By Veronica


Pretty gloomy weather today, but there was no rain forecast so I headed out for a walk with the Lézignan walking group. It was described in the programme as Narbonne. If I'd realised it was actually Narbonne Plage, on the coast, I probably wouldn't have gone; 45 minutes' drive each way is not very good value for a 2-hour walk, and as it was a vent marin the weather was definitely not going to be better on the coast. Also, I ended up giving two people a lift, which I hadn't intended. We all wore masks in the car though, and I opened the window a crack for air circulation.

The walk was a doddle, if not very interesting. Actually the most interesting part was at the start; the rendezvous was at the monument to Pierre Brossolette, a member of the French Resistance who ought to be as famous as Jean Moulin, but isn't. Have a look at his biography; he was fearsomely intelligent, but went into politics and journalism rather than academia. His career ended when he was captured after being shipwrecked off Brittany, handed over to the Gestapo, and tortured. He took advantage of a moment of inattention on their part to throw himself from a sixth-floor window rather than betray his comrades.

Interestingly, the similarly martyred Jean Moulin made it into the Panthéon shortly after the war. Brossolette wasn't honoured in the same way till 2015 (thank you, François Hollande). Our walk leader Jean-Jacques reckoned it was because Brossolette was one of the very few people who dared to tell de Gaulle when they thought he was making a mistake. Extra: our group admiring the not very attractive monument. Note the angle of the flag. Despite the wind it wasn't cold though.

Other highlights of the walk: a botanical path, and a group of men playing pétanque very seriously and with great skill. I forgot to switch on Wikiloc but I reckon it was about 6 km, 50 m climbing, 2 hours.

Home now, drinking vin primeur by the fire, Tuesday pizza on the table soon!

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