This week I thought I’d share with you my slight obsession with the mairie (or town hall) also known as the Hotel de Ville. Wherever we have been (with only a couple of exceptions) the mairie has been the most impressive building in the whole village, town or city. I love the flags and the motto: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité*” which is often emblazoned across the façade. I actively seek out the mairie in each new town and try to take a snap so here is my collection so far of Melle, Néré, Aigre, Cognac, Rochefort, Aulnay, St Jean D’Angély, Niort, Chaniers and Aubigné.
*I recently saw scrawled: “Liberté, Égalité, Beyoncé” and it made me laugh way more than it should have!
We have also been meandering this week. We found a lovely arboretum walk about half an hour away in Melle. We went back this week to explore it a bit further and the autumn colours are really stunning. I loved the little book exchanges that were dotted along the way. Perhaps this is another way of protecting the trees by reusing books rather than buying new ones all the time! The mural at one end of the walk also caught my eye (to add to the alliterative M theme perhaps…).
The week culminated in a concert of two choirs held at the local church here in Aulnay. Choralacoustic is a local choir of around 60 adults and we enjoyed Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluyah” and Antonín Dvorák’s “New World Symphony” (or the theme from the Hovis advert to you and me)! The other choir was a Russian group of around 40 teenage girls (and a couple of lads) from the Victor Popov choir in Moscow. The highlights for me were J.S. Bach’s “Ave Maria”, “Panis Angelicus” by César Franck, “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah” and a brilliant interpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”. It was a magical musical evening in a fitting location and I enjoyed every minute of it.
À bientôt, bisous.