There’s a beautiful little village (the local’s call a ‘city’) in The Ardennes called Monthermé. Above is a photo that gives an idea of just how decent the place looks. Generally, I prefer places you can get lost in. It’s pretty much impossible to get lost in Monthermé, yet it has a certain style of its own. A bit of a fusion of ‘man-made’ and nature working together.
It was there that I spotted the ‘Jacques Brel Room’. Brel is an artist I’ve grown to like. I believe his lyrics are up there with the greats. The translated version of ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ has been made famous worldwide. Here’s the original version in French. Sublime or what?
Across the nearby Belgium border there’s a place called Chimay where the Trappist monks in the monastry there produce a beer so horribly strong it tastes like I imagine lighter fuel would taste – for the record I’ve never tried ligher fuel. Whatever, there in Chimay I stumbled across a shop called BUT SPORTS. I am presuming that in the local Walloon dialect, what we would spell it as ‘BUTT’, the Belgians seem to economize on the letter count, just using the one ‘T’ – I could be wrong about that. Having seen the sign I had little choice but to investigate what types of ‘Butt’ sports they promoted. I had presumed they must sell stuff that had some association with sports where the ‘Butt’ plays a significant part. Sports like cycling. Without a ‘butt’ on a saddle cycling would be an impossible thing. Then there’s Formula One. Not blessed with a ‘butt’ Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t have a chance in hell of lifting the Driver’s Championship. The thing was, inside the shop, yes they did sell racing bikes, yet what left me in a state of mild confusion was that they also sold boxing gloves and table tennis bats! Odd. I left the place fearing for my life.
Back in France, in a town named Sedan, there is the biggest castle in all of Europe. It looks better from the inside, by the way.
On the streets of Sedan, I spotted this ad for the local beer, ‘Coq Hardi’ – enough said.
Back in Charleville-Mezieres, France I felt more at home again with a bit of local madness. You can’t help liking Charleville-Mezieres, a town where dreaming and swooning a bit is a local pastime.
They major on posters in Charleville. Talking of dreaming, here’s the title track to my ablum ‘Dream Rescuer’ for anyone who hasn’t heard it yet, I hope you like it.
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