Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What I missed

An annoying virus has kept me indoors for several weeks so I missed out on our long-planned trip to France. But my camera found its way into my son's pocket and here are a few images of things I didn't see:

The Bayeux Tapestry Museum would have been top of my list of places to see

Everyone is familiar with the images of the Norman Invasion in 1066 but the tapestry was brought to life by Sarah Bower in her novel The Needle in the Blood and I was really looking forward to seeing it. I will have to be content with pictures of it for a while longer.
I don't think I would have enjoyed crossing the Channel in a ship like this one, even as a conqueror.
More recent military landings are commemorated a few miles away at Ouistreham.

and in the cemeteries. Those rows of headstones are a harrowing reminder of the sacrifice of thousands of young lives.This is the Pegasus Bridge, which played a key role in the Normandy landings and also in the film The Longest Day.
We were lucky to be living in Portsmouth in 1984 when the D-Day Museum was opened. The Overlord Embroidery is the modern equivalent of the Bayeux Tapestry and well worth a visit if you have any interest in the events of 1944.
My son knew that I would be in need of a little refreshment after all that History, so he visited this patisserie on my behalf. Unfortunately he ate the chocolates and pastries on my behalf too!


  1. sorry you missed it, Maureen. I'm always amazed at the ease of going to Paris over there. It would be a major and expensive venture for us to go. Last time we were there was 1971 on Bastille Day. I still remember the taste of the sidewalk sellers' crepes.

  2. Just a hop across the English Channel for us, Nan. Not that we have spent much time in Europe; being a merchant navy officer, my husband always wanted to spend holidays at home!

  3. Oooh shame you missed the trip, hope you're feeling better now.
    I've always fancied seeing the Tapestry too...perhaps one day
    I have a small foldout print that's fun to look at and it makes me think of trying my hand at crewel embroidery...although that impulse has remained at the thought stage for a while now (lol)

  4. Sorry you missed the trip as I feel sure you would have enjoyed everything your son went to see. I have been to Normandy several times. It is an inspiring place. especially around the landing beaches/ww2 museums. My husband served in the Para's for 30 years so Pegasus bridge has great significance for him. Did your son visit the tea shop right next to the bridge? When I was last there in 2002 the lady serving tea had been a little girl in the War and remembers the liberation that Pegasus bridge brought to them.
    I have seen the Bayeux tapestry but not read Needle in the Blood- on the wanted list!
    Hope you are feeling better now.

  5. The teashop does feature in the photos but I didn't think anyone would be interested.

    Needle in the Blood has the best book cover I have seen for a long time. The account of the needlework is excellent and the history is accurate as far as I can judge. I thought the book was about 100 pages too long but worth reading for the parts that interested me.

  6. How annoying that you missed the trip. Hope you are feeling better.
    Yes, the tapestry is amazing.
    Naturally we visited Normandy several times when we lived in France, Picardy too. So sad and moving.

  7. Thank you, Susie and everyone who has sympathised with my plight. I have had a recurring chest infection since early February; being a viral infection there is no treatment so I just have to wait for it to go away. I hope that the next time it goes, it will go for good!

    I hope to get to Normandy on another occasion; my husband and son were deeply moved by the experience.

  8. Oh, Maureen- I'm so sorry you had to miss the trip. Darn those nasty viruses. :( It looks like yoru husband and son had a great time though. Hopefully you will be able to get over there soon. When the viruses are not so active. ;)
    Oh, I talked with my brother last night and he said he sent you an e-mail. He still goes on and on about the book!! I think it went to the right home.

  9. Karin, I did have a very nice email from your brother and I am so glad the book went to such a good home.


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