Tuesday 4 July 2006


After an abortive attempt yesterday, when they were shut, I went down to the mairie today to get piece of bureaucracy, a Carte SEROC to enable us to use the dump at Le Molay Littry - 6 or 7 km up the road from the house. We did the recognisance for the site while Alex was here, noted the necessity for the Carte and Alex kindly made the phone call to find out how we obtained it.

It was very simple, the woman who answered had said, you just go along to the mairie with identification and proof of your address and they'll take it from there. So, late on Tuesday morning after trying to keep the thunderstorm out of my head by sleeping, there I was entering the dragon's den.

The lady behind the desk was nothing like the fierce and terrifying receptionist Alex and I had envisioned but she was still perplexed. What was a carte Seroc? she asked. I explained again, it was to enable me to use the dump in Molay Littry. Why on earth would I go there, if I lived here? That was Calvados, we were in the Manche.

This I knew. It had been a significant point in my calculations of value when deciding whether to buy the house or not but I was still amazed that the boundary was untraversable by rubbish. She couldn't help me, she had not the makings of a Carte Seroc. Our dump she advised is at St. Lo on the road to Tessy sur Vire and you just go there and dump stuff. None of this card nonsense. Much better, much easier. Much further away also, but that's clearly of no importance.

We chatted on. She introduced me to the Mayor's assistant (I've forgotten her name already, something sybillant) and she tried her English on me which was about the same level as my French. We both got out our dictionaries at the same time. Nice lady. The word will be all over town now, that the English have taken La Rupallerie.

After lunch another essential task was attempted. I rang Nomotech who claim to offer a department wide wireless internet service for la Manche. I was expecting this to be hard but the girls I spoke to did have quite good English and I gave up the thought of speaking French for them quite quickly. Unfortunately, the overcoming of language barriers didn't help us. After establishing where I live and speaking to a technician I was advised that there were too many trees around here. They plan to open a relay in Cerisy la Foret in September and I'm to be sent details and a form so that I can be put on the waiting list but it's profoundly depressing, so much so I went back to bed again. At least the cat was happy with this.

And today, confused with oversleeping, I drank half a glass of tap water without thinking. This probably qualifies as my baptism. I wonder if I'll ever go back to the UK.

1 comment:

Niles said...

Is the tap water really that bad?

The dump thing is just crazy! Evidently the "proximity principle" doesn't apply in France. It's a big thing in waste planning legislation in the UK. I get letters about it from concerned constituents.