Spending 7 months as part of the Rouen Branch meant that, in a way, they become our family, and the Caen District, which covered all of Normandy, became our extended family. Our last week in “France” was actually spent with the District at the Temple in Frankfurt. We knew that District Conference was this last weekend, and we were a little disappointed to come home just before it, but I was very surprised to receive this email:
Speaking French, one of the things I have to pay particular attention to are faux amis — literally false friends. These are French words that sound like an English word, but don’t mean the same thing as the English word in question. In general, their existence just makes me pay more attention to French words and their meanings. And then sometimes you come across a ‘fake-English’ word used in such a way to be hilarious. This is one of those times. This photo was taken on a bus in St. Malo — “Obliterate Your Tickets Please!”
We took a trip to Caen in Normandy and got this amazing picture from the castle of St Peter’s Church at night. I love the effect of the light, on both the church and the moon as it streams through the clouds.
Having a camera means it sometimes gets used because it’s what I have handy. In this case, I was prepping to replace my shoes. But I also like how the picture turned out with the simple background and the flash fade-off in the corners.
Insects can be fun to photograph because you see something up close that is usually too small to inspect. The problem I discovered was the depth of field was so shallow (with half of the bug in focus and the other not) that I found it nearly impossible to focus with the camera in hand. But I thought it made a pretty cool photo anyway.
The Second World War marked France profoundly as many of the battles took place here. Not wanting to forget the sacrifice of so many, little signs commemorating those fallen dot France. (Next time you’re in Paris, if you look for them; you’ll probably see several). In this vain, there are a number of plaques memorializing the failed ‘Operation Jubilee’ that brought nearly 6000 Canadian troops to Dieppe of which only half would return at the end of the day to Britain. That said, several have claimed that the D-Day Landings in Normandy two years later succeed in large part because of the lessons learned at Dieppe.
One of the features of Gothic style churches (which you find everywhere in France) is the intricate carvings that cover much of the building. This is above a door to a church in Rouen.
So it’s been a little over four months since I arrived here in France. I’m working, but only what I’d typically consider about 1/3 of “full time” and so I’ve had lots of time to unwind and just enjoy myself. Bring newly wed, I’ve also affectionately referee to this time as a “honeymoon” too. That said, there’s a few things that stand out in my mind.
These crumbling steps were once the front door to a splendid building, dreamed up as a vacation resort for the working class. Things didn’t quite work out that way, with the building used as a hospital during the First World War and being blown up during the Second. Now, only the stairs remain as a lonely testament to that dream.
Perfect row housing. This is relatively rare in France, where most housing is built around an historic courtyard, rather than parallel to the street. I took this picture because I love the effect of the straight lines and their slight disorienting ability.