Saturday, 18 July 2015

Twinning in France and subtle hints of violet

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we had been to France recently visiting the Champagne area and then the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais for a twinning get together. I include here a small selection of the photographs I took on the trip, all of which have hints of violet (or purple). I hope they also give an idea of the pleasure of our visit.

First of all from the Champagne region, there are rows of newly planted vines with their plastic sheaths and supporting poles, conveniently purple and and with suggestions of violet.

Two glasses of Champagne awaiting us at our B&B. We sat on those purple chairs in the warm twilight and drank overlooking the vineyard where the grapes were grown - such pleasure. 

I love doorways, archways and entrances and think the French do them with particular aplomb so here are two from just south of Reims, first of all on the way to an excellent lunch, a door with purple ironwork and house number plate ...

... and then a cobbled entrance through an archway, purple in the shade. 

We then went north to Nord-Pas-de-Calais for the twinning. During our visit, our hosts and very good friends, Jean-Pierre and Annick, took us to Amiens Cathedral. A stunning building of immense proportions, it is said to be so large that Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris would fit inside in all dimensions with much room to spare. It was truly beautiful and I'm only sorry that my photos do not do proper justice to its size and beauty. 

The photo of this tomb is enhanced by the light shining on it and on the floor from the lovely stained glass window over my shoulder. 

We then walked round the city and managed to avoid the rain (the weather this time was not good) and found this pretty street of painted buildings. 

To finish, I include two photos of the twinning gathering held for Bastille Day. The dates of the exchange visit this time were chosen to coincide with France's national day. Those attending included our group and over 150 residents of the French host village and their families. The day consisted of a long French lunch (always good) followed by much further conversation, and then games and activities and a great deal of fun. 

Sometime on a previous visit, the members of our French host village were initiated into the delights of the Tug of War. It is now an integral part of such gatherings, for young and old, and hotly competitive! 

For those who aren't familiar with the idea of twinning, Wikipedia defines the idea as follows (I paraphrase): Twin towns and villages are formed by mutual legal and social agreement. The modern concept was conceived in 1947 after the Second World War to foster international friendship and understanding.  

This official summary of legal arrangements and aims gives little idea of the pleasure, insight and above all comradeship that twinning can bring. For us, belonging has meant new friendships formed (in both villages), enriched understanding of a subtlely different culture, and great fun - and the visits have done wonders for our French!

I hope I haven't strained the colour link too far this time, but as I took photos on our trip, plenty of violet possibilities presented themselves. I felt I could justifiably kill two birds with one stone.

As a footnote for those who have found the fixation with violet and purple confusing, I should explain. As well as attempting to represent the pleasures of twinning, the photos are my contribution to Roy G Biv, a monthly blog hop based on the colours of the rainbow organised by Julie B Booth and Jennifer Coyne Qudeen. Further details can be found here and here.


  1. Lavender jewels in very different ways...light, glass, paint, and even plastic! Wonderful eye for violet!

    1. Very many thanks ... I will admit that the purples in the last photo of the tug of war were a little helped by my pal Photoshop. Indigo doesn't need much encouragement to tip over into purple!

  2. Wow! What a breathtaking collection of purples and what an unforgettable trip you had! Thank you for sharing it with us. I'm going back for another look...

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. Good to hear from you. It was an unforgettable trip - these twinning events always are and this time I was very lucky with finding things to photograph that included the right colour. Around here, I often find the preponderance of green in the landscape a problem!

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed your photos of your trip to France ... a fantastic benefit of having blogger friends around the world ! I love being an armchair traveler ;)

    1. Good to hear from you, Sharron. Being an armchair traveller and seeing the world through other people's posts is certainly one of the pleasures of blogging.


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