Oléron

Smells and childhood memories

July 1, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet Sometimes a childhood memory comes flashing in and you wonder why. Then the cause becomes apparent, a familiar and unmistakable smell pervading your surroundings and, this time, not immediately associated with the distant event. With the smell of chopped parsley, I recall standing in the kitchen, aged maybe four or five, nose against the […]

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The Cuckoo Clock

May 12, 2011 My family
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Tweet Grandpère had been injured twice at Verdun, in the last months of WWI. As soon as he was fit again, he was posted with his regiment in Alsace where he then came to the end of his military career. He was looking forward to going back to his native island of Oléron with Grandmère […]

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Bleuette – my mother’s china doll

March 31, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet WWII was over and family units were gradually reconstituted, men folk missing or back from the war in an appalling state, women exhausted by the burden of running family and work together in great hardship. Now was the time for my parents to lick their wounds and face a new life. As soon as […]

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Grand-père’s garden

March 17, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet During the 1930s and 1940s, my grand-parents were living in a big rambling house in Boyardville, on the island of Oléron. This is where I was born and where I spent many holidays after the war years. I even spent a whole year there while doctors and surgeons were trying to put my parents […]

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Grand-mère

March 9, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet My grandparents lived on a small island off the coast of France, not far from La Rochelle. Both of them had many brothers and sisters, and we had numerous cousins, most of whom we never recognised when we came for our regular Summer holidays. Two months of bliss, those holidays were! In those days, […]

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Grandpère’s Solex

February 17, 2011 Childhood memories
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Tweet In the late 1940s, France was licking its wounds, still reeling from the war years, and there were great shortages of practically everything. For most, life was a great struggle since so many men had disappeared or been disabled. Yet, in 1946, an astounding new machine was created that would revolutionise the way French […]

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