Out here in rural France, we’re surrounded by nature of course. That doesn’t mean it’s all idyllic, but it’s hard to take a walk during lambing time in spring and not feel, at least for a minute or two, that all’s well with the world.
Two or three times a year the local mairie sends out one of its fleet of tractors to cut the grass and trim the hedges that bound most of the minor roads in the commune – including the one that passes through our little hamlet. This is known as the ‘fauchage’ – not to be confused with ‘chauffage’, whch means heating.
These guys don’t take any prisoners and there’s no room to pass them, so you just have to get out of the way as best you can.
A century and more ago, there were no school canteens – at least not in little village schools like this one in Montrol-Sénard. Pupils brought their hot lunches from home and kept them warm on the stove in the middle of the classroom.