It's a very, very cold morning here but that didn't stop a huge crowd turning out in the village to say goodbye to Robert Bordes who died recently aged 87. His wife, Alice, died 5 years ago and he never really recovered from her loss. Alice and Robert were our neighbours when we lived at the top of the village and were the very first people to welcome us into their home. They were the kindest, gentlest, people and we were lucky to have had them as our friends and neighbours.
For the last couple of weeks I have been busy laying out the January edition of the Mayor's bulletin and on Monday I went to print the 120 copies we need. Of course, the copier was doing something strange and I had to call the engineer. A wasted morning and a boring afternoon waiting for his visit. Yesterday I manage to get them printed and this afternoon Kevin and I will deliver them. It is one of the ways that we can support the village and contribute to the strong sense of community that exists here. As well as being involved with the bi-annual bulletin municipal, we have been part of the fête committee for years, I am on the church flower rota and am on my second round as councillor.
So why talk about our village activities today? Not to show off but because listening to the eulogies to Robert I kept hearing the word respect - a value he prized highly. One of the reasons we decided to buy another house and stay in this village was because of the people like Robert and Alice who welcomed us so warmly to the village and made us feel part of a caring community. The phrase 'giving back' has become a bit clichéd but it really is how we feel about this small, rural village and we get so much support, friendship and love that we are willing to give up a little of our time to contribute - even if waiting for the photocopier repair man was very frustrating and boring! - and in these small ways we try to show our respect for our adopted country and the village we are proud to call home.
Adieu Robert - we were blessed to have known you.