Saturday, May 5, 2012

The escape route .

Summer has arrived . The melon farmers busy setting out row upon row of  plastic polytunnels . In the neighbouring village Oliver , the old labrador, can be found on the family doorstep , dreaming. Patiently waiting  , as he does every day , for his masters return . I wave at the old widow. She opens the window and waves back . Oliver gets up and moves into the shade.

Here on top of the ridge the arrival of good , but not too hot , weather marks the peak pilgrimage season. At first light thirty or so pensioners from St.Etienne walk briskly past the front gate. A chorus of bonjours.  The laughter of comfortable kinship. They're followed soon after by a Slovak accountant and his wife, also an accountant , on horseback . They stop at the church, dismount , and lift down a small fluffy dog. It too is going on pilgrimage. It's home for the journey a blanket lined wicker basket behind the wifes saddle. The small fluffy dog rushes over to christen the hedge around the war memorial . It flies across the grass , delighted with the humble scale of its adventure .

In the afternoon three Australian twenty somethings stop and ask for directions . They're following the escape route their pilot grandfather took after he was shot down in 1942. Almost seventy years to the day. The plan is to find a path across the top of the  Pyrenees and walk , as their grandfather did, into Spain . Angus wishes them good luck .  For a moment he toys with adding a middle aged  " you'll need it " . Then he thinks better of it . When you're twenty all things are possible . Grandad proved it .

Wilf spends his day asleep in the courtyard . He can't be bothered barking at the strangers wandering by , but from time to time he makes a half hearted growling noise . Just enough to let us know he's still guarding his flock and the house .


  1. I hope Wilfie Pon has a lovely day and feels like a bite of croissant and I wish you all a peaceful weekend.
    Kisses for that nose.
    Teena & Merlin xx

  2. awaking at one in the morning. wilfee on my mind.
    i guess in your time it will soon mean the lovely hot coffee and croissant! actually sounds good to me even now.
    bisous on that beloved little head.
    have a wonderful weekend!
    tammy j

  3. A very busy day for Wilfee, no need to bark to everyone ! Just a look at the pilgrims to say hello.
    I wish you three, a peaceful Saturday. Bisous to my beloved Wilfee.

  4. You're right about being twenty and feeling that all things are possible--Wilf has shown that it is at any age.

  5. To the young Australians, "Bon Courage".

  6. I remember "that" poignant pilgrim blogpost so well. You must post a picture of Digby's special place below the tree again.... I miss him. Enjoy all the activities of your summer season.
    With love to you all,

  7. Sounds like Wilf has the right idea! Too bad laundry and housework await me! But for right now, as I have a lovely ginger cat making "pies" on my lap, I shall just sit and enjoy, just like Wilf. Keep on going Wilf!

    With love from your Canadian pals,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  8. NEAT stuff to read about the travellers and dreamers...Hope floats...."When you're twenty ALL things are possible"...indeed...I still believe it! :-) Just with a little wisdom mixed in! The possible CAN still occur... it just has some adjustments from the original version (or vision) in my head, simply byproducts of Reality assaulting dreams ... thus my middle aged hope whispers to me "Life is what you make of it." Rah...and so Wilf models this to us... A HUG for the polar bear. Hope he has a fantastic day in France Profonde!

  9. Great to hear he is doing fine - love from all of us Susanne, Daisy,Foxiie and Kiri
    P.S. Love your writing - like we are there...

  10. What a wonderful adventure those young Australians are on - Bon Courage, indeed!!

  11. All the amazing sounds and smells swirling around inside his head. I'm sure he's enjoying it all.

  12. What an adventure for that little dog! I'd love to read the story of his journey. I bet it's a good one!

    What a great tribute to that grandfather, too. Those twenty somethings must have really loved him and had an impression made by him. Even if they don't make it, I think attempting the path must be a journey of discovery in itself!

  13. Wonderful reading here! The Farmer's old dog sitting in the shade awaiting his return . . .the young dog on horseback and his journey . . .and our Wilfee, feeling the change in the weather, taking a good snooze in the heat, growling when he thinks he needs to.

    Sounds like a most lovely day to me.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo, Stella, Zkhat and Ron

  14. So much love coming Wilf's way from the west of Irlande. Have to start spelling it the French way now. And the delightful those young men sound. May they reach their goal, and may Wilf reach his.

  15. Those Australian 20-somethings sure have a big job ahead of them. Yes, anything is possible. Wilf is proof.