Today, 8th May, is Victory in Europe Day – and also our llama Victoria’s birthday. (Hence her name.) Possibly you recall her dramatic delivery.

Mum and baby meet

She’s one year old today. She’s not fully grown yet – she has another six months or so to go. Vicky’s quite stocky and small, taking more after her dad, Bernard, than mum Katrina, who is tall and willowy. She’s kept her striking looks. She is very friendly and strong-willed. All in all, a smashing little llama.

Vicky, and Elrond (Mutton Chops) in the background

VE Day marks the end of the Second World War (in Europe). It’s a public holiday in France. At 11 am there will be small ceremonies at all the thousands of war memorials around the country. We go to the one at Nouzerines. We missed last year as Vicky started arriving at just after 10.30am, and so were otherwise engaged, but normally we always attend, and on 11 November too. My father, uncles, grandfathers and great-uncles were all soldiers in the Second World War. So were Chris’s. My Nan’s step-brother Ronnie was killed. He was only eighteen, younger than my son Benjamin. I find that hard to handle, frankly.

Nouzerines' war memorial

The ceremony is short but moving. And sadly not very well attended. It amazes and appals me that people can’t spare a quarter of an hour to remember the men and women who died in the war, fighting for what was right. They sacrificed their lives and deserve to be honoured and never forgotten.

Daily snippets for 8 May

Today’s Saint: St Felicity, martyred with St Perpetua

Famous French person born this day: in 1326, Joanna of Auvergne, Queen of France

Famous French person who died this day: in 1880, Gustave Flaubert, novelist

Today’s word: guerre – war

Today’s dicton: A Sainte-Félicie, tous les lilas sont fleuris – On St Felicity’s day, all the lilacs are in flower