Saturday, July 16, 2011
Crowned with smiles .
Friday night . Out to the fancy hill top restaurant for dinner . The staff have set up a table in the little paved garden by the petanque court so that Wilf can settle down undisturbed by the holiday hubbub on the terrace . One of those unexpected and unasked for kindnesses that continue to punctuate our journey . The old fellows already eaten but the waitress brings him out a bowl of chicken and rice . You can sense the canine contentment radiating out from under the table .
On our way back to the car we pass the old pilgrimage church . The lights blazing . A Danish choir en route to Santiago performing . The family fellow sits down next to me on the porch steps while ' the font ' goes to fetch the car . Through the mottled wooden door the sound of Tchaikovsky's Crown of Roses . The diction clear in that precise Scandinavian manner . Then Parry's ' My soul there is a country far beyond the stars '. A rare and beautiful piece I've not heard in forty years . Memorable for the line - " there above noise and danger sweet peace sits crowned with smiles " . A Welsh poem , much loved by the Pilgrim Fathers ( and George Washington ) , sung by Danes , set to music by an Englishman and listened to on the steps of an ancient French church by a blind Polish Sheepdog , his Scots companion and of course their Swedish driver. Summer in France profonde . Home at eleven . Wilf dreams , solidly , 'til six.