On Tuesday firefighters were called to help people in the village. Local firefighters couldn't cope with so many places to deal with so others came from the nearest barracks to help pump water out, repair roofs, clean houses... They were all volunteer firefighters. In France about 80% of firefighters are volunteers.
In the village a group of firefighters was created around 1900. It was necessary because of fires happening quite often. Blocked chimneys, lightning, open fires caused more problems than nowadays.
Of course there was no engine to help. At the beginning firefighters only had buckets and inhabitants helped them to create a human chain, then they had a pump but buckets were still needed. The pump was pulled by men, or by horses in towns. They were already asked to be quick and efficient. When it became possible uniforms were ordered, thick and heavy and not really good when men had to fight against fire.
What a change after one century !
In France the motto of firefighters is Courage et Dévouement (Courage and Devotion).
Thanks to them.
When weatherforecasts speak about orange warning because of possible local storms with violent wind, heavy rain and hail, we pay attention but not too much. It won't happen here, will it ? Or it won't be that bad.
Yesterday was the same. A bit before five o'clock my Husband told me he would like some rain. I answered we didn't need it if it would damage everything and, at the same time, I noticed the first big drops.
About 15 seconds later we had violent wind, whirlwind, heavy rain and hail. I rushed outside to close the windows of our Younger Son's car but it was already too late, all wet inside. By chance all the house windows were closed to avoid the heat to come inside.
Wind and rain stopped after about 20 minutes and heavy rain started again a few minutes later. We were lucky, only our balcony was flooded, three inches of water (the evacuation holes were blocked, we've never checked them as we've had no problem before yesterday).
In the village, houses were flooded, trees fell down or broke, gardens became ponds.
Today we are still in the orange warning area. The village is calm apart from the noise of chain saws. Some friends are cleaning their houses. Our balcony needs a wash, we bailed it out yesterday evening. Our garden has changed into a dried pond, not good looking.
The sun is back. It is hard to believe a storm happened here less than 24 hours ago.
We really like walking in the park of the castle of Lunéville and we notice all changes of flowers, decorations in the grass or in the fountains.
On the Sunday we listened to Cuban music we discovered the sculptures in the fountains had been moved away. There were two beautiful metal horses there at the end of June, created by Emmanuel Kieffer.
He was a blacksmith for a start as people before him in the family. Then he made his own metal sculptures and went on with his job. After a while he stopped the blacksmith activity to create sculptures only.
Near the fountains there are now small wood cabins where people can discover photos of horses. They were taken during WWI.
Poor horses had a real hard life in the army, in the battles. They were the only way to carry a lot of things without speaking about soldiers riding them to fight..
It is difficult to imagine it after watching on television all the photos and documents of WW2 when horses were not used any more and replaced by machines.
I don't know if I am right but I think the photos were chosen as the 100th anniversary of WW1 is near. It is another way after horses shows to make a link between Lunéville and horses.
The day we went to Goviller we saw all sorts of pieces of art in TEM farm.
The ones which made us smile more, with Socks' Tree, were funny creatures standing in the attic, two groups of them, all different.
First we noticed the eyes and the skinny legs, one group with short legs, the other with long ones. Then we realized they were made with recycled equipment : radiators, gas cylinders, cans... So we had a look at each of them to check what had been converted. It was quite easy to guess for most of them.
But we hesitated a long time in front of one creature. What was it ? We were standing, speaking about the shape, the size. In the end I went nearer (I do this quite often, don't I ?) and read the words printed on the metal. They had a bit disappeared when the artist worked with the thing but it was still possible to read them. It was a fire extinguisher ! Hard to be sure before reading the contents on one side.
It is quite an amusing way of recycling metal things. Artists don't understand the word recycling the same way as we do. A pleasure for the eyes.
In fact I wouldn't mind having one or two of these creatures in my house or near my flowers outside. They don't look bad at all and seem quite friendly.
What can we do on a hot Sunday afternoon ? This was the question last week end. We hesitated between a walk in Fontenoy-la-Joûte, the book village, or a walk in Gélaucourt, the flower village. In the end we chose not to walk in the sun but to sit and listen to Cuban music in Lunéville.
This is such a good idea to let people enjoy music in the park near the castle and to invite different groups at the bandstand each Sunday. The event is always successful and if you are late you'd better bring your own seats.
We managed to find two seats not far from the musicians. From the first second the Cuban atmosphere was present. The singer was good and the trumpet player amazing. The rhythm was relaxing, holidays feelings. A few couples started dancing. We appreciated the trees above us and the gentle breeze. Everybody was smiling and applauded at the end of each song.
After this good break we walked to the castle and enjoyed a new exhibition called Les Arts de la Table, all sorts of earthenware pieces used on a table. We discovered some we had never seen before and two really kind persons gave us plenty of explanations. (And we realized we had common friends !)
A very good afternoon.