Monday, November 5, 2012


You are probably wondering where I was last night. The answer is that I was crashed out here on the sofa. I dozed off in the middle of the Panthers v Redskins gridiron game and that was that until about 02:00.

Having lived for so long in splendid rural isolation, I can't come to terms with modern urban living. Traffic all through the night, people moving about at 06:00, dogs barking, horns blowing - no, it's no good for me. I had almost no sleep in my little room.

But anyway, I had a lovely morning up on the panoramic viewpoint just outside Clermont Ferrand playing about with the camera and the lenses and then I went off to Miremont.

On top of an isolated rock near Miremont is a beautiful 11th or 12th century church. It really is a splendid site, the kind of place that has "fortress" written all over it and sure enough, there are the remains of one of these buildings that looks like a Templar Commandery, the large barn-type building with a circular tower at each corner.

It's Marianne's theory that many of the churches that you see on these small buttes in many French villages started life as chapels to some kind of fortified Dark-Age castle-type building, for which the butte was raised as part of the fortifications. During the era of peace in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries the fortifications were dismantled and the chapels were enlarged into churches, prior to the wave of church-building that overwhelmed north-western Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Many places however lost their populations as people moved to more-accessible sites and so the churches were never rebuilt by the returning crusaders. Miremont is a fine example of this as the inhabitants moved down into the valley, and so the early church escaped the modernisations and, of course, the stones of the fortifications remained largely unpillaged.

The football was a triumph for the 2nd XI. They've had some really bad luck in matches and at one time were hopelessly adrift at the foot of the table but a good win last week bouyed up their spirits.

This week, for the first time in a couple of years, they played like a team with belief and won convincingly, 3-1, to move up to fourth from bottom. And despite all of the criticism that I have given to the defence, the back four played magnificently and if they could play like this in every match they would have no worries at all.

Emeric, who was unavailable for the 1st XI last night, drove the team on from midfield, and special mention must go to Kevin, who volunteered to play in goal and had an excellent game, and to young Vincent. Vincent has come into the senior side from the juniors this season and has a lot to learn but being coached from the crowd on the touchline, managed to score his debut goal for the team - the first of many, we hope.

The driving rain put a dampener on the proceedings though.

Today I've been catching up on what I should have done this weekend and when I finish it (whenever that might be) I can restart work.

Always assuming of course that it stops raining sometime soon.

1 comment:

  1. When the Ttemplars fell out of favour (the crown wanted their money in other words) Any fortresses or castles associated with them were sacked and some were dismantled, with only the chapels being exempt unless associated with 'dark practices'. Some were as the Templars were accused of satanic worship as a way of discrediting them and turning an otherwise grateful populace against them. The Templars had a lot of public support after their prominant role in the crusades, and the king needed a powerful reason to disband the order and confiscate their land and wealth. It would be interesting to know if the area there was owned by a templar order or one of their supporters.