Posted by: kathandroger | December 23, 2018

Catastrophe and Christmas.

Sorry to have to go on about the “Gilets Jaunes” movement again, but it has affected us locally now and made me very sad. Concessions have been made to the protesters, but the movement has so much impetus now that it seems to have become a way of life to continue obstructing others in the pursuit of more demands. The Police have become more active, and have cleared protesters from the large roundabout in Chatellerault, our local town. They had been blocking the entrance to the motorway for some weeks. Why? The site is well known because of a large sculpture by a local artist which has been a talking point for several years. As it happens, he was a local GP who retired to take to sculpting full time, and his work the “Main Jaune” (yellow hand) had become a feature of the town. It had been constructed locally, by a vast team, including many youngsters, and basically was meant to represent the progress of engineering over the years by showing a series of cars, from the immediate post war period to the present, descending from the giant hand which contained an egg, the symbol of birth. It was loved despite some initial questioning, and certainly become identified with the town. But now it is no more. On the evening of the evacuation of the site, straw bales were positioned at the base and the structure set alight. It has now been demolished, but I managed to get these snaps the day before.IMG_0226 The police have yet to find the perpetrators, but I hope they are publically displayed when they do so. Even the explanatory panel has been defaced,IMG_0227 but that may have been earlier vandalism. I accept the genuine grievances of the local, but this destruction surely only debases their cause. One of the reasons we came to France was the increasingly aggressive attitude to life that seemed to pervade the UK. It seems that we were wrong and that it is the same here. That makes me unhappy, as constructive rather than destructive action is needed. I hope it changes, but fear that modern society will rarely be satisfied.

But, on a better note, Christmas is here, almost. Time to visit the family. Mine are coming from Germany, Australia and here to all meet at Daughter Clares’ house in Frome. It will be noisy with seven grandchildren, and numerous adults. I am really looking forward to seeing them all, and particularly to singing some good old fashioned carols. I am not religious, but the jolly carols of Christmas are an annual joy. I only wish I could sing! Being a bit of a Scrooge, I don’t like the commercialisation of the event, so have decided to make most of the presents myself. The twin grandsons are now 3, and having fallen off the seesaw I made them last year, I have made some block stilts to see if they can break their ankles!IMG_4106 The idea is to hold on to the ropes and balance on the blocks, which are different heights according to the side chosen. I find it hard, but 3 year olds will probably master them in a couple of minutes!
But most time has been spent in creating small sculptures from fossils and old medical instruments. Many years ago, when I was at a Hospital in Cyprus, bags of equipment was thrown into dustbins, much of it unused. Needless to say, I “saved” some of it, knowing that it would have a use one day! Some bits are in pure silver, which was common years ago, but everything is plastic now. I would have loved to recycle some bits, but they are apparently unwanted. Anyhow, I hope the recipients are grateful.IMG_4105 I am fairly sure that not many people will have presents made from fossils and silver tubes for relieving urinary retention! Happy Christmas.


  1. Love the homemade Christmas presents, very special.
    A very merry Christmas to you both x

    • Thanks Sharon, having agood xmas in uk with Linda and all the grandchildren!

  2. Wonderful post — both the musings on the GJs and the Xmas presents! I was in Chatellerault the day after the Main Jaune was destroyed, but didn’t go over that side of town, so missed it. I might eventually write a blog post about it. If so, can I scrounge your photo?

    • Of course you may! Iam told the hand has now been demolished but that hopes are that it will be rebuilt. Happy n
      New Year to you both!

  3. What a sorry sight the burnt out sculpture is. I can’t help thinking that the gilets jaunes have not done their cause any good by this act of vandalism. It’s hard to imagine what they hoped to achieve and I suspect that their protests will be remembered more for this than for their grievances long after it’s all over.
    I know what you mean about the difference between France and the UK but I still feel that our particular part of France is still much more serene. Admittedly we haven’t been in France to experience the trouble over the last weeks, I’m glad to say, although we did come across it on our way back, but it only takes a day or two back in the UK to feel worn down by the pace, the bad language, bad manners, litter…..the list goes on.
    All the best for a wonderful time with your family over Christmas.

  4. Thanks Jean, I know how you feel, we are in the UK for the festivities.
    , Happy new year!

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