Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, June 27, 2014


It's been said before I know, but we rather like Toul.  Just one of the things we like about it are the grassed ramparts and bits of moat and marks where the moat has been that surround the town and prop up its fortifications.   The job of keeping all that perimeter grassland tidy is one that until recently has been taken very seriously indeed, and over the years we have watched as various sections of the city walls have been diligently repaired, no doubt at great cost to the city and to the EU.

There is a difference this year though.  Several sections of the surrounds have become a little unkempt.   They are not completely overgrown, but look more the way a good haircut looks first thing in the morning after the first week, a bit ruffled with bits sticking out here and there.   There is a sign explaining all this though.   It doesn’t mention budgets or the high cost of keeping all. this meadowland in trim, it (literally) says “Refuge for Biodiversity - Mowing Backwards = Nature Preservation”.    Surely there is no nicer way of saying “we are neglecting this site” than to declare it to be a process of “mowing backwards”.

We are not mowing backwards however.  Visits to  two supermarkets a post office and four trips to the service station today have my pedometer showing more than sixteen kilometres walked in the provisioning process, and we still have a couple of errands to run.   

Tomorrow, first thing, perhaps after coffee at ten or maybe eleven, we will remove our sparkling new sun cover from the windscreen, wave good bye to our friends from Holland and Britain and Germany and New Zealand and the United States and France, and tootle up the canal, marvelling at the wondrous melting pot of biodiversity that is the Port in Toul, and it’s all because nobody mows.

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