Archive for August, 2018

French Speed Limits.

August 31, 2018

I have deliberately ignored the “New.”

What Speed Limits?  Apart from Motorways, everyone ignored them, even if there were any, which I must have missed.  We all just drove at whatever speed we felt like, age not withstanding.  Some old people drive at an alarming rate, me included.  It was the ones driving at a snail’s pace that were the danger.  And they certainly didn’t pay much attention to those on Motorways.

I have got this Theory that Benoit and Bertrand are driving around with a bunch of Speed Limit Signs in the back of a van.

Lann Georges, quite a large Hamlet with a really horrible hill, over which you cannot see over from either direction, has a Speed Limit of 70mpk.  While Petit Quello which is all of three houses has a limit of 30 mpk.  I mean, you are through Petit Quello before you even saw it coming.  No chance of slowing down.

So Ben says to Bert, “What shall we put up here?”  “What have we got” says Bert.  “Loads of everything” says Ben.  “So let’s toss for it.”

Consequentially there is the occasion on which there is a difference depending on which direction you are coming from.

I have decided not to join.  I am not good at 30mpk.  But always slow down at a Cross Roads because you never can tell who has got Right of Way.  And should you hit someone then bad French doesn’t help.

However, things on Motor Ways are going to change.  I spotted a Speed Camera last week. Oh My God.  But since I don’t ever feel the need to drive above 90kph, I don’t suppose it will affect me.

I did once upon a time in the days of the Aston Martin, but that was more about the speed to get you out of trouble.  There was always some dick head who wanted to take on a woman driving one of those.  The glory of that kick down will live with me for all of my life.  And I could negotiate rural lanes with such precision in absolute safety.  Aston Martins stop on a sixpence.  And at least my new second hand car has got breaks.  There’s a laugh.  The old van was really okay, and served my purpose for many a long year before it blew up.  But slowing down to 30kph now is a boring pain in the arse.  I shall deal with The Gendarmes if I need to.  But The Gendarmes remain very French and very respectful of old people.

Long Live France.

Bat Shit Crazy.

August 31, 2018

We have just been on a Bat Hunt to this 15th Century Church in the middle of nowhere, but then everywhere is in the middle of nowhere around here.

Until recently this church had in excess of 1,000 Horseshoe Bats in The Belfry, before an Owl got in and scared them all shitless, from which so far not many of them have recovered, so The Belfry is now down to about 100.  This snippet of information really upset me, although I do suppose that Owls have to eat.  This particular Owl must have thought that all its birthdays had come at once.  I pay no credence to gender.  Who cares.

Anyway, there we all were in the dark, clutching Bat Tweeters and hoping for Bats.  Obviously even more Bat Shit Crazy than your average Bat.  There weren’t a lot of them.  They were outnumbered.

So after that we all went down to this River, even more in the middle of nowhere and stood on this bridge with very powerful torches, which I don’t suppose the Bats liked all that much, but with the aid of these Tweeters at least we saw a few.

Bats are not blind.  They just can’t see in the dark.  What a surprise.  But they do have an echo sounder in their heads which stops them bumping into things.  I could do with one of those on occasions.

They live longer pro rata than humans because they hibernate when it gets a bit chilly.  I try to do this, but it doesn’t always work because I have a boring habit of getting a bit hungry in Winter.

They inhabit the entire planet except for Polar Regions, which speaks for itself.

They hoover up about 3,000 Mosquitoes each, and every night.  Let’s hear it for Bats.

They are Mammals.  I didn’t know that.  Actually, I never even thought about it.

They are  completely silent in flight, and incredibly graceful.  Really beautiful.

I have forgotten of how many Species there are, but it’s a lot.  The experts can tell which Species just by listening to the noise that the Tweeters give off.

All in all it was a really interesting evening.  Do it if you get the chance.

I have always liked Bats.  I just didn’t know enough about them.  They could be in my roof space for all I know, but that’s really okay.

Many thanks to Martin who made the evening so enjoyable.