Monday, March 13, 2006

This site is just wonderful

The web is great. Millions of pages about almost everything you could possibly want. No news there. But what I have always most loved is the passionate specialisation that we now all have access to. You love something very very specific? Express yourself! Share your passion with others and inspire them. This site is just wonderful. Like Seth, (which is where I got this link), trying a new one every morning is guaranteed to get you off to an innovative day. Challenge your habits, try something different, and rejuvenate yourself! Thanks Ian. No really. Thank you.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

La Chasse

This is nothing to do with flushing toilets, but hunting. Now I was a vegetarian for ten years, and although I have dropped off the meat wagon, I consider myself to be pretty tolerant of the local customs here. But not at any price.

Up to now, the hunters go after the wild boar that damage their fodder crops. Fair enough. They have a glass or two, allegedly, before heading off of a Sunday morning into the woods. The season is during the winter, so avoiding certain wooded areas while a hunt is on is not too onerous either.

But it now transpires that cages are being built in one of the fields nearby for rabbits to be kept for a couple of weeks before releasing them . This is with the express purpose of hunting them for sport. To me that's a whole different ball-game. I'm not happy because this means that our vegetables will be at risk, (when this was done once before, our nearest neighbour lost most of her garden to them). I'm not happy because the implication is that hunters will be wandering around the fields nearby shooting rabbits. Gone are the worry-free bike rides for my 8yr old. I'm not happy because no-one told anyone in the village this was going to happen, it had to be discovered. I'm particularly not happy because it's our friend bunny who has offered his field for the cages to be built, who was here having a beer with me the day before we found out, and he didn't think it worth mentioning to us.

So, we have an active lady in the little hamlet the other side of the field from here who wrote a letter and has done the rounds to collect signatures. The letter asks the hunt chairman to stop the project, at least while we have the opportunity to find out more about what's planned. I don't hold out much hope that they will take any notice, but it's as well to let them know that we're pissed. Personally I'd have written a different letter, and found it hard to decide whether to sign this one or not. Fighting and conflict is not my style. And we have a friendship involved, plus an influential person, the hunt chairman, who could sour other things for us with his other hats on. But what the hell, we signed, and it's in the lap of the gods for now.

Schools out

We've had a little questionnaire from the school recently asking about possible changes to the school day. The reasoning is that the teachers have noticed the pupils work better in the morning. So they want to make the morning session longer by half an hour. The various options include starting earlier, shorter lunch breaks and finishing earlier. So far so good.

Some while back, we had a questionaire from the local education authority about the school week. This is currently a messy affair, with The primary schools sitting Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with two out of three saturday mornings thrown in. (The secondary school is in the same four weekdays, no Saturdays, but they also do Wednesday mornings.) We duly filled in our preference, which was for the four current weekdays with shorter holidays to make up for the lost Saturday mornings. The edict now comes back, (without any news of how parents voted), saying that as of September, there will be no school on Saturday mornings but every other Wednesday morning instead. One rubbish idea replaced with another rubbish idea. If you want to continue your weekly Wednesday morning activities, of which there are many, you no longer can.