Thursday, 6 September 2012

Holiday shadow

Vinaròs is not so busy now that that holiday season is drawing to a close. Spanish schools don't start back until next week, so it's mainly the German, Dutch and French visitors who've gone. There are still some younger children on the sandy beaches, and their voices can still be heard as they play around swimming pools in our neighbourhood. At the church drop in centre this morning were several English residents just returned from spending the summer in England, exchanging the fierceness of the August heat for British rain.

The news today has been dominated by the shocking murder of four British holidaymakers on a mountain road just above the southern end of Lac d'Annecy in Haute Savoie. When I looked the map of the area, I realised it was a place we knew well, having passed several summers with the children at 'Camping Ideal' a few kilometres from there. The last time was exactly 20 years ago, just after I'd accepted to go to Geneva as chaplain. In fact Bishop John Satterthwaite interviewed me a couple of days before we set out and sent my formal letter of appointment to the campsite address. When we lived in Geneva we'd often drive to Annecy for tea, and on one occasion we cycled right around the lake. This terrible occurrence must cast a dark shadow over visitors and locals alike in this tranquil beautiful region.

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