The French soldiers drink before the battle
We have two new members of our family, a pair of tiny Chartreux kittens. Lydia has been very keen to get a cat, and after extensive investigation she decided on the Chartreux, a breed of French kitten bred by the Carthusian monks for their fur. They have a beautiful gray-blue coat and deep blue eyes when they are young, changing to gold as they age. In behaviour they are sort of between a cat and a dog, being willing to fetch balls and respond to their names, following you around the house and not meowing. One of the odd traditions of having a Chartreux is that the first letter of its official name encodes the year of its birth, so for 2009 kittens their official name should start with an "E". We visited our little kittens in a small town just outside Charleroi
, but they were too small to take home so they are staying for another two weeks.
One more glass for the soldiers before heading off
After our kitten visit we stopped off with our good friends John and Jay to visit Waterloo, the site of the famous defeat of Napoleon by a coalition of forces led by Wellington on June 18, 1815. It was perfect weather so we sat at the old pub drinking beer and coffee next to a table of Napoleonic soldiers, before walking up Hameau de lion (the Lion's Mound). This conical hill, 41 metres high, was built between 1824 and 1826 as a monument to the soldiers killed in the battle. On top of the hill, after 226 steps, stands the Lion, weighing 28 tonnes, which keeps an iron grip over peace in the world. We also visited the Waterloo Panorama, a circular painting that you stand inside to imagine the scene of the battle, but it wasn't a patch over the Defence of Sevastopol
panorama we saw in the Ukraine.