I’ve visited Orléans before – I can’t quite remember when or why – but the image I had in my mind is so different from the reality that I’m beginning to wonder if I ever actually came here at all. It’s beautiful! Clearly the focus is, unsurprisingly, on the Maid of Orleans, la Pucelle, Joan of Arc or, as the French call her, Jeanne d’Arc. The 8th May is a Bank Holiday in France when the end of the Second World War is commemorated. It’s also referred to as ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ as the 8th May 1429 is the day that the army that she lead broke the siege of Orléans. (Both events are brought together with the still visible damage on some statues from the 1939-45 war.) We won’t mention the English in all this… I’m assuming that all the flags – some quite sizeable! – are still up from recent dual 8th May activities.