Saturday, 21 January 2012

Des chiffres et des lettres

We are now finally part of the real world; we have an address and a house number. This must be a relief for the Dutch tourists who call us with the question whether there is no betterbetter address available than “La Tuilerie de Chazelle - Cormatin”, because not having a street name, let alone not hsving a house number is for a Dutchman more or less a blasphemy. So for those who cannot cope, as of yesterday we live at 10, Rue de Chazeux.
Irrespective of this Great Leap Forward, instigated by our Great Helmsman, we will stick to our “old” address. The reason is quite simple: most people in Chazelle and Cormatin know exactly where La Tuilerie is; whether they can imagine where 10, rue de Chazeux lies is questionable.
The rue de Chazeux starts at the D881, and runs through Chazelle until it ends on the boundary of Cormatin between the hamlets Chazelle and Chazeux, in the middle of a forest. The agricultural path we live on, well outside Chazelle has been designated as a cul de sac of rue de Chazeux by the officials involved in naming roads and giving numbers.
The distance between no. 8 and 10 is approx. 1 km (slightly over half a mile).
Had these officials taken their job a bit more seriously, and better, had they sought our valuable advise, we possibly would have ended up with a slightly more poetic or romantic road name.
We knew that street names were about to be dished out, hence we had given this matter some thought, as one does.
What about “Boulevard Noël Marembeaud”? That would have been a nice tribute to the man who started the tuilerie or tile factory here in the second half of the 19th century.
A French play on words always goes down quite well with the local warlords, hence the link between “Avenue des Champs Elysées” and “Avenue de chez Sue et Cées” would be quickly established.
The house number 10 has strong associations with Downing street, certainly when one thinks of the British owner and of the recent film “The Iron Lady”.
We would have been quite happy with something simple like “Les Tuileries” or even with “Rue de la Tuilerie”, but no, the authorities knew better...
To summarize this complaint: the mairie has chosen the line of least resistance, and again we are the victims of this lax attitude.
But of course this is not the end of this nasty affair: I have already send a letter in high dudgeon to the mairie, including the relevant photos. And knowing our mayor, this will no doubt be part of the agenda in the next council meeting!

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