Monday, September 05, 2011

Bois and Charbons

S'cuse my French. I translate the sign as Wood and Coal. Charbons is not to be confused with charabanc. There is no connection, well for some reason there was in my head.

I have seen this site myself. I don't know why I did not take a photo. Maybe I did not have a camera. This rather good photo is by Adam Maher and is published on Deviant Art. It is near to the old Abbotsford Convent, which for want of an accurate description, I will just call the convent an arts hub.

I knew this sign was painted for a scene in a movie but I never bothered to find out which one. However, I heard the other day which movie it was and it rather makes sense.

The movie was The White Mouse, a biographical tv movie about the late Nancy Wake's time as a British agent in the French Resistance during WWII. While she was actually born in New Zealand, as we do, Australia now claims her as our own as she grew up in here. While I have never been fond of her when I have seen her being interviewed or some of her attitudes to society, I certainly recognise her as a war heroine.

Nancy Wake died on the 7th of August, this year.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    What will you think of us for we have neither heard of Nancy Wake nor of 'The White Mouse'? But the photograph is most effective in that Resistance kind of way - all rather gloomy and slightly run down. Did agents ever work amongst the bright lights, we wonder?!!

  2. Doesn't it speak volumes of a war movie being shot in/near Collingwood?

  3. Ah - I wondered why it was a French business right next to the convent - thanks for setting me straight.

    I'm a bit of a non-fan of Nancy Wake, I'm afraid. She sounded like a right old pain in the arse who probably caused a lot more hassle than help. (I'll now await the flame throwers)

  4. JayLa, I think it was only when the movie was released, '87 I think, that the Australian public became aware of her.

    Jayne, you having a go?

    Kath, it wasn't that the nuns had a separate income stream. I agree with you about Wake. She did not seem like a nice person.