Rognes Cucuron

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 17th July 2011

ROGNES - and an interesting chance meeting - CUCURON - Vide Grenier (Empty your Attic)

Owen needed to visit Rognes to collect some tickets for a performance of Manon des Sources - the sequel to Jean de Florette.

There was a small queue in the Tourist Information Office and also it was mounting an Art Exhibition - so I trotted up the stairs to view the Exhibition by Jacques Pellet. As luck would have it, the artist himself was there and we got tallking. How the subject of René Mouchotte was raised, I can’t remember - but I started to tell Jacques about my project. He was more than interested because his father flew in both the first and second World Wars. And if I understood him correctly, his father was one of the first to use a parachute in the first World War. We returned the next day to hear more about his project which is to develop a totally self-sustaining site near the Ecole Militaire at Salon (where René did some of his training) and he gave me copies of photos of his father in a bi-plane with another man behind him wielding a gun - that’s how rudimentary the air battle would have been during the first World War and also a photo of his father in another plane. They are very special.

In the afternoon we visited Cucuron - another picturesque village with a very interesting story concerning a tree and the church. I suppose they conduct a festival not unlike our Maypole festivities but they have turned the affair into one of thanksgiving. If you visit Cucuron between 21st May and 15th August any year, you will find on the left of the Church Entrance a huge tree which stands taller than the Church and Steeple. It is brought there as part of the May Procession and the tradition of the tree dates back to the ending of the Plague in the 18th Century.

The Church was quite plain but very interesting and standing by the Organ playing  ancient instruments - galoubet-tambourin -  was Andre Gabriel dressed in traditional costume. The l'Occitane music is an acquired taste but I like it very much.  (The musician holds the 'flute' in just one hand and bangs the tamourin with the other)  To my untrained ear the music is very oriental.

Cucuron was holding a Vide Grenier - an empty your attic sale - which stretched throughout the streets on tables and sheets spread on the ground. On entering the village, on the very first ‘stall’ something caught my eye. It was a heavy plaque measuring about 4 inches square, finely engraved with the face of pilot in an old fashioned flying helmet. It was the face of a French First World War Ace called Georges Guynemer carrying a facsimile of his signature. At the top it read ‘Colloque - Air 87’ and was obviously some sort of event celebrating the 70th Anniversary of his death in 1917. Of course I bought it!

I also picked up an old ‘print’ from a Magazine called ‘l’Illustration’ and dated 1870. It represented a scene from the Franco Prussian War and was of two soldiers carrying the body of Commandant Jacquot. All very mystifying because it is signed in ink by Jacquot - yet from what I could make out on the Internet, he died of his wounds. Perhaps it was signed by a relation. I bought it because of it’s historical Age. To hold a signed piece of paper going back almost 150 years is exciting - one is holding a piece of History.

I’ve always loved poking around in ‘Sales’ like these - along with a load of Tat, you can find some very interesting bits and pieces. There was one piece I’d have bought had I gone to Provence by car - it was an old basket-ware child’s chair on metal wheels. Mind you, heaven knows where I would have put it.

Another action packed and highly enjoyable day. 

This is the Etang at Curcoron - hardly a lake but very picturesque


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