samedi 27 juillet 2013

vendredi 5 juillet 2013

Blogvel. is a blog? is it a novel? An attempt at a novel through serialization .

This is an attempt at a sci fi/new age story, and if I get enough interest, I'll continue the story. Don't forget to donate, its  via Paypal I suggest 10 euros, but you can give what you want. Be generous!
 If I can figure out if the button works! 

Ah who am I kidding? Just read it anyway. As you scroll down, try to wipe out the image of me holding out an empty, chipped tin cup for money from your mind. Its just your over-active imagination. Probably.You'd better donate just in case, huh? 
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Cool huh!

The Megalith portals

The misty roads were shaped into a tunnel by the gnarled old trees, their roots like cats claws, gripping the pale mud, almost white, like knuckles gripping the wheel of a run-away car, chalked up by the crumbling bed rock, yet buried by the passage of feet.
Roads that had measured the landscape for many generations, measuring the miles, the time and the changes. Around the chalk hills were dotted markers in time, standing stones of various ages, long barrows, half eroded and half destroyed, stone circles fallen into ruin or disrepair, markers in fields of death ,life, ownership and people. The winding tree lined roads, banked, as if the road had decided to settle itself into the chalk, worn down by foot and by hoof, trod by pilgrim, rutted by cart and wheel. People travelling to and from villages, towns, cities, continents. People with a trade or a religious purpose. Pilgrims or Romans, Saxons or Vikings, traders or traffickers, holy men or criminals, slaves and masters, all walking somewhere, nowhere. Ever since I was a young child, I've lived near Neolithic monuments, drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Are they markers on the communication routes or pointers to something else?

I was never really sure until that afternoon in the pub.

I hadn't been driving very long, when I got my first car, an old Renault 12. I can't have been older than twenty. It was a simple car, not sexy. I'd driven down to the pub to see some friends.
A summers afternoon, in the pub garden, drinking shandy. We'd been told not to drink too much by everyone, as we were driving.
It was a harmless conversation in the pub, in the summer, with friends. Talk of summer sports, summer girls and love sickness, summer holidays, spent without our folks for the first time, the talk of young men. Now I think back to the meeting, there must have been a group of us, but how many I couldn't say.
The friend that told me the story wasn't a close friend, I can't remember his name, but his face and the conversation are etched in my memory.
He told me of the secret and the stories. He told me of the roads.

Of course, as children, our father had shown us the roads, driven down them in long forgotten and long sold cars, sailing down the hills on bright mornings. We were small children, excited, on the back seat of life. 

lundi 1 juillet 2013

Industrial heritage of Western France

Not so very long ago, Western France was a hotbed of Industry and had large factories employing vast numbers of workers.
Lets have a look at some famous examples and try to colour them .

Angers is today a small town , with small and medium firms making products as varied as disc brakes and card printers, as well as Cointreau and Giffard who make the famous liquors. But not so long ago there was an enormous factory, Bessoneau, who employed 10,000 workers in 1920 and which was spread over 25 hectares on one site and 59 for the total  produced 80 tonnes of finished product per week. The factory had its own train station!

The tour à plomb  and mills at Angers. Carte postale, Arch. mun. Angers, 4 Fi 773.The next Angers industry I'd like to look at is the Lead production tower, The first factory was , unbelievably, in the Saint-Aubin, tower, now a classified monument in Angers. From  1822 to 1904, lead was melted and formed here. However,there were other lead towers in the town.One at the end of  Bout-du-Monde, next to the castle, where there is a long drop, and the second  at la Roche-de-Mûrs. Making lead shot requires a great height, to drop the molten lead down into a big cooling pool at the bottom. So workers would have had to carry the lead up some 30 meters, melt it and then ladle it into the containers which then dripped it down to make the lead needed arms of steel and legs of iron, as well as a head for heights. .
At the beginning, business was good, and other companies came . A match factory, a quick lime kiln, and even a canal was created and this zone became  a port, called  Port Ayrault   .
However, the Saint-Aubin tower was then classed as a monument, so the owners built a new tower.

La tour à plomb, huile sur toile, Alexis Mérodack-Jeaneau. Coll. part.
People will tell you that the tower was 45 meters high, but the architects drawing say 38 meters !
From the Courrier d' Ouest newspaper and from the municipal web site from where the photos on this blog are taken,,(in French here) I can say the following: Work began at 4.30, by making a huge fire under a cauldron, in which  were placed lead ignots of 50KG each. Then the temperature would climb to 300 °C The lead was white hot, blue hot. Antimony and arsenic and graphite were added, for hardness, and shine . then using ladels, lead was placed into huge strainers, 12 meters in diameter.Six tons of lead per day, by hand, using ladels.
The laboratory  Philippe Cayla, 1984.
Lead was toxic, and of course it was a dangerous, hot, hard sweaty job. Lead production waned, and stopped in 1972
The tower was demolished in 24th July 1984. Today, in France you can see a similar tower, in Couëron.(here, in French)
also here in French.

One last factory to talk about is the LU  factory.
Another town in a town, with thousands of employees and thousands of square meters, and still producing today, all be it it more modern and cleaner location.
Unlike Bessoneau, where pay and conditions were bad, conditions and pay here were not so bad.However, Bessaneau had an infirmary, and so did Lu, so not all bad.
Lu now belongs to Kraft foods!