Re. Your Trip to Normandy
Bayeux’s a bit heavy; suggest you leave it
for the last day of your stay.
Suggest allow whole morning for queuing –
toilets essential on arrival –
and getting in and out of the Tapestry Museum;
hire headphones for grope-control.
Follow with organised sunbathing
in the cathedral grounds –
plenty of bins for discarded packed lunches –
with junior member of staff, the vegetarian,
while rest of you have your last meal without the kids.
Conclude afternoon with a short drive
to the Musée Mémorial –
toilets inside the front door –
tickets needed for half-group only;
first pupils through will do the lot in two minutes
and pass their tickets on.
So, a few minutes in all plus a pee,
leaves ample time for the group photo: taking out the Panzer –
tendency at this point for worksheets to fly away –
then cross the road to the War Cemetery –
the duty-free can wait –
review the parade of eloquent standing stones …
even cynics like me, herding
children back to the coach,
grant futility some purpose …
on the memorial arch,
“Nos a Gulielmo victi victoris patriam liberavimus”,
we aren’t patching together and embroidering.
(Nos a Gulielmo victi victoris patriam liberavimus = We who were conquered by William have liberated his country)