Sometimes on a Sunday I can persuade Ian to come for a walk with Gremlin and me. One of the walks we do takes us down into the village, along a couple of farm roads, and back home. On the way back we pass a dis-used quarry. It always looks very tempting and this time we decided to pop in and have a look round. (I should say this was about a month ago). It was quite a weird place. There were the remains of the workings. Ian and I were saying that probably many of the houses round here would have been built with stone from this quarry. In one corner there was an area that looked a bit like it had been used for fly tipping. There were a lot of large chunks of concrete slab, earth, gate posts etc. Ian had a good look and we did think that some of it might have some use. We decided that we might ask one of the nearby neighbours if they knew who owned it and if the items there were needed. Here is a picture of Ian and Gremlin climbing over the rubble.
A lot of people die here. This is probably because the population is quite old. There was yet another burial in the local graveyard attached to the church a couple of weeks ago. The graveyard is quite small and I often wondered where they put all the bodies.. (Are you beginning to work it out yet?). Once I went and had a walk round the cemetery but I didn't like it. There were lots of flies, decaying flowers and a funny smell (although it was the middle of August and hot).
This week the news broke amongst the English speaking community (although it had been news for a few days prior to that). A walker had also been in the quarry and had also been poking through the rubbish and found human remains; skulls, femurs, burial shrouds and even an old coffin. He had reported it to the police and it transpires that the local undertakers (or their employees) had been exhuming bodies to make way for new occupants. Now in France this appears to be legal under certain circumstances. The body must have been in the ground for at least 5 years and there must be no relatives, or they must give consent. The Maire must sign the authorisation and any human remains must be returned to the church where they are stored. Now the undertaker is in prison, his business closed for 6 months and he is facing charges that could mean up to a year in prison and a fine.
This is a link to an article on the local news about the events!
I am definately even more convinced than ever that cremation is the way to go!