Anyway, as this has been going on the first round of the Presidential elections here has been underway. We have had a couple of interesting evenings with neighbours, listening to some varied views and thoughts - which give perspectives very different from the media portrayals available ... but with some exceptions, on April 24th there was a fascinating programme on BBC Radio 4 - in the programme Professor Andrew Hussey argued that while it's true many people will give Le Pen their vote, he says that there are many more who will not, partly thanks to generational allegiance to the left, but also more interestingly because of the power of 'la culture populaire'. He visits the north of the country, the area where much of its industry has been traditionally based, and the setting for not only Edouard Louis' powerful recent novel 'The End of Eddy', but also the film 'Chez Nous' about a nurse who becomes a Front National representative. He then returns to Paris, to talk about not just the influence of music, comedy and TV, but also the lived culture in the markets and the streets of his own arrondissement just inside the southern Périphérique. The rich diversity and mixture of the people and the lives being lived here offer, he argues, a different and compelling narrative of France that is troubled, certainly, but for the most part functioning and powerful enough to withstand the advances of the far right. Really recommended - catch it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08n2jb1 .
Nature, meanwhile, is of course taking no notice ..... but is not giving us any rain here - it's been dry now for about a month. The effect has been some spectacular blossoms and flowerings:o withstand the
As I write this, I'm looking at the sky - as we have been promised rain this afternoon but there have been a few spots, that's all - but it is the Spring Fair at Pampelonne just down the road on Sunday and it always rains then, so maybe it's saving it up.
The wildlife in the garden has been very active with this weather. In particular we have never seen so many bees this early, and butterflies are numerous too; cuckoos have been around for some weeks; bats have been out in force; and the pond is alive with frogs, with their disco-level croaks, able to sit on the lily-pads that have floated up from their winter depths a few weeks early too. So, what is to be this Post's Wildlife Feature ? An unusual one perhaps .... it is:
Yes, it is the Carp! We know from previous years that the pond is quite well-stocked with carp .... but this year it seems to be teeming and in evidence earlier in the year than usual - with tiddlers, we've seen 40 or 50 at a time; and there are much bigger specimens, 50 cms plus, swimming around in groups ('groups' ... is that right? 'Shoals' sounds daft ...) of 20 or 30. But what has been marked this year is their jumping - both in the evening, but also early mornings, leaping right out of the water and rather inelegantly belly-flopping back. The pond is deep, about 3 - 4 metres, and although all this activity would seem to suggest a healthy habitat, I must check about overstocking. But, for the moment, we're celebrating our carp! If you're reading this and understand these things - advice welcome!
Finally, in the last Post we showed our planting from pot to earth of Orson the Olive tree - over the last few weeks we have noticed that our 'resident' woodpecker has turner his attention from other trees to the olive ... we have tried to photograph him, but it is tricky - Noella had the best go this morning ... if you look right-hand side, just over half-way up of the window-frame, on the big branch ....