Friday, 22 June 2007

Oh to be in England ....

It's been a crazy week. Birthdays, celebrations, beautiful weather and genuinely lovely folk in which to share it all with. Kind, gentle, educated people who care.

Yesterday I took a meander with the new love of my life that comes complete with a Leica lens. Just the two of us along the dusty hot track that winds its way out of the village and into a myriad of breathtaking walks. Sunflowers on one side, vines on the other. You could hear the wheat rustling gently on the slight breeze. The sun felt hot overhead as the church bells chimed midday.

There are lots of similar villages in France. Places where tourists marvel, places that retain their beauty in all their simple splendour, places that should be loved, cared for, cherished and preserved wherever possible.

You would think so wouldn't you ? The cross that sits proud and poignantly alongside a wall hundreds of years old and steeped in history will no doubt be destroyed in the space of an hour. History, culture, beauty, preservation means nothing here. If it's old and beautiful rip it out. Replace it with something hideous, ugly and new. This is what happened in England during the 70's. This is what is happening here at an alarming speed. Only in England you can speak out, your voice can be heard, there are organizations, groups of people passionate about caring for their environment, despite your origin of birth you are welcome to voice your concerns, Not here though. This is France, remember ?

We're talking about development, we're talking randomly built housing, not necessarily cheap either, all grabbed by the French, all shunned by the 'foreigners'. It's 'yer 'Get Rich Quick' and sod the consequences to the infrastructure of these remote and beautiful villages.

But the laugh is (if you can laugh at something that could make you weep) that all the French that rush for their little plot on the lottisements that are built without any thought or plan whatsoever, shunned incidentally by a few very switched on and smart Mayors, are hoping that the 'foreigners' will all rush and buy their discarded old houses.

And when we won't because they have single-handedly b******d up their heritage by tearing out the heart of these precious places and they turn to us and ask a bewildered why we are no longer are enchanted by these precious jewels I shall do the same as I intend to do now.

Shrug my shoulders !


Suffolkmum said...

Ooh Sally I have been banging on about this to anyone who will listen for years - and wondering if it is actually still the same, since I am basing my opinions on a couple of years living in France 20 years ago now (gulp). Seems like it is still the same. Like you say, we're living with the consequences here.

countrymousie said...

Same the world over I think.
Like the image of you shrugging your shoulders.
"Paved paradise and put up a parking lot" always springs to mind.

Pondside said...

Yes, I thought the same thing that Mousie said 'Pave Paradise..." How sad.

muddyboots said...

l know where you mean, the irish like new homes too, & the brits buy up the old properties. but that plot, will just be a blot on the landscape, seen for miles around, ruining the natural order of things. such are french mayors.

Un Peu Loufoque said...

Should worst come to the worst send 2b, his lordship and small cross one out, well equiped for the long journey with a suitable hamper of provisions and go and save that cross for me will you please? I have just the place to put it, right up a planners injunction, or failing that on my hen hosue, it is rahter splendid isnt it!

Bon Courage chere amis!

annakarenin said...

Popped in for a bit of sunshine but sad to think of the old french landscape being ruined in that way but it is an unfortunate fact of today's greedy materialistic society. Also there is this desire to show wealth with big and modern is beautiful. It is a huge problem in the current housing situation especially on the coast, when retired couples are living in huge modern carbuncles whilst families squeeze into tiny houses or mortgage themselves to the hilt.