mardi 3 juin 2014
Village life, dumping humanure on our drive
I was asking questions at a village council meeting, on behalf of other residents, as is my job as a councillor! And another councillor took it personally. He rents out an old farm building for 'storage', but the tenants storing equipment there have turned up with about 7 RVs and converted army lorries and are clearly living there. Other residents have seen human poop floating down the little stream that runs past these unusual residents towards the river that runs through our village. So I asked the obvious questions at a council meeting, where do they empty their toilets, get their water from etc. and do they contribute to rubbish removal like all residents. The owner of the land, a farmer is also a councillor and was very defensive as usual, 'not my problem', 'i just rent it to them', 'I am not responsible' etc. but the council agreed to check if there is any pollution. The owner stayed for a beer after the meeting and left smiling. The minutes of the meeting covered the discussion well, and the promise of the council to check that there is no environmental pollution satisfied me and other residents. The only thing slightly wrong was it said I asked the questions, and not that I had asked the questions on behalf of other residents. The minutes of the meeting were posted publicly on the wall outside the town hall. Next day, just before I got back from the craft workshop, the farmer drove his tractor over our bridge and dumped a load of human shit beside our well, beside the river, I think it was destined to be dumped outside our front door, but Our big guard dog was barking aggressively, and thankfully the farmer chose to reverse and not drive at him! I rang the mayor when I got back, and my husband went to look for the tractor as he had not seen the driver well. The next morning, my friend , an 86 year old english woman, who lives next door to the farmer, had an early visit, before she was up. A then jovial farmer admitted it was him and threatened me through my friend by saying, "if she (me) wants shit, I have plenty more for her and worse!" Whatever "worse" is?? He obviously thinks he is untouchable! The Mayor did not ring back until Wednesday evening, but more or less said it was my fault for asking the questions!! I was not happy. And couldn't finish the conversation with him in any language!! My husband managed to agree to the mayor coming round the next day, Thursday. He did so, and was a little calmer than when he said it was my fault! He had talked to others in the meantime. He said the farmer had realised he was wrong to do that! OK so what was he going to do about it? Apologise? No, he didn't think the farmer would apologise......so what then, nothing? The mayor said he realised the farmer was hot headed, a bit of a psychopath (!)......I was shocked, so we have psychopaths running around in tempers with loads of shit and shotguns? Eventually, he agreed to call a meeting Monday to discipline the farmer, how, I don't know? Anyway, the latest is he rang just before the meeting today to cancel it. Now I think I will take the legal option and go to make a complaint at the Gendarmes. Although my friend has pleaded with me not to as she thinks he is capable of getting out his gun, "and we don't want to be going to anyone's funeral!", is what she said!! How can this guy still have his gun license? Because they are issued by the hunting association and not the police. My friend, who is 86, poor woman had another early morning visit this morning from the farmer's mother! Ranting and raving at her just because she is my friend. However she also added something which made my friend and I think along different lines. The woman started accusing me, and her because of the eco association we belong to, saying that we had to disband the association etc. Now we think there is a deeper problem here.....the president of this Association is A man who caused a lot of problems for us last summer. He is trying to get rid of me from the association, but really the association has not functioned for nearly two years. Anyway This man, who is also 86, appeared at a meeting arranging a fete for all associations in September and suddenly proclaimed that our association was campaigning against all the farmers and making sure they all stick to the regulations about weedkillers etc.....so the plot thickens here as we (my friend and I) now think that this has got around the village and has wound up the farmers again. This could be the old goat's way of getting at me too. So how's that for a complicated soap opera tale of village life? Do I make a complaint to the Gendarmes so they are aware that a man, the mayor considers is a psychopath, is running around dumping shit and threatening "worse". He has already over the years, tried to push our Land Rover with my husband inside, off a narrow mountain road, threatened another friend of mine when she was post mistress, after she made a formal complaint following the farmer's dog biting her on two occasions. The outcome of that complaint was the farmer drove up to my friend's car as she and her husband had just driven out of their driveway. Stopped his tractor in front of her car, touching the bumper, slammed his gun down on the roof of the car, dragged her husband out and headbutted him breaking his nose. These people were so frightened they made no further complaint, and I think withdrew their original complaint, so the farmer got away with it completely. How has this guy still got his gun license?? Oh yes, I forgot, the hunters issue the licenses.....and the head man is a relative of his ! Say no more.....! It's weeks like this that make me really want to leave here, but then I look at my garden and animals and realise why I am here. Before the mayor left on Thursday, he more or less said in the same breath.....so you are not going to complain to the police are you.......and.......you need to be careful of your dog you know I have had a complaint from a farmer who couldn't cross the land behind you because your dog was barking at him? A veiled threat if ever there was one?don't complain or we'll complain (or worse) about your dog. One of these days racists in France will get their comeuppance! All expats in France can probably expect more attacks like this since the National Front got so many votes in the European elections.