Saturday, 28 May 2016

French Letter (16)

A Road Less Travelled
'A French Letter'

Saint Aubin de Pouancè

We are getting text messages from our insurer and the breakdown cover provider, both advising not to travel unless absolutely necessary. The news is reporting that 1 in 5 fuel stations are out of gaz-oil (diesel) However we already know that in this area, there is very little available. All four fuel stations when they have had fuel available have been limiting the amount you can purchase.

28th May 2016

We are still located in Saint Aubin de Pouancè 'Aires'. The weather has been glorious and very warm throughout our stay so far. When it has rained, it has been most welcome, if only to freshen up the air. The Memsahib was suffering a bit with hay fever because of the pollen from the 18 inch high grass in the flower meadow. The local municipal council have now been and cut sections of the grass. Which they also pick up and take away to be reused as animal feed or to make compost. 


The grass cutting was a very carefully choreographed process. First the men with the hand held power strimmers came to cut a swathe around the base of the trees. This was followed shortly afterwards by mechanised ride on grass cutters which directed the cuttings into large hoppers. The hoppers were then periodically emptied into trucks which took the cuttings away.

Then a couple of normal grass cutters arrived and trimmed down the remaining stubble. Some large patches of the flowering meadow grass were left standing to go to seed and to provide seeds to feed the birds.

One of the team of grass cutters was a Londoner who has been living in France for the last twelve years. He gave us a bit of insider information. There is a local 'English Pub' called the 'La Fontaine' which is the local watering hole frequented by the English ex-pats. So a visit is now on the cards.

I went out to take some photographs of the sunset. So I decided on a walk round the local lake. A stroll round the lake can easily take an hour. The lake is an old worked out gravel pit and so has very steep sides. I watched a bit of animal behaviour I have never seen before. The local Heron population have taken to patrolling the lake from the air. Occasionally diving down to capture fish on or near the surface. The Herons float along quite well on the surface to eat their catch. They can easily take off from the surface.

Another couple of British tourists turned up on the 'Aires'. We were able to advise them of the location of the various diesel stations in the area. After emptying their black water tank and their cassette, they were soon off to try their luck.

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