Vlad’s Vlog in Vou – Vlad’s Vlog à Vou

Vlad’s Vlog in Vou – Vlad’s Vlog à Vou (FR sous-titres)

Vlad and Marlowe go to the sleepy local village of Vou and look at the memorial there to the Demarcation Line. From 1940 to 1943, the line separated the Occupied Zone – Nazi-controlled France – from the Free Zone, run by Maréchal Pétain and the puppet Vichy régime. This was a dangerous place to be, with people-passers helping Jews, Resistance fighters and Allied combatants move surreptitiously between the two zones, risking their own lives every day, and risking denunciation by collaborators. Rejoicing that Nazi occupation is no more and that France is, was and shall evermore be France – Douce France! – Vlad and Marlowe then go for a ramble o’er hill and dale, to the accompaniment of a sublime paean by the poet-songwriter Léo Ferré, Je suis un chien (I am a dog). This is a sentiment that both Vlad and Marlowe strongly identify with, though Marlowe’s claim on the affirmation is admittedly a trifle stronger than his master’s…

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Vlad and Marlowe Go to Le Louroux – Vlad et Marlowe vont au Louroux

Presented to you in English with French subtitles (sous-titré en français).

Vlad and Marlowe beam down in Le Louroux, a quiet Touraine village steeped in history.

Its main lake is the second biggest in Touraine, created by monks at the 11th-century priory-farm which – together with the 12th-century church – forms a gorgeous architectural ensemble. No more monks, thank the Lord and pass the ammunition – but a little echo of medieval heavenliness lives on nonetheless, so far from the cacophonous, barbaric pandemonium of our modern world.

Vlad and Marlowe traipse around the village before embarking on a cold and muddy but salutary trudge in the surrounding countryside.

The music is the Sanctus and Agnus Dei from Gabriel Fauré’s exquisite Requiem.

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The House of Straw – La Maison en paille

Vlad and Marlowe are forced to change route because of a major hunt in the forest. After a few thoughts on the sad disappearance of hedgerow, a natural habitat for all kinds of wildlife, they visit another natural habitat – a house, or rather three houses, made out of straw. The three people staying there, all circus performers, kindly introduce Marlowe to the goats and show them both around this unusual home.

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Marlowe in the Snow – Marlowe dans la neige

Marlowe in the Snow – Marlowe dans la neige (sous-titré en français).

Marlowe was born on 7 July 2016, so he’s only lived through one previous winter. But – alas and alack – in 2016-17 there was no snow in Touraine. Today, then, was his first experience of snow! That’s the subject of this video – nothing more, nothing less, and what you see is what you get – a uniquely Marlovian wag of his personal winter’s tail.

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Dog in a Fog in a Vlog

Dog in a Fog / Clébard dans le brouillard. Vlad’s Vlog now has French subtitles – maintenant, SOUS-TITRÉ EN FRANÇAIS !

Vlad and Marlowe pootle out on a foggy January morning. Vlad reflects in passing on fog in literature, art and film, and the great London smogs, and reads an extract from Dickens’ Bleak House (1853). The music is Events in Dense Fog by Brian Eno.

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Vlad’s Vlog in Chanceaux-près-Loches

Vlad and Marlowe walk round Chanceaux-près-Loches, with its magnificent avenue of plane trees, 12th-century chapel, abandoned restaurant, 19th-century château and the hunting chalet where Gonzague Saint Bris used to sojourn before his untimely death in a car accident in August 2017, a few days before the 22nd edition of his Forêt des Livres book fair took place right here, under these selfsame trees. Perhaps it’s the dismal winter skies, but the place seems woebegone today. When Marlowe goes for a tramp in the woods, however, the spirits revive once again – human and canine. (The tramp escapes unscathed…)

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Vlad and Marlowe Go to Saint-Bauld

On a rainy day in Touraine, Vlad and Marlowe go for a walk around the village of Saint-Bauld. Vlad can’t think of anything better to talk about than the non-intuitive pronunciation of certain French place names, which he compares with the same phenomenon in the land of his fathers. These ponderous lucubrations mean little to Marlowe – for whom a bark is a bark is a bark – and he wanders off, unimpressed, to chase a duck. Their dank promenade is accompanied post hoc by a melancholic air from the pen of Gabriel Fauré, as Vlad continues to trip over his own tongue.

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Le secret sensationnel de Trump !

LE SECRET SENSATIONNEL DE TRUMP ! Pour les amis français, voici un chapitre de Vlad’s Vlog entièrement sous-titré en français ! Cliquez sur ce video si vous voulez apprendre le plus grand secret sensationnel du Président Trump ! Révélé en exclusivité sur Vlad’s Vlog !

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Vlad’s Vlog on Rosine Deréan

In his latest post, Vlad briefly but eloquently explains why he bothers to produce Vlad’s Vlog – in case you were wondering – before talking about a small unassuming lady who died in a local village in 2001 at the age of 91. Unbeknownst to many, she had been a famous French film star in the 1930s and an active resistance fighter in the war. This is a vlog about Rosaline Deréan, on the occasion of a talk by the historian Christophe Meunier, author of a book about the actress, and a showing of one of her films, Lac aux Dames (1934), in the excellent Royal Vigny cinema in Loches. Thanks to La Renaissance Lochoise newspaper for organising this fascinating evening and to the Amoremio restaurant for some great Italian food. (And by the way, it may not escape your notice that Vlad’s Vlog has had a little facelift…)

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Vlad’s Dream of Paris

Vlad nods off in Touraine, there’s a curious magical flash and he dreams that he’s back in his old stamping grounds in Paris: in particular, Montparnasse and Boulogne-Billancourt. He even raises a New Year’s glass with an old friend, Professor Dunstan Ward, in his favourite café, Le Select. What does it all mean? “If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumber’d here, while these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream…”

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© 2019 Adrian Mathews