Connecting with the past

We were running out of logs for the poele, didn’t need a lot because after a few winters, I can reasonably estimate our needs, however this week, despite not needing to light the stove before 8pm, we were down to our last few days of buches.

Anyhow, yesterday I went scavenging in the now abandoned mediaeval woods that line the gorge above our house. I brought back several trees that must have fallen more than four years ago and proceeded to cut them up with a bowsaw (chainsaws are currently banned and it’s a tad difficult to use one discreetly). At that point I realised that by carrying and dragging tree trunks down the 1000 year old steps behind the house and then cutting them into fuel l was doing exactly the same as the many previous inhabitants of our house must have been doing for at least six hundred years. So, despite being a modern, highly educated and cosmopolitan foreigner, I could feel some sort of pleasing empathy and continuity with our house’s previous generations of peasant(?) inhabitants.

OTH you might class all this merely as privileged boomer nostalgia :wink:


I always feel the same sort of connection when wandering around a market - humans have been gathering to sell/trade goods for at least 5,000 years, if not longer yet the basic format - goods, people, traders is pretty much unchanged.


Chainsaws banned ? Really. Is that just local to you?

Seems sensible though give the high accident rate with such tools.

Just that I’ve seen nothing about it. Certainly hadn’t stopped anyone near us using them them.

Not banned around here AFAIK. Hope not anyway, I’ve been using mine (chainsaws) quite a lot.

How do people know what’s allowed or banned at local level?

It is simple - if you do something that is banned you get tutted at!

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Read about local chainsaw bans a few days ago in one of the French papers, but can’t remember which, nor whether these originate from the mairie or the prefecture. The intention was to lessen the load on hospital emergency departments. The article also vaguely mentioned the banning of potentially hazardous sporting activities - like rock climbing to retrieve escaped laundry?

I’ve felt this connection with the past in both of the ways mentioned by Mark and Paul in the first 2 posts in this thread.
With houses, it’s generally during renovation work, when you go back through the layers of previous work on the house. Once, when I took part of a ceiling and floor out during a big reconfiguration, I discovered wallpaper behind where both the skirting and the actual floor boards and joists had been - very puzzling, until I worked out that I was fitting a staircase exactly where one had been when the house was first built.
But I feel the connection most strongly sitting round a campfire at night, just as many, many generations must have done before us - surely one of the oldest human experiences.


Working in the garden today I came across a wedge-shaped shard of flint that fitted my hand and looked if it had been worked to produce a very sharp straight-edge about 10-12 cm long, tapered to a point at one extremity.

Out of curiosity I used it to cut into a tree stump, and succeeded in working half-way round the stump to a depth of 10mm or so within less than five minutes and not excessive energy.

Made me think about my neolithic ancestors, but I do take flights of fancy! :thinking::thought_balloon::roll_eyes:

Next time in the garden I’ll take a snap to share my idiocy (?) :smiley:


Enjoyed both the above.

Our pre-wedding photos were taken at sunset underneath Lutyens’ ludicrously OTT Anglo-Boer War Memorial in Jo’burg (Afrikaans female marries English rooinek).

The monument’s just outside JB Zoo and as evening fell, we suddenly heard the roar of a nearby lion. Even though we knew it was inside the Zoo, it was unexpected and momentarily terrifying - we all had goosebumps. I’d heard the roar of lions on the veldt, but that has never had quite the same effect. For that second I felt a very ancient connection with early ancestors…


I don’t think any one round here has heard about that.
We wouldn’t know anyway if our Mairie had issued any instructions as, despite many pleadings, they have not set up an e-mail link to residents.

Jane… your Mairie should have an email address… they are surely on the Internet, since everything seems to be done online between prefecture/govt/mairie.

You should be able to find their email address on Google…

However, an email to the nearest large town Mairie… explaining that your Mairie does not have email and you have a query… should also work…

Stella, Of course the Mairie has an address and a telephone number.
There is no information on our Mairie’s website to do with Covid or whether you should be using chain saws or not.
There are only 270 people in our commune and the Maire, who wants to stand down because of ill health has now to stay on longer because they cannot hold a Council meeting to elect the new Mayor.

Jane, No-one can elect a new Maire at the moment… the “old” council remains in situ…

However, if your current Maire is ill, it would be normal/standard for the Adjoint to take on the responsibility. If the Maire is too ill to make the official handover… the Prefecture can do so… but normally, the Adjoint is already elegible to do such stuff…

Our new Mayor is working with the old one.
The adjoint is also standing down for health reasons.
there is no mention of Covid on their site and I looked up on our Com Com and there is no mention of not using chain saws either, nor was there a mention of not using dangerous machinery.

Quite possibly there is a “blanket command” telling the nation to avoid anything dangerous… makes sense doesn’t it… but leaves it open to interpretation. :upside_down_face:

Unless you are worried about using a chainsaw… I shouldn’t worry about what is not written down or on the website. the govt have put out a load of stuff for everyone to read.

One of the reasons given when banning road cycling was the fact that vital personnel might be needed to be taken from the front line to deal with anybody hurt in a bicycle accident. Perhaps people have extended this line of thinking to other ‘dangerous’ pursuits. The only reason that I’m not using a chainsaw every few days is because I don’t need to light my woodburner every evening. If the lockdown had happened in mid winter not using it would not have been a viable option.

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You could buy a chainsaw muffler David, or an electric one.

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