10 November 2008

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Our mayor neighbor has been busy cleaning up our hamlet. She is responding to requests from her neighbors, I believe, and not just making decisions arbitrarily.

The vineyard in November

Our road, at least the paved part, ends just outside our back hedge. It turns into a gravel track out through the vineyard. You can drive on it with regular car if you are careful, but most of the "traffic" out there is little trucks and various kinds of tractors and farm equipment.

The problem is that when you get to the point where the pavement ends, you have the impression that if you turn left you might be able to continue your route. But no, the pavement ends there too, about 50 meters farther on, at the mayor's front gate.

The paved road ends here.

The other house on that little piece of road belongs to Mme J., a woman who is now about 86 years old and who is particularly sensitive to noise. Some of the other neighbors think she is entirely to bothered by the everyday noise of lawnmowers, chainsaws, and grape harvesters — they say she just likes to complain and be disagreeable.

The mayor told us she had been requesting a "dead end" sign on the road for years. Once a car or truck makes that left turn, the driver has no choice but to back out, and that's a noisy proposition. Now Mme J. has her sign.

That sign is fine, I think, but the other one that appeared the other day really seems to shout it's message. There used to be a big pile of compost right outside our back gate. It was where we and some of the neighbors would pile branches and dead leaves and weeds we'd pulled up.

"No dumping, under penalty of fine"

I even remember seeing the mayor dumping things out there once or twice, and once I saw her out there digging out some rich humus to use in her garden. Now the compost pile is gone and the little plot of land is scraped flat. When we first moved here, I once mentioned to a man who does gardening for two of our neighbors that I didn't like have a pile of yard waste right outside my back gate.

At the time, the gardener told me I'd have to talk to the people at the village hall if I wanted the waste pile removed. As it turns out, years later, I've learned that the gardener is a good friend of the mayor's and her husband's. He must have told them of my concerns. Now there's a sign to make sure that spot doesn't turn into a compost pile again.


  1. It's the Obama effect! Oui, nous pouvons is popping up all over.

  2. So it isn't true that you can't fight city hall???

  3. It's good when you have friends or neighbours in high places. Just kidding :-)

  4. Hello!
    Oh my, the ambiguous road signs are rampant in France.
    Thanks for coming by my blog.

  5. I agree with Carolyn;-)


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