Friday, June 14

Jura 2013 - in the cloud


The four of us had a long week in the Jura in the middle of our break away in Burgundy. We spent the first couple of days deep in cloud.


Believe it or, behind M.Coquard and the Boy Lawrence is one of the best views in the Jura.


Look how excited they are.


Coming Out

I've decided to 'come out' not in a sexual sense, but about depression. I read a very well written piece (as her's always are) this morning, and it really spoke to me. I 'shared' it on Facebook without thinking, then when I did think, I had the thought: “Oh no, that was public, there are all sorts of people who'll see it, and put two and two together, i.e. that I have the same condition...that I'll be judged in a negative light etc. etc. Then I thought “...damn it' – why should I care.

So...here am I 'loud and proud'. Now we come to terminology...I don't like to say that I suffer from depression. That's the language of a victim, and whilst it's taken me a long time to realise it, I'm a very strong person. Maybe stick to facts, I have had a number of serious depressive episodes dating from my early 20s. When I say serious, I mean SERIOUS...but I've been fortunate:
  • I have a loving, supportive partner, family and friends.
  • I've had excellent medical care (well, there was that South African doctor who wanted to give me ECT, but that's another story [which believe it or not is quite a funny one]).
  • Thanks to a very generous pay off, I can afford to work part-time.
Like anyone who has had a chronic, life threatening health issue, I have to be careful:
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat properly
  • Not get too stressed
  • Not get too tired
  • Not to drink too much alcohol
All good advice for everyone...but when I let things slip the consequences can be...serious. So I have another injunction:
  • Not to think it'll go away
It's hard though. I can become consumed by work, a friend's emotional crisis, not sleep too well or even be knocked flying by a virus, and find myself struggling again.

HOWEVER...none of this makes me a weak person...it's not that I'm in some way lesser. In fact, to have survived what I've survived, means that I'm strong, very strong. I'm done with being secret. It's just how it is.

Wednesday, June 12

Burgundy 2013 - Quarre Les Tombes


On the way back from Saulieu, we stopped off at Quarre Les Tombes.


The church is surrounded by 100s of empty stone coffins...


...no-one really knows why they are there.


There are lots of theories...


...but you can find some interesting research here - http://rae.revues.org/5926 .


The church itself isn't that exciting...


...this dragon being choked by a cross is really distasteful...


...although the reflection is nice.


Shame about the car...


...this mural is fun...


...these kids were having a great time!

Burgundy 2013 - Out and about in Saulieu


We had a little trip to Saulieu, one of its famous sons is the sculptor Francois Pompon.


The local estate agent had made a brave show in their window...


...we had lunch at this lovely cafe, which is run by a lady from South Cave, near Hull (where my Dad's cousin Jo lived for many years).


Luckily, it wasn't Accordion Night!


I spotted this little chap outside the cathedral...


...the Pompon Museum is next door.


I was able to commune with this polar bear.


We spotted this rather fancy cinema...


...interesting grafitti...


...and great door furniture.

Tuesday, June 11

For Virginia...


Postboxes aren't that pretty in France, but at least this is a nice location...

Burgundy 2013 - Bibracte


When it rains in Burgundy, it certainly rains...


...so we went to the museum at Bibrachte.


The museum has lots of interesting things to look at...


...including this fab helmet.


I love this wheel as it's proof...well, that no-one reinvented it.


Did I mention that it was raining?


These poor kids were on a school trip, they must have been feeling the cold!


Burgundy 2013 - Pontigny Abbey


Sometimes...


...a place is so amazing...


...there just aren't the words...


...to describe it.


That's how the Cistercian Abbey at Pontigny made me feel.


 It was founded in 1114, and not one...


...but three Archbishops of Canterbury took refugue here...


...Edmund Rich (St Edmund of Abingdon, the first Oxford don to become a saint), St Thomas a Becket and Stephen Langton.


The community was suppressed during the French revolution...


...and it's said that the local reverence for St Edmund's relics kept the church from being destroyed...


...and it continued as a parish church.


What a place to have as your parish church...


...sadly, I don't think it is now.


These chaps were from Rentokil - after termites I think.


We all left...


...feeling...


...rather impressed...

...by the place.