If you are hoping to see lots of pictures of Cannes and the film festival then at the moment you have come to the wrong place. We were there briefly on Sunday morning on the way to church and hope to be there next Sunday for the same reason. So all being well we will put together a compilation of some of our pictures next week.
Of late we have been involved a little bit more in the growing and really rather exciting youth work in our church. It may not be the largest youth group in the word but there are a lot of churches in this part of the world, and not just Anglican ones, where there aren’t any young people at all. (There’s one or two where we are considered young.) However we have now accumulated over 20 young people – ‘kids’ – and recently we’ve had a couple of events.
One was the ascent of the Rocher de Roquebrune, something that in Britain would be called a mountain, but which around here is just a hill. It is however rather remarkable in shape, looking rather as if some ill-tempered and clumsy giant had battered it for a long time with a hammer and chisel.
Along with a few adults and a considerable number of lively youngsters we went up the southern face. All went well except that in their enthusiasm the leading youngsters decided to overlook the normal route to the summit in favour of something that very soon was not so much walking up a slope as climbing a cliff. The rest of us followed and found ourselves edging along rock surfaces where the only thing stopping you from falling off was a thick steel wire that someone – probably the French army – had bolted on to the cliff face.
Anyway we made it up to the top where there was just about room for everybody to sit down. The summit – which gives spectacular views – is marked by three steel crosses all slightly different and taken from three different paintings of the crucifixion. So having a talk about the meaning of the cross from Giles the chaplain was particularly appropriate. We descended by the slightly safer route and were delighted to find that other than a few aches and bruises no one was any worse for wear.
One of the many paradoxes that characterises this most secular of states is that France has a Pentecost (Whitsun) public holiday. This gave an excellent opportunity to have a short holiday Bible club run with her usual enthusiasm by Claire in her house perched up above Cap d’Antibes. It was a space-themed series on the apostle Peter (no we’ve not been able to figure out the link either, but we remember doing it at Pantygwydr some years ago). We turned up to help for the Sunday afternoon session and were involved in various activities with 19 well-behaved and very enthusiastic youngsters aged from around 6 to 16. What was particularly fun was that we ended up doing it bilingually as while all the English speakers speak French, there are some who don’t speak much English. But it worked very well. Full marks Claire! We love the way you turned your living room into a spaceship interior.
Finally, and quite unrelated to the youth group – we have mentioned on and off our work in Taradeau on tidying up the Oppidum, the old Gallic fort complex (think Asterix) at the top of the hill. Someone has just produced a rather nice video taken by drone of the hill which includes the fine mediaeval tower you can see from our house as well as the oppidum itself (mislabelled as a Castrum medieval). You can see how much work we’ve done to clear the ground from vegetation. And you can also see why, come October, we will be back up there to do yet more clearing.