Shag in the woods

It’s an eight mile round trip to our nearest supermarket but driving through the forest means I can shave nearly three miles off. The track is passable in all but the very worst weather but full of ruts and pot holes. So I very rarely meet other traffic. Although there was one famous occasion when we came across a shagging couple, much to the kids delight.

Last night I left the supermarket as dusk was falling and set off home. The forest is quite spooky even on a sunny day and for some reason, as I turned off the main road and into the woods, I felt a bit uneasy. I put this down it now being properly dark and having spent the weekend reading trashy vampire novels. Even so, I felt the need to lock the car doors.

When a man appeared two minutes later, pointing a gun, apparently at me, I nearly shat myself. The cammo clothing from head to toe meant that he was more likely to be a hunter than a demented survivalist psychopath, but even so I was slightly freaked out.

He looked surprised too. Maybe he wasn’t expecting some housewife to come tearing past in her Land Rover in the dark. Maybe the local commune had asked him to patrol the area and look out for shagging couples. Maybe he was hunting small furry animals. But in any case, is it really sensible for hunters to be wandering around the woods in the dark, armed with a potentially lethal weapon?

Amazing what goes on in the woods!!! We found a young couple in full...........flight?;;;...........on the beach at Arcachon!!!

This week in our woods we found 2 puppies thrown out, absolutely adorable, heinz 57 but Griffon type, very cuddly, used to cars etc about 6 months old, vet says no tatoos or chips, I'd love to keep them but we have 5 already and he says NON! anny one know who would like puppies for christmas?????Help!

Blimey, look at all these comments, they always said sex sells!!

I am near the Vezere valley, so where it conjoins the Dordogne is about 5 mins drive and places like Eyzie no distance at all and we have one of the most import caves (nearly up with Lascaux) a couple of minutes away in Cussac which may never open to the public but I shall get it in a while. As a social anthropologist I actually specialise in the study of childhood and there are flutings that archaeologists have studied and identified as the work of children 23,000 years ago and thereabouts. In my very academic writing I study children's citizenship and strangely enough it is things like children's art in non-modern societies and antiquity that give me clues to when and where the status adult and child really became important. So, no I am not that type of anthro but I studied in a faculty of arch and anth so have enough nouse to accompany school trips and get to see Lascaux free every now and again, go on digs and can show the young people how to set about it and so on. So, serious it may be and in my days up in the Andes and Amazon I learned to hunt the traditional way as well as see how their young people live... Oooof, I shall now go to lunch then back to ur research proposal seriously after lunch. Friday a.m. deadline!

it always pays to live harmoniously with your surrounds as i'm sure you know -) and I personally take each individual as i find them - i am an obliging, helpful respectful soul and believe what we give out we get back. Which department are you in? I have read your comments re magnon??? as the area you live near but Olivia (my daughter) is the anthro, I am the reiki/Tao cultivating artist so I haven't made the geographical connection.

I wonder, no doubt their political party has HQ in Paris and haunts the wonderful parks, the base of the Eifel Tower and all other open ground where as much as a sparrow can be found. I used to hunt in the UK and Germany and have done so in other countries as part of fieldwork to show the people that I am not a useless wollock. The blatant disregard for rules like the 150m is something particular to France I think. I know a fair few of the local hunters, get a bit of 'surplus' from them and demonstrate my hunting bow occasionally and have a year plus long challenge to get one of the arrows out of an ancient tree (It has a barbed head, but I did not let them see that when I put it several cm in). They are mostly nice enough men (no women, unlike other countries) bar the local president who gets the part of Grumpy if they ever try Snow White here, according to everybody. Bottom line is really that we live with it, adapt to it and make peace with them and get better treatment for that - plus the few bits of venison, hare, rabbit, etc.

delightful imagery Brian..... lol, nice waxed oak or maybe ash panels as mounting blocks..... don't start my artists imagination off - it can lead anywhere - total abandon!!! seriously i am hearing what you are saying the hunters appear to be quiet a force and when you are looking for a quiet place to live harmoniously with nature..... maybe i should look at central Paris!!!

elaine, apart from my experience accounted lower down, I kind of imagine there would begin to be lots of bums mounted as prize trophies in the associations. wish I hadn't gone down that road now, nearly lunchtime!

lol.....sounds like a plan.....

Nah, they'll all just start to look for aged curés to shoot knowing this lot around here. Mention Buddha or Shiva and they'll think that is a pet name for a bull... Now put a pernicketty one of those in a field and that should keep them out.

And as for love-making in the woods - i can remember a similar pleasure a few years ago whilst travelling around france in a transit van - one of the many enduring memories of a summer of love.... come on guys - reclaim those woods as beds of hot passion and maybe the hunters will clear off!!!

so the 'bird sanctuary' sign wasn't so effective?? How about 'spirituelle retraite' will they have more respect for that i wonder?

Thanks for a morning giggle Catharine x

Tee-hee, it is what our neighbour put up from the bird society covering all of France. Didn't do well!

Well, maybe it is a good idea not to put up signs that say : "Chasse Interdite!" or "Chasseurs = connards". A nice little sign 'refuge oiseaux' says the same, but much more sublte. Especially beause the chasseurs keep telling everyone how they are aqctually ecologists.

Our Brit neighbour just over kilometre away and at the very end of a road into the forest says the same. He tried, even signs on the field inside the wood belong to him were shot to pieces and a few strays hit his chimneys and walls. He retaliated by a) having the hunt not do it on his land through the mairie/association de chasse and by a perimeter fence and metre and a half high with a razor wire trim. He still gets a few stray shots in his direction but they no longer march through is fields and little wood.

@Heidi: Be careful - VERY careful - about the signs you put up :-) The previous owner of our home had a tenant while he worked in Abu Dhabi for year. The tenant put up signs and we still have bullet marks in the double glazing. The local hunters did not take kindly to this at all.

My wife is Swiss, but of the Italian speaking Ticinese minority (OK, there is another smaller minority they try to forget...). For her England and Cambridge, we met when I helped her get a fellowship, was hard going. She had similar 'problems' to you, albeit not within our household since years of trotting around the globe and living immersed in other societies has made me who knows what? She found the five years in Wales before here easier because they are an oppressed minority. Here we are always being TOLD what our loyalty is by English folk. We have Irish and Scots friends who do not do that, nor do the French. The English are permanently somewhere between the funeral of Winston Churchill and a planet that is yet to be discovered, but fortunately not all of them.

marijke - the one that starts 'I m not english...' is very wisely said. I notice though that several English people on here are not as those who remain with their feet planted on that island. I refer to my Scots origins often but I am and I am proud to be a European. If the timezone stays where it has already been too long then the UK is finished by its own hand. It gives me no pleasure to watch, but as sure as Hell they are sowing the seeds of their own downfall. I shall not go with them if I have one breath of resistance in me. The majority are good, decent people but they are lead by fools and sadly too many believe those fools.

when I use my phone, my posts are "hard to read". I spend so much time fiddling with the tiny buttons (usually with one eye open, as I'm in bed), that I don't look at the screen to see if it came out ok.