French Countryside

This past weekend, while listening to Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC Sounds, I heard this song by Jehnny Beth. I’d never heard her before, and it seemed a good fit for the hot summer, slow moving mode I’ve been in for the past couple of days.

The song also made me think of the impromptu side trip Sweety and I took to spend five days in Paris, France while visiting our lad and his wife and baby in London in 2012. We rode the 300 kilometre-per-hour Eurostar train from London St. Pancras International station to Paris Gare du Nord. This trip takes about two and a quarter hours, of which about 20 minutes is spent nearly 50 metres below the seabed of the English Channel in the Channel Tunnel (aka the “Chunnel”), where the train speed is reduced to 160 kph.

A man and a woman seated, smiling in a train.
Sweety and me aboard the Eurostar, from Paris to London, September 2012.
We didn’t think to take a photo of the French countryside as it whizzed by.
Photo © Alys-Lynne West.

I’ve written here before on our trip to Paris, in my post on “Comptine d’ un autre été, l’après-midi,” and, briefly, among my thoughts on “April in Paris.”

The song “French Countryside” is rather sad, another breakup song, but the first and last lines of the song catch me: “If I ever see the French countryside again…” I am disappointed that we haven’t been able to travel anywhere this year. Yet, at the same time, I feel fortunate to be living in a country and particularly a province with such low numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths. We’re blessed.

The travel bans and restrictions resulting from the coronavirus lockdowns make international travel seem a far away thing right now. We Westerners are not used to having limitations placed on us, particularly some of the more stringent ones we’ve been living through in the past four months. But, maybe we’ll get to see that French countryside again, sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio for the song from Jehnny Beth’s official YouTube channel:

2 thoughts on “French Countryside

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