A Day Overshadowed

The cloistered square of Mirepoix is one of the more appealing sights that we’ve seen in a French town. Once again, Francine was keen to have a look at it without its obstructing market stalls so we set off on the 18kms drive to see it unencumbered.

Medieval ComputersNot being market day, parking was a little easier. We may have come to the the architecture but on our short stroll from car to town we passed a shop window with an impressive display of medieval computer architecture. Here were several trips down memory lane all gathered together.

Mirepoix ArchitectureUnfortunately, once in the main square, even sans marché it was encumbered by a funfair and stage beneath the impressive wrought-iron-supported market hall roof. It also seems to have a permanent fixture of a merry-go-round that, whilst it could be quite interesting in itself, rather spoils many of the potential views, particularly because it always seems to be covered in netting. One side of the square was relatively clear and will give an idea of the buildings. There’re so many café umbrellas, though that the cloister beneath the upper level can’t really be seen. If only photographers were involved in arranging such stuff.

Blue DressesI just sat in the sun and let Francine wander with her camera. The architecture hadn’t really seemed to hit the spot for her so she let her creative juices flow on a clothes rail with an array of blue dresses which got a more artistic approach.

Once Francine had finished wandering, we picked one of the many cafés and sat with a cup of coffee to watch the world go by, occasionally glancing at the net-covered carousel. Part of the world didn’t go go by but came and sat at the adjoining table in our café. They were a Brit couple who were also soaking up the Mirepoix atmosphere. They were keen to pick our brains, such as they are. It seems they were on a Great Rail Journey holiday and were staying at Carcassonne having arrived there via the TGV. They had been bussed to Mirepoix and weren’t being picked up until 15:00. They were wondering what to do in Mirepoix for 3 hours. Ah, well, once you’ve studied the ancient architecture for 10-15 minutes, drink coffee and have lunch, if you can find a spare table.

When there is a lack of public loos, there is something cyclic about needing to sit and drink coffee or, worse, beer, so that you can use an establishment’s loo with impunity. The very act of drinking means that you shortly need another loo, which is where we came in.

We’d already had one day overshadowed by the news of Queen Elizabeth II passing away. Now we had a second overshadowed by a more personal event. We had been planning a birthday celebration for Francine together with friends who were also holidaying in France in September. Our arrangements were cancelled when they rushed homewards because their teenage (step) grandson was gravely ill with cancer. Devastatingly, he passed away before they could complete their journey.

If there is a God, he or she has one heck off a lot to answer for. Frankly I’m surprised anyone can believe.

Which leads me to this. So ingrained in our society is religion that folks in our higher positions of authority are simply not allowed, at least publicly, not to believe. No sooner had King Charles III become monarch than he was intoning “.. whatever time God gives me …” in his address which, I have to say, he delivered impeccably. He is required to show faith. I believe the same is true for American presidential hopefuls if they are to stand a chance of being elected. They can behave in as ungodly a fashion as possible, like you-know-who of recent times, but must profess to being a believer. At least in our legal system, I think you could choose to swear an oath on Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” rather than the Bible, if you so wished.

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Posted in 2022-09 France

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