should take a fancy to the few trailing bits of tinsel that miserably cling, until the cold winds whip them away.
Actually Arras town hall and much of the town was flattened by said Germans in the First Big War, but was carefully restored in the twenties when presumably one could do such things without being allied with the likes of Prince Charles.
It is nice for me that in medieval times [and between Other Quite Big Wars]it was a textile town, specialising in the tapestries that Polonius? had to hide behind.
When I was doing my C&Gs creative Embroidery we took an swap exhibition over there to some enthusiasm. We went with the Fine Arts faculty who were very proud of their melted marshmallows dripping down boards etc. The French, bless them, seemed to prefer our more colourful contributions.