|Montbazon from the bridge over the Indre|
In Montbazon in September I had the great pleasure of visiting the Kermesse (village fair), an event that lasted the whole weekend. It was fascinating, and wonderful, to see a whole community working together towards a common goal. The principle celebrations were for the Sapeurs-Pompiers, the local fire and rescue service.
Saturday was all about demonstrating the value that these essential services bring to the area. There were any number of tents filled with all sorts of exhibits about the history of the service, the work undertaken and the lives saved. There was also a tent that had a vast collection of fire service memorabilia from across the world, including a UK fire service Chief's helmet! In addition, there was a display of fire trucks - both old and in current use - from across the region. And... there was the compulsory fireman's lift reaching up above the tree-tops. I left that to the professionals!
As I wandered around the various tents I came across one that had glass cases on a table. Curious, I moved a few steps closer and beat hasty a retreat within seconds, much to the amusement of the fireman who was manning that piece of the exhibition. He tried to entice me in - but I was having
nothing to do with the occupants of those glass cases! You see, I have a very precise and exact definition
of creepy crawlies and I exercise a 5 kilometre exclusion zone for them
all. Anything, absolutely anything that
has more than 4 legs, does not live in the sea, or slithers along the ground
qualifies for the title of creepy crawly.
Naturally, as with all rules, there are exceptions - butterflies who are
too pretty to be included, honey bees who are too industrious to be included
and ladybirds who are to be rescued at all times whenever out of their natural
habitat. As for the occupants of those
glass cases - all living snakes - I quickly moved on to the next tent!
|Some of the old vehicles|
Sunday was all about celebrating the bravery of the people in the service and remembering lost colleagues. There were medals to be awarded, wreaths to be laid, speeches and there was a fantastic procession through the town accompanied by a marching band. The Gendarmes, some local, some from Tour and further a-field, directed the traffic onto alternative routes whilst the whole centre of the town was given over to the event.
|Blanc and Gris, my camping companions|
If anyone can identify what kind of swan these two are, I'd love to hear from you. Just leave a message at the bottom of this post. Thanks.