The film, although well acted and beautiful shot, was a disappointment. It dragged on and on and seeing the stern-looking Paul Scofield in tights didn't help. Our afternoon out turned into sheer torture. We were probably too young (13-14, I guess) to fully appreciate it.
Today's post isn't about Thomas More or Paul Scofield though, but about St. Martin, whose 'fête' we celebrate tomorrow, November 11th.Why do I refer to him as a Man for all seasons? This former Roman soldier of Hungarian origin achieved an awful lot in his for that period (4th century) long life (he died at the age of 81). He Christianized almost the whole of Western Europe (you may be against or for it, but that's beside the point here), travelling all over the continent, brought vines to the Loire Valley (without him we wouldn't have all these lovely wines today), has thousands of villages all over Europe named after him, ... and brings treats to Flemish children on his name day!
La collégiale Saint Martin in Candes Saint Martin.
Indeed, in some parts of Flanders, Sint Maarten (as he is called in Flemish) is none other than the original Saint Nicolas, whom we celebrate on December 6th and the universal Santa Claus, who's racing through the sky with his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
Where I live, the Sint Maarten tradition no longer exist, but I have some colleagues who live further north - only 30 km or so in the direction of Antwerp - whose children still receive presents from Saint Martin on November 11th.
Candles for Saint-Martin in the church in Candes.
Finally, November 11th is often the last summery day of the year. And it looks like it will be the case again this year. Like France and the UK we've been having a lot of rain and wind lately, but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, dry and calm. This day is often referred to as 'Saint Martin's summer'. There is a legend attached to it. In case you're interested, I'll post about it later.
P.S. Now I need to get to the kitchen to prepare Sunday lunch: roasted pheasant with apples cooked in white wine and cripsy 'croquettes'.