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 !