Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Boulangerie - Tapisserie

Greetings from Bayeux, where the somewhat pricey internet café confines me to perhaps fewer words than usual. Faced with over-subscribed crossings from Ireland to France at the weekend, partly due to the simply immense summer holidays enjoyed by a certain proportion of Irish schoolchildren, i was fortunate to get a berth on a ferry which left Rosslare on 30th May, feast of St Joan of Arc, arriving Cherbourg on 31st, the feast of the Visitation. Subsequently i've made modest strides towards Mont St Michel, but have come by train to Bayeux from Coutances today, partly to pick up a package sent to the post office here by my very understanding parents(!).
   After a lunch of typically French pain and fromage, i made for the Tapestry, telling the story of 1066 and all that. Almost half is devoted to the visit of Harold, as Earl of Wessex, to the continent, at some time in the later years of King (St) Edward the Confessor, and his solemn oath of allegiance to Duke William; thus demonstrating the impeccable credentials of the Norman claim to the English crown. But in any case of course, it's all a very long time ago, with virtually no bearing on British society in 2013. Such descendants of those Norman invaders as there are, can be found in the most humdrum of occupations, such as Foreign Secretary (William Hague) and Chancellor of the Exchequer (George Osborne).
   Even without the Tapestry, Bayeux would deserve to draw numerous visitors to see the spectacular cathedral, where i hope to attend Mass in honour of today's saint, Clothilde (about whom more later, God willing), in a few minutes.

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