Saturday, April 28, 2018

A busy month of April

After the weekend in Ouistreham, I came back home with two passengers who found themselves stranded by the train strike. Well, almost. They found out it was going to be a strike day beforehand and we organized the return in advance. They were dear friends of Carrie's. It made the drive back to Paris much more interesting and I now have new friends. That's something I remarked during that weekend -- when I asked how someone knew Carrie or they asked me, the answers were so different: classmates from college in California, from grad school in Wisconsin, from the companies where she worked, from the STC (technical communicators), from travels, from common interests. I met her through the STC connection and Janet, another STC friend came to the celebration from her island off the coast of Washington state. Janine knew Carrie through the University of Wisconsin, but I know Janine through the AAWE and we were surprised to see each other visiting Carrie at the hospital last year. Also, during those visits, I met Mary and I think we are now going to remain friends. This was Carrie's gift -- connecting people.
One night at home and then we were off to visit Emma. While there, we went for a day's excursion to Conques. It's a charming village. The abbey and church were in the center of the town. The story of how they got the relic of Sainte Foy is fairly common for the time. A monk from the Conques abbey spent a year at the abbey where the relic was, then. After his year with them, the brothers trusted him enough to spend a night guarding the relic and, you guessed it, he quickly left, with the relic, to return to Conques. The brothers could not bring themselves to accuse another brother of theft, so they decided that it was a simple transfer, the saint's will to move and this put Conques on the Compostelle pilgrimage path. It's a big 12th century church and the abbey hostel is still in use. The church's treasure of triptychs and relic chests are no longer in the church, but in a part of the cloister that has set aside for it, well worth the visit.
In the fictional Cadfaël books, The Holy Thief is about a very similar event. The action takes place in Shrewsbury. There's a spring flood and the relic of St. Winifred is moved in case the water should enter the church. There happens to be visitors from another abbey and they leave as soon as the water starts receding. When it's time to bring the relic back from where it was safely stored, lo and behold, they bring it back and unwrap it, but lo and behold, it's not the relic!
I'm now reading the last, the twentieth, of the series. I've had a good time visiting the 12th century.
My visit to the 12th century was interrupted by James Comey's book. He presents himself well.

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