Most people refer to the three months of June, July and August as the season of “summer;” here in the Greater Daglan Area, it is “the Tourist Season.” Similarly, the next three months are typically called “autumn;” while here in the GDA, it is the “Rainy Season.” And boy, have we been getting rain.
To give you an idea of how much rain we’ve had over the past few weeks, I’ll provide a contrast. First, here’s a look back at the Céou River in more pleasant times as it flows from Bouzic towards Daglan, and tumbles over a series of rocks:
And here is the same spot just a few days ago, as the swollen river gushes over the rocks with no sense of “waterfall:”
Fortunately, since I took the photograph above, we have had a few rain-free days, and that includes today (so far, as I write this), which was a relief. Today is of course November 11, called variously Remembrance Day , Veterans Day and Jour d’armistice, and so the village once again held its annual ceremony of remembrance at the war memorial in front of the restaurant Le Petit Paris. The sky was grey, but there was not a single drop of rain.
Today’s ceremony began, as always, with the raising of the French flag and then the reading of the names of villagers who were lost in World Wars I and II (the list of the dead in the first World War is depressingly long). As in the past, the names were read out by Jacques Pasquet, who last July was awarded the Legion of Honour.
In my post of July 19, 2018, which described the village ceremony to celebrate Bastille Day, I wrote the following about Monsieur Pasquet and his medal:
The [Bastille Day] ceremony included the usual features — the speech by our Mayor, the group singing of la Marseillaise — but the highlight was the presentation of the Legion of Honour to a notable villager, Jacques Pasquet.
Before making the award, retired General Raymond Wey. another notable villager and a municipal Conseiller, outlined M. Pasquet’s dedicated service, both in and out of the armed forces. The Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit, and was begun in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Now back to November 2019. Following today’s ceremony, flowers were carried up to the village cemetery to be placed by the graves of veterans, and then complimentary glasses of wine were served in the courtyard of the primary school (for those who could brave the cold). And then, for those of us who had reserved a place at the table, a wonderful lunch was served at La Cantine, the restaurant of Chef Fabrice Lemonnier.
It was a five-course lunch, offered for the subsidized price of just 20 euros per person, and attracted a modest turn-out of just 18 people — 11 francophones, and seven anglophones. Too bad for the villagers who neglected to reserve, because the meal began with glasses of kir and bowls of a delicious mushroom soup, and went on from there.
As an entrée, we had a choice between scallops and foie gras mi-cuit; my wife Jan had the foie gras, while I happily had the scallops. And here’s my plate:
For the main course, there were three choices — lamb shank, a skewer of shrimps, and a risotto; my choice was the lamb, and here’s my plate:
After our plat principal, we were served a small plate of cabecou (a soft local goat’s cheese) with walnuts, and then a selection of desserts. Here’s my dessert plate:
All along the way (through a three-hour lunch), there was a seemingly limitless supply of both red and white wine, and then cups of espresso to finish. And I’m happy to say there was a lot of spirited conversation, in both French and English, covering everything from “the good old days in Daglan” (yay!) and “the bad current days of Brexit” (boo!). All in all, it was a good day for remembrance, and a day to remember. And, oh yes, it was raining as Jan and I walked home.