May 2013 is one of the worst months of May I have ever seen. It has rained a lot but, worst of all, it was cold. A few days ago we nearly had frost in the morning ! And today, last day of the month, the temperature hasn't reached 12°C ! It is not bad compared to other days ! Last week one day had a maximum of... 8°C.
The whole country is complaining, not only Lorraine. And you could believe French people have been changed into British people. Everywhere you hear "What do you think about this weather ?", "Have you seen such a bad weather in May before ?", and the inevitable "How do you feel with this weather ?", the last being more French than British I agree. The answers range from "tired" to "fed up", without forgetting "bored", "sick" and less polite ones. The questions look British but the answers are definitely French, of course !
Strangely each time I decided to go out with my camera the sun started shining. I feel really lucky about this. I was able to relax and enjoy what I was looking at. These times were like a "normal" month of May, sunny, with the bright colours of spring and a pleasant temperature.
Weatherforecasts for next week are quite good for Lorraine. I hope it is true. We are all desperate, not only housewives ! Please, let the sun shine !
The inside of the basilica of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port looks really high. And it is very bright. Part of the stained-glass windows are just transparent so the light can come through easily. There are chapels on each side of the nave, one is dedicated to saint Nicolas. And the nave itself is not build on a straight line, it is a bit curved to the right.
A legend has it that, in 1240, in the evening of the 5th of December, Sire Cunon de Réchicourt, who had been a prisoner of the Infidels for four years, prayed to saint Nicolas whose day happens on the 6th of December. And a miracle made him arrive straight away on the steps of the church of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port. It is said that when he appeared there the doors of the church opened and a bright light filled the whole building. The chains fell from the body of Sire Cunon de Réchicourt and a little part of them is still kept in the basilica and shown each year during the procession to celebrate saint Nicolas Day in December.
When I took this photo the basilica was decorated for the celebration of Whitsunday. I walked around and found even more to say about it and its history and legends.
At the other end of the City Hall you can admire the gates of Place Stanislas again. This time they take place between the Hôtel de Ville (on the right) and the Grand Théâtre (on the left).
From there you see the cathedral of Nancy which was built from the beginning of the 18th century. Inside, Jean Lamour has created gates for two chapels just before creating the gates for Place Stanislas.
If you walk to the cathedral you reach one of the main shopping streets of Nancy, rue Saint-Georges, and if you go up the street you arrive at Point Central where the street changes name and is called rue Saint-Jean further up. When I was a child, there was a policeman standing in the middle of Point Central on a sort of wooden base, risking his life to run the traffic. Nowadays he has been replaced by traffic lights, of course. And when it was raining, policemen used to wear a long cape which, with the rest of the uniform, made them look like birds. Gendarmes were nicknamed hirondelles (swallows) because of this cape and I wonder if this nickname was used for policemen too as all looked alike.
The 6th Symposium de la Pierre is going on at the castle of Lunéville till the 31st of May. Gé Pellini, a sculptor, organizes this event which lasts two weeks. Sculptors are invited to create a piece of art with limestone (this year with calcaire de Chartres).
When I read "symposium", I wondered why this word was used and not meeting or exhibition, so I checked about its definition and the dictionary says "a symposium is a meeting of specialists, devoted to a specific subject". Of course, sculptors are specialists and the subject this year is Le Végétal (Plant).
As I don't see sculptors working every day, I wanted to go and look at what you can do in only fourteen days. I took the photos on the 8th day.
It is quite impressing, isn't it ? As they use pneumatic burins they are working more quickly than we would imagine. And they're ready to speak with you, answer your questions, explain about their work.
These sculptures had no name when I was there. So for the first one I hesitated between a flower and a mushroom, as the center seems nearly finished the mushroom could be the right idea. The second one is a leaf, obviously. And the third one ? Seeds ? My imagination still tries to find the right answer (and my mind still tells me "Why didn't you ask about this one?" I didn't dare as I feared the answer could have been "It's obvious !").
At the end of the symposium the sculptures are given to the département of Meurthe-et-Moselle which lends them to public schools, and you can also see some created during the former meetings in the gardens of the castle.
(I'll try to go there again before the end to see how sculptors have worked for the details and to find the names of these pieces of art)
Mother's Day in France is celebrated on the last Sunday of May unless Whitsunday falls on that day. In this case Mother's Day is held on the following Sunday.
My children left nursery and primary schools quite a few years ago, so I don't receive pasta necklaces, decorated flower pots, paper flowers, poems on parchment, picture frames and other pretty presents any more. I forgot to mention the wooden spoon with a plait on each side and a face drawn on the spoon, I have kept it in the kitchen for years. Of course, all these presents had to be hidden from the minute they left school till Sunday morning. And I've heard many times "Don't cheat ! Don't look at it ! Don't look for it !" So sweet.
Then by getting older they have used their pocket money and, the most difficult part, tried to find the idea of the year. Once Younger Son rode his bicycle and went down the hill to get roses, he put them in his rucksack and had to ride up the hill to come back. He arrived safe, completely exhausted and said : "I'll never do it again" ! Thank you for the roses.
Being adults children don't forget the day and if they are not at home, they phone to wish me a happy day. They are not old enough to appreciate the presents they made when they were very young, they tend to say it was ridiculous but these were surely the most beautiful I received.
And I think the most important on this day is the words. I don't expect anything, just Bonne Fête Maman ! with a smile.