The Last of the Past

Forty years ago

I find it hard to believe that 1974 was forty years ago. It feels like such a short time ago and I remember it so well. But the maths tells me it really was forty years ago so I have to believe it.

We went to France for a holiday that year. We went with friends who kindly took us. They had a camper van and they loaned us a little tent and having arrived in Cherbourg, we headed off to Brittany.

It was an eye opener for me. I hadn’t realised that this part of France had something akin to a peasant economy at the time. There were sights to be seen that just wouldn’t be seen in my part of England, and probably hadn’t been seen for more than twenty years. Here’s one of them.

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I was truly amazed to find a horse doing real farm work. That was something I never saw in my part of England and yet here, little more than 100 miles from England, we were in a world where history was still living. The horse, with its mower, was resting as the farmer raked up the cuttings.

The more peasant like theme continued at market.

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This chap sat in the market hall with a few apples for sale. He was every inch the beret wearing Frenchman.

I’m so glad we made that trip for of course, modernisation came. More recent trips to the area have made the area seem more like home. Tractors work the fields and there are far fewer sellers of a few items than once there were. Markets are bigger and brasher.

It was lovely to see the last of the past.

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