A 19th century public village school. Note the kabalistic engravings above. Massonic? "His and Her" door to school. This is the boys' door. Thats the way it used to be in France untill 1969
It took my hard fall from "metro-journalist" to "rural & local correspondent" to discover accousmatic art. Urban refugees and Second-home owners (when you could afford them) really boosted the artistic intelligence ratings here. One of these intellectual philantropists launched twenty years ago an accousmatic arts gathering in the summer.I'll spare you the complex definition of accousmatic art. It's mostly electronic (or accoustic ?) music: the brainy kind. A concert goes like this: you... [Lire la suite]
Sociologists should study this phenomenon: the more industrialized farming becomes, the more villages in rural aeras multiply plowing contests. French farmers are so ill at ease with the way the trade is going, they can't go for a year without a couple of them. They just have to make believe nothing has changed, with old fashioned tractors and plowing nostalgia to bear the tough of GMO. A plowing contest is a highly organized event, yet they are all the same. You have a field requisitioned as a carpark, where... [Lire la suite]
The blind mare On the verge of my territory - bordering Georgette's, the "northern" correspondent -there' s a sign post: "Horses, retirement home". Retirement for horses? An old people's home for old horses? I had seen horses, of indefinite age, meditating in a large meadows on the edge of the main road. In times of news shortage, I thought at the time, that could be an item for my newspaper. At the end of August, this time of news-shortage arrives. No a ball, no town council... [Lire la suite]
A local correspondent cannot play truant on the morning of the first day of school, that would be a heavy professional fault. For this village, the traditional "first day at school" photograph was essential, as next year, the pupils will have a new school, pure concrete. Bye to "multiple levels classrooms", toilets in the courtyard, squeaky boardfloors. I learnt how to read and write in this school. I wheeled and dealed to have my niece sit in the front-row, when everyone sat dutifully for the photograph.... [Lire la suite]
France-Telecom is bulldozing the public telephone booths in rural areas. After all, everyone owns a mobile now. I've seen this ancient telephone box in a mountain village. The box, hamered on the wall of the tiny post-office, contained one telephone for emergency calls, when calling during the night was for national disasters and personal catastrophies only. You know the style : "Break the glass pane in case of emergency". Good of them to have preserved it.
A local told me a wonderful story about contry politics. You know, the kind of stories city people just love to hear. At the far end of the departement on a deserted highland, lived three tiny villages. Just to picture their isolation from the wide world: when the old tunnel of the valley road crumbled, they had to drive fifty kilometers, by other roads, to shop for groceries. For a year. One village is deeply catholic. The second one is fiercely protestant. The last one is communist. The three of them have been hating ... [Lire la suite]
It's freezing. So, here is a picture of July in full bloom.
I already have this 'School ahead" roadsign in my collection, but now, I have a under-the-snow version. By the way, if you have school ahead roadsigns, I'll take them. I'll swap or exchange doubles, triples, by mail.
Fancy being born here ? I learnt of a widwives network through a specialist of the Marquis of Sade. Now, where is the connection ? This is the way things work in the country. The Marquis of Sade's specialist runs a second-hand bookshop in a nearby town. Peculiar man, but good with first editions. I droped by for an information. Had the Marquis de Sade really stopped in town in his life-time? It was important at the time, for a report on "Heritage week" for the paper. Yes, he had. See page so and so of "The... [Lire la suite]