I know in France there are many “Floral Villages” and “Places Historic” and there's no shortage of beautiful, but I’m not so sure that there are any "tidy towns". Look at Selles, even with it’s dozen “fountains” if everything was perfectly manicured and the paving in straight lines it could never be described as “tidy”, it just doesn't have the bones, and if it did well we’d probably be in Switzerland, or Belgium.
Like so many other places we visit on our travels, at first glance the village appears to be dying. There are buildings in decay or generally unkempt lining the streets, but on closer inspection something marvellous appears to be underway. There are new cars outside, and they aren’t just bottom of the range “it’ll get me there” kinds of cars. Scattered among all this are new windows, the expensive double glazed kind, the occasional fresh lick of paint on a door or trim, and even new bits of sandstone here and there.
There aren’t any businesses to speak of. Well there’s the cheese factory which welcomes visitors two days a week (the day after tomorrow and yesterday), and the hairdresser and of course the bakery which is run by a lady who is quite possibly old enough to have been here when the turning bridge was first rotated more than a century and a half ago. We nod sadly as we take our change, wondering if she will still be here when next we return, and if not her, will her business. Early in the morning though her son and daughter-in-law are there hard at it, a promise of things to come perhaps.
Maybe it’s not just the bridge that’s turning.