Tornado at Tournai

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Friday 13th August 1999

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Le Panoramique MONT-SAINT-AUBER, just across the border in Belgium, became known as the Jardin des Poetes because of Tournai-born Geo Libbrechtit (1891-1976) and others who found inspiration in the local countryside. Quotations are carved in the pavement leading down towards the woods. One translates along the lines of; 'When I walk in the fields, I know something of poetry.'

Maurice Carême (1899-1978) is one of the poets celebrated here but in fact he never came to write at Mont-Saint-Auber, although he attended several reunions here. He wrote in and around Brussels and at Orval, where he often spent the summer. For more about Carême, see the link below.

It is so hot today that, after a short walk, we sit at a table on the terrace of Le Panoramique cafe and I sketch the view towards the old town of Tournai.

Le Soir The next evening, Saturday, at about 9 p.m., a tornado sweeps through the northern quarter of the town, uprooting trees, damaging 300 hundred houses, lifting the roofs off many of them, but injuring only five people. It misses historic town centre and cathedral of Notre Dame.

spindle berries But back to Friday; the Spindle berries are ripe here, ahead of ours at home.

dragonfly A large blue and yellow dragonfly hawks around over a country lane and rests on a clump of elderberries. From its size and its blue and yellow markings I guess that it is the Migrant Hawker, Aeshna mixta.

grasses and grain from seven fields Back home with our hosts in Villeneuve d'Ascq, Daphne, the little girl from next door, presents Myriam with a bouquet made up of grasses and wheat picked in seven different fields around the house. It is a charm that is reputed to bring good luck.

Related Link

Maurice Carême

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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