Sous le pont d’Avignon and other things

We are in the south of France, in Avignon in particular, which is why blogging has been absent.

Yesterday we visited the graves of John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill. Mill’s grave is in simple white marble with “John Stuart Mill” engraved on the side. Searched around for Harriet’s and only after a while worked out that they are buried together, as I would have thought, but her tombstone sits above Mill’s and could only be read if I stood on my tiptoes. Every grave beside it was about ten feet high with religious symbolism a feature, unlike theirs which had none. But the most outrageous part was the little sign put at the foot of the gravestone put up in 1980 by the French, which reads:

“En hommage a John Stuart Mill

“Defenseur des femmes”

I suppose he might have found that all right but seemed a bit thin as a descriptor to me. Mill died here in 1873 because Harriet died here in 1858 and he stayed close for the rest of his life. Must say, however, that the winter here has become a bit brutal for the likes of me (with low temperatures a feature it seems everywhere). I no longer laugh at 2 degree weather with my Australian-thinned blood, especially with the mistral coming across any open space we enter. Particularly difficult on le pont d’Avignon where the wind almost carried us over the sides (interestingly you can also go sous le pont as well). Fascinating place with the fourteenth century papal palace the most outstanding feature. I wrote a first year university paper about the Avignon papacy which in many ways was my introduction to power politics.

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20 Responses to Sous le pont d’Avignon and other things

  1. Rod W

    John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
    On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Maybe time to spruce up the Palais des Papes ready for a new Western Schism. News today:

    Vatican Officially Recognizes Martin Luther as ‘Witness to the Gospel’

    Sacré bleu!

  3. calli

    You’re under the bridge, Steve? Lol – a little troll hunting?


  4. Dr Fred Lenin

    Vous danser sur le pont un danse folklorique et visite le Palais du Pape ? La Belle France est tres historique .

  5. CraftyNipper

    @ Bruce of Newcastle posted on January 7, 2017 at 5.08 pm. Seems there may be reason for this claim:

  6. .

    Obsessed by its Constitution, the US assumes that it can impose the separation of church and state on a world where cultural and religious traditions run deep. Its failure to realize that these traditions contribute to a rejection of Western-style democracy, and similarly, to notice the spiritual dimension of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy, including his standing among persecuted Christians, gives Russia a decisive advantage

    This is really out there. The lack of a separation of church and state is the main problem with Islam.

  7. CraftyNipper

    @ dot posted on January, 7 2017 at 7.34 pm. Putin seems very certain on the necessity for the separation of Church and State. From a speech he gave in 2014:

    We need a national policy based on civic patriotism. Any person living in our country must not forget his faith and ethnic affiliation. But he must above all be a citizen of Russia and be proud of that. No one has the right to place distinctive ethnic and religious features above the laws of the state. But at the same time, the laws of the state themselves must take into account the distinctive and religious features.

    We are a multi-ethnic society but we are held together by a Russian core. Despite all their differences and distinctive features, the basic, common moral, ethical and spiritual values are based on Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism – compassion, mutual assistance, truth, justice, respect for elders, and the ideals of family and work. It is impossible to replace those moral guidelines with anything, and we need to strengthen them.

  8. .

    Putin seems very certain on the necessity for the separation of Church and State.

    So what was that article banging on about!?

  9. Sydney Boy

    When in York, England, with my mother a few years ago, we noticed on the tourist map a marker for Dick Turpin’s grave. Having watched the TV show as a young chap – it was one of those “watch with the family together” type shows, we searched for nearly an hour before we found the rather underwhelming concrete marker and small tombstone in a tiny grassy park less than the size of a house block. Anticlimax for sure.

  10. Er… Sydney Boy:
    That grassy park is Dick Turpin’s grave. Black Bess is buried with him.

  11. Sydney Boy

    Yeah, SatP; maybe Dick Turpin was more famous in Australia due to the TV show than he was in the UK. Quite an underwhelming grave compared to many others we saw. But then again, England was full of old stuff and the graves of dead people. Fascinating place.

  12. What TV show? I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.
    I do know Dick Turpin though, he was one of my favourite baddies when I was a kid.

  13. Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspeeklike

    But then again, England was full of old stuff and the graves of dead people. Fascinating place.

    Saw where Admiral David Beatty and Sir John Jellicoe were buried. Indeed, a fascinating place.

  14. Kurt

    Cold in France?

    I’m just outside of Moscow. It was -31° this morning.

  15. Dr Fred Lenin

    New verses to the old nursery rhyme ,
    “Les islamiques vont comme ca et puis encore comme ca ” .
    “Les Eurocrats vont comme ca et puis encore comme ca ”
    “Marine le Pen vont comme ca et puis encore comme ca ”
    Apologies to les anciens .

  16. Habib

    What about Dennis Moore?

  17. Machaggis

    At least some suggestion is that it should be “Sous le pont…” as dancing was done under the bridge where it was safe from being run down by carts or mobs of people using the bridge above.

  18. Dan Phillips

    Machaggis, right. The bridge isn’t wide enough for everyone to dance tous en rond.

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