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Church builder deranged

September 18, 2011

Castellane is beautiful village on the route Napoleon on the way to Digne. What was not beautiful the first afternoon was that nature of that nice lady decorator, who, when I suggested I might have a brief siesta after a two-hour drive, lunch, some beers and a bottle of wine, had one of her dark moments, so dark that I decided to explore the village alone. Our campsite was very relaxing, at least until that darkness descended, nestled as it was beneath apple and walnut trees, although the latter are dangerous, an opinion I formed after lacerating my thumb in a determined effort to eat one. No pain to gain, certainly no walnut.

Finding a comfortable spot on a river bank I snoozed for an hour or so which is usually enough time for the temper tantrum to pass and returned to Bluebell and that not so nice lady decorator who had indeed recovered her composure, and although it is an uncertain and fragile state, all was well until I discovered I did not have the keys to the camper van, which were certainly in my pocket before sloping off. As you may not be shocked to hear, this did not go down very well, so a quick jog back to the place of rest to retrieve them was required to restore relative calm.

Castellane is quite a lively place, a number of bars and restaurants abound, as we had discovered upon arrival at lunchtime, and we even discovered a bar promising to show the Ireland versus Australia World Cup Rugby tie, and they may well have, had we emerged from slumber in Bluebell in time.

My pictures, yes, there are two, today were taken from the village up to the top of Notre Dame Du Roc, the chapel on the top of a huge rock above the village and from the top looking down.

I know, lets build a church on the top of that rock, then any number of mugs or religious nuts will want to walk up it.

Why on earth the french have to put their churches in the most difficult to reach locations defeats me. Are they punishing people for being religious? After all, religion punishes the world by being at the root of most wars or conflicts, imagine no religion? In its place just decent moral codes, what a better place the world would be. Regular readers will know that when I delve into religious bigotry it is usually when I have not had any comments from this column resident god botherer the Reverend Jeff for a few days.

Anyway, I digress, that nice lady decorator was determined to walk to the top, and for the sake of a quiet life I went too. Forty minutes later we were looking out over the world. Imagine how many people were within sight who move foreign currency and are not yet Currencies Direct customers? it is a sobering thought, and determined to break sober mind-set we descended into Castellane for lunch yesterday.

My legs ache. View from the top of Notre Dame du Roc

Light showers possible in the afternoon was the forecast in the mountains, but an electrical storm of biblical proportions starting in the evening and was still going at 7am this morning made the O’Sullivans decision not to go camping a very wise one. In the camper van we were safe and dry, but in a tent? So a quick cash home for the Sunday fry up under leaden skies. The forecast is for the mistral tomorrow, and me , not a good sailor and a non swimmer supposed to be on a sailing boat. This could be the penultimate column..

Chris France

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    September 18, 2011 10:51 pm

    For such a dyed in the wool athiest you seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about religious matters……interesting…….

    A couple of points. I think a lot of the chuches were built by the Cathars in inaccessible locations as a defensive measure against the persecution of the Catholic Church. Don’t know if it’s true in this case it might just be the higher up the nearer to God.

    Religion isn’t at the root of most wars….nationalism is. Religion in most cases has been used as a convenient excuse to start conflicts. Man is by nature an acquisitive,ambitious and dishonest creature and would find some excuse for hostilities with or without religion.

    People would not subscribe to ‘decent moral codes’ if you suddenly did away with religion. The Western World is now largely athiestic and by most standards is becoming less and less moral. Hence the rise in unfettered greed, selfishness and pornography.

    I suppose if I were stuck with the NLD in a camper van for the weekend in one of her darker moods I too would feel that the possibility of their being a loving God was a somewhat remote possibility. However we make our bed etc……..

    Hope the book’s going well !!!


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