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The surprising battle of St-Cyr-de-Bailleul, in 1906

In the south of Normandy, deep in the countryside near the border with Mayenne, is a tiny village called St-Cyr-de-Bailleul.  Here a few hundred souls live around a small unremarkable church. History has little to report here as perhaps it takes a lot to rouse these hard-working country folk from

Hypnotising the birds, at Gatteville lighthouse

vintage postcard of the lighthouses at Gatteville in the Manche, Normandy

There is a forlorn French poem by Jaques Prévert about a lighthouse keeper who loved birds.  It is based on a terrible fact; birds flying on cloudy nights can become hypnotised by a bright light, and if that light turns endlessly, the birds will follow it. Endlessly. Lighthouse keepers were first to notice this

From Ohio to Isigny; the almost Impressionist life of Frank Myers-Boggs

Postcard view of the old fishing quarter at Isigny-sur-mer

When Frank Myers-Boggs returned to America after studying art at the École des Beaux-Arts Paris, he was excited to share the fresh new painting techniques he had learnt. Frank was mixing in the world of revolutionary artists Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Eugene Boudin, who influenced him but he was developing

The space explorer who never left earth, from Donville-les-Bains

donville les baines beach vintage postcard

Decades before the first spacewalk, a child looked out across the sea from the top of Donville-les-Bains’ cliffs, and imagined distant worlds far beyond our own. The cliffs here face the setting sun. Vast, lurid sunsets are soon followed by a web of constellations, brilliant against the velvet heavens that edge

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