Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday's Petite Aquarelle

12" x 16" framed size

$120 including shipping 

12" x 16" framed size

$120 including shipping 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sandbox Village

If you are receiving two mailings please un-subscribe to the FeedBurner and keep the FeedBlitz. Thanks for your patience through this switch.

We all thought we lived in a small village in France.

It turns out that that is not how Tom sees his world. 

Bourdeilles is just one big sandbox for him.

He might not be able to move the castle around, but that doesn't keep him from placing his toys just where he wants them. 

The setting contains all the elements that bring his art to life.

Hours were spent constructing and painting model sailboats.

A lot of thought went into how the sails should be attached for maximum flutter.

Each precious silk sail was placed with care.

And then they were off on their imaginary adventure through the ages.

Perfect timing for crisp fall days.

Perfect timing for fabulous holiday gift.

Perfect timing for always!

Order your own limited edition LilyO's silk scarf and sail away in a sandbox dream.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday's Petite Aquarelle

Before you get to the beautiful part of today's post I have a technical update. You might remember that a month or so ago I asked if you were having trouble receiving A Small Village in France posts. It turns out that some of your were. It also turns out that this a common occurrence with bloggers that have used something called FeedBurner to connect with you, our audience.

The short version of this story is that I am afraid you are going to be getting my post twice now. Once from FeedBurner and once from FeedBlitz.  FeedBlitz is where you want to be. 

I apologize if you find me arriving in your mailbox twice. You can unsubscribe from FeedBurner or just take the flash of a second to delete one of the two post.

Whew -I sure hope this sets things right for awhile. Keeping up with these technologies is just not my thing.

Thank you for getting helping get through this nitty gritty!
and here's the fun part of today.......

Farm Field 

12" x 16" framed size

$120 including shipping 
Window Over the Ocean

12" x 16" framed size

$120 including shipping 

Check out these wonderful, intelligent Bloggers that helped me get through this scary transition in the world of blogging:
Southern Fried French
French Word-A-Day
Tongue in Cheek

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Squeaky Wheels

It's a simple reality of political science--once you get past the rich, the powerful, the influential, and the squeaky wheels.....

......there just aren't that many backyards left.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Solution - maybe....

If I were behind the wheel of a ten-ton, fifty-foot long, monster 18-wheeler, I would try to avoid village roads that were designed for 12th century ox cart traffic.  Like the quaint roads of Bourdeilles. I certainly wouldn’t dare these roads for the measly 4 to 5 minutes that this route saves me as I traverse the region. But then I am not an independent gravel hauler or log hauler looking to save every minute so that I might squeeze in an additional run. So many trips in fact that in a day our little village is rumbled, bumbled, thudded through by at least 300 trucks-- close to 500 on busy days.

Yet as bad as the noise, the vibrations, the traffic jams and the pedestrian dangers are, the villagers’ opinions are divided on how the truck problem should be resolved.

The mayor has been pushing an idea that has been pushed around for nearly fifty years-- build a ring road. 
Some villagers simply don't want change. They don't want to spend the money that the village will have to contribute to the project. NIMBYs don’t want the traffic noise to be relocated to their currently bucolic backyards. Shopkeepers, restaurateurs, and hoteliers don't want the tourist circumnavigating around the village, unaware of the various ways they can spend their euro dollars. (We all know how small cities in the US look like ghost towns after the interstates went through.) Frustrated folks living on the main street have just about come to the point of throwing themselves in front of the trucks if that is what it takes to have some peace and quiet in their homes. (even I’ve thought of jumping out at the blind curve when I hear them approaching way too fast - just to give them a scare - unfortunately I’m pretty sure who would win that game of chicken…..)

As far as I can tell there have been three proposals put forth. Only one can be implemented. Not one of them is going to please every one. The solution that is selected will be perceived as political and fuel the fire for new grumpiness among the locals.

One proposal is that the trucks should simply be prohibited from going through the village. Think posted roads or weight limits in the States. This solution seems simple and obvious enough but it is a state road and the limit cannot be changed unless the village takes ownership-- and the cost of maintenance-- of the road.. Too bad because we know that this would work and that at least 80% of the trucks could use alternative routes because the main street was closed for an entire winter and trucks were forced to use the somewhat longer larger routes. That was a quiet winter in Bourdeilles.

A second proposal was a longer bypass. The new road would take off from a small hamlet outside of the village and would cross the ridge that passes along the farm fields above Bourdeilles. (obliterating our beloved ridge walk - needless to say, it was hard for us to get behind that idea.) For better or for worse, this alternative was deemed way too expensive to construct and has been thrown out. (at least for now - nothing is for sure until we see the construction start.)

The third option put forth seems to be the one that we will soon see put into action - official and unofficial word on the street is that ground breaking for this route will start in December. This route will tuck into a small valley just as you enter the village, wind its way through the yards of homes now surrounded by sunflower fields, cut farmers fields in two, and come rumbling out just below the village cemetery. All this and still the trucks will have to get through a underpass that is only a car and a half wide. This is a  less than perfect resolution to the problem but it seems to be the one that we are going to have to accept.

I’ll close with reflections on the term NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). There is no easy word for “yard” in French.  “Jardin” is one option.  So we get the irate villager saying, “A new road? Not in my garden!” (That sounds a little too bourgeois.) “Arriere court” (back courtyard) is another.  As in, “A new road? Good luck getting through the three-foot thick old fortress walls of my back courtyard!”