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‘No ship ever brought so much misery to England’, from Barfleur

Lifeboat Barfleur, postcard

‘No ship ever brought so much misery to England’ said William of Malmesbury writing just a few short years after the tragic events of 25 November 1120. Centuries of historians agree with him. It was a rock in the seas around Barfleur that changed the course of history forever. Here, back

Musée Historique of Mont Saint-Michel – midweek picture post!

Garden, Musée d'Histoire Mont Saint-Michel

A visit to Mont Saint-Michel always raises our spirits and our heart rates as we clamber up so, so many steps.  The paved plateau by Chapelle Notre-Dame-sous-Terre is about the highest place visitors can explore, with a view well worth the gasping and being elbowed aside by power walking retirees. This

The last of the coppersmiths, in Villedieu-les-Poêles

Vintage postcad of the Corneille Havard bell foundry in Villedieu les Poeles Normandy

Colourful flags decorate the elegant Mairie in the centre of Villedieu-les-Poêles.  Beautifully crafted brass pots, tools and sculptures gleam in shop windows. Quiet alleys between houses lead to a clear stream where ducks dip and dive between swaying reeds. The Didandier, coppersmiths of Villedieu‘s past would barely recognise their town. At

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

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