Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The valley's filling up

This is a row of houses down in the valley below our house. We can't see them from our property because of the woods. In fact, there are a lot of houses, old and new, down the hill from us. But we feel pretty disconnected from all that up here by the vines.

Some new and newer houses in our town. Click to suburbanate.

It's nice not feeling like we're surrounded by other houses. At the same time, it's nice knowing that there are other people around and that we're not isolated out in the countryside. On one level, I like the idea of having a house out in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors. But there is something reassuring about having some neighbors. We keep an eye on each other's property. We're close to town for services, like doctor, pharmacy, groceries, and things like that. And we have high-speed internet, something a lot of the countryside isn't wired up for yet.

Still, we notice more and more people walking (or driving) up the hill to walk their dogs in the vineyard, more kids on bikes and motorbikes and quads barreling through the woods in summer, and more lost people driving up our road and turning around when they realize it turns into a dirt path. And we just heard from one of our neighbors that a McDonald's might be built across the river near one of the supermarkets. Gasp!

I guess you can't stop progress, if you can call it that.


  1. The tinge of green in the photo looks so lovely. We're having an ice storm here today, with no hint of green.

  2. I have to confess to an occasional weakness for McDoubles (small double-patty "cheese"burger). Still, I wish progress worked both ways and someone opened a wood-fired bakery in our neighborhood.


  3. Hey! That John guy is funny!
    But it is such a shame that a McDonalds will be opening up. It will ruin the countryside. On a lighter note, winters may not be so dreary with the glow of the Golden Arches shining over the land.
    Your Friend, m.

  4. The site proposed for the new McDo in Noyers-sur-Cher is straight across the river from our house. In the winter, when the leaves are off the trees, we might even be able to see the golden arches from our road or our upstairs window! Won't that be nice...

  5. cubby, our grass stays green during the winter and we don't usually have much snow. Hope the storm isn't too bad for you.

    john, or is that Mac d'oh! ;)

    mark, the glow of the golden arches will have to compete with the glow of huge sodium vapor (I think) lights at the autoroute toll plaza a few miles away.

  6. A friend of mine wrote a book on the subject, "Sprawl"
    if you are interested in reading up on the issue.

  7. The sat maps for the area around Saint-Aignan do show a bit of sprawl, especially along the road to Mareuil. Is there a development plan for the area?

  8. michael, I may have already read it. I'm a retired city planner.

    peakvt, I'm sure there is one, but I haven't looked for it. The growth occurring around us is nothing compared to the scale of what happens in the US. Houses and small developments are going up, but in contained and established residential areas with utility service. A lot of the land around us is agricultural (protected) and forest lands that are managed for wildlife and wood. Greenfield development is rare.

    I wasn't trying to sound alarmist in my post. :)


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.