Sunday, 12 September 2010

A "Shed Alert!" ... in France...

All across France you will see examples of small stone structures such as this - sitting solitary in the middle of fields and vineyards. They take on a myriad of different simple forms and are usually much smaller and squarer than this version. Never quite large enough to be classed as habitable dwellings, but perfect for storing tools and equipment used every day in the surrounding pastures.


I've become quite captivated by them and this one was a little bit special, being turret shaped and almost fierce in its posture. It seemed to be taking on the role of a massive sentry - watching resolutely and protectively over the vineyards across its domain. I almost felt at risk by its presence. An unwanted intruder who might well be the safer to leave by the route he had just entered. I keep meaning to try and discover if the French have a collective or generic term for these buildings. Other than - Sheds. If anyone reading this already knows - please lob me a line.

Here we go again - I found this little shelter lurking deep inside a maize field while following a road along the Dordogne River, after visiting the impressive Chateau de Fenelon up on the cliffs overlooking the Perigord Noir region.

Just couldn’t help myself. My peripheral vision sensors kicked in as I sped down the nearby lane. I only got about 100 metres past this one when my right foot automatically hit the brakes and brought the car to an abrupt halt.

That’s what I've come to know as a ‘Shed Alert’.

I promptly swept my gaze across the fields on my left - there it was - hiding about 400 metres away with just its roof showing above the maize. I continued on my journey around thirty minutes later, and then about ten minutes after that - I got another shed alert....

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