Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Old Postcard Wednesday--Pond Mauguio, Languedoc, France and Hermitage Saint Maxime, Riez-la-Romaine, France

Pond Mauguio Fishing Scene

Hermitage Saint Maxime
Laugh (Haute-Provence)
Listed chapel, built in the 17 century on the ruins of the Basilica raised to 5 century by St. Maximus, bishop of Riez.
At the bottom of the hill, left Laugh-la-Romaine

(Approximation of printing on back by Google Translate.
Feel free to correct in comments. )

In last week's Old Postcard Wednesday I posted a gorgeous shot of a Provence mountain railway scene after freezing fog. As the back of the postcard was fully covered with a handwritten note in French, I mentioned that perhaps if Owen of the Magic Lantern Show blog stopped by he could possibly translate it for us. Bless his heart, he did exactly that and you can read the translation in his comments at the link above.

In my comments after that post I mentioned to one of you that, "(The old postcard) came into my hands in the nicest way. I placed a goodly-size order with a vintage postcard seller in France, and when my order arrived she had included a small envelope of cards with scenes from around Provence, circa 1970-80s, so probably not old enough to be considered vintage but she made a big hit with me!"

In looking over the remaining five "freebie" postcards in that envelope I realized that each one is covered with notes in the same handwriting and are signed by Papa. Our train-in-freezing-fog card is card #1 of 3 comprising one full message from Papa to Genevieve and Georges. Another two cards appear to comprise another full message, with the remaining card containing a full message unto itself.

Now. This is asking a lot of my friend Owen, but I am going to go on faith that he will return and will be so kind as to again translate for us, this time cards #2 and #3 to wrap up Papa's first letter-via-postcards to Genevieve and Georges. This explains why there are two postcards today. What fun for me and certainly for you because you will have the good fortune of getting to know Owen by way of his translating here, which would -- I have no doubt -- lead you to his blog, which is a wonder of wonders.

Thank you in advance to Owen and thank You for traveling along with me on this 1978 trip in France.

A bit about Languedoc, via Wikipedia:
Languedoc (English pronunciation: /ˌlɒŋɡəˈdɒk/; French: [lɑ̃ɡdɔk]; Occitan: Lengadòc[ˌleŋɡɔˈðɔ]) is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² (16,490 sq. miles).

For the language called Langue d'oc, see Occitan language.


The Mediterranean coast of Languedoc was settled by the Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans, and invaded by the Alamanni, Vandals, Visigoths (Septimania), and Saracens. Languedoc was known in the Middle Ages as the county of Toulouse, an independent county which was in theory part of the kingdom of France. In the 12th century, Languedoc was the center of the Cathar religious movement. The Roman Catholic Church declared them heretics, and the Albigensian Crusade wiped them out. As a consequence, the county of Toulouse was taken by the crown of France in 1271, (the county of Toulouse was a vassal of the crown of France, but had many connections with the Crown of Aragon, which included Catalonia) and has been part of France ever since. Later the name given to the area was Languedoc, literally meaning "language of oc", from the word "yes" in the local Occitan language ("oc", as opposed to "oïl", later "oui", in the north of France). The kings of France made Languedoc one of the provinces of the kingdom, and established the parlement of Languedoc in Toulouse. The parlement and the province were abolished at the time of the French Revolution, like all the other parlements and provinces of France.

A bit about Riez-La-Romaine and Hermitage Saint Maxime, from Provence Beyond:
Riez is in the rich Colostre valley, where the Auvestre river joins the Colostre. The rivers might be small, but the valley is wide, and runs southwest to join the lower Verdon and Durance rivers. Riez is the "Capitale de la Lavande", and there are huge lavender fields throughout the surrounding countryside.

This ancient village, dating from the 1st century, sits in a tight oval shape, with the domed hill of "Mont St. Maxime" behind. . .

This "mountain" is only a 120 m higher than the village, but has a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. While the lower village only goes back a couple of thousand years, this was the ancient hillfort capital of the Reii, a Celto-Ligurian tribe. Today the hilltop has a park under huge trees, with a great view, and the 17th-century Chapelle St. Maxime with its 20th-century nuns in residence. A small river flows past the front of the village, with a small, ancient double-arched bridge.



Owen said...

Too kind by far dear Lydia...

I'll be back just as soon as I can to translate the cards, right now I have to run off to work...

kathew said...

this postcard image is stunning-wow

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I would offer to help but apart from being able to sing Sur le pon d'avinon and say "regarde le sac majic" i have no french

My german isn't much better (despite having studied it) and i can only remember "Ich habe eine gershershepullmachinen" (i have a dishwasher)

My sign language is slightly better, but fortunately i have - so far in life - never had to rely on my knowledge of foreign languages for my survival

I especially like the first postcard btw

Looking to the Stars said...

Oh, Lydia thank you for this beautiful trip to France. I love the chapel. I know that I will never go to France but thru your postcards I can go. Thank you :)

susan said...

I read a fascinating book called 'Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing by Stephan A. Hoeller, a section of which is devoted to the Cathars of Langue d'Oc. When they were attacked by soldiers of the Catholic Church they refused to defend themselves. It's a book you might find interesting if you have some time.

The pictures here and postcards are wonderful.

Lydia said...

Owen~ That is so cool you are willing to translate the cards! Please do not pressured.

kathew~ Which one? :)

Pixies~ I took German too and remember very little of it. I took some Russian, which at least gave me a sense of the characters in their alphabet. It is great you know sign language!

Looking to the Stars~ That is how I feel about many of these postcards...a chance to get a feel for the places. Who knows, you might win Powerball and celebrate in France!

susan~ Actually that sounds like a book I might be interested in. I am putting it on my list.
I'm glad you enjoyed the postcards. :)

Lydia said...

Owen~ I missed a word. Meant to write: Please do not feel pressured. :)

the watercats said...

this has been lovely altogether! Love how Owen is helping out on the translation front, I only wish I knew more than the word 'merde'!

Fireblossom said...

oooh, LBR is going to freak out for this French edition of OPW!

I'm glad you vgot your first stand-alone page up! They're fun!

Please feel better, dear friend. Wish we could have a movie day and snarf down tea together. :-)

Lydia said...

the watercats~ hah! I will have to look up the one word you know. :) Thanks for thinking this is lovely altogether.

Fireblossom~ vgot? Unsure about that word, but I get the gist and I thank you so much for the coaching!
I wish we could have had a movie day with tea, too (tea for two!). I felt worse today than yesterday so hope tomorrow is a turn in the right direction. I hope you are doing better...drink your good tea now.

Fireblossom said...

LOL, "vgot" is a word my netbook made up. I can't get used to this keypad, and am constantly hitting extra letters and also caps lock. WHY is there caps lock???

PS--so far so good today...I feel significantly better, but also have to go to work. :-(

Owen said...

Hi Lydia,
Well, at long last, after a long week at work, I finally can breathe a bit, and what more relaxing exercise than to wade into someone's long forgotten postcard.... so here you go, I hope it fits in the comment box...

2 ... his music occupations may be promising. His temperament would be conducive to such. I believe that the price of Archeologia (? a magazine?) had already gone up. What prices don't go up ? A gentleman, former director of a well known Paris printing shop was saying to me this morning that the prices in Nice (niçois) had become nearly as high as in Paris, as I'd already noticed.
Non, I have not forgotten Mrs. Bollerst (sp?) nor the Nisalle (sp?). For old people, that always gives them pleasure. I haven't seen Mrs. Béneat (sp?) since Christmas.
Normally, the envelopes marked "please forward" must be presented open so that one can't send personal mail in them. But it's not practical, and the post office employees (who moreover couldn't care less) told me not to worry about it.
The Crédit Agricole is the largest bank in Europe, and the 3rd in the world. The success of their organized voyages is well spoken of, but like those done by Kodak, it is not lost time to check them out carefully.

3. So, the weather is not really so bad. It is just unstable. Little rain, no unbearable heat.
Good news from Grenoble. Excellent grades for Florent, accompanied by the usual appreciations, and work for René, but without great precision, up to now I ask Florent, who is happy. It is an unhappy fundamental for the higher studies which he is hoping for.
I hope Georges is not too tired from his frequent travels. May retirement come quickly, old man ! A shame that you did not have the intelligence to pay into the fund for "Cadres Pontificaux". I embrace you very heartily, papa
I'm thinking about staying here until 29.6
(At side of card written in other direction):
The relief map is needed, one doesn't realize that the hill rises over 345 feet above the town. The branches of the maritime pines are magnificent, as well as the panorama of the Provence Alps. Sunday there was an intimate Mass in Latin, the priest and 9 assistants, of which 5 were nuns. The choir of the chapel was formed of antique columns. A delicious ensemble.


Lydia said...

Owen! Thank you so much for translating cards #2 and #3! It was interesting to me that he would actually mention post office-related stuff in the postcard, and the comments about Kodak is puzzling. Also puzzling is his referring to Georges as "old man" because I was thinking Georges is the son. Perhaps Papa is making an ironic comment about Georges lifestyle...or perhaps Georges really is an old man, in which case Papa, if he really is the father, must be in very good shape traveling around like that.
I loved the last portion written to the side of the card. I thought it was Papa's most poetic writing.

You are astoundingly wonderful to do this for us and I cannot thank you enough. Here's wishing you a weekend of doing only that which is your heart's desire.

Lydia said...

Fireblossom~ I'm glad you are feeling better, but wish you hadn't have worked while still not well. Take care this weekend.

You will probably like Owen's translation of the postcards, the "job-related" part about the post office...

Fireblossom said...

Post office employess who couldn't care less!

*falls over laffing*

Lydia said...

Fireblossom~ HAAhhhhaahahahaha. Think I should share it with my mail carrier?



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